It's no secret that today's society is (now more than ever) concerned about fitness and health.
From various methods such as: home video workouts, outdoor cardio to CrossFit and strength training at the gym, people do what it takes to hit that personal goal. However, fitness doesn't always indicate healthiness. Many times, people have the mindset that having abs or being lean is an implication of being healthy, but that's not quite the case all the time.
With that said, we're stoked to introduce our featured influential individual - Camillo Ferrari. He is the owner and editor of www.modernathletichealth.com - a site dedicated to giving athletes the facts, science and tools to help him or her accomplish his or her athletic, health or fitness goals. I mean, let's be real. A majority of us google all sorts of stuff just to find one specific thing at a time that's related to what we're searching for. But what if it were just that much easier to find everything in one site? Nutrition info and recipes = check. How many reps to do and what part of your body is engaged doing a specific workout = check. What supplements you should purchase and why you should be taking it = check. Outfits to wear during your workout (or even when you're not *ahem*) = check. The list goes on, but we're pretty sure you get the point.
We put spotlight on Camillo because his story is truly inspiring. It takes courage to share your personal story to the public, and that's exactly what he did. We asked him to share his journey with us as well, as it could be the motivation our readers are looking for to jumpstart his or her fitness and health journey.
The basics: Who is Cam? Where did you grow up and where do you currently reside?
Kind of a loaded question right off the bat! I have no idea where to really start or how much to say, but I am 27 and currently live in Connecticut. I was born and raised in CT. I only lived out of the state for 3 months at college at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, and for 6 months when I coached division 2 college football at East Stroudsburg University as a Graduate Assistant.
An interesting fact about my upbringing/education is that I attended 4 middle/elementary schools, 3 high schools, and 5...yes 5 colleges. The colleges were my doing, but the elementary and high school moves were due to my parents divorce and moving around quite a bit. At first it was very difficult, but I think it's one of the key experiences that made me who I am today; comfortable and able to adapt to any situation and get along successfully with so many different types of people and personalities.
I played football throughout high school (except my senior year due to the anorexia) and played wide receiver at a division 3 school.
I like to think I'm a relatively simple person... I work, I workout, I enjoy time with my friends and family, I love football, and I have a healthy obsession with nutrition and fitness. I am also a huge believer in Karma and the law of attraction.
Congratulations on the launch of modernathletichealth.com! We’ve been reading the articles/content on the site and it’s great stuff. What made you decide to bring about this type of website?
The main reason/foundation for this site is that in my own reading and research over the years I realized there is no "middle of the road" type site out there. Meaning, articles and information is either SO technical and scientific that it's hard for the average fitness enthusiast or athlete to dissect and utilize, and other articles are just pure FLUFF with incorrect or useless information. I wanted to create a website with content that is
A) easy to understand
B) easy to implement into one's daily routine
C) is correct, accurate, and safe
Running the day-to-day maintenance of a site (and keeping it updated) can get pretty time consuming. When you’re not working on this, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time?
It definitely is very time consuming. And to be honest, my personality is to always be working in some way. I always have an eye out for a good topic idea, a potential partner for the website, an inspirational post that resonates with our mission... There is always something to be done when you want to be successful. I really have to make a conscious effort to "turn it off" and put down my phone and really STOP working on the website and social media. I can't even say that the gym is an escape for me because during most workouts I am doing something for the site in between sets!
However, when I really do want to unwind, it has to be time with friends or watching some Netflix/TV series. I also occasionally indulge in video games, but the only games I own are NCAA Football and Madden :) I'm also a big fan of cooking/meal prep and eating. I try to enjoy my meals and use them as breaks and something to really look forward to after working hard all day.
Lastly, my dog is a big source of stress relief and helps take my mind off work. I am lucky enough to live right on the beach in a great neighborhood so taking her for walks and playing with her helps take my mind off of things for a bit.
We know firsthand that running a business (the maintenance as well as the networking side of it) can get pretty stressful. Sometimes it seems easier to just throw in the towel. When times like these come about, what do you do to ease your nerves?
Times like that don't come TOO often thankfully. But when they do is when I usually finally decide to "turn off" for a while and recharge the batteries. I'll take a day where I don't send or read any emails or do anything related to the website. I am also the co owner of another business, though, and work for a magazine company. So there is always something needed of me! The key is balancing it all and knowing when you just need to take a small break.
We read your article under the Modern Athletic Inspiration segment of your site. You had quite the journey growing up. To get our readers up on game, how did health and fitness play a role with you getting back up on your feet?
Well, health and fitness was huge. After going through anorexia, my thinking patterns and what I considered to be a normal lifestyle was totally warped. I had to relearn what healthy was. I had to accept that the rules I had imposed upon myself during my disorder were not reasonable or healthy or correct.
