In the winter of 2016, I found myself in a job that made me incredibly unhappy due to a toxic environment working as a medical surgical nurse on a very dynamic unit. My weight sky rocketed up to 190 pounds due to maladaptive coping mechanisms which included binging on both food and alcohol. I became increasingly aware that I would end up in a hospital bed myself if I did not start making some changes. I never had an issue with working out. I always had a gym membership of some variety, but my lifestyle choices along with my stress level never lead to any lasting results.
I started working out at Custom Fitness Specialists in March of 2016. Shortly thereafter, I also started working with Lisa Feran on macro counting, which was a huge behavioral adjustment for me. It held me accountable to eat more throughout the day. Macro counting also made me aware of my previous binge eating and made me honestly evaluate times when I would go over my allotted daily macros.
I dropped about 25 pounds by being 75% compliant with my macros and working out at Custom Fitness 3 days a week. I was still drinking alcohol quite heavily several days a week. In February of 2017, I contracted influenza which then turned into a septic pneumonia. I missed almost a month of work due to the severity of my illness. As a result of my illness, I decided that if/when I got better I would put more effort into my personal wellness.
I started a new job as a RN in the emergency department which reduced my stress and increased my life satisfaction immensely. I drastically reduced my drinking and did not miss AM workouts due to being hungover. I also became 100% compliant with following my macro nutrient plan. As a result, I started seeing my body fat melting away. I started at 44% BF and dropped to the upper 20's. I was able to hit my "Tier 1" weight goal of 155 pounds.
My Coach, Lisa, encouraged me to continue my progress by signing up for the OCB Midwest States Body Transformation competition last Spring. I ate, trained, and practiced posing alongside Lisa's bodybuilding competition team. I had such an amazing experience with the team and at the OCB Midwest States that I continued moving forward. I had a short but successful reverse diet and am now preparing to compete in figure competitions this Spring!
Never in my life would I have thought I would be getting on stage 3/4 naked with a fake tan at the age of 37! I have experienced a personal revolution over the past 3 years. For me, the easy part of this transformation has been going to the gym. I have always been athletic and enjoyed physical activity. The hard part was getting my mind healthy by changing thoughts and behaviors that triggered maladaptive coping responses. Once I got a handle on my stress, anxiety, and depression, I was able to honestly evaluate and address my issues.
I am so excited for what my future brings personally and professionally. I am working on my health coach certification to pay forward all I have gained throughout this mental and physical transformation. I also wouldn't mind collecting a little "hardware" this Spring, but I have already won my biggest trophy: I have my health and wellness back!