defyingfibromyalgia

My journey from CAN'T to CAN – one workout at a time.


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My Review of ChaLEAN Extreme: Yes, Someone with Fibromyalgia CAN Do It

ChaLEAN_logo_low_resOn January 12th, 2014, I completed my 3rd Beachbody fitness program ChaLEAN Extreme.  This was also my final Chalene Johnson program – for now at least.  Like all other programs, I was terrified before I started, unsure of my abilities, and excited to see how I would do.

First ImpressionsIMG_4791

I have to be honest here…  When I pushed play on my very first CLX workout, all I could think was “I miss TurboFire!”  I mean, how could I not miss it?  I spent 20 weeks of my life doing TF.  20 weeks that CHANGED EVERYTHING.  TF will always be THAT workout for me.  The one that changed my life.  During TF, I summitted my very first 13,000 ft+ mountains.  I started feeling like a “normal” person.  I started to forget fibromyalgia ever existed.  And so I knew it would be tough to live without it.

I also was completely unsure of what to expect from my body.  I mean, yes, I had been symptom free for quite some time BUT I’d never lifted before.  To think of lifting weights – HEAVY weights – was crazy.  Just a few short months before I could barely hold my blow dryer because of the pain and weakness in my arms.  Nonetheless, I pushed play on the first day.  And I kept pushing play for the next 90 days.

IMG_5455I CAN Lift!

To my amazement, ChaLEAN Extreme proved what I was capable of.  I can lift and I can lift WAY heavier than I could’ve imagined.  The way the program works is this: you go through 3 unique circuits or rounds.  Each one being 4 weeks. First is the Burn Circuit, second is the Push Circuit, and third is the Lean Circuit.  Obviously Chalene Johnson knows how to put together a program, but I have to say it’s never been better than in this one.  You truly build STRENGTH and get RESULTS because of the way the program is laid out.

Tracking SheetsIMG_5609

This is SO important – especially with this program.  Beachbody provides tracking sheets, which you can download from the website.  By using them for each workout, you are able to look back and see how far you’ve come during the program.  I am amazed at how much heavier I could go by the end versus when I started.  CLX is all about going HEAVY and going SLOW.  It’s about FAILURE.  And it’s about RESULTS.  Tracking your progress is the only way you’ll know just how far you’ve come.

OverallIMG_5589

Like every other Beachbody program I’ve done, I LOVED CLX.  I will do it again for sure.  There’s something about lifting weights that just makes you feel like (for lack of a better term) a BADASS.  It’s 90 days of getting STRONGER.  Yes, there are cardio workouts.  Yes they are TOUGH.  There are also ab workouts that may or may not have had me yelling at the TV.  But this workout is AMAZING.  If you want biceps, do this workout.  If you want to get LEAN, do this workout.  If you want ABS, do this workout.  BUT, only if you’re willing to stick to the meal plan.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

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myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon

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The Truth About Overcoming Fibromyalgia: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

I’ve written about this several times, and I’m sure I’ll write about it several times more.  The thing is, most people out there aren’t quite hearing what I’m saying.  My journey has been nothing short of amazing.  But here’s the kicker: every single person out there could experience results like this IF they were willing to TRY.  That’s where I lost most of you.  But, I’m not one to give up that easily.  And so I’m going to lay it all out: what I did, how I did it, and how you can do it too.

The Decision

This is step one.  First you DECIDE you want a better life.  That you DESERVE a better life.  For me, this came during a serious ROCK BOTTOM situation.  In bed for a couple of weeks, in excruciating pain (as usual), and completely SICK of feeling that way.  That’s when I knew this wasn’t the life for me.  That I had to do something about it.  Now, no one can make this decision but YOU.  Just like no one can do the work but YOU.  This is all up to YOU.

Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition

Can I say it again? NUTRITION!  Few things are as frustrating to me as seeing people that claim to want to feel better posting about their fried chicken dinner or McDonald’s excursion with the kids.  THIS IS NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.  THIS IS WHY YOU FEEL LIKE CRAP ALL THE TIME!  Seriously folks, you will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER feel better until you CHANGE WHAT YOU EAT.  EVER!

