This is one of those stories that happens to you, and you almost think it didn't. I tried to forget about it for so long ... because it seemed so far-fetched. Like, "Man. I died. Everything was over for a second, and I came back to life."
And it really changed my perspective of life in general and how I view just living life on a day-to-day basis. When you're in a situation like that, you really start to look at your values as a person, and you see what's important to you, because it was all self-inflicted.
It was just after my junior-college season, and I wasn't a big heavyweight. I averaged around 220, 230 pounds. That's in the middle of two weight categories. International weight classes are 211 and 265 pounds. I'm at 230. I'm like, "I can either give up this 30 to 40 pounds, or I can cut weight and be bigger than everybody at 211." So that's what led to the decision to cut weight.
I just went about it all wrong. I started cutting the week before. Six days to lose 27 pounds. I started barely eating or taking any water. I gave myself a bottle of water, a grain bar and a cup of mandarin oranges. Those were my meals. Three of them per day. And my goal was to lose 5 to 6 pounds in a workout and go to sleep.
After I got done cutting as much as I could and running my muscles out, I couldn't run anymore. I was still about 5 pounds overweight. I heard about this rubbing alcohol Epsom salt bath that you take in hot water that will just pull the water out of you. So I did that in my hotel bathroom, with my girlfriend at the time and one of my best friends. I took the bath and ended up coming out like 0.6 pounds over still.