About Scott

My Story

My name is Scott, and I’d like to introduce myself. I started this blog to talk about some of my life experiences and maybe share some of the things I’ve learned that will help you reach goals that will change the way you think and live.

Aunts and Uncles
1. The younger years:

I was born in NYC, and my first memories were of the Brooklyn Bridge. I remember living in the city, eating hotdogs from street vendors, and shopping on the “Avenue.” The city was busy, with people walking in different directions and not paying attention to the other. Cars were honking their horns, and traffic was everywhere. The sites, sounds, and especially the smells were overwhelming. It was an intimidating place. To provide my younger brother and me with a better life, my mother relocated our family to Long Island to be closer to my grandparents and the rest of our family. Because my mother and her siblings were so close, we spent a lot of time at their homes, so I grew up with my cousins. We were always around each other, went to the same schools, and spent our free time together, and they were like my siblings. We were proud of being Italian-American. Growing up in an Italian-American family meant plenty of food and enormous family reunions.

My mother was one of twelve children. There were six boys and six girls. My mother, her brothers, and her sisters all grew up in poverty. They shared a modest Brooklyn apartment, and although they didn’t have much, they had each other. They became close due to growing up in a limited place and depending on one other. That spirit helped to form a bond with their children. Family get-togethers were always a lot of fun. Christmas has always been my favorite family gathering. My brother and I didn’t always get gifts, but our family was always there. My aunts would alternate the holiday, and we’d all cram into a small home full of noise and laughing. We’d eat classic Italian American cuisine made with love, and a couple of my uncles were musically inclined. We’d perform a couple of non-Christmas tunes that are still memorable today.

Growing up in a single-parent household was challenging; we moved often, and a lack of financial security was a challenge. I hated watching my mother suffer, and that gave me determination. I became motivated to stop the poverty cycle. Life’s stress compelled me to develop an obsession with eating. It was all over the place. When circumstances were rough, he was a soothing buddy, a feast for a celebration, and a friend at get-togethers. It was all over the place.

2. The Weight Problems:

As a child, I gained a lot of weight. I was “husky” and didn’t think much of myself. It was tough to lose weight. More health and nutrition education was required in the 1970s. At the time, the advice was to consume less “fatty.” I drowned my emotions in food, and no matter how much I grew or how little I ate, I was always overweight.

I began helping my uncle with his home renovation company when I was old enough to work legally. I spent my summers painting homes and swimming in Lake Ronkonkoma. I got a job at a small Italian bakery, and my love of bread was cemented as I would eat fresh, hot bread with butter directly from the oven. It was fantastic to have some of my own money.

Home life was still in turmoil; when mom remarried, we relocated to Vermont. Living in the country was something I despised, and all I could think about was returning to my family in New York. My aunts and uncles provided stability for me.

I was ready to be on my own when I was 17, so I met a girl and went to the Bronx. It wasn’t long before I realized I would be a parent. So, despite having no high school diploma and working, I called the Navy to enroll. My uncles and grandfather, who had all served in the United States Armed Forces, affected me. Their talks about their tours and work were intoxicating. I wanted to experience going across the sea to strange places and learning about other cultures. I had to make a call.

2. U.s.M.c.:
Semper Fi

I called the Navy recruiter’s office on Fordham Road in April 1984; I was expecting to talk with the Navy and was surprised when a Marine recruiter answered the phone. He answered the phone: “Staff Sargent Ansberry, United States Marine Corps, “How can I help you?” I told him I wanted to join the Navy, just like a few of my uncles and grandfather had. He asked why I wanted to do that. After a little conversation, I explained my situation, and he persuaded me to come down and chat with them. The recruiter wanted me to go into “Delayed Entry,” which meant I would wait a year before going to boot camp. I expressed my urgency; my daughter was on the way, and I needed health insurance and a paying job. The following week was a whirlwind of activity. I was taking exams, going for medical checkups, signing agreements, and swearing in.

Seven days later, I had my head shaved at the Paris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Beauford, South Carolina. I was physically pushed harder than I had ever been in my life. Food was scarce, and the pound flew away. I graduated from MCRD Parris Island in July 1984, and in November 1984, my daughter was born. She was a lovely baby girl and she was the one who made me a father. I immediately fell in love with her and couldn’t get enough of her when I was still a teenager. It was not an easy life. We were living paycheck to paycheck, and I had to take on a second job to help make ends meet. My wife and I had a baby boy ten months and twenty-nine days later.

