After trying many different therapies with very little results, today’s guest has seen a terrific and almost immediate improvement by shifting his whole lifestyle through the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

We discuss in this interview:

  • Matt’s severe RA symptoms, with high pain levels especially in the right hand, and how different therapies proved ineffective
  • How he eventually saw Clint’s TED talk and started the Paddison Program, with significant improvements after just two days
  • Managing different eating habits in the family
  • Medications and the Paddison Program
  • Fibromyalgia and pain improvements
  • Exercise
  • The importance of finding the drive
  • Eating tips

Clint – Here we go again with another wonderfully inspirational story from my guest today, all the way from Amarillo in Texas. His name is Matt. He’s been on medications for many years, but he was barely functional, and it wasn’t until he shifted his lifestyle across to the Paddison Program, and now he has seen life changing results. That’s all I know, folks, he’s going to tell us everything. And I’m like, you going to hear this for the very first time, Matt, what a pleasure it is for me to have you on this episode.

Matt – Clint, thanks so much for having me on. I mean, I have to tell you, getting on your program, it saved my life. I mean, it literally saved my life, completely changed it. And I’m. I’ve told lots of people about your program, and I’m just glad to be on to share.

Clint – Thank you. And I’ve already picked up from our few minutes together here, you’re a very humble man, you got a lot of gratitude, and you’re a wonderful character already in these few minutes. So I’m looking forward to spending this time with you. And can you give us an insight here of the sort of level of transformation, like how bad you were before, maybe, and then how you are now?

Matt – Yeah. So I was, um, I was at a pain level of, you know, 8 to 9, um, all day, every day, I mean, just barely functional. I mean, I went to work, I used to sync called a Zynex machine. I don’t know if you’re familiar. It’s this pain management device that it’s kind of like a tens unit. It actually has a ten setting on it. The worst of my pain is, is my right hand. I have, uh, osteoarthritis from the rheumatoid arthritis, two surgeries, and just miserable. I was wearing this Zynex all day, every day, and then when I got home. I used an ice pack on my hand, took about two hours for it to not be cold anymore. And then I switched from the cold to the heat, and I would use a heating pad until I went to bed. And that was my life for years.

Clint – Oh, man. Yeah, wow. I’ll ask you more about that in a moment. But how are things now? Are you able to use the hand and hold a job down?

Matt – Yeah, I mean, I’ve continued to work through the whole time, but, um, I used to wear a brace all day, every day as well. I don’t wear the brace, I can just function. I don’t come home and just collapse into my chair and sit on the ice pack and sit on the heat pack. I mean, my pain gets to a 3 or 4 at times in this joint. The rest of my body feels way, way, way better too. But just in the thumb I get to maybe a three or a four and, um, you know, I come home and hang out with the fam, spend time with my kids and I’m just able to function.

Clint – To what extent do you think it was the lifestyle changes that influenced this?

Matt – It was all of it. I mean, there was no medication changes or anything, we literally. I had resolved in January of last year, I was going to do this, I had nothing to lose. I mean, this is how bad it was. My wife and I literally talked about cutting my thumb off. I am not exaggerating in the slightest because I was in such pain. And so I was told about your program in December. I said, babe, I’m going to get through the holidays and then I’m going to do this because I have I have nothing left to lose. And so I mean, now, I mean, my life is completely different than it was a year ago today.

Clint – Goodness man. This is, uh, this is amazing. So, was your wife supportive? And when you began, were you seeing quick results? Just walk us through that sort of transition?

