Determined to change his health, body and ultimately his future, he began strength training and developed a system to modify his nutrition.
Derek dropped over 80-pounds in one year and later that same year, he entered his first and only body building contest. Disenchanted with the way body building tends to minimize health and well-being in order to encourage raw size, he left that arena and dedicated his career to helping individuals achieve better health and wellness through a program of planned exercise and practical nutrition.
At the age of 18, Derek passed a national fitness certification exam and began his career in personal fitness training. He furthered his quest for more information through education and received post-graduate degrees in health and physical education as well as a master's degree in nutrition.