I am a mom of three kids, ages 17, 14, and 11. I had my third child at 40yrs old. I spent my thirties pursuing a career in science after obtaining a Ph.D. in Immunology. After the birth of my first son, we moved across the country so my husband could pursue his own career in science. It was then I got off the career track and became a stay-at-home mom. Fast forward to my early 40s with three kids and a busy life. Most days I felt tired, suffered from insomnia, and never lost that last 10lbs of baby weight. It was then that a friend suggested I try P90X as her husband loved it, and she felt it was similar to how I had trained while I was in graduate school. What an eye-opener!!! Within two weeks, I was sleeping so much better. My energy levels increased. I felt younger, stronger, more confident, and sexy! I realized that I need to focus on me as well as my family so that I could be healthy and thriving in my senior years since I would be approaching 60yrs old by the time my youngest heads off to college!
Several months after I had completed P90X and Insanity, my Team Beachbody coach convinced me to try to Shakeology. I was very pleasantly surprised by my increase in energy! Well, rather, I was shocked by my decrease in energy after not drinking Shakeology for a week! I was then catapulted into actively coaching when a friend told me how I had changed her life with Shakeology. For the first time in years, she had relief from her Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I knew then that Shakeology was something more than just getting in enough calories in my day. I knew that it was the unique combination of superfoods that helped to balance my blood sugar levels, gave me energy, and helped me to recover from tough workouts. I wanted to help others feel better, more energetic!!!
I continued with various Beachbody programs for several years. It was then I noticed that both my endurance and strength were decreasing. I thought I was over-training so I took a month off. That didn’t solve my lack of strength or fatigue issues. I thought I wasn’t eating enough. I do often forget to eat. I put on a few pounds but that didn’t solve my health issues either. I was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome. It really hit home for me after reading an article about the difficulty Venus Williams had been having trying to maintain her career as a professional tennis player after her Sjogren’s Syndrome diagnosis. It was at this point, I began learning how certain foods impact our immune system. I have subsequently been tentatively diagnosed with yet another autoimmune disease, Myasthenia Gravis. Lupus has been thrown on the table several times by different doctors as well. Life now is not about surviving with autoimmune disease, but THRIVING with autoimmune disease. I have found that proper nutrition and exercise is critical for to me to manage my illness. It is about listening to my body when it needs to rest, knowing which days I can push hard and which days I need to dial it down a notch. I am still finding my way with the Autoimmune Protocol – which foods trigger a flare, which foods I can eat in moderation – I am determined to lead a long and active life in spite of these challenges.
Now that I am 50 years old, I have found that what worked to maintain my weight in my 30s and 40s was no longer working. I was slowly gaining weight each year. I noticed that my fasting blood sugar was rising as was my HbA1C. I feared I was on the path to diabetes. I started learning in earnst about low carbohydrate, high fat diets to reduce my insulin levels. I was shocked to learn that so many of my beliefs about nutrition were in fact wrong, fueled by lobbyists from the food industry and perpetuated by the Standard American Diet food pyramid. Thus began my nutrition journey to health and healthy weight!
There are so many walking the same path that I am. I hope that together we can forge a smoother path. Come with me as I share what has worked for me and others.