5 Things I Like
The old adage, “you get what you pay for” has never been truer than in the sports supplement industry.
My journey to the bodybuilding stage began February 1, 1995 in Nashville, Tennessee. I was in my final year of medical school and decided to use the entire month of February to prepare for part two of my licensing examination. While I was no stranger to the iron game, having lifted weights as a high school and college athlete, I had not entirely embraced the bodybuilding lifestyle. I wanted to make a change. I began by developing my own diet, though not fully understanding the importance of nutrient ratios and proper timing of meals. In those days, my meals consisted of tuna, white rice, vegetables, and fat-free fig bars. I ate three meals per day plus a couple low fat snacks like yogurt or licorice.
“I originally went with Beverly because of their history of excellent results with natural athletes.”
Dewayde Perry, M.D.
In July 1995, my life was forever changed when I began my residency training in general surgery. Residency training, especially the surgical specialties, is brutal. I averaged 80-110 work hours per week; countless times staying awake 36 continuous hours in the hospital. Though most operations in general surgery are less than four hours, there were scores of procedures that lasted six or more hours. My two longest cases during residency were twelve hours each. Though I could not control the length of an operation or some of the other aspects of residency training, I could control what I ate and how often I exercised.
From day one of residency, I brought my home-cooked food to the hospital. I would bring enough food for two days if I was on-call a particular night (I was on-call, in the hospital, every three to four days). No matter how long the day had been or how many operations I had performed, if it was a training day, I went to the gym. Sometimes, I would be so tired, I would fall asleep between sets. After getting home from the gym, I would read a few pages from my surgical textbooks then cook my meals for the following day(s). I did this routine for all seven years of my surgical training. Many people have asked how I managed to consistently go to the gym while being in a demanding surgical residency. It did not happen without discipline and sacrifice. When at home, I would usually sleep four to five hours per night, often times less.
As one would imagine, I was an enigma to my surgical colleagues. I was the subject of many light-hearted jokes, such as “Dr. Perry is going to need a heavier scalpel so he can do scalpel curls in the operating room”. Everyone knew whose blender sat in the corner of the on-call quarters. Even so, I was able to use my knowledge of medicine and bodybuilding to advise colleagues and patients alike regarding proper nutrition and exercise. Serving as a role model to patients who “talks the talk and walks the walk” has always been a motivating factor in my bodybuilding journey.
In the gym, I was asked numerous times if I was a competitive bodybuilder. In my early days of residency, I had no desire to compete. In fact, I did not even want to be called a “bodybuilder” because of the associated stereotypes. I have since grown to embrace and take pride in the title “bodybuilder”. As residency training progressed, my knowledge of nutrition and training grew by leaps and bounds. In 2002, my final year of surgical residency, I began to seriously think about entering a competition.