Matt – So, um, I was told about your program. Uh, there’s a there’s a treatment called a laser therapy. Um, and it’s designed to kind of help cells regrow or something like that. And this gal, um, my wife had heard about her, and I was. I was in such pain that she was like, you’re going to this person. And so I said, okay, fine. So I went in there and she starts laser in my hands, and she’s got rheumatoid arthritis, and she does not she’s not in pain. And I’m like, how are you not in pain? And she said, she said, well Matt, it’s it’s this eating plan thing. And I was like, you know, and it took me 4 or 5 sessions of with her lasering my hand. She sent me your Ted talk. Um, and, and I watched it and I was like. I mean, what do I have to lose at this point? She told me it would take 3 to 4 weeks of getting on this before I really started to notice change. And so, um, I went back to work after the holidays and fasted for the first day, fasted for the second day. You know, I got your subscription, downloaded all the materials and everything, and I’m texting her like the second day. I’m like, you said it would take 3 to 4 weeks at least. She said, well, you know. And I was like, I, I feel better already. And um, and so I’m not going to say it was instantaneous, but it was very, very quickly when I started to notice significant not just incrementally a little bit better. I mean, it was it was a massive difference in days of just cutting out all the things. I mean, I went straight to the dry salad, which I never like, dry like salad. You’re the only thing you’re supposed to taste on the salad is the salad dressing. Right.

Matt – The first time I sat down, the first thing that I ate after that second day was the dry salad. And I was like. This tastes amazing. I mean, it literally tasted amazing. And so then I start, you know, she’s talking to me about this. I couldn’t even know how to say it. Right. This quinoa. Right. She’s like telling me about this thing. And I’m, like, going to the store and I’m like, what in the world is this? And so I started in the quinoa and the buckwheat, and with the bokchoy and all these things. And I’m getting made fun of at work because I’m just eating bark, you know, they’re like, Matt, you want to go out to eat with us? And I’m like, no, man, I’m going to go home and have my quinoa buckwheat. And they’re like, are you bark eater? And all this stuff? And I’m sitting over here just like you can make fun of me all you want because I feel great. I was texting her like, a few days after I’d started. In the evening, we, you know, sit down and play a board game with the kids. And the first time we were going to go and do that, um, after I’d started this thing, uh, they were like, all right, dad, we’ll get up and go to the to the table and the, you know, the dining room table so you can play. And I was like, no, I’m going to sit right here on the ground with you and play this game. I mean it was I can’t I just can’t express the change in my life in really a very, very short period of days.

Clint – Man, I muted myself because you had me laughing so hard when you were going through talking about your colleagues, calling it bark and stuff like that. Like I muted myself because you’re killing me with this stuff because we’ve all been through this and like people, just one time I was sitting on an airplane. I’m eating like the mix, right? The buckwheat, quinoa and I had seaweed and bits of miso, like, dabbed around the side. So it was like the weirdest looking thing. And the looks I was getting from the guy next to me, I’ll never forget. He keeps like out of the corner of his eye, looking down at what I’m eating and almost like he’s contorted face was like he couldn’t process what it was that I was eating, and I was loving it because I was just indulging in this moment where I was doing something that was so different. It was freaking this guy out. And yet, like you, I wouldn’t care even if, like, I copped abuse because it just made me feel good.

Matt – Yes, I mean that’s what it boils down to is, I mean, there are times, don’t get me wrong, there’s times when it’s difficult, you know, when a lot of my wife is great, she a lot of times will cook two meals. I try to get the kids to eat that way, and they’re like, not happening. So she’ll cook for me, and then she’ll eat some of it. And then and I keep telling her like she’s got a knee that is painful. And I keep telling her, I’m like, babe, if you will just take the plunge and eat what I eat instead of kind of some of what the kids eat and some of what I eat. I’m just telling you your knee will not hurt anymore. So anyway, she’s really supportive, she’ll cook me a separate meal. There’s days when, like, today, I had a I had a meeting at 12 and then a meeting at 1 -30. And so I, you know, I, you know, normally in the old me would have just run through the drive through somewhere. And so instead I go and get a smoothie, and just do it that way. And so there are times when it’s, you know, it’s a little bit of a challenge when you’re, we’re trying to find a place to eat. And it’s like, well, dad, what can dad have, you know. But I mean, it just doesn’t matter. We were having my boys birthday party last September, and so I’d gotten home a little bit late from work, and we were going to go to the movies and didn’t have anything prepped. And so we’d ordered some pizza, and I ate like 2 or 3 slices of this pizza, and I paid for it for three days. I was miserable, and I was like, never again, never again.