I was sent to a Navy ship in the Mediterranean for deployment. I was finally able to travel to new countries and experience new cultures. It was the finest period in the Marine Corps. I didn’t want it to end, but I missed my family, and my kid had never met his father. We spent the remainder of our trip throughout the United States, and when my time was up, we returned to the Bronx.

Bronx on metro station map
Bronx on metro station map
4. Back in the City:

When I went to work at a fast food restaurant, the pounds quickly returned. I wanted a change, so I began working in sales for a large insurance business. My youngest son appeared. We struggled financially and that long with not knowing who we were took its toll on our marital relationship. My wife and I had decided to divorce at this point. I needed to escape the city, so I took a job transfer and moved to Michigan. I don’t have many regrets, but relocating twelve hours away from my family was the worst move I’ve ever made. When my children needed me, I was unavailable. They were young and impressionable. These were the formative years in their lives and when they needed me most, I wasn’t there. We’re still working on repairing what I broke, almost 30 years later.

5. It’s country time:

Michigan was undoubtedly a change of pace. People were friendly, and I was leery of them. Because of my New York accent, they always wanted to talk with me. Most of the time, they were a good, wholesome group of people. They were simple in what they wanted out of life. The outdoors played an important role in their lives. As a way to relax, they went hunting, went up north to the cabin, and used snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, and dirt bikes, among other motorized vehicles, to get around in the woods. There’s not much to do in the woods when you’re trail riding.

College sports seemed bigger there than professional sports. You don’t want to get in the way of a Michigan-Michigan State rivalry. I met and married my second wife. She had two daughters, and it was a difficult transition for them and for me. I had not completely understood the struggles they were going through to adapt to this new life. Tensions arose, and there were plenty of conflicts. By this time, my ex-wife had moved to Michigan with my kids. Now they were only 3 hours away and not 12. That certainly helped in my efforts to visit them and re-establish my relationship. I would drive up every other Friday to pick them up, the boys mostly, and drive them back that Sunday night. That Sunday drive was a depressing time. I loved spending time with my children, and being unable to see them for two weeks was difficult. During this time, my daughter was not very interested in seeing me. As I look back, I can’t blame her. I didn’t have the appropriate life skills to help her during this time, which only drove a deeper wedge between us.

By this time, the internet was becoming a thing, and I was consumed by it and computers. One of my uncles had planted the tech bug in me as a young child. That and my interest in science caused me to start learning what I could about computers and technology. Because we were poor, my mother could not afford to buy new things for the house. I can remember her taking apart lamps and washing machines to repair them so we didn’t need to buy new ones. Her ingenuity inspired me to do the same, and I started tearing apart my brand-new 286 desktop computer to see how it worked.

While working for a home improvement company, I met someone who would become a lifelong friend. We spent a lot of time working together, and we grew close. He was the older brother I never had. Eventually, we went into business together. I had always wanted to be my own boss, and since I was doing financing work for a contractor, I decided to try my hand at the subprime mortgage market. It was an emerging industry, and there were few regulations. While we tried to do what was best for our customers, the industry was full of used car salesmen looking to make a quick buck.

My Beautiful Son
6. The darkest day:

And then my darkest day. Mother’s day in May 2002 was the worst day of my life. We were celebrating with my mom, and I had just given her a gift when the phone rang. On the line was my ex-wife’s husband starting to tell me that my middle child, my son, was involved in an accident. I immediately asked what hospital he was in and was told he did not make it. I was, devastated. I was overcome with disbelief and despair. I couldn’t believe what I had heard and refused to believe it.

We immediately got into the car to take the 3-hour trip up north to be with everyone. One of my cousins had moved to Michigan and met up with us on the road. Her husband drove me the rest of the trip and held my hand the entire way.

During this time, I reflected on quite a few things; I was sad because I would never get to spend time with my son again. But I was also sad for him. He would never experience falling in love, kissing a girl, or the joy of his children. He would not be there to share with his older sister and younger brother. I was sad for my surviving children. My daughter lost her Irish twin, and my youngest lost his older brother. All the life experiences we would not have because he was gone. This event, his passing, left a massive hole in all of our hearts and changed me down to my core. I liken it to the earthquake that moved Japan eight feet west. The country still looks the same, but it is different. His passing will never leave me, and I will feel it for the rest of my life.

