Interview transcript, with Tony Ferro

Listen to the interview now:

Casey Hibbard (00:03):

Hello, Tony. And welcome to rebuilding my health radio. I’m super excited to have you here today to share your health success story.

Tony Ferro (00:14):

Hello, thank you for having me.

Casey Hibbard (00:16):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So let’s kind of go back to the beginning, take us back to life before you started experiencing symptoms and before your diagnosis, what was your lifestyle

Tony Ferro (00:30):

Like? Oh, man, that’s hard. That could be a long, long story. Um, previous to diagnosis, uh, grew up in the family pizza business. Um, and I was in the bar business. Um, I was what you like to call a social butterfly, I guess? Uh, I was way into the nightlife and my lifestyle. Now, looking back, I could say it was pretty reckless, um, working 70, 80 hours a week, going out at night. Uh, I did, did drink, um, back then more than I probably should have and then only to do it all over again the next day. Um, so looking back on things, it is kind of, it is cool to look back, I guess, and see how much of a transition was made from where I was to where I am now,

Tony Ferro (01:31):

Horrible eating pattern, horrible eating habits, horrible sleep. Um, no rest, lots of stress. Um, you name it. I felt like, uh, that was it. But until you understand and learn about being mindful of those things, then damage, it could be potentially causing you. You’re not really aware, so I was not aware.

Casey Hibbard (01:57):

Right. Right. And you were young then too, which is, you know, most young people are living that kind of life. Not really thinking much about what they’re eating or sleep hygiene and all that.

Tony Ferro (02:10):

Yeah. None of that fun stuff now it’s like, oh, we’re boring nerds now, which is cool, but you learn different things and you’ll, you know, you’ll you apply them as they come. Yeah. Yeah,

Casey Hibbard (02:21):

For sure. So when did you first start experiencing symptoms and what did that look like for you?

Tony Ferro (02:27):

My first symptoms started, um, 2009 is. Um, I was 28. Um, my hand went numb. It started with my hands. Um, I kind of blew it off though. I didn’t really pay that much attention to it. Um, living the lifestyle that I was and, and, and growing up, um, playing sports. So as an athletic in high school, played football, lacrosse, wrestled, all that stuff. And being in the family business, it’s not like you pay attention to when you’re hurt. You know, you tape up, you keep playing, you don’t really call in sick because it’s your business and you kind of put your head down and just go through the day, go through the motions. But it started with my right hand, I blew it off. It ended up going away a couple months later, only to return a few months after that, but it was higher up my arm all the way up to my elbow started on my right side.

Tony Ferro (03:28):

Um, again kind of blew it off. Um, I noticed my energy was extremely low. I was extremely fatigued. Um, my mood was changing a little bit, so I knew there was significant changes happening. I just didn’t know or question why I was just kind of going through the day-to-day being a little bit oblivious to what I was going through eventually. Um, I was very numb from the neck down. Um, I couldn’t feel my feet on the ground, so it was kind of walking based on habit very low and slow, or I would trip. Um, then I started actually going to the doctor maybe in stubborn though. It was not, I was not my own best friend in the beginning of this journey.

Casey Hibbard (04:15):

Right, right. Yeah. Which I think is, is common. Maybe you’re busy with life and you’re kind of like, oh yeah, my symptoms will go, it’ll go away or we’ll be fine. No problem. Right. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So did it take a while to get the diagnosis?

Tony Ferro (04:33):

It took on, I was officially diagnosed in 2011. Um, I did get a, uh, first diagnosis. Um, he was, my first neurologist was extremely smart. Very good guy. Just as bedside manner was a little rough. So I just, I wanted to learn a little bit more, I didn’t know what MS was and wanted to get a second opinion. He wasn’t necessarily labeled as specialist quote unquote. So we ended up going to an MS clinic to be officially diagnosed after a spinal tap. Um, but it took a couple of years, but that was mostly on, on my end because I just, I didn’t, I never went to the doctor. I never really complained about March, but when you start losing your extremities and you can’t feel things, uh, and I kind of, I don’t, I don’t share a lot of the vulnerable times as much as I should. Um, but I promised I would, you know, like mood and low mood and depression. I never liked to use that word. So it was, it kind of all came at once, but my body was breaking down. I just didn’t know what it was telling me. And at that time I was, I was also 500 pounds at that time. Um, so I had that against me as well.