Clint – I did that on the day we got engaged, my wife, I proposed to my to Melissa, we spent the whole day joyful. And we had pizza that night, and then it was just. Oh, no, like the next day, and, I mean, it’s relentless. It doesn’t care what the celebration is Christmas, engagement, thanksgiving. Yeah, you’re going to pay for it if you do the wrong thing.

Matt – You absolutely do, and then and then after a couple of days, you re-fast and get recentered and cleared out and everything and then you’re okay again.

Clint – That’s it. Now let’s talk about medications. You’ve been on these for a long time. You mentioned you didn’t change those throughout the program. Can you tell us which meds that you’ve taken? What’s been your experience with these medications, and what’s the plan in the future?

Matt – So I’m on Humira and Leflunomide and then diclofenac. And so, um, I have been on them, let’s say about six years ago is when I first got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. And so, they put me on methotrexate. Right. Because that’s the cheap med that they, they give everybody to start. Nobody has a good reaction to it, I was nauseous for three months straight couldn’t eat anything and all this. So then they said okay well we won’t do that anymore. So they, they put me on uh, the leflunomide but it was not doing enough. And so they put me on the Humira. So I’ve been on Humira for about five years. And it was funny because I go to my rheumatologist and they’re like, you, you seem like you’re feeling better. And I’m like, oh, I am. And they’re like, well what’s going on? And I’m like, well, that’s changed my diet. And uh, they’re like, what do you mean? And I’m like, well, I went on this low inflammation diet. This guy Clint Paddison, I’m feeling so stinking much better. And they’re like, yeah, you know, there’s there’s something to be said about that. But, you know, there’s just not really any studies out there that, that really say whether or not that that actually really does anything. And I just kind of laughed and I was like, yeah, well, I mean, I all I can tell you is it could change my life. So as far as the future, I, I don’t know, um, I, uh, I don’t know what I, what we’re going to do as far as what the what it’ll be I haven’t, I haven’t really gotten off of it for a period of time to see like how I’m going to do without it. And so.

Clint – Yeah, but you seem quite content at the moment. You seem happy. It’s not like you’re impatient or frustrated or wanting to get off these drugs, it doesn’t seem like your driver. Your driver was they aren’t working, I’m in extreme pain, and I need to change the underlying cause. So I think you’re still pretty much like in a honeymoon period of enjoying these improvements.

Matt – Yeah. I’m just telling you, it’s been a year, it’s still kind of surreal, right? I mean, it’s it’s difficult to even think back to how much I hurt versus where I’m at now. My hand, it’s mechanically screwed up after two surgeries. It’s not probably going to get much better than it is, but that’s a world of difference from what it was 18 months ago. I mean, I can’t tell you how big of a difference my hand is my my whole body, but my hand is the real driver because, I mean, it hurt to do anything. And I mean, I was dropping cups all the time because I couldn’t I mean, I was so inflamed and so just swollen. Here’s the thing, so I got my ring tattooed on my finger. Um, about four years ago, because I couldn’t wear my wedding ring. And so I wore it on my chain for about three years. And after about a month, I, I was like, you know, I think my ring’s gonna fit again. I put it on. I texted this lady that that I’ve been talking about, I was like, I can wear my wedding ring. I’ve been able to wear my wedding ring in four years. That’s why I got it tattooed. It’s incredible.

Clint – Wow, because you never thought you’d be able to wear that ring again. So you tattooed it on?

Matt – Now I can wear it, and I wear it every day. And my hands don’t get so swollen I can’t get it on and off. And I mean, like I said, I’ve, I’ve sent your stuff to so many people and I just, I mean it to me, like when you see the before and after video and the Ted talk, I mean. How do you how can you not say, I’m going to give this a shot because I’m miserable now. I can’t get any worse.

