ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — A lifetime of scrutinizing his own health led a Clifton native and Elmwood Park deli owner to help others with their fitness all while continuing his goals as a bodybuilder.
James Carney, 47, dealt with Crohn's disease since he was 18. Combined with his background in the medical field as an x-ray technician and degree in health, Carney always kept a focus on the workings of the human body.
His passion led him to his latest stop at Vicario's Market Gourmet on Market Street in Elmwood Park. Carney runs a specliazed menu to help people's weight and nutritional needs.
"It's a good feeling helping people when somebody doesn't look good," Carney told Daily Voice, "... and then they feel good about themselves. You teach them how to live almost."
The menu includes many high-protein items but Carney said they work with people to develop the right diet for them. He works with many athletes such as wrestlers, softball and football players, and UFC fighters.
The specialized diet is easy for Carney to relate to through his own bodybuilding experience. His Crohn's disease brought him down to 85 pounds at one point but he started to adapt through different medications and treatments.
Eight years ago Carney started competing in bodybuilding and won several shows.
"You totally change your body," Carney said of the experience.
Carney was recently diagnosed with a heart condition that derailed his bodybuilding. However he said he is hopeful to start again next year after overcoming his latest hurdle.