Casey Hibbard (06:01):

Right. Yeah, absolutely. So talk a little bit about getting that diagnosis. What were you thinking and feeling in that moment?

Tony Ferro (06:12):

Um, my mom was with me and she was devastated. Um, she didn’t, we didn’t know what MS was to me. Like I said, uh, I was more the blow-off type of person. Like no big deal. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll handle it. We’ll take things as it comes. Um, but seeing her kinda, you know, she busted out in tears, she was crying. All she knew really was, you know, what my, what her mom’s friends went through. So that older generation, um, there was just a bad stigma attached to MS. You know, you end up in a wheelchair, you ended up passing away. Um, so before we ended up learning about what we learned about, she just thought the worst automatically, but she being in that state actually kind of made me a little bit more stronger. I wasn’t my own. Why? So my family and my friends were pretty hit pretty hard.

Tony Ferro (07:11):

Um, I was still kind of oblivious to it just because that’s, that’s how I handle things. I, I never stopped going to work. I never wanted the pity party. I actually waited a year before I told anybody other than a handful of people, just because I didn’t want to be looked at any differently, um, or judged or, you know, given that, that sympathy, you know, just being a stubborn guy, I guess, but being stubborn actually ended up paying off in the end. Um, because I wasn’t necessarily convinced when I was first diagnosed. You know, they give you three binders full of medications, it’s up to you to choose what you want to take. And at that time I did go home and I did read, and I did end up going on the drug companies, websites. There was no conclusive evidence of why they worked. And at the time, um, they were 30% effective and placebo was 30% effect of, so I did ask to be put on a placebo treatment, which was frowned upon because he’s told me it did not work like that. And I was curious as to why

Casey Hibbard (08:17):

That’s interesting. Wow. So, I mean, it sounds like, yeah, you kind of immediately went into research mode, researching medications and all that. So

Tony Ferro (08:30):

It was a small obsession that it actually ended up to be a lot of people think I’m crazy when I tell them MS was the best thing that ever happened to me. Wow.

Casey Hibbard (08:42):

Yeah. Yeah. That is, that is crazy, but not unusual for people with chronic illness to, to have that realization at some point, uh,

Tony Ferro (08:55):

There’s not much of a gray area. You know, I think there’s people that, that are their own advocates. They dive in, they want to do all they can. And then there’s others that kind of whatever they’re labeled with that becomes their life. And, and then that breaks my heart because there so much you could do to better your circumstances. I’ll never get rid of MS and it’s not my intent, you know, to say I’m cured or I’m healed, but healing is definitely possible. You could definitely take necessary steps and actions to put yourself in a better place.

Casey Hibbard (09:29):

Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So you decided, uh, you know, other than the placebo, you decided not to, to do medication to try lifestyle first. So what, how did you make that decision and what research did you come across that led you to try some lifestyle changes?

Tony Ferro (09:49):

Yeah, because I did not know what MS was. Um, I just had tons and tons of questions. I did end up going doing some more research and I accidentally stumbled upon Dr. Wahls’ famous Ted talk video. And that just kind of got me thinking a little bit differently. Um, at the time the book was not out yet, and that was 2012. Um, but the video started to make sense to me, you know, I was not a straight a student or anything like that. I don’t consider myself super smart. You know, I was kind of a spoiled jock in high school. Um, but something about this topic got me extremely interested in learning. Um, so I ended up actually finding a local naturopath, um, who was from Colorado. And then in that state, you’re, you’re, you’re basically an MD. Um, she did have experience working with people with autoimmune and MS, and was familiar with paleo principles and, and she started me on an elimination diet.

Tony Ferro (10:53):

She was my first kind of person that I could actually talk to about not what I can take, but what I can do. I think that’s a huge, huge thing that people should start changing the narrative and, and not, not just ask, what, what can I take for this? What can I take for this, but what can I do for this? What can I do to better my circumstances, any specialists in the world, they’ll tell you, MS and auto-immune is always linked to gut health and inflammation. There’s not much resources out there on how to combat that. How do we fight back against the inflammation if I have an inflammatory condition, what am I doing to better that,

Casey Hibbard (11:38):

Right? Yep, absolutely. Yeah. So you were, so I was like absolutely on the right track pretty early on in this journey. So what was it like to start changing your diet? How challenging was that and what did your diet look like?