Clint – I hear you, man. So you’ve got another condition as well. You mentioned in our chat, fibromyalgia. Now it doesn’t come up much in the conversations I have, because I really sort of market, so to speak, and use the phrase rheumatoid arthritis. Okay. So, uh, I don’t really attract too many people with fibromyalgia exclusively, so I’m really curious. Um, have you noticed any change in symptoms to fibromyalgia? And, and based on that, we’ll go further in that direction. First of all, can you just real quick explain what fibromyalgia is in case a lot of people haven’t heard of it?

Matt – I wish I could give you a good definition. What I know of it is that my I feel like I’m burning everywhere if I don’t take my fibromyalgia meds, the gabapentin. Um, and so, um, I what I can tell you is it’s difficult to differentiate between like RA pain and fibro pain because it’s all pain. Right. And so I all I can tell you is that across the board, head to toe, everything hurts 60-70% less than it did 18 months ago. I mean, you know, when you when you’ve got the amount of pain that I was having in this hand, I mean, it’s it’s all consuming. I mean, it is day in, day out, you can’t sleep because your hand is aching. This, that and the other thing. So, um, how much of the fibro pain is down from the RA? Pain? I don’t know, all my pain is down tremendously.

Clint – Gotcha. Gotcha. What do your friends at work who called it bark, say?

Matt – So the thing is, my boss has gout. And I have told him so many times. Yes, it’s for RA, but it’s for auto immune, I mean, try it, see if it helps. And he’s like no, no, no it’s just beef. If I just stay off of beef and then we’ll go somewhere and I’ll have a burger, you know, or whatever. Um, and so and then he’s limping for days and I’m like, dude, just try it. And he’s like, no, you know, maybe for RA or something, but it’s not going to work for this. His brother owns the company and he has, um, psoriasis. And the funny thing is, they told me a couple years ago that he had gotten on, gotten off of gluten and his, uh, psoriasis had gotten better. And then he just got tired of eating that way. And so it came back and whatever, and I just. And that’s two two of the people at my office that I have been like, guys, just try it. Just try it for try it for a week. And they’re just like, nah, it’s, you know, it’s not worth it. And I’m like, if you can’t see the difference in me every day today versus where I was 18 months ago, I mean, you’re blind and the only thing that has changed have an increased or decreased any of my, any of my meds. The only thing that has changed is how I eat. If you’d have seen me walking down the road 18 months ago versus seeing me walk today, you you wouldn’t see the same person.

Clint – Amazing. So you mentioned you haven’t changed your anything but the diet. Have you been able to exercise more or are you planning to do more of that?

Matt – I should be exercising. Um, the reality is I have a full time job, I have three kids. I have five kids, but three of them still at home. I run a nonprofit in my free time. Um, and so, um, I should I do go walk. I mean, I went and walked for quite a while last night, which I couldn’t do. Um, but I should do more of it. I’ve actually lost, like, almost 30lbs in the last year. Not because I was I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I just chose to eat what I could eat. And if I didn’t have it, I didn’t eat. I would rather be somewhat hungry than hurt. I’m not out here starving myself, I’m not anorexic or something, but I would just choose to stay a little hungry to be able to eat something in an hour or two instead of just scarfing something down that was going to make me hungry or that was going to make me miserable. But the reality is, cutting out all the processed stuff and all those things has just allowed me to, to lose this weight. So yes, I need to exercise. Um, I just, I have to make time for it. It’s, it’s hard as much as I, as much as I do in a given day, but.

Clint – Yeah, I understand totally.

Matt – I definitely could now where I couldn’t before. I just don’t have the time.

Clint – So this would be phase two. So if you let’s give yourself a ten out of ten for phase one. Over. Let’s call I reckon that what I’m trying to say I guess the plan for this year would be now to work on exercise because, if you’ve still got some residual pains going on, and, or you wanted to potentially talk to the doctor about dosage levels like the Leflunomide and the Humira, you know, if you wanted to, uh, talk with him or her about that, um, I think you’re taking the, uh, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory as well.

