September will mark a major anniversary for me. It will be two years since I got off of the "diet" roller coaster and decided to change my LIFESTYLE. I know it sounds cliche, but it's the truth. Two summers ago a light bulb finally went on in my head. I realized that in order to reach the goals I had for myself, I had to make permanent, lasting changes. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It all fits together.
Let me give you a little background:
After receiving some upsetting news at my annual exam in June 2012, I was referred to a specialist. While I was excited to finally have a diagnosis for all the symptoms I had been dealing with, I was nervous about what my treatment plan would look like. I was diagnosed with PCOS, a common endocrine disorder that affects about 10% of women. If left untreated, it could affect my fertility and lead to other scary things like cancer.
One of the first things the doctor recommended was to change my diet. GREAT! I wanted to get pregnant so badly that I would've stood on my head and sang show tunes if he told me to! The next 4 months were full of drugs, hormones, injections, cycle tracking and some other TMI details I won't share with you. When my 4th fertility treatment didn't work, I broke. I cried. I was angry. I had lost 15 lbs, started exercising, overhauled my diet, and followed all my doctor's orders. Why wasn't this happening yet?
In the middle of all this, I was also dealing with a very stressful job and contemplating a major career change. I had been praying for a year for God to bless me with a new job. I interviewed at jobs I was more than qualified for and would get right to the end, only to lose out to another candidate. But I stayed faithful, kept praying and believing God had a plan. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine He would lead me where I am today. After an exhausting and maddening conference call, I ran into my good friend (and future business partner) in the parking lot of our office. We literally scratched out a loose business plan on a scrap piece of paper. It was the start of an amazing journey.
I became a business partner in my fitness company in January 2013. Originally, my role was to do more operations and HR, streamline processes, get our financials on track, etc. A bonus was that I now had access to more exercise time, trainers and an environment to motivate me and keep me accountable with my new lifestyle. I had always been active as a child, teen and college student, but after getting married and settling into my career, my health and fitness had been put on the back burner. But now I was co-owner of a fitness company. I had to walk the walk.
What started as a means for me to reach a short-term goal has turned into my life's work and mission. Everyday I look for opportunities to be in service of others and let my little light shine. God has blessed me infinitely in ways I never imagined. We're in this world to help others, and that's what my fitness and wellness journey has taught me the most.
I now have several personal training clients, teach boot camp and am an Official Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach for the SPX Nutrition 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge. All of this started with a desire to be healthier. It took me a whole year to lose 50 lbs because of all the emotions and trials that go along with weight loss. Plus, I strength trained 2-3 days a week for a whole year, along with cardio. That made the weight come off slower, but I built a lot of lean muscle which permanently raised my metabolism. I've maintained that loss for a year, with a healthy diet, exercise, self-love, and my favorite supplement on the market, SPX Nutri-Thin.
I truly believe I am doing God's work through my career. What will happen when you start your journey?
When I started my lifestyle change, my doctor put me on two prescriptions. I was content with that. I thought, if you need it, take it. As I started to educate myself more about pharmaceuticals, I realized they are a bandage on a bigger problem. Long-term, I had to address the root of my problems and the need for a healthier diet, more exercise, spiritual balance and more rest. When one part of your life is off, it can throw other things out of whack, too.
I made a personal decision to no longer eat processed foods (as much as possible, I'm not perfect), choose organic meat and vegetables (when I can) and move everyday. Additionally, eating meat free of hormones is good for my PCOS, so for me that was a big deal. I also realized that I would have to eat a copious amount of nutrient-dense food in order to get what my body needed. I found a product called Sea Veg that replaced the synthetic, lab-created vitamins my physician had prescribed for me. I cannot say enough about this product. I took it back to the reproductive endocrinologist, and the nurse asked me, "where did you get this?" I was so proud that I had found a natural alternative that was ok'd by my doctor.
I also had begun to ovulate on my own (what the other drug was for), and no longer needed that prescription as well. All my blood work came back glowing. My husband and I decided not to pursue any more fertility treatments for the time being. My doctor said everything looked great, and in his opinion, it would only be a matter of time. I knew that already because I stopped worrying, focused on my health, and gave it to God. He's got this!
People always ask me, "where do I start? I have so much weight to lose."
When beginning your lifestyle change, I recommend starting with one small thing that you want to improve. As you start to feel better, gain confidence and get a handle on why you overeat, don't exercise or eat too many nutrient-poor foods, then change something else. You don't have to do it all at once. Just make small changes.
This is not a race, it's your life. Don't put pressure on yourself to do it all too fast because you'll just set yourself up for failure. Remember, adopting a healthier lifestyle takes time. Being to restrictive with your food and exercise is not sustainable long-term. If it's not something you can live with forever, you won't stick with it.
If weight loss is your goal, for whatever reason, I have an amazing program and line of supplements that can help you get there, along with dietary changes and exercise. I'd love to help you. Please visit my nutrition website for more information. My contact info is there as well. Please let me know how I can help or any questions you have.
You can also like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Thanks for reading my post. I hope learning more about my journey helps you on yours. Have a blessed day!
Yours in health,
Wellness Coach and Certified Personal Trainer