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My name is Joseph Elijah Barrett and I am a certified Nutrition Specialist. I think I can honestly thank my father, the late Elder Joseph Elijah Barrett, for laying the foundation for my interest in nutrition.
Joseph Elijah Barrett, Sr. was always health-conscious. Because of this, one of his favorite stores was the health food store. He would buy and eat plenty of garlic, onions, wheat germ, and cod liver oil.
Not only was my father interested in his health, but he wanted to share the benefits of good nutrition with his family too. This is how I acquired my taste and love for onions and garlic I suppose.
At the dinner table my father made me and my nine brothers and sisters put wheat germ on our food. (For an issue as important as this, he didn't leave the choice up to us.) Naturally as kids we didn't understand it, and wondered by we had to spoil the taste of our dinner with the wheat germ.
My father, an ordinary, hard-working family man (and definitely 'old-school'), was way ahead of his time.
When I got married in 1974 and left home, I left my health foundation behind too. I quickly got into a lot of debt which limited my food options. Thus one of the things which suffered was eating a wholesome meal. We ate a lot of TV dinners although I frown upon such packaged, processed food now.
Although I forgot my health roots when I got married and left home, they lay dormant in my subconscious. They were resurrected decades later by a certain television infomercial (more on that later.)
In the mid-1970s, inspired by the Dannon yogurt commercial Old People in Russia, I began jogging. My initial goal was to run a marathon-twenty-six miles. I settled for ten.
No other commercial before or since has made such an impression on my life. The Dannon yogurt commercial literally changed my life, and set me on a path of exercise.
In 1978 jogging would gradually give way to bodybuilding.
Although I was of normal weight when I was born, as I got older I got thinner. I was that proverbial person who always gets sand kicked in his face. I was picked on and made fun of. Naturally I became self-conscious.
I remember reading those Charles Atlas ads in the back of comic books. They showed a skinny guy being picked on by a muscular guy. The ads were about the Charles Atlas dynamic tension method for muscular development. I actually purchased one of those courses.
I grew to be 5'-10" tall which just emphasized my slender build. In high school my weight ranged from 135 pounds to 140 pounds. In college I weighed around 150 pounds. My friends weighed 160 to 175 pounds.
When I began jogging in the early '70s, I let nothing stop me. I jogged almost every day of the week. Addicted and dedicated, I even jogged in the winter with ice and snow on the ground.
There was only one problem. I already had a very fast metabolism and the running kept me underweight. Jogging was great from a health perspective, but did nothing to put 'meat' on my bones.
I had a barbell and about a hundred pounds of weight which I kept in the basement of my parents' house. Not knowing what I was doing, I would play around with the weights once in a while.
Then in 1978 I discovered bodybuilding. I can't recall what awakened my desire to lift weights seriously. But I do know that I was bitten by the weightlifting bug.
When I got married I bought a brand new 110 pound barbell set and dragged it up to my 7th floor apartment. I then began lifting weights in my living room.
I also entered a couple of local competitions sponsored by the gym where I trained.
Unlike Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting competitions, bodybuilding shows don't involve lifting weight. Participants are judged on muscle mass, symmetry, and degree of muscle separation.
Muscle separation is based on strict dieting to reduce body fat and water levels. In reality, body fat levels are reduced so low as to be unhealthy for long periods of time.
In between competitions, I would gain weight. My competition weight ranged between 169 to 172 pounds. By the mid to latter '80s, my off-season (non-competition) weight went as high as 210 pounds.
I was big but I was not fat at 200 plus pounds. That was due to the fact that a lot of my weight was muscle. Muscle occupies a much smaller space than an equal amount of fat.
I was always interested in electronics when I was growing up. I remember playing around with batteries, copper wiring, tiny light bulbs, and electronic components such as transistors, resistors, and diodes.
When I learned of an opportunity to go to an engineering college for free, I applied. Consideration for selection to the program was based on SAT scores and economic hardship. I was accepted into the program in the summer of 1970.
The school was then known as Newark College of Engineering (NCE) but has since changed its name to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT.) I initially majored in Electrical Engineering.
In the course of my undergraduate studies at NCE, I would change majors several times. I tried Computer Science, and I think Mechanical Engineering.
I worked for Elizabethtown Gas Company, a mid-sized family owned public utility, beginning in 1974. I started in a summer internship program. After the summer, I asked my boss if I could stay on full-time. My request was granted.
Seems fantastic when I think back on it. That would never happen in corporate America today. I didn't even have to do another interview or fill out any more forms.
At Elizabethtown Gas I worked in the Engineering Department under an engineer who was doing computerized gas network analyzes. These analyzes were performed on a room-sized IBM 370 mainframe.
From that time on my job involved the computer. I did data management and computer programming. The programming was performed via the mainframe, time-sharing, and when they finally hit the scene, PCs (personal computers.)
I loved my job at Elizabethtown Gas Company. I was passionate about database management and computer programming. I was there for 30 years.
Then the bombshell hit!
Due to mismanagement, unwise business decisions, and corporate shenanigans, Elizabethtown Gas Company was in a position where it had to be sold.