Matt – The diclofenac.

Clint – Correct. So, like that wanted to be nice not to be in your system, right? That one being a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. That one’s not ideal to take long term. So, you know, you could say to yourself, hey, if I can find three mornings a week where I can do just 20 minutes on a treadmill or, uh, you know, do a light workout at home with some exercise bands from Amazon that cost 18 bucks, you know, I mean, so, um, you might, you know, work towards trying to reduce that drug. That’s what I would be doing, I’d try and get off that nonsteroidal drug over the next six months, do an exercise three times a week, that’s what I would do. And continually to strive for more. Right. So it’s like ten out of ten year one a ten. Let’s go year two. Let’s get another ten. Yeah.

Matt – Right. Yeah sure. I need to I mean I have been struggling with some, some depression and anxiety things and um, my parents both died last October and stuff like that. So it’s been a, it’s been a battle. Um, yeah. But the exercise helps with that too, right? I mean, it does.

Clint – I so agree. So I’ve got a buddy I see at the gym and we almost like a broken record say the same thing every time. I’m like, how you going. Yeah. All’s good. Good. Yeah. It’s, you know, good to be at the gym again. You know, we’re like, this is our mental health. This is as much about just taking a step out of life and letting your body talk to you. Not everyone else and the internet and everything. But when your body talks to you, it’s just internal communication. Your body’s like, I can do one more. And it’s just you and you. It’s wonderful, you know?

Matt – It’s 100% true. I mean, I am really bad at unplugging, um, this this non-profit. It takes a lot of my free time that I don’t really have and things like that. And my wife’s like, babe, get off the phone like, come, come talk to me or something. And I’m over here. We we provide, uh, we call them placement packages for kiddos when they come into foster care. And I was a foster kid and I was adopted. And so, like, it’s really, really important to me. But I have to learn, I have to work on the balance because I’m not great at that. And so I end up, you know, just running myself ragged and just wearing out and not unplugging and, you know, things like that.

Clint – We’ve all done this. And what an honorable and what a like amazing, thing that you are doing. Right. No one can question how amazing that is. And so I would just say, you know, think of the, uh, put your own mask on before, you know, helping others kind of thing in this instance, even if it’s just start with once a week. Anyway, you’re not on this for a coaching session. You’re here to share it. So fantastic work. Look, is there anything else you’d like to add here? Things that you found are particularly helpful. Like if you miss your salad, does that play a big role? Or if you don’t, for example, get to bed by a certain time or like give me your sort of real crucial aspects of this that are the most impactful.

Matt – Well, I would say for me, the most impactful thing is the drive, the desire. You have to kind of keep in mind that, like, I’m doing this because my life was miserable beforehand. And so trying to remember, like, okay, I can eat that because it tastes good. I mean, sweets, I love sweets like, I mean, you know, I, I just candy and this and that, whatever. And so um, like to me, the personal discipline to say I’m going to choose to not hurt. And so I’m going to choose to not necessarily do, the quick and easy convenient thing of driving through McDonald’s or Burger King or something like that. And, I’m going to choose to carry around some snacks, carry around something. I’ve played with and found things that bother me and things that don’t. And and so I carry a backpack with me everywhere I go. Um, and so I just keep some snacks in my backpack. So if I’m rushing, and I get hungry, then I can dip into that instead of going through the drive through or, or just grabbing something quick that that I know is going to make me hurt. And so but you have to me, you have to keep that discipline and that desire to remember how you felt and remember how you feel now and, want to keep that keep that going.

Clint – Awesome. So you’re a year in. How does breakfast, lunch and dinner look for look like at the moment for you? So that I can get an idea how far you’ve come through the reintroduction phase.

