Josh Perry, BMX rider, health coach and survivor of multiple brain tumors sat down with us on the podcast to talk about how he has been able to turn his struggles into purpose and guide others onto a healthier path.
Josh has been extremely transparent about his journey, attributing his former lifestyle to his battle with brain tumors, which included drinking at a young age, eating processed foods and sugar regularly while having the pressures of performing.
After his second diagnoses in 2012 he dove head first into holistic health. Emptying his bank account to study nutrition and alternative health at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (where Alyssa and Hannah met!), Josh explains the course changed the trajectory of his health and life.
This journey started in 2009 when he rode at X Games for the first time. He began to experience debilitating headaches, was losing his sight and vomiting regularly. He was having classic brain tumor symptoms. When he visited doctors, he was assured that he was a young, healthy kid and wouldn’t need scans but rather prescription pills would help him.
Later, a challenging trick that he aimed to land in a competition forced him to get a scan after he hit his head. The MRI revealed that he had a tumor that was 8cm long in his brain.
Josh says the day he was told he was going to die is the day his entire perspective shifted.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t in the clear after his first diagnosis and surgery. Three years later in 2012 while in India performing demos, he found out from routine test results that he still had small tumors that required targeted radiation to treat.
After this second trial of tumors, is when he fully committed to learning about the body. At IIN, he describes that he was taught not what to think but how to think. In this program, we were introduced to so many different modalities that opens your eyes to what health can be for so many people.
Josh turned fully towards a Ketogenic diet after he received the diagnosis in 2017 that he currently has 4 tumors in his brain. He was introduced to the Keto diet and lifestyle through Mark Sisson and Mark Hyman (both lecturers at IIN), where he learned the benefits of lowering your blood sugar and what it can do the brain and body.
He followed this diet and a year later got a scan which showed no progression in the tumors which he attributes to his nutrition, fitness and mindset. This motivated Josh to dive fully into the Keto diet and lifestyle, guiding him down the path to become a holistic brain health coach.
He has since realized that his former lifestyle of alcohol, processed food and sugar, coupled with stress, is most likely the cause of his brain tumors.
He says he first experienced guilt that he had created this, and fear that it could come back. He describes his diagnosis in 2012 as his real wake up call to change his nutrition but after he blew out his knee in a qualifying portion of a competition, is where he became motivated to take care of his body and add fitness into his regime.
He was then introduced through friends into the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza (a TCC all time fav!) and the TEAR (thoughts, emotions, actions, and results) method where he was able to add the mindset piece into his work.
Josh says through BMX he learned that fear is a choice.
“Fear is just a thought, and thoughts can change,” a tattoo he wears on his arm as a reminder of this.
Josh said he hadn’t realized it but he had been strengthening his mindset all along through BMX and his battle with brain tumors.
Now working with others, he says mindset is the first and most important step. Your emotions create a chemical reaction in the body showing how stress actually affects you physically. If you can change that biology, you’ll feel better.
Through the TEAR method, you are able to trace emotional responses back to a thought and if you don’t like it, you can change it. This will give you a new emotional response that will allow you to take a new action and manifest a new reality.
Josh explains that perspective is everything. No matter what he’s gone through, he’s realized that he can learn through these experiences and not hold a victim mentality. Even when he got diagnosed he asked himself, “what can I learn from this and how can I turn that into helping people?”
This is something Josh has fully lived out!
“You can look at experiences through a victimville lens or a survivorship lens.”
You can can foster the belief that wherever you are right now is perfect but you can create anything that from that point- your thoughts are incredibly powerful, Josh explains.
He now lives with purpose and is driven to help people by using his story as a vehicle to help others. Josh says, a majority of people have the opportunity to change the outcome of their lives through lifestyle and mindset changes but it doesn’t require a life threatening event to do so.
Josh now works with people one on one to help them transform their lives while still BMX riding and competing! Not only does he have a powerful story and incredible tools to offer but you know that he is an all around grounded great guy. Please go check out his work @joshperrybmx and hit him up!