Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
My name is Debra and I am 50 years young!!
Before I learned about Team Beachbody, 21 Day Fix, and Shakeology I was lost! I did not know who that woman was in the mirror! 40lbs over weight, Menopause, Fibromyalgia and a host of gastrological issues!!
It has been over a year now since I was in your position but it seems like yesterday! I remember the feeling of hopelessness, thinking I was destined to grow old unhealthy and unhappy! I couldn’t keep up with my son and was taking more medicine than anyone I knew!! It was sad, and It was a sad situation!
I am a woman of many things. I am the mother to 4 wonderful Children, one amazing boy with Down syndrome! He rocks my world, they all do! I am very blessed to have a wonderful man, my best friend by my side for the past 10 years. I am a Team Beachbody Coach, A Fine Art Photographer, as well as a disability advocate!!
The past 15 years have been incredible with so many ups and downs. But Let me back up a moment!
Growing up I was never what you would say an athlete! After the birth of my first child in the 80s I knew I had to get into fitness to lose all that baby weight I had gained. So I became interested in aerobics. It worked out good for a while! Over the years I have always struggled with weight if I did not do something active. I just did an occasional diet, got back on track and I was fine. I was never happy with the way I looked, and always trying to look and feel better. For many years it seemed to be the focus of my entire existence. But the weight stayed down, I was fit, and healthy and that was what mattered. ( besides my children and family of course)
In 2001 I had a very stressful time in my life. Because of so much stress I became anorexic. It was not a fun time in my life and the stress just took hold of me. I quickly recovered in 2002 when I was pregnant at the age of 36. In 2002 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy with Down syndrome. This was the most amazing thing that god has ever put in my life this beautiful baby, but at the same time very stressful. Between the baby being born with Trisomy 21 and having some health issues, I was also single. This was an extremely stressful time in my life.
Because I was a single mom I had to work full time. Raising a child with a disability was my priority. Making sure that every need was met! I also had my two other children that were still at the age of needing mom!! After a few small jobs, I landed a great job taking job taking care of our military families. Long hours, long days, but it was fulfilling and yes it was paying the rent. For years I sat at that desk not realizing what was happening. I was getting weaker, and I was getting SICK. I didn’t even know it. I had lost sight of who I was.
In 2007 I had shoulder surgery, 2010 Gallbladder surgery and diagnosed with Acid Reflux Disease and a few other gastrological issues. In 2011 shoulder surgery again on the same shoulder. In 2011 I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I saw doctor after doctor, received numerous steroid shots, and was pumped full of medication. I was miserable. Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue had completely run me down to the point where it was almost impossible to get out out of bed. Yet I had to, I had this little boy who needed and depended on me every moment of everyday!! As if that was not enough, BOOM, mother nature took control!
In 2011 I went into menopause!! My life was seriously spinning OUT OF CONTROL! My health was deteriorating and I had to do something!! The bags of Twizzlers, the donuts in the office, the office luncheons were all catching up with me. I had gone from 125 lbs to 170lbs. I had to make a change!
In 2012 I left my job to be able to care for my son better. Daycares, and afterschool programs were not working and I had little to no help with this. So with quitting my job came financial stress. One of the first things that I did when I left my job was I quit smoking!! Best thing that I ever did! It was hard, but I did it!!! Guess what happened? …… your right!! More weight!! I felt amazing without those nasty cigarettes, but more weight had come on!
So with my new freedom of not having to work 13 hour days, no more horrible commutes I started walking. I walked, and walked and walked. I felt good! I had a little bit of the Fibromyalgia under control, but after 2 1/2 years of doing this the weight still did not move. I was fearful of slipping back into being anorexic so I tried not to skip meals. I resorted to pain medicine to help with the pain from the Fibromyalgia, it was more of a coping mechanism for me than helping with the pain. I was at the heaviest and most unhealthy point in my life. How could this be I thought???? I thought, this is what getting old is all about. This is how I am going to be the rest of my life. I was going to start shopping for house coats and moo moo dresses!! I had given up hope!
I was not happy with the person that I had become! I had this beautiful boy who was a gift from god and two older children that still needed me. I could help but constantly think about not being around to care for my son. Or … my son needing me and I was not able to get up off the coach to help him. My son needs 24/7 supervision. He is nonverbal, and needs me. I was a mess, depressed, over weight, getting old, in constant pain, and alone.
In the summer of 2015 after seeing some photos of myself and ashamed at how I looked, I made the decision. No more feeling sorry for myself, I had to make a change!
Then something clicked!
Keep reading to see how I went from this……..
…… to this…..
I had heard the words “Insanity” , “P90x” and PiYo! I had followed Chalene Johnson for her marketing expertise for a few years and then PiYO came out; I had a feeling in my stomach. I was not sure what it was but it was there. Like many people though I brushed it off as a silly dream, I am too old for all that, and didn’t listen to my instincts.
I was reintroduced to these programs by Beachbody again this past summer 2015. Not working, not having a lot of money I was hesitant. I was asked to join a challenge group on Facebook just to give it a try!!
I borrowed PiYo from my coach and did it! I lost my first 3 stubborn lbs in less than a month! I was amazed! That my weight actually moved!! After seeing everyone’s success stories I was convinced that the key to all this I was missing was I was not drinking Shakeology. So Month 2, I joined yet another one of her challenge groups and this time I started the 21 Day Fix with Shakeology! I didn’t care how I was going to afford it but I did it. I scrapped, I saved, I went without out other things just so that I could afford this amazing shake. I had to get a handle on my nutrition and understand how it all works, along with rebuilding my muscles after years of destroying them!
By the end of month two, I felt amazing!!!!!!! Yes AMAZING!!!!!!! I had lost 11 lbs and several inches!!!! I was ecstatic!!! I thought to myself If I can turn my life around and do this then so can others! No one is ever too old to take care of their health and feel fit and active again!! It is never too late!!! So after month 2 I became a coach! I wanted to reach out to as many people my age and get them to see that we do not have to sit down and wither away because we hit menopause or are over 40!!
My second motivation was Fibromyalgia! This is the absolute best thing I could have done to beat this crazy illness! With the proper strength building, stretching and cardio, my Fibromyalgia is under control! AS of September 2015 only 3 months after my very first day with Beachbody, my Fibromyalgia was in remission! GONE!!
My third and final decision maker was other families with children or loved ones at home with disabilities. You see, it is very demanding! We spend so much time caring for our loved one with a disability that most of the time we forget to take care of ourselves! Many live on fixed incomes because they CAN’T work outside the home! Like what happened to me!! We spend our life caring for this child/person it is our priority! It is who we are!! If these first three months of being with Beachbody have taught me anything it was that we CAN do both! We can continue to be the caregiver god made us for this angel, and at the same time care for ourselves! We have to!! We have to to be just that much better, that much quicker, and stick around for a whole lot longer!!!
It is commitment, and believing in myself that I have accomplished so much these past few months! I want to pay it forward and give others that hope, that belief and confidence that they can do anything if they just believe in themselves!!
I am still on my journey!!! I am still working on my goals!! As of September 2016 I have lost 38lbs, 36 inches, down 5 sizes and I feel amazing physically, and mentally!!! I have found me again!!!!
If you want more information on how Beachbody can change your health for the better, I would love to be your personal FREE coach and show you what has worked for me.
Love health and fitness and want to help others?