Matt – So breakfast is coffee. Um, and then usually I come home for lunch and then we have dinner here. And so my, my wife does a fantastic job of making vegetable stews and, and different. I mean, she makes all these different recipes that we found that this doesn’t bother me. I’m the kind of person if I go to a restaurant, I will get the same thing every single time because I know I like it. And so, um, so she’s like, do you? I mean, are you tired of this or that? And I’m like, no, keep making it. Because, I mean, she’ll she’ll change it up a little bit, maybe throw some jalapenos in the stew or different things, just to change it up. I do eat a lot of stews or we’ll take, uh, a big batch of zucchini and squash and mushrooms and throw it on the grill and, and, you know, and I’ll eat that for a couple of days because it doesn’t bother me to eat the same thing over and over and over. And so that or we’ll get the I never did buy a rice cooker. And so I’ll buy I use my Instant Pot to make this huge batch of, of quinoa and buckwheat, throw some seasonings in there, throw some seaweed in there, and things like that. I do eat a lot of, a lot of dry salads, um, and, uh, you know, and just change changing them up, throwing some, some fresh squash and zucchini and carrots and tomatoes and, just spent lots of spinach and those kinds of things and just it’s just a really pretty kind of a basic same type thing. If I get I go to this one restaurant because they make this vegetable stir fry with some steamed rice. It’s it’s really delicious and doesn’t bother me. And you know, I have I mean, so that’s kind of that’s kind of what it looks like.

Clint – Nice man. Have you been able to add any legumes or beans, anything a little bit more advanced down that direction yet?

Matt – No, not I mean, I we I’ll eat a lotta she’ll throw a lots of beans and stuff in my stews and stuff like that. Um, so I get, I get, you know, a chunk of protein out of that and things like that.

Clint – So it’s in there, but you don’t put it on. You don’t have like a beans and rice meal on its own at this point. But you’ll eat rice out at the restaurants and stuff.

Matt – Yeah. Steamed rice. Yeah.

Clint – All right. Cool, man. Well, you’ve got your own thing going, that’s working for you. And you’ve got lots of different vegetables in there, and it’s, uh, sounds yummy. Stews are always like make the saliva flow, don’t they?

Clint – Oh, yeah.

Clint – That’s cool, man. All right. Um, have we missed anything? Would you like to share any other things that you’ve found that work for you? in addition to what we’ve covered?

Matt – I don’t think so. We’ve pretty well covered it. I just would say to people like, give it a shot. I was talking to my brother earlier today because he has psoriasis pretty bad, and now he has psoriatic arthritis. And I was telling him I was like, listen, bro, do you listen to podcasts? He’s like, yeah, sometimes I said, listen, I’m going to send you this interview that I’m doing tonight. I’m going to send it to you and you listen to it because I’m telling you, if you will eat this way, it will change your life. So hopefully he does and hopefully a lot of people do.

Clint – What’s his name?

Matt – His name is Rick.

Clint – How you going, Rick? I hope you ended up listening to this interview with your brother who’s done incredible things. So, Matt, I appreciate you, man. Thank you very much for coming on. I’ve really enjoyed listening to you. I love the way you talk, I love the way you tell stories. It’s super fun, man. And in addition, of course, to what we’ve talked about here with the health, I think it’s amazing that you do that volunteer work and you’re helping out those kids, just like you would have appreciated when you were also, uh, in that part of your life. So, yeah, you’re a wonderful, wonderful human being.

Matt – Thank you so much. And thanks so much for developing this, figuring this out. That bowl of cherries. Right. That bowl of cherries got it all going.

Clint – Who would have thought some diarrhea and vomiting started this movement, right?

Matt – I’m telling you, it’s just. I mean, but I’m telling you that video just it blew my mind. It absolutely did. And I was like, I gotta try this. It’s crazy, but I gotta try it.

Clint – If anyone still doesn’t know we’re talking about here, um, I did a, uh, Tedx presentation where I talk about an experience I had with some cherries. If you want to check that out, just type Clint Paddison, tedx talk into Google, and you’ll find it pretty quick. Thank you so much, Matt, man, thank you once again. And I look forward to hearing in the future about how year number two goes for you, because this will be the year of increased exercise. And good luck. I hope to hear from you again.

Matt – Yes, sir. Thank you very much.

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