For Ryan Sutter, making some fundamental lifestyle changes that he sticks with consistently has created a foundation of health for his body and mind that is helping him feel better. Watch Ryan share his story in this inspiring 3-minute video.
Ryan became a reluctant celebrity about 20 years ago when he was chosen by the leading lady on the first season of “The Bachelorette.” Trista and Ryan fell in love and got married on the show, and everyone watching fell in love with the down-to-earth couple. They settled in the mountains of Colorado and have been focused on raising their family and creating a life together.
Always an active, healthy athlete, Ryan grew up in Colorado in an environment that encouraged taking care of yourself. He played college football, even making a short stint in the NFL, and through the years enjoyed participating in competitions like the New York Marathon, triathlons, and even attempting to make it on American Ninja Warrior.
At age 45, Ryan made a switch in his career as a firefighter to another station and went through an 18-week fire academy. About halfway through he began to notice he wasn’t feeling well. Like an athlete does, he persevered thinking maybe it was age and he’d start feeling better when the academy ended. Instead, it only got worse. Eventually his energy level became so compromised he describes as feeling like he’d run the New York Marathon then been injected with the flu virus. The extremely fit athlete struggled to get off the couch.
Trista encouraged him to get some blood work done and start investigating what might be going on. Tests indicated some sort of autoimmune condition or underlying possible infection. So, he turned to traditional medicine for a while. No one could diagnose him. The solutions offered were pharmaceuticals, and he doesn’t even like taking aspirin.
Investigation continued with Trista’s continued support, and eventually they found a doctor, Dr. Jill Carnahan, who prescribed a couple of Lyme-specific tests. The results were positive for Lyme, mold toxicity, and underlying infections.
His theory is that for the first 45 years of his life, he was able to maintain a strong enough immune system to keep things back. At one point during the academy, he had weakened his immune system to the point where either prior Lyme infections were able to come to the surface, or he had somehow gotten a recent Lyme infection though he didn’t have any of the traditional signs and symptoms of Lyme. Once that happened, his symptoms snowballed into an uncomfortable health position.
And then then it just became a matter of trying to figure out what to do to get back to feeling good again.
His journey to health started with a lot of supplements, but he didn’t find those worked for him. Unlike an injury that’s got a simple solution, toxic exposures and chronic illnesses require different paths for each person, which is what makes it confusing and frustrating. At a point of frustration, he stopped taking everything and started really focusing on lifestyle. Ryan believes we are made to be resilient and that building resilience through physical, mental, and emotional challenges in life teaches you to deal with things when they come up.
So, he focused on being healthier; not wearing himself out totally; giving himself time to recover; focusing on nutrition; incorporating mindfulness and infrared sauna sessions. He put fewer unhealthy foods in his system. He used the sauna to detoxify from the exposures of his work. And he practiced mindfulness through breathing to restore vagus nerve connections and find peace.
Ryan credits those foundational practices of nutrition, mindfulness, and infrared sauna with creating a healthy body and rebuilding his immune system so that his body can fight off illnesses and toxic exposures better. Other things he does regularly range from getting sunshine, movement exercises like yoga and stretching, and journaling. And, he has found success with an alternative therapy using bee stings with the help of The Heal Hive.
Today, Ryan is feeling much better and enjoying being active and healthy with his wife and kids again.