#BETHEPROOF: How Bulletproof Coffee Extinguished My Food Cravings & Ignited My Firefighting Career
Simply put, Bulletproof Coffee changed my life. First, it changed my lifelong relationship with food and calories. Then, it gave me a mental edge that has allowed me to take full advantage of an accidental career I never would’ve known was along my personal path.
How it all started
I can still vividly remember the happiest time of my life, the summer of first grade. Cartoons all day, roughhousing with my older brother in the backyard followed by consuming a daily box of chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, I said daily.
Looking back now, that’s where my love affair with food started.
I have been skydiving, scuba diving to great depths, spearfishing surrounded by bull sharks, mountain biking and more. However, nothing gave me the rush or brought me joy the way consuming food did.
Fast forward to high school where I joined the football team and was finally the prime age to start lifting weights. I thought lifting weights was the key I needed to finally break away from being a husky kid and starting my journey to looking anything close to what I would see on all the bodybuilding magazines.
Imagine my dismay when I was picked to play as an offensive lineman (the huge guys you see protecting the quarterback). My coach made daily demands that I scarf down as many PB & J sandwiches as I could, all washed down with a gallon of milk to bulk up.
I wanted to be a good player, but I couldn’t stand the thought of being bigger.
Regardless, those years taught me that lifting weights and becoming regularly active with extra workouts was the only way I could keep pace with my love of food.
The gaucho days
As I entered college, circumstances had changed. A freak mountain biking accident left me unable to work out. Then, just a few months later I received an unexpected call to move home to my family.
Next, I started working at a well-known Brazilian steakhouse as a “gaucho” or meat carver walking endless circles around the restaurant holding a knife and a heavy skewer of meat offering it to diners. The days were long. It was grueling, dirty, thankless work. But, I got to eat three amazing steakhouse meals a day, though, so I was sold.
After my shifts, I would drive to a gym on my way home and get a workout in before collapsing—just to wake up and do it all over again. Slowly but surely, I crawled my way back into decent shape. It was hard, but it was the only way I knew how to eat the things that made me happy while staying in fit.
Over time, I began to feel lost. My lifelong plan of college and a respectable, well-paying job was still out of reach and the high mileage of the job was wearing me out. After a year, my knees hurt constantly, and I couldn’t make it through a workout without enduring some amount of pain. I wanted a way out but didn’t have the mental or physical energy to pursue anything.
And, I was inching closer to 200 pounds.
The first sip
One day while having my morning sugar-laced cafe con leche, I heard my brother using a hand blender. When the noise subsided, I asked him what he was doing. He nonchalantly responded, “Making coffee. Try some.”
I looked suspiciously at the frothy and light color of his coffee, took a sip and almost spit it out. It was so bitter. After he stopped laughing, he explained that his coffee had no sugar (a crime to me at that time) and that he had put a couple of tablespoons of butter in it. I thought he had lost his mind.
That was my first encounter with Bulletproof Coffee.
Down the rabbit hole
Over the next few days, my brother began explaining what he had been reading about adding quality fats to your coffee cup and how he thought I should give it a try. Of course, he followed up with a lecture about how much sugar I was consuming and how he had never seen me so big. I offered a few excuses about my knees and how I was always tired, but I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.
Next, I fell down the online rabbit hole reading up about the Bulletproof Diet and this “butter coffee.” The more I read, the more it made sense. Although it was a far cry from the norm, I decided to give it a shot. I’d yet to do anything real for me.
I decided to double down and started experimenting with both intermittent fasting and Bulletproof Coffee. What I found was that I had energy again, but it was also more sustained and less jittery than my usual sugar-filled source. Slowly, I cut my sugar intake back down to near-zero grams per day (eventually, my palate enjoyed the taste of Bulletproof Coffee!). Within a couple of months, I was down to 175 pounds from a high of 200. It was the easiest weight I’d ever lost.
Fueling my future
With my newfound energy and focus, I was ready to get my life back together. I decided to become a personal trainer and also opened my own company teaching self-defense. Ultimately, I left my gaucho uniform and meat skewer behind.
The biggest change for me was that, over time, I broke the control that food had over me. Bulletproof Coffee complemented effortless fasting periods. I began to eat because I wanted to, not because I had to. I had access to a steady stream of consistent, lasting energy and that was a game-changer for me.
The mistake that changed it all
Shortly after, I made a “mistake” that would change my life. While I was teaching self-defense, I wanted to start offering basic medical components on what to do if injured. However, I wanted to have some real credentials behind what I was teaching (sorry, YouTubers!) so I decided to enroll in an EMT course. I found a course being held at a fire academy and enrolled.
On the first day of class the instructor asked, “Who is here because they want to be a firefighter?” All hands went up except mine. Naturally, the instructor’s next question was, “What are you doing here?”
I ended up falling in love with EMT class, the endless medical learnings, the hands-on aspects and the fulfillment of making a real difference. I came to really admire my instructors who I learned were firefighter paramedics, which got me wondering about my next steps. Do I go back to college? Keep doing my own thing? Give this new idea a shot?
I hatched a plan to accelerate the coursework and decided I would do both at the same time. I asked around. While technically possible to do both, anyone I brought the idea to said the mental demands of paramedic school and the physical demands of fire school were enough to drive people away separately, let alone combined. I was told the failure rate of both programs, even when taken individually, was high.
But, I had a secret weapon. I had Bulletproof Coffee.
I triple-checked the schedule one last time. I would have class, clinicals, ride-alongs, fire school, physical training and working where I could to help pay for school. Not a single day off for at least six months, no room for error.
I dove in.
The end result has fully paid off. I am now a full-time firefighter in South Florida, and four years into a stable, fulfilling career.
I still have my Bulletproof Coffee every morning.
My days are filled with variety and uncertainty. I have had busy shifts where I can’t eat ‘lunch’ until 5 p.m. and shifts where I haven’t slept in 24 hours.
I can say confidently that as long as I have my secret weapon by my side, whether it’s a grueling fire or an intense medical call, I can meet the demands of the day—at my sharpest—and continue to #BETHEPROOF!
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The guest author of this blog was compensated for endorsement.