Taking back my health…

Life can be stressful.

No drama here, just a truth statement. It doesn’t matter where in life you are, stress can happen. And if allowed to go on too long, it can become the norm. Be it from a job, a family situation, raising littles (or bigs), meeting deadlines…so many causes.

Stress, and quite frankly, apathy, has taken its toll on me over the last few years. And it started to show.

In 2017 I had weight loss surgery. And for a year following I was on fire. I worked out every day, followed my surgeon’s eating recommendations to a “T” and charted a course to better health. In the end, I lost 112 pounds. I was feeling 20 years younger, I was beginning to recognize my formerly more athletic body, I was sleeping better.

Then my world came crashing down.

In the latter half of 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And boy did that suck.

I stayed positive for quite a while. I was diagnosed in August, saw my surgeon in September and was scheduled for a lumpectomy on Halloween. And through those first few stages I continued working out with a vengeance. I was determined that cancer was not going to get in the way of my regained health. And then, surgery.

I wrote extensively about my surgery here. I still have a little PTSD when I think about it. The preparation on surgery day took the wind out of my sails and I came crashing down. And with it so did my motivation.

After I recovered, I headed back to the gym but my head was not in the game. Every time I moved my left arm, or felt a twinge from the scar, the experience that I went through flashed in my mind. Eventually I think I started to equate the gym and movement with one of the most traumatic experiences I had and eventually I just stopped.

And that would have been fine, had it been for a short bit, or had I sought counseling to process what I had been through, but the season turned out to be long. And though I have finally mentally recovered from my experience, I still hadn’t returned to my healthier habits. And now I feel a little like a woman using childbirth as a reason for my weight gain, even though my last baby joined us 22 years ago.

So, I decided to recommit and change my ways. And I decided not to go it alone since that hasn’t been working for me.

I have a friend, Michelle, who also happens to be a kick-ass personal trainer/wellness coach. And she’s the real deal, the complete package.

Michelle’s business is called Total Wellness For You — and her tagline says it all: Fitness | Nutrition | Accountability.

Let’s start with it’s all done through her custom-made app. From my eating plan, to tracking, to my workouts (which are primarily done right along side Michelle and her co-trainer hubby, Trevor on videos they have previously recorded), to gratitude tracking, to group access (a chat room with others who are working with TWFY coaching), it’s all contained in one place — and I love it.

I’ve worked with trainers before, but this is different. This is like having a trainer with me 24 hours a day.

One of the things that didn’t work for me in the past was meeting with my trainer once a week. I would meet, weigh in, get my new workout plan and most likely do a workout with the trainer. Then we would go our separate ways. Sometimes I had some eating plan, sometimes I would just use a program like My Fitness Pal, or Weight Watchers, which are fine programs, they just aren’t personalized and they aren’t something my coach sees.

Once done with the session, I was on my way and into my week, pretty much on my own. Sure I could text my coach, but when I slipped up, or wasn’t eating in a way that was most beneficial (even when I didn’t realize it) I wouldn’t think to text my coach, or worse yet, I would avoid them. The worst part is sometimes it would take they whole week for them to realize I was in avoid-mode because not having a ton of contact in between sessions was the norm.

With Michelle having access to everything in the app and there being a built-in message system, I reach out to her more often because it’s right there. I’m in the app several times a day tracking my food (which is based on a custom plan she designed for me), tracking my workouts, etc.

Yesterday, let me tell you, I was on the struggle bus with working out. Not-in-the-mood. But I knew if I didn’t work out and didn’t track it, I would lose my workout “streak” (Oh, did I mention the system congratulates you for jobs well done? My over achieving nature LOVES this feature) and I didn’t really want that. So I got my butt off the couch and did my workout, and you know what? It felt good. Not in the moment, but at the finish line, I felt … happy. Proud of myself for doing the hard thing.

I’m starting to feel like my old self again. Sure, the weight I regained is starting to come off again, as are the inches, but it’s more than that. I feel invigorated, more energetic, more focused, more hopeful. All good things.

I’m sure this feels like a paid advertisement for TWFY, it’s not. I just wanted to share what is different about Michelle and this training program and why I’m so excited. And since she’s online it doesn’t matter where you live, anyone can work with her from anywhere. So, if you’re looking for a new program/coach, reach out by clicking here. And bonus, she’s running a special through December 31st — just in time for the New Year. And feel free to tell her I sent you — I can’t express to her enough how thankful I am to have crossed paths with her…she’s one of a kind!

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