What did life look like before you focused consistently on nutrition and fitness?
My journey started with a low point 10 years ago. At the age of 40 I had a seizure, and one year later I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. I went through many mental, physical, and attitudinal ups and downs over the next few years. My troughs were amplified by the side effects of my meds. My peaks were never really true peaks, nor did I sustain them. I immersed myself in work, being an ambassador for the fight against Epilepsy (our oldest Son also has Epilepsy), and honestly lived life in fear of when the next seizure was going to occur. I began biking and running 5 years ago and was starting to feel more physically confident. However, I didn't pay much attention to my nutrition and continued to have issues with energy, mental attitude, and sustaining a consistent workout routine.
What made you decide to make a change?
I started having severe back pain, especially while running. An MRI revealed I had multiple micro-fractures, more than likely from my seizures. The scarring was causing disc degeneration and pressure. I stopped running and weightlifting - the doctor said I should give up running, period. The power of my meds started to take over and create periods of depression and anxiety. I was feeling unmotivated and wasn't sure how to change it if I was going to be limited in what I could do physically. Heather had been trying to convince me to try the Warehouse and Shakeology for over a year. I recall telling Heather I wasn't the "type" that liked group workouts and didn't think it would give me the appropriate amount of strength and endurance training - Boy was I wrong! Heather finally convinced me to try a month free. Nickie met with me personally to put a plan together on dealing with my back and adapting the various workouts to gradually build strength and stamina while ensuring I wasn't continuing to injure my back. The next big move was focusing on nutrition to complement the consistent physical activity. I started on Shakeology and joined Heather in a few of the challenges to learn and become diligent in my eating habits. I was a skeptic on both, to be honest. I can say that the focus on nutrition is as important to my health today as the Warehouse workouts. I wouldn't be achieving my goals if I was only doing one and not the other.
What has changed (race times, blood work, attitude, etc)?
My before and after pics may not show a huge physical change. But the before pic is important to me because it is a few months before I joined the Warehouse and just after I was told I should stop running. Today, my energy, attitude, mental stamina and focus, and love of life is higher than it has ever been. And while not evident in the pictures, my body has changed over the past year. I'm more flexible and tone and proud of it! And, I'm back to running! On June 17th I ran my first 1/2 marathon. I didn't train to a normal marathon plan. I let Epilepsy get the best of me temporarily. I had read about increased odds of experiencing seizures during high endurance runs. I was afraid to run on my own for 10 miles in training. So, I relied heavily on the warehouse workouts and shorter runs (3-5 miles). I managed to push a couple 6.5-7 miles run as the date approached. I set a goal of finishing the 1/2 in 2:20. I finished in just under 2:09 - thanks to all the cross-training at the Warehouse! And, now that I've completed one and know that I kicked Epilepsy's butt, I've signed up for another 1/2 marathon in September with a goal of running under 2 hours.