Tony Ferro (11:56):

Yeah. Right. Track. Yes. But sticking with it was not easy for me. Cause I always had the fat kid mentality where, oh, I was really good on the diet. So I deserve a cheat day, quote unquote. And every time I did, I ended up cheating myself into a flare. So that those actually made me open my eyes a little bit more. So I didn’t go gung ho right off the bat and I was healed and I was running marathons. It was a slow transition for me to really understand the concepts of food and understand the damage I was doing over time and things of that nature. Um, my diet previously to that was just, it was horrible looking back, you know, I, didn’t never really focused on consuming any type of nutrients. Um, I always grabbed an innate, whatever was available and then on top of meals, so snacking all day at work on top of big lunches and big dinners that usually consumed, uh, you know, subs and sandwiches and pizza and pasta and things like that.

Tony Ferro (12:59):

Growing up, Italian, um, we were always surrounded by foods that now I know that are more damaging than good. So it was not an easy transition, but the better I felt the easier it was to kind of stay on board. The more I cheated. And then when I’d flare, I’d have like kind of long, deep conversations with myself. Like, why am I know the tools? I know what I’m supposed to be doing. Why do I keep lying to myself, making it okay to cheat? You know, and then the less I’ve cheated. I don’t, I don’t have any issues anymore. I, I can’t remember the last time I had a flare or a steroid infusion. Um, so I will not teeter-totter anymore. I don’t, I will not. I’ll make the closest thing to a quote unquote cheat, but there will not be conventional sugar dairy or gluten in any of it.

Casey Hibbard (13:55):

Right, right. Yeah. Those are kind of the cornerstones of paleo and especially Wahls. So tell us more about Wahls because you’re, you’re still on the Wahls protocol, correct?

Tony Ferro (14:08):

Yes. I’m not just pro-Wahls, but any pro nutritional intervention, I think is key. Uh, Wahls is a great, great place to start. Um, if you read between the lines, it’s all, it’s all there. It’s all it’s mind. It’s body, it’s spirit. It’s not just food. It is about habit change. It is about self-love. It is about really looking deep within yourself on how to really kind of navigate what you’re going through. Um, it’s not easy to do alone. So I highly suggest reaching out to a like-minded community, uh, because you might not get the answer you want from a conventional doctor. I’m not against doctors at all, or anti I’m, not anti-med, actually trying to work with area specialists on actual symptom, disease management strategies, other than here’s your prescription. Let’s see what happens, not diagnose and adios approach is not necessarily the way things should be in my opinion. And if your doctor is telling you food, doesn’t matter. I highly suggest you get a new doctor because they’re not doing you any service and not knowing the effects that food can have on your condition. Right.

Casey Hibbard (15:26):

Right. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s really proactive of you to reach out to doctors and try to, I guess, help them have a collaborative approach with, with lifestyle

Tony Ferro (15:39):

Interviews, integrative in the best of both worlds, you’re better off, um, at least trying, you know, cause this shouldn’t be a med versus no med discussion. It should be, what can I do in conjunction with whatever I choose? And if you choose to stay off medications, by all means stay off of them. I’ve gotten people off tons of different things just by really working with them on, on nutrition, hydration, movement, sleep, quality, stress reduction, and self-love and acceptance. Those are the, like the five categories I think that are major for, for an overhaul on your lifestyle.

Casey Hibbard (16:17):

Right? Yeah, absolutely. And you started seeing progress pretty quickly. Would you say when you started making lifestyle changes?

Tony Ferro (16:27):

Yep. Certain things were quicker than others on any function I lost in my body was slow to get back. Um, my legs took a while to get back. I did have the MS hug. I did lose my vision. Um, so things like that or slow to come back the use of my hand, my right hand. Um, so physically those were slow, but the brain fog, the fatigue, um, the depression, the mood, those were the were, were quicker.

Casey Hibbard (16:58):

Nice. And it sounds like you very quickly got a lesson in the importance of it. Whenever you would diverge from your diet, you would really feel it with a flare.