After 30 years of loyal service, my livelihood was being threatened.
I had grown comfortable at my job. I had fully expected to retire from there. Back in the '70s, people worked their entire lives in one job. And during that time public utilities were very secure. This was before deregulation.
The gas company was purchased by a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. They terminated many employees through early retirement and job elimination. I lost my position to job elimination.
After I, Joseph Elijah Barrett, lost my job to corporate downsizing, I decided not to work for anyone EVER again. I didn't want my destiny to be subject to 'white collar' crime or bad business judgment!I wanted to work for myself from home. I tried a number of on-line ventures but they didn't pan out. I then found Herbalife. It seemed to be the perfect opportunity for me. If I worked hard, I could potentially earn more than I had earned at the gas company.
After about one year, I was inspired to write a book about health. What inspired me was an infomercial I saw on cable TV. It was about the book Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About by Kevin Trudeau.
The name of the book I wrote was Living a God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health. Its purpose is to motivate a concern for health and wellness from a biblical perspective through nutrition and exercise.
Little did I know that my book Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health would land me, Joseph Elijah Barrett, on television. While working on my Site Build It! website in September 2007, I received an email from CNN.
I couldn't believe what I was reading. They wanted me to appear on the segment Prime News with Erica Hill. I was to be interviewed by Mike Galanos. The topic was "Does God Want You to be Slim?"
This topic was prompted by the latest obesity report just released. Obesity rates grew in a large number of American states.
I was skeptical about this email. I just couldn't imagine that someone from CNN wanted me to talk about the subject of my book.
To make sure of the email's authenticity, I checked on the person who sent it to me, and the person on whose segment I was to appear (Erica Hill and Mike Galanos.)
The email was not a scam! The request was legitimate.
My perspective for "Does God Want You to be Slim?" was the position I took in my book-God wants you to be slim and healthy.
The producers contacted a person with the opposite opinion, and who had likewise written a book sharing it. The program segment turned out to be a friendly mini-debate between us.
After I wrote that book and had it published, I didn't want to be restrictive in weight loss and health solutions. Remaining with Herbalife meant that I was locked into their products whether I fully believed in them or not. After all, I had to earn a living.
Instead of continuing with Herbalife or some other established home-based business, I decided to start my own home-based business. The research for my book, in addition to what I learned through bodybuilding, equipped me with a pretty comprehensive knowledge of health and nutrition.
Of course working from home at your own business requires a website. Unlike Herbalife or any other home business in a box, I had to make a website from scratch since I had no ready-made template to attach my name to.
I had created a website in the past but it was done through Adobe PageMill and I didn't need a knowledge of HTML (hypertext markup language.) So my knowledge of website design was very meager.
I was a newbie!
Let me digress a bit. Before I actually got started on getting a new website, I wanted to write an e-book on nutrition. The catch is that I didn't know how.
So I did a Google search on how to make an e-book.
(Photo left: At the Mr. New Jersey Amateur Bodybuilding Competition in April, 2001. I entered the over-35 class at the age of 49. I dieted down to 169 pounds from 210 pounds.)
That search produced a downloadable e-book on how to make an e-book.
Now listen to this!
Within the pages of that e-book, the author mentioned that he had e-books for download on his own website. His next comment got my attention.
"That site is built with the best web design tool in my opinion - SiteBuildIt!" (Alf A. Pedersen, Create Your Own eBook.)
That ONE Google search provided the answer for two problems. Not only did I find a useful e-book on how to make my own e-book, but I also found a state-of-the-art website design tool!
In addition to the author of Create Your Own eBook highly recommending SiteBuildIt!,he gave examples on how to use it to successfully in making my own e-book too. I knew SiteBuildIt! needed further investigation. So I took the video tour.I was amazed by what I saw. SiteBuildIt! was designed for the newbie (you and me) as well as the techno-savvy. You don't have to know anything about website design.
What sold me on SiteBuildIt! was the fact that it is a complete package. With my previous website, I went to one on-line company for domain name registration and another for website hosting.
Not so with SiteBuildIt! It allowed me to register my domain name and host my site, and also provided easy web page construction, search engine optimization, website templates, tons of on-line help, and much, much more.
SiteBuildIt! provides a step-by-step road map-from choosing a profitable niche to keyword research to content writing to how to attract traffic to your site. SitBuildIt! is also for the small, home-based business person. All that is needed is a passion for your niche. Mine is health and nutrition. What's yours? These hundreds of income-generating users have found their niche which is driven by their passion. Their sites are all in the top 1%!
Did you notice the almost endless variety of subjects that ordinary people like me and others are passionate about? We have turned our hobbies and skills into part and full-time, income generating businesses.YOU CAN DO THE SAME!
SiteBuildIt! makes it so easy. All I had to do was work hard and concentrate on my business. Using SiteBuildIt! is a no-brainer
Joseph Elijah Barrett, Webmaster
P.S. Do you have any questions about SiteBuildIt!? Want to know if it'll be a good fit for you? You can have all of your questions answered here.
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