I grew to appreciate and RELY upon the science behind health and fitness to help convince myself of what needed to be done. That was the biggest part. Knowing the why and how of what needed to be done. And that was ultimately to get back to a healthy weight and try to reverse several serious health issues that had arisen. I am admittedly a control freak, and exceptionally stubborn, so I took it upon myself, without doctors or psychologists, to make the necessary changes to ensure I could return to a normal, healthy life.
Our readers can read more about health, diet and fitness directly at www.modernathletichealth.com. Briefly, could you explain the importance of how fitness is correlated with a good diet?
I am a big advocate and believer of clean eating. Not so much for the aesthetic reasons of body fat or muscles, but for overall health, wellness, and longevity. A good diet is a lifestyle choice. It's not temporary, it's not when you feel like it. And it does become habit and can be very enjoyable and satisfying if you know what foods do for you and how they affect your body. I think of fitness as all encompassing health. I know some very UNHEALTHY people who could easily grace the covers of fitness magazines, but the things they do to achieve that look and they way they manipulate their bodies is the furthest thing from healthy you could imagine. Your daily diet and nutrition should support optimal health, wellness, energy, mood, and basically everything about you. Food is so powerful when used correctly.
Sometimes life doesn’t pan out exactly how we want. At times, we get lucky and it’s better than expected. What are some things you had to sacrifice to get where you are now?
It sounds cliche but I don't think of anything as sacrifice. When decisions have to be made, you make them and you live with the results. I've learned that nothing is permanent in life and your situation can always be changed. It's ultimately up to the individual and how hard they are willing to work to get where they want to be. For me, I never wanted to work for anyone. I learned over time that I work the best and hardest for myself. Like the old saying goes "the harder I work the luckier I get". Life is what you make it.
Define a go-getter.
To me, a go-getter is someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve a dream or a goal. They are not easily deterred or distracted. They are able to dream big, solve problems, plan, and execute. A go-getter rarely takes no for an answer and believes there is ALWAYS a way to succeed. They work hard, are passionate, and most importantly do not let anyone tell them they CANT do something.
In regards to beating anorexia – what are some words of wisdom you can share with others that are currently going through what you did in the past?
The HONEST answer is that anyone going through it doesn't want to hear what I have to say. Anorexia is such a personal disorder that anyone, ANYONE, on the outside is considered an enemy. Anyone who wants to try and tell the victim what to do or how they should feel or think is an enemy. It is up to the victim and the victim alone to decide when they are ready to make a REAL recovery.
With that being said, I will mention how I realized I wanted to eat again. It took about two years, but I finally began to realize that just maybe something wasn't right. The strange, horrified looks I would receive in public. Missing out on football. Not going to any high school parties my senior year or freshman year of college. Not being able to get out of bed some days. The endless agony and torture I put myself through NOT to eat.
The list goes on and on and eventually it made me question if it was worth it. I slowly began to remember my life BEFORE the disorder. I forced myself to try and remember being happy. I forced myself to take a look at all the things I was giving up. I realized I had NO life and I forced myself imagine living like this for the rest of my life (however long that would last). I realized finally when I was hours from death in an intensive care unit that I had to let go of the anorexia and reclaim and rebuild my life.
It never really goes away. There's always lingering thoughts and ideals that pretty much become a part of you even long after you make a recovery. The point of recovery though is returning to a normal life and not letting the disorder kill you or control you forever.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Will modernathletichealth.com expand to more than a site?
5 years from now I hope to be married with a family. I hope to be a homeowner, successful business owner, and living comfortably enjoying my hard work. Modernathletichealth.com was initially supposed to be a digital magazine actually. So down the road I may look to create that. Beyond that, I am always open to entertaining proposals and partnerships.
You’re talking to a group of admirers and people who find you as an inspiration. What is the best advice you can give them about following their dreams?
I think I've definitely touched upon this is some previous responses, but some key points would be to do a lot of planning, constantly take notes and record your thoughts and ideas. ALWAYS be doing something that involves your dream and helps move you closer to it. Don't let anyone tell you your dream is pointless or worthless or impossible. They are not you. The don't feel what you feel. They don't think like you think. Lastly, you cannot please everyone. You have to decide who to take with you on your trip to the top. You have to know when to be a little selfish and also when to give of yourself. Building your dreams is such a rewarding and fun experience. It will give you a feeling of empowerment and purpose like you probably never thought existed. Good luck!
Mind over matter is definitely one to consider. Each one of us go through struggles no one knows about but yourself. Regardless of the obstacles you're going through, one thing to keep in mind is that YOU have the ability to change the outcome.
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