Tony Ferro (17:09):

Yeah. A hundred percent, a hundred percent of the brain. Everything that went away quick was the first to come back quick. And then it was the opposite when I cheated. So the brain flagged the fatigue, the mood changed when I cheated right away. And then over time, I’d end up losing another extremity or the numbness in my legs came back or I’d end up having a full-blown flare. When I was first diagnosed, I had flare twice a year, like clockwork, usually in the winter time. And I would flare, um, it would take me six months to kind of get back to baseline only to flare all over again. So I felt like I was always in a flare. The more I followed protocol, you know, my flare great cut in half. So I’d flare once a year when I teach her totter, but out.

Tony Ferro (17:55):

So it just made me realize I was doing it to myself. So what the hell am I doing? I knew I knew what I’m supposed to be doing. I need to apply it more. I need to apply it more. So I never really got mad at MS. I got mad at myself for not applying what I knew I shouldn’t be doing, but you don’t know until, you know, you know, you don’t understand until you’re kind of going through it and anybody I’ve worked with it’s, it’s cool. These, I tell them to be careful of the feel-good moments, because you’re going to cheat. You’re going to, you’re going to slip and guess what? Everything that you just worked so hard to make go away is going to be right there. So if you are going to do it, use that as a light bulb moment, use that as your aha moment that wow. You know, this is real. This is real,

Casey Hibbard (18:40):

Right. Right. Absolutely. I think it’s hard sometimes for people to believe that like one slip of having gluten could set them back that much. But I think you and I both know that it happens. It can be a huge setback.

Tony Ferro (18:59):

Absolutely. I think that the more you understand about like the inflammatory response and things that can contribute to that inflammatory response, gut health, the severity of how damaged your good is, it’s all plays a role. There’s so many different cold factors that go into a diagnosis. I feel like we should focus more on the potential road that led to a diagnosis, not just what we’re labeled with.

Casey Hibbard (19:23):

Right, right. Yeah. That’s a really good point. That’s really important because there’s, it didn’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of things that went into it. Tons of different things. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely different, uh, things kind of going haywire with the body.

Tony Ferro (19:39):

Yeah, absolutely. Perfect storm brews. All of a sudden, your body screaming out for help. We just need to know and interpret what it’s telling us and how do we, how do we make it better?

Casey Hibbard (19:51):

For sure.

Tony Ferro (19:51):

Symptoms to me are like lights in your car going off, you know, it needs maintenance, it needs maintenance, but instead we just run to the doctor and see what medication we can go on and hope it goes away. That’s not, in my opinion, that’s not necessarily healthcare.

Casey Hibbard (20:10):

Right. Right. For sure. It’s absolutely not treating the root cause. Definitely. So Tony, okay. So besides diet, you said the, the five things let’s see diet, their sleep.

Tony Ferro (20:24):

What other, what other, I’m sorry. Yeah. I don’t like to say diet and nutrition anymore. Uh, nutrition, our diet and exercise. It’s nutrition, movement, sleep, quality, stress reduction, self-love, and acceptance. And I think self-love and acceptance is probably should be at the top of the list because when you’re going through a diagnosis, are you going through things that are, that seem negative in your life? I think the more you’re able to cope with it and have the confidence to kind of fight back is, is, is key. So we always start their personal mission statements, top three goals, objectives to reach those goals. And those are things that I still struggle with. Like I don’t, I don’t journal as much as I should. I don’t keep a food log anymore just because to me it’s routine now, but working with people, it’s very important, not just for me to know, but for them to really understand what’s going on and then really be able to result resort back to their food journal, to see what could be contributing to a symptom because Wahls is great, but people don’t understand that, that that’s just a blueprint.

Tony Ferro (21:35):

And that was her blueprint. Nutrition is even individualized per person. So we really have to build our own protocol. I had to change my diet multiple times, even following Wahls. I was consuming too many food, uh, vegetables that contain oxalates. I had an oxalate issue. Um, I ended up developing gout in my hands, which was awful on top of MS, so when the gout flare would go away, I would have a pseudo flare and all my MS symptoms came back. So anytime I had any type of trauma or injury, um, my MS symptoms were closely behind that.