Where do you start?  You start by eliminating processed foods, fast foods, and soft drinks.  YES, REALLY.  Why? Because they are poisoning your body.  Then you identify the foods that are making you sick by keeping a food journal.  Then you eliminate those foods.  The end result is a largely plant-based diet – that means, lots of fruits and veggies with lean, healthy protein.  I personally am vegan, but you can get healthy protein from animal products if you make SMART CHOICES.  Since I don’t eat meat, I can’t really help you identify the right meats to eat, but a little research will steer you in the right direction.

Shakeology helped me get my nutrition on the right track and it helps me keep it there.  It has been one of the single biggest factors in my transformation.  Send me a message if you’d like more info on that.

Fitness is HARD WORK

I know what you’re going to say: I CAN’T workout because I’m in pain all the time.  Guess what?  So was I when I started.  But I did it anyway.  You have to be willing to FIGHT to make progress. Once I corrected nutrition and started using Shakeology, I was able to get moving and start working out.  As you get fit, lose weight, and build strength, that’s when fibromyalgia starts to lose and that’s when you start to win. If you aren’t willing to work hard, fibromyalgia will always win.  ALWAYS.  It’s really that simple.

There is No Magic Pill

If you’re waiting for me to tell you about a magic pill, you’re in the wrong place.  If you’re waiting for me to tell you about a cure, I just did.  Fitness, nutrition, and HARD WORK.  That’s your cure.  I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS.  NONE.  Your cure is fitness.  Your cure is nutrition.  YOU CAN FEEL BETTER.  YOU CAN HAVE YOUR LIFE BACK.  Put in the work and you too can feel better, look better, and be FREE FROM FIBROMYALGIA.

I’m not saying the only way to do it is with the programs I’ve used.  I personally believe Beachbody products are the best out there because I am living proof.  BUT find what works for you and stick with it.  DO SOMETHING. MAKE A CHANGE.  Find your way out of the grips of this horrible condition.  Be willing to FIGHT.  Be willing to COMMIT.  Be willing to WORK HARD.

Complaining = USELESS

I used to complain all the time about my condition.  USED TO.  And a lot of you insist upon complaining day in and day out.  I understand that.  Really I do. BUT, until you STOP COMPLAINING and start focusing on POSITIVITY, nothing will change.  Change your mindset, change your life.  CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE.  Shift your focus.  Don’t let fibromyalgia be the center of your life anymore.  CHANGE IT.  Focus on your goals.  Focus on the things you want to do when you conquer your symptoms (not if, when).  Make the choice.  Change your life.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


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A Negative Mind Will Never Give You a Positive Life

brian tracy quoteI want you to take a minute and really think about this quote.  REALLY think about it.

I can tell you from experience – truer words were never spoken.  So, what does it mean?  Well, what does it mean to you?  To me, it means what you think, you become.  If you focus on negative things, you’re more likely to have a negative life.  If, on the other hand, you choose to focus on positive things, your life can become positive beyond your wildest imagination.  How do I know?  I’ve experienced this for myself.  This is the foundation for my life change.  Let me explain.

If someone were to ask you to describe yourself using three words, what would they be? For many of you, I’m guessing “fibromyalgia” would be in there somewhere.  I understand. That’s how I used to think.  Used to think.  What if you tried something new?  What if you replaced negative words with positive words?  What would happen then?  How long would it take for you to create a habit of positive self-talk?  How long would it take for that to change your entire way of thinking?

