I’m not even sure where to begin…
Labor Day 2002, that’s where this story begins, so I’ll start there.
I was over weight, out of shape and in general not happy with where I had ended up with my body. For the first 32 years of my life I had pretty much been able to maintain my weight just living. But in the previous two years I had been promoted to a desk job and turned 32. 32 in itself was not much good for my winter – summer fluctuations. I used to gain 5 lbs in the winter and take it off in the spring as a natural part of living in Michigan. But after 32 that stopped and like I said the desk job was not helpful. Additionally – I started college in 2000 so sit on my butt all day at work and all night at school. Perfect Storm.
In August I had purchased my husband a piece of home gym equipment for his birthday – and on Labor Day 2002 I started using it and following the diet that came with it. A pretty basic diet decreasing calories cycles that you repeat until you reach your goal. Unfortunately it was high in processed foods and carbs very low in fat. But, it worked and in 12 weeks I had lost 22 lbs. Yeah Me!
I did a really good job of maintaining too! Until the following February when I quit smoking…gained 12lbs back – those were hard to get back off.
In March of 1994 I had twins and if any of you had twins you will know the damage that can be done 🙂 So in April of 2003 I had a tummy tuck. It removed the damaged skin and I was grateful.
That is where some of my hang ups come in; I was judged and mocked about my decision to have plastic surgery by women at work. I know now, that was based in their own fears and really had nothing to do with me. It still is not something I tell everyone for fear of judgement. But it’s semi relevant, so I am telling you. And its really only relevant in that it is part of my psyche and road blocks I am working through.
September 2003 I started a home workout program called Slim in 6 by Beachbody. I finished the program and shared my results all over the web in groups I belonged to and forms I was members of. I got all kinds of support and feed back. It was really awesome – I signed up to be an affiliate and made a little money helping people find the programs that had worked for me. After a period of time Beachbody ended their affiliate program and moved to the current model of Coaching. There was no way I was going to do that. I didn’t think I was that kind of person…when I was really already doing all a Coach does anyway. Sharing my experience, helping others on their journey – whether it involved Beachbody products or not. I was writing macro’s in Excel to calculate calories needs, I was writing up meal plans for friends and co-workers to help them hit their macros for the day. I was always doing that as I enjoyed it and loved seeing others succeed!
After Slim in 6 I did Power 90 and then Power Half Hour 🙂 I found I really liked that Tony Horton! Around this time P90X was all over my TV, but I never did buy it from the TV. I went on with life; school, kids, husband, work and fitness was still a part of it all. At times it got more of my attention than it did other times but I was going to the gym and working out at home with my DVD’s and doing my best to maintain while living life.
Roughly 2008 I found and ordered P90X on eBay for $80. I never did it. It sat on the shelf for a long time. Around the same time I joined Facebook and started following like minded people, fitness minded people. All of this time had just passed from when I had first heard of this thing called Coaching to the day I found myself following several coaches on Facebook 🙂 Kismet? Maybe 😀
In 2009 I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. I had NO IDEA what that meant. What the disease was, if I would live or die and what kind of life I would lead from that point on. I was scared and ignorant and trusted a doctor implicitly with my fate. NEVER DO THAT! Sorry – I’m not saying all doctors are bad. I’m saying – do some research. Ask questions. Get second opinions. Weigh the suggested course of treatment against your life goals, not what is easiest for the Dr to treat and move you along.
I didn’t die. I get to live the rest of my very long life taking a daily supplement of thyroid hormone. I could have gone into remission had I not been advised to destroy my thyroid with radiation. But that is what happened and that is where I am, so moving on….
In April of 2012 I graduated college with a BS in Computer Information Systems 🙂 – Proud moment for a high school drop out. In December of 2011, I had started paying closer attention to a couple Coaches. I knew once I was done with school I was going to need something to help fill my time. My oldest was graduating in June and the twins were starting High School…My time was becoming more my own.
August 2012 I joined Beachbody as a Coach. Partly because it was a normal progressions for who I am, and partly to help with my own accountability. I had been struggling hardcore since I had the radiation to get my weight back in control. It really sucked because I was 4 lbs away from a long term goal the month before I was diagnosed! And now a year later – I weighed more than when I started this whole process in 2003!
So for the last (almost) 3 years I have been working on helping people and building my business. I am not setting the world on fire with that rate at which I am growing – but I am growing. And ultimately I’m helping people! I’m still me, still helping people regardless if the help they want is a Beachbody product or not.
I have had so many ups an downs over the last 3 years due to my thyroid meds and the amount of energy and drive, its been frustrating. I would find myself in a deep dark place and then try to pull myself up and stay up for a tiny bit and start to slide back down. Super frustrating!
In April I started seeing a counselor. I found myself in a place that I could not help myself out of. I have always suffered from anxiety, but I had also always been able to manage it myself. It was part of my personality and I just knew what I could and could not do and how to live a happy fulfilling life despite it. So I had been seeing my counselor for a few month and still not doing well. I was better and she is a great person to talk to and bounce things off. But I was still feeling so desperately lost.
One morning Sagi Kalev – one of the Beachbody trainers, had posed a YouTube link on Facebook to a TEDx talk by Dr. Mary Caire on Libido. That video changed my life. The topic was Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). I found so much of what she was talking about – sounded like what I had been struggling with! I assumed it was my thyroid! I assumed that I would never feel like me again because I had this radiation treatment and I was just going to have to live feeling like something was missing.
I’ll bet so many of you have no idea that the lost of sex hormones related to aging look A LOT like thyroid hormones being off.
I made an appointment with a local Doctor that specializes in BHRT. He did a FULL blood panel and discovered a few things that were not great. I was low on iron. Being an almost 47 year old woman that is still having regular monthly cycles, I was never going to get on top of that unless I started taking an iron supplement. And also because I am still very regular my estrogen and progesterone were still in really good shape. However my testosterone that should be near 87 was less than 12. MANY of the side effects of Low T look a lot like low thyroid. Also I have the MTHFR gene mutation. Big complicated words that boil down to I don’t convert the B vitamins to the active form well.
I started on supplements to get these three things in line about 2.5 weeks ago and I feel so much better. I feel like I am in charge of my world again. I am still anxious – that’s me, its always been me 🙂 But now its back to a place that I feel is controllable.
For the last few months I have been really doubting myself and my ability to continue to help people. How could I help anyone if I was could not even help myself?
Last weekend I went to the Coach Summit in Nashville. Training, motivation, ah-ha moments abound. At one point in one of the many presentations the presenter said “You must put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you can help anyone else”. That statement is profound and applies to way more than crashing airplanes. It applies to every day life, so while I have been busy saving myself; I feel like I am strong enough to start helping you again.
Never Give Up!