Casey Hibbard (22:13):

Yeah. I think that’s an important point just that there are a lot of very prescribed diets out there or nutrition plans out there, but you have to pay attention to your body because you might be reacting to cauliflower or peppers or

Tony Ferro (22:31):

Night shades could be a problem. Cruciferous vegetables could be a problem. Yes, they’re good for you, but they might not potentially be good for you depending on what’s going on, especially with your gut. So of course your doctor is going to say, diet doesn’t necessarily play a role. There’s no proof in this, this and this, but I highly suggest people prove it to themselves and really focus on that food journal and see what could be contributing. You know, there’s so many things that our body is telling us. We just really needed to know how to interpret what it’s asking for.

Casey Hibbard (23:05):

Right, right. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Just being super aware. Uh, you know, I, if I have, I noticed myself, if I have a meal with lots of tomatoes, you know, like tomato sauce, then I’m gonna, I’m going to feel a little bit of inflammation the next day and unfortunately, but, um, yeah. Yeah. It’s all very important. So yeah. Uh, so your symptoms last time I spoke with you sounds like they were reduced by like 95%. I mean, is that still what you’re experiencing?

Tony Ferro (23:39):

No, yes, very much. So, uh, recently incorporated yoga, um, I’m 160 pounds lighter than I was five years ago. Um, but that deep stretching is actually significantly helped. That was the 5% that I did have was a little bit of numbness in my hands and feet and sometimes my legs. Um, but everything else, um, I got full use of my hands. I visioned does not get blurry anymore. Um, my fatigue scale, I still like to test the limits. Um, so I will over-exert myself, um, just to see what I can and cannot tolerate. I think that’s very important for you to do too. Um, when I was first diagnosed and I was told not to go outside, don’t go in the sun, don’t overheat, don’t go to the gym. Um, and what, I didn’t matter. So it’s, it’s crazy to me to that. I am where I am right now, but that’s because I, you know, I was more of my own advocate because I didn’t not get that love or attention from my medical practitioner.

Casey Hibbard (24:43):

Right. Yeah. So what does your exercise routine look like?

Tony Ferro (24:48):

Um, incorporate yoga. I should be doing every day, but I’ll do it at least two days a week. Um, I do stretch a lot. Um, I do lift weights. I try not to go too heavy, um, because that does tend to put me in an overexerted state. So I just think it’s very important to know your limits and don’t be afraid to test them. Um, so if I do overdo it, I will get tired, you know, for the day or it might take me a couple of days to kind of be cool. So, but I’ll know what I can and cannot do, but I do try to work out, uh, five days a week. I try to get my 10,000 steps in. Um, I do gratitude every morning, you know, what I’m thankful for. And sometimes just having my ability to walk again and see again, is, is enough for me for the day. Like I do reflect often on what I have lost and what I’m able to do. And I know other people are not as fortunate. So I always keep that, keep that in mind.

Casey Hibbard (25:51):

Right. Absolutely. Yeah. So important. So I hear a lot that something like li and I’m sure you do too, that something like lifestyle can’t possibly change a progressive condition like MS, so what would you say to those who are skeptical about the route that you’ve taken?

Tony Ferro (26:13):

Say you can listen, look more at both our stories. And I think we all have a story to share, but like it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s just, it’s hard to believe that that you’re told the opposite of what you potentially can do. So I would not underestimate the power that you have on, on making significant changes. Um, and it’s best to be your own advocate and try it for yourself. You know, if you don’t, you can wait forever for quote unquote perforate research, but I think you’re wasting time by waiting. I think you should start now.

Casey Hibbard (26:53):

Right, right. Start immediately knowing that you’re probably not going to be perfect at the beginning. It’s going to be tough, but it gets easier.

Tony Ferro (27:02):

Absolutely. And there’s no such thing as perfect. There’s no necessary new leaf, a finish line. Um, but there is a starting point you have to start, you know, and don’t focus on the end goal, but focus on each day, focus on each step, focus on the small things, try to make small obtainable changes to where it ultimately builds up to a huge goal.

