My name is Forrest Sheperd. I am a pre-med student soon to be attending a masters program in California. I’ve always had a fascination for the world around me, which naturally led to an interest in science and many adventures exploring nature. Much of my childhood was spent collecting fossils and contributing to paleontological research.
After my mom introduced our family to a healthy diet, I eventually grew to love the difference that it made in my life, from more energy and actually enjoying running, to getting better grades. She got trained to teach a community program which used people’s lifestyle choices to prevent, halt, and many times reverse lifestyle-related diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the U.S, by far.1 This program used the strategies of lifestyle medicine.
Fast-forward to college, where I began to learn about these diseases. I quickly realized that much of society thought of these diseases as inevitable consequences of aging. A death sentence once diagnosed.
These are the same diseases I had seen my mom help people overcome, many of which I saw reversed during her community programs. How could there be such a big disconnect between what I had seen happen and what has historically been standard practice?
This sparked a burning curiosity to discover just how what we do on a daily basis can decide whether or not we succumb to the diseases that cut short far too many lives every year.
I was amazed at what I found. I had discovered a field of science which combined my passion for understanding the world around me with the opportunity to use this understanding to change lives. This is the field of medicine, and the new yet rapidly growing field of lifestyle medicine was addressing the same disconnect I had noticed.
In this blog, I hope to document what I am learning on my journey towards practicing lifestyle medicine, where I hope to fight chronic lifestyle-related diseases by addressing their underlying causes.