LOVING MY LIFE AGAIN!!
I smile every day now, but it’s been a very long, hard road for me the last 16 years.
I met the love of my life, got married and was ready to have kids but life had other plans. We tried for 8 years to have children and went through 16 (yes, 16) miscarriages. We tried everything available and it all failed. Injecting all the medications and hormones into me plus the miscarriages took a toll on my body. I was ready to give up when I got pregnant with twins at age 39. We didn’t think they were going to make it to term like the other failed pregnancies, but they kept growing. Two months before my due date, my liver, kidneys and heart began shutting down and my lungs filled with fluid. BP was 310/215 and rising. The babies had to be delivered ASAP or I was going to die. After they were born, the doctor said I was “seconds away from a coma”. It took a week to stabilize me enough to be able to hold my babies for the first time. I had to stay in the hospital until my body was back to normal, but it never really recovered. I was suffering from plantar fasciitis and could barely walk because of the pain. All my joints were on fire, especially my hips, knees and lower back. My Sacroiliac Joints in my hips were so far apart that the doctor could put his little finger in the joint. An MRI showed severe separation in my hip joints, my spinal column had two blown discs and another disc was pushing into my spinal cord causing the severe pain and loss of feeling/tingling in my legs. Another MRI showed 82% of my knee cartilage was gone. Every time I went to a specialist for help, they put me on pain killers and anti-inflammatories. They never stopped the pain and just made me feel dizzy. I had babies to take care of and could barely get out of bed!
One year later, I was pregnant with twins again…Surprise! I lost one baby at 10 ½ weeks. But the other baby stayed and was delivered 3 weeks before term when the doctors thought my body was done. This pregnancy made my body worse. My BP was never lower than 150/90, my joints were hurting worse than before, my hips joints were popping out of place daily, and my resting heartrate was 120 bpm. The pain was so bad that I could barely pick up my babies. I was also only able to sleep 1-4 hours per night. I could still barely walk. The doctors told me I would probably be heading toward a wheelchair and/or back surgery with no guarantee it would work. I was scared and exhausted, and the constant pain was impacting my mental and emotional states. It was so hard being happy and positive with so much pain every day. I had three babies and a wonderful husband that needed me!
We drove by Lifetime Fitness almost every day and decided to see what they could do for me. We were introduced to Tiffani and she started me on my fitness journey. I needed to fix my pain problems and lose all the weight I had gained. My first appointment was with Coach Brenda. She was very informative and helped me get my diet under control, including how to make healthier meals, when to eat, and how to stop snacking. I am definitely a “grab and go” girl and needed to stop that habit. She also helped me select my classes, including strength training, cardio and yoga. She told me I needed to strengthen my core muscles to help my back problems.
I was seeing the signs for the Spring 60day Challenge and decided to go for it! My father had just sent me a $100-dollar bill for my birthday, and I thought this will be my present. This was NOT easy at all! Due to my pain, I barely made it through the first classes. After picking up my kids from school, all I could do was lay in bed. But I still went back EVERY DAY because it was this or a wheelchair. By the end of the first month, I started to feel the results of my hard work! The pain in my joints was going down from eating healthier. The strength training, cardio, and yoga classes were helping me lose weight. At the end of the 2nd month, I am bouncing out of bed ready to take on the day! My sleep has increased to 6-8 hours per night. My resting heart rate is 58 bpm and my BP is now 110/68! But, the best part of this whole experience is that my family wants to be involved with my new healthy life. My husband asked if he could start doing this with me; he saw the difference it made and he has lost 10 lbs already. My 7-year-old asked if we could eat more vegetables “like broccoli and carrots” and I almost started crying. Now I can run around with my three kids instead of making excuses why I couldn’t play with them. We go more places and do more things as a family.
When I took my after-photos, I could see how much my body has changed for the better. And thanks to Lifetime Spa for my long-overdue hair and makeup! Even if I don’t win this contest, the rewards to my family and I have been greater than any prize I would have received. Thank you, Lifetime, for not only changing my life and health for the better, but for my whole family as well.