Casey Hibbard (27:27):

Right, right. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. One thing at a time,

Tony Ferro (27:32):

One thing at a time, don’t a lot of people overthink it. Where do I start? What do I do? It’s, it’s crazy to me now to think that when you say you gotta eliminate how, uh, unfortunately the top three things I got to go where we’re highly addictive too. And that’s kind of what the Western diet is all about is just carbs, sugar and crappy drinks, that to get us through the day. And then we scratch our heads when we all get sick. It’s to me, it’s it shouldn’t be rocket science that, you know, you were a polluting ourselves or not treating ourselves with the love and respect that our bodies need. Where’s the mystery in that and, and, and understanding, or, or learning, you know, why w we may have gotten sick to me. It’s no mystery, you know, I was reckless and did not care for myself the way I should have.

Casey Hibbard (28:28):

Yeah. Well, I mean, as you said, it’s kind of the way, the Western way. I mean, this is the way we eat. It’s very hard to not eat that way because every single restaurant is, is giving you carbs, sugar, dairy, all of that. Yeah.

Tony Ferro (28:45):

The marketing and the commercials and the kids’ treats and cereals. It’s all BS.

Casey Hibbard (28:51):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s very difficult to, to stray from that for sure. Uh, you know,

Tony Ferro (28:56):

I get it. I don’t know. It’s tough. Uh, me being, you know, telling the family, that’s all we did is hover around food and the morning, and I get it, wine is still fun, which is cool. So you just pick, pick, pick, pick, and choose what you can and cannot tolerate.

Casey Hibbard (29:15):

Right? Absolutely. Yeah. There are some, I guess, lower sugar wines out there kind of cleaner wines.

Tony Ferro (29:22):

Yeah. A few organic brands and things like that. So I’ll, I’ll, I won’t, I’ll dabble once in a while, but I’ll never, I’ll never fall off and consume like conventional gluten dairy or refined white sugars.

Casey Hibbard (29:37):

Right. Right. Yeah, absolutely. And so this has dramatically changed your life. You got out of the pizza business and now are working with others who are looking to kind of turn around their MS or other auto-immunity. So I guess, tell us a little bit more about what you’re doing,

Tony Ferro (30:00):

Um, because of what I was doing was working so well. I wanted to dive in a little bit deeper. I wanted to learn more. So I ended up, um, Dr. Wahls actually referred me to a program from the nutritional therapy association. Um, it was a couple year program, mostly online. Um, and then we had to go attend, uh, four workshop for weekend workshops for the year, which was pretty cool. Um, then after that certification, during that, I was able to get Wahls certified as well. Um, and I do, I really do enjoy sharing my story. I was never really used to talking about myself. I didn’t like it. I wasn’t comfortable doing it, you know, so I do appreciate this. Thank you very much for having me, you know, it is, it is, it is cool to kind of, to at least get somebody excited to try.

Tony Ferro (30:56):

When I do talk to people, um, you know, you do see a little bit of hope in them and then that’s a win. And then when they start taking away certain things and they start feeling better, you know, that’s another small victory. Um, when they do cheat and they crash and everything comes back, that’s another victory, but you know, it’s up to them to kind of want to know how far they want to take it. Um, and I, I’m still learning, you know, I’m never going to have all the answers nobody is. And then there’s no such thing as perfect. Like you said, it’s just, you got to kind of learn and apply. You can learn all you want, but if you’re not applying anything, what good is it?

Casey Hibbard (31:38):

Yeah, that’s absolutely true. It’s important. You’ve got to really start implementing these principles. So Tony, tell us how we can learn more about you.

Tony Ferro (31:51):

Um, me started a nonprofit in 20, 20 15, the, the brain, the idea started in 2014. Um, but you can reach me at Um, we do try to implement being a little bit more proactive in your care, uh, symptom and disease management strategies that I think are extremely important in conjunction with your medicine. That’s fine, or whatever route you choose to take. It is your choice. I don’t think people should be shamed for not being on a medication. Um, especially if, if, if they’re succeeding in their own health journey. Um, I I’ve, I’ve witnessed that side of things too. And it’s something I, I really don’t necessarily agree with just because, you know, I’m, um, I’m now getting better, not worse. I know it was no thanks to any specialist.