Setting business goals
Setting business goals
7. Tech enters the picture:

After my son passed, I was stuck in bed for three months. My business suffered, and I was in a deep state of depression. I sought professional assistance and was prescribed medications that removed all feelings. I felt neither good nor bad. I went to work for a friend in the subprime market and convinced him to make me his IT manager. He agreed and sent me to class, where I learned how networks work. It was a time of discovery and allowed me to think about other things. Over time, my friends in the subprime mortgage industry would hire me to help them in their offices. One thing led to another, and I decided to enter the Managed Services industry. I opened an office close to me, brought on a few business partners, and we grew the company to 16 people. I learned a lot about business, was active as a member of the boards of several non-profits, and was instrumental in a few city activities. Our company helped start a few councils, and I was an active member of several fraternities. I threw myself into my work. After having severe disagreements with my business partners, it was time to leave. I did not agree with the company’s direction, so I sold out and went to work for a consulting firm in Chicago. I LOVE Chicago. It reminded me of NYC, but cleaner. I enjoyed my time there, and the owner had an office in Houston. My new boss tasked me with heading to Houston to scope out the office and using my experiences to help increase sales. Eventually, the Houston company shut down. My second wife and I divorced, and my health went downhill fast.

8. Health Journey:

I woke up on January 13, 2013, to severe chest pain. I had been experiencing what I thought was simply GERD. After visiting with a client, who was a gastroenterologist, his advice was to see a cardiologist. Of course, I did not listen to my doctor, and at 9 am that morning, I had to be rushed to the hospital. An emergency catheterization had to be performed on me to save my life. I was unaware of my condition’s seriousness until I had my follow-up meeting with my cardiologist. He showed me how my left anterior descending artery was one hundred percent blocked when I came into the hospital. He explained that the condition I experienced was the Widow Maker and the Silent Killer. He went on to tell me that had my situation been any worse; I would not be here today. What a wake-up call. In March of that same year, I had my second heart attack. Both procedures required a stint to be inserted into my coronary arteries. I was told to lose weight and exercise. I didn’t listen.

I packed on the weight, eventually reaching my highest weight of 355 lbs. I was a foodie, and my new wife and I would bond over places to travel to eat good food. I ate garbage food till I was full, and my stomach hurt. I ate ice cream and candy till my tongue hurt. I enjoyed myself while my waistline increased, and it wasn’t easy to tie my shoes. None of my clothes fit, and I couldn’t sit in a booth at a restaurant. I tried all kinds of things to lose weight, even considering bariatric surgery.

During the Covid lockdown, my wife and I watched a video on the “Whole Foods, Plant-Based” lifestyle. I like veggies, so we took charge and went on this diet. I lost 80 lbs and didn’t miss meat at all. I was super happy with the results; however, once the lockdown was over and we were allowed to go out to eat again, I packed all the weight back on. I ballooned back up to 344 lbs.

August 22, 2022, was like any regular Monday. I woke, went to the kitchen to make myself a bagel and coffee, then headed to my bathroom to get ready for work that day. I leaned forward to read my phone while sitting on the commode and could not stop as I fell onto the floor. My body did not want to work, and I could not move. My wife came in to see me on the floor and immediately called 911. I was in and out of consciousness. I woke in the hospital to my wife and best friend. They were by my side for eight hours as the doctors worked on me to save my life again.

After a few consultations and a few more hospital visits, doctors determined that the Ejection Fraction rate of my left ventricle was 20%. An average person has an EF rate of 50-70%. The doctors explained my heart pooled blood inside it as it was only strong enough to push 20% of the blood out of that ventricle. The pooled blood caused a thrombus to form and attach itself to the wall of my left ventricle. The morning of my stroke, a piece of that thrombus broke off and traveled up to my brain.

Since this latest event, I have been on a lifestyle change. I do this for my family, wife, children, and grandchildren. I am currently down 105 lbs from my highest weight, exercising daily to strengthen my heart. I have continued the Plant-based Whole Foods program to help my body get the best nutrients. I am sleeping eight hours per night to allow my body to heal. We have included both intermittent and long-term fasting for all the health benefits. All refined sugars, bad carbohydrates, and processed foods are now a thing of the past. My goal is 220 lbs. with an ejection fraction rate of 60%

Enjoy life
9. Let’s do this together

I’d love to take you on this journey with me. We win if I can help you get healthy, start a new business, or reconnect you to someone you love.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope to talk with you one day.