The Missing Chapter

Whenever I take part in a challenge group there’s always one day that sticks out to me, “Why Wednesday.” On this day everyone is encouraged to share their reasons for entering into a challenge group…usually what I say is pretty standard: “I want to be healthy” or “I want to take care of myself because XYZ.”

For the past 3 months in leading these challenge groups, I haven’t been completely honest about my “Why” because it’s awkward, and something very private for me (yeah, the open book girl!).

So what better way than to share it on my blog?

You see, my weight loss journey started 3 years ago. I had just moved to Florida and had minimal healthy habits. I didn’t feel like “me” and I didn’t like how people looked at me when I wore my bathing suit (kinda a requirement in the sunshine state). So, I set the goal to lose 50 lbs, and 2 years later I did…and that’s where I stop my story.

But what really impacted me was 18 months into that journey, I was 30lbs down, 6 months into a relationship dating some “paleo weirdo” (hah!) and had my annual physical, then I got the call from the Doctor: “We found something on your blood test that’s concerning, can you come in for a consult and a retest?” My heart fell into my stomach. Here I was, fresh off a corporate restructure, in the middle of Ryan buying a house and now my Doctor needs to see me…great. So, I panicked myself right back to the doctor’s office, redid my blood test and the results came back bad again, I had a “dangerously high” white blood cell count and needed to be referred to a specialist.

That specialist was the cancer center.

For 6 weeks, every week I went there for blood work with the same results, my white counts were high and not going down. And, I was beginning to have trouble concentrating and maintaining a safe blood pressure, all indications of my body fighting…something. So, my Doctor said we could do one of 2 things: (1) order a bone marrow test to determine if I had leukemia or (2) take a longshot look at changing my diet.

At this time, I told Ryan what I had been going through, and I decided to change my diet. I went strict paleo for 3 weeks, and went back to the doctor for the final consult before the bone marrow test and my counts were normal. I didn’t have cancer. It was stress related and poor nutrition.

I was lucky, but also ashamed and broke down.

How did I let my body, my temple…get this way? It was then that I realized there were no shortcuts, no low-fat cures and no amount of personal training sessions that could “cure” me of this mentality. I needed to make the change for myself, and I did.

That August 2013 day changed my life for the better, and I grow everyday from those lessons, and it’s a constant battle to want to take care of myself because it’s easier to Netflix binge or eat fast food. It’s easier to lounge around and sleep in..but I didn’t.

3 months later I ran a marathon and 3 months after that I hit my goal weight. Now, I work to maintain, and want to share the message with people.

I have this desperate need to coach and help other people know the importance of health and fitness because I’ve been on that exam table and I’ve been that girl that cries in the dressing room.

Now, I consider myself incredibly blessed with the knowledge and passion that I’ve cultivated in health sciences and continue to learn daily. And that’s what I do, I help people, because every challenger, every Facebook message, every post could make a difference in someone’s life and I genuinely care about the journey and sharing the message. I rejoice and cry with my challengers, I sometimes whine about the workouts but we are in this together. We all write each other’s chapters in our lives’ stories, and now you know mine.

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