Casey Hibbard (32:46):

Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, what advice is kind of a wrap up question? What advice would you give to others with either MS or other forms of autoimmunity?

Tony Ferro (33:01):

Um, I would say check in with yourself, um, really learn about mindfulness and potentially learn the damages that we could be doing to ourselves, but really look out, look out there. There’s tons of different success stories. You know, it’d be cool to kind of see them all in one place. Um, that’s why I think shows like yours are super important. They showcase a lot of different people. It’s you just, you gotta have to want to kind of to learn a little bit more, um, you know, but don’t be afraid. Don’t be overwhelmed. Don’t freak yourself out. Don’t talk yourself out of it before you start. A lot of people are extremely intimidated, not knowing what to do. Where do I start? You know, food can, you can still have tons of fun with food. You know, people think that all their food options are gone because it can’t come from a package anymore.

Tony Ferro (33:57):

That’s farthest thing from the truth. I think, you know, there’s tons shop the perimeter of the grocery store, tons of meats, tons of vegetables, tons of berries, tons of nuts, tons of seeds, uh, and go from there, you know, it’s, it’s, don’t be afraid to shop. Don’t be afraid to cut out the crap. You know, it’s, there’s so many different food options. I just, you know, we do challenges monthly challenges every month. They’re not MS-specific, but definitely focused on the five things that we talked about and significant changes in everybody. And know a lot of people do uncover things that they might not have known the head. You know, a lot of people with digestive issues don’t even understand that loose stool is not normal. A lot of people think, you know, constipation, not, not a normal thing. Like, so just to focus on those things, like even going to the bathroom regularly every day, that’s a win, a lot of people’s bathroom habits change. That’s a win, but I think the more they learn and understand that you can make a difference in what you’re going through. I think that they start putting their own pieces of the puzzle together.

Casey Hibbard (35:08):

Yeah. Yeah. Just watching how your body reacts and things went away that you didn’t even realize, like you said, were not normal. Yeah. We make

Tony Ferro (35:20):

It normal or we just put up with it or, you know, I know I’m going to eat that and then I’ll have to run to the bathroom three seconds later, but that’s okay. We have to change like our, the worst thought process and our, her mentality of how we treat ourselves. That’s not okay. Because if you keep adding fuel to the fire, we don’t know what that’s going to develop into in the future. So the, the more you get a grasp on things now, the better your future is going to be. Yeah.

Casey Hibbard (35:47):

Yeah. That’s very true. And especially as you get older, you know, I’ve, I’ve done stories on people with dementia, Parkinson’s et cetera, and it can get to the point where you do develop something like, you know, brain neurological and, you know, start started an intervention. Now, maybe before you have any of those types of symptoms,

Tony Ferro (36:12):

Attention’s going to be key for future preventative medicine. It shouldn’t be a thing as it’s not, it shouldn’t be a thing because we don’t know what doors are gonna open. And unfortunately, if we don’t take control, now, you can always expect the worst kind of to happen, but there’s a lot you can do to prevent that. And the studies, even in those cases, dimension, Alzheimer’s great to see how a fats actually affect your brain and brain health. Everything I feel like we’ve been told to avoid is actually beneficial for us. So

Casey Hibbard (36:45):

Yeah. Yeah. We’ve yeah. The low-fat craze. I think hopefully we are past that because yeah. We now know,

Tony Ferro (36:54):

I really think that we’ve been told are things we think we’re doing to better. Our health is actually destroying it.

Casey Hibbard (37:01):

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Um, well, Tony, thank you so much for your continued willingness to share your story. I, I have to say your, your story has been one of the most read and impactful that I’ve ever shared on my site and yeah. Yeah. So really appreciate that. You continue to put it out there. It’s really breathtaking to see your turnaround and that you’re paying it forward. And now you’ve, you’ve got this sort of pain to purpose, mission and life. So,

Tony Ferro (37:38):

Yeah. And it’s taken me a while to kind of come to terms with that. So it is pretty cool.

Casey Hibbard (37:44):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for your time. I know this will be really, uh, reach a lot of people who need to hear the message that you’re sharing. Is that right?

Tony Ferro (37:55):

I appreciate it. Thank you for your time. Thank you very much. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thanks a lot. Tony, take care. You’re very welcome. You too.