From the age of 15 until I was in my early 30’s I was always underweight (I even resorted to taking medication to increase my appetite to get me to 100 lbs!). In my late 20’s I started developing extreme fatigue and muscle & joint pain. Up until then I was a high-energy person. I was eventually diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes debilitating fatigue, affects the heart, lungs, joints and major organs. I was told the best way to manage this disease was to reduce stress. I managed to avoid the typical treatment of steroids for the first 15 years after my diagnosis. But, then came mid-life and hormonal changes which wreaked havoc on the Lupus. I needed to take prednisone briefly for the first time since my diagnosis. I gained 40 lbs in a 4 year period. I went from a size 6 to a size 12. I tried a weight loss program but I knew that without devoting time to exercise…..I wouldn’t make any real progress. I needed to do both.
With my family history (my mother had a heart attack at age 41 and my father has hypertension and had two strokes), my high blood pressure and high cholesterol, extra weight, along with Lupus – I was at a very high risk for developing heart disease like my parents and most of my relatives.
In 2010 I was unhappy in an extremely busy job, working as an Executive Assistant for 12-14 hours a day at a Boston hospital, with a long commute and just didn’t have the time or the energy to get motivated to exercise. I got the courage to leave that position and last January (2011) moved into a great new rewarding job that I love, at the same institution. It was just a month or so later that I began to face marital issues and eventual separation. My self-esteem plummeted. I knew I needed to take control of my life and find a way to cope with the stress, eat healthier and improve my strength. It was time to focus on me for a change. I believe that I was able to get thru this most difficult year in large part due to my training at Fitness Together.
I didn’t think I could afford personal training – but FT worked hard to find a way to allow me to manage it financially. I spend two days a week with my trainer- Dawn, who helps me find routines that protect me from injury. She knows when to push me and when to ease up if I am not feeling well. This method helps me stay consistent. I have more energy, strength and flexibility. I’ve lost 30 lbs!* I have 10 lbs to go to get back to my ideal dress size (6)!
Most importantly – I’ve significantly improved my health. I have been a client for one year, and recently had my first physical in nearly three years. I’ve lowered my blood pressure, reduced my cholesterol significantly, and my c-reactive protein (which measures inflammation- mine has always been very high) was completely normal for the first time in 20 years. I haven’t had a significant Lupus flare in more than a year. I feel better at age 50 than I did at 30!
The best part is that I love my time at the gym (especially the strength training) and really look forward to going. I am completely comfortable and happy with the entire staff at FT in Sudbury. I won’t ever look back. I have improved my mental and physical health, and I look forward to my happy and healthy future!*