Not as long as you might think.

negative mind

When I started this incredible journey, my three words would have been: fibromyalgia, pain, disgusting.  Yes, really.  I was SO GOOD and negative self-talk. Years of practice, you understand.   Today? It’s tough to pick just 3.  Some of them would be: fit, fighter, determined, hilarious (seriously, I’m hilarious), positive, strong, compassionate, beautiful, and on and on.  So how did this happen?  I made a choice.  And I went through a little program called “The 30 Day Push” by Chalene Johnson. I HIGHLY recommend this if you’re ready to change your mindset and focus on positivity and goals, rather than negativity and obstacles.  Oh, and it’s FREE.

tf_logo_lowres

In all of my accomplishments –in completing the Ultimate Reset, Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire – in losing almost 30 pounds and countless inches – in gaining self-confidence and building a positive life – there is one thing I have yet to conquer – I WANT TO HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR MINDSET.   Now, I can’t do it for you, but one of my greatest frustrations is that so many of you STILL insist upon being negative, complaining, and dwelling in your problems.  Don’t you realize that I’VE done this?  Don’t you understand that I’m not any different than you?  Don’t you want to be free from your obstacles – whether it be fibromyalgia or obesity or something else?  Aren’t you tired of living like this?  Well then, why won’t you listen?  Why won’t you try?

ChaLEAN_logo_low_res

Okay, I’m done with my rant now.  My point is this:  YOU ARE POWERFUL, but you don’t know it.  YOU ARE STRONG, but you don’t yet see it.  YOU CAN DO THIS, but you aren’t ready to believe it.  Aside from my goal of continuing my fitness journey with ChaLEAN Extreme, my goal over the next 90 days is to CONVINCE YOU TO TRY.  Change how you think.  Change your reality.  It’s up to you, BUT I’m here to help you get started.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


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How’s Your Nutrition?

For anyone (especially those of us with fibromyalgia), nutrition is the KEY to feeling and looking your best.  Without the proper FUEL, it’s tough to find the energy to get through the day.  Energy is a thorn in the side of every person with fibromyalgia.  I know for me, it was debilitating to say the least.  When I decided to address nutrition, I took the first step in my journey.  I’ve certainly delved into this subject in previous posts (Ulimate Reset: Why Make the Commitment?, Why Shakeology?, Food = Fuel), but this time I want to give you useful tools to help you make the same transition in your life.  So let’s get started.

Forks Over Knives

This was a true turning point in my nutritional journey.  This film explains in a way no one ever has the importance of nutrition and the results of eating the wrong foods vs. the right foods.  FOK advocates a largely plant-based diet.  What does that mean?  It means you know where your food comes from.  While I’m vegan, that doesn’t mean being vegan is the only way you can stick to a largely plant based diet.  If you choose to include meat or fish, be smart about your choices.  As Americans, we tend to believe we “need” huge portions of meat and fish and tiny amounts of veggies.  The opposite is true.  Your meal should be mostly fresh veggies.  Every meal.  That’s what it’s all about.  Eat the right foods and avoid the wrong foods.  Check out the trailer.  The film is on Netflix so if you have it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND watching it.

Food Journal

After watching FOK, I knew I had to make some changes.  The first change was eliminating meat and fish.  Then I decided to try and figure out which foods were making me feel worse.  I had always known about “trigger foods” but didn’t want to admit that I needed to give up some of my favorite things.  Once I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I decided to give it a go.  The food journal should be kept for at least a week.

Here’s how it works:

  • Write down everything you eat for each meal and snacks.
  • Write down how much water you have each day.
  • Write down any activity you have each day.
  • Write down how you feel each day.

After a few days, it will become pretty obvious that certain foods and drinks are making you feel worse.  Some things to look for:

  • Coffee
  • Aspartame (Diet soda, splenda, etc)
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Processed foods (especially fast food)

Download it here: Weekly Food Journal

shakeology pinShakeology

I’ve said it a million times: Shakeology changed my life.  Literally.  I was really skeptical before I started using it.  I heard that I’d have more energy, lose weight, and just feel better.  It seemed impossible.  Until around Day 3 of using it.  I can’t say enough about it.  I believe every single person would benefit from using it daily.  So what makes it different from the average meal replacement shake?

Ingredients: Shakeology ingredients are sourced with not only the users in mind, but also the planet.  The ingredients are highly sustainable and in most cases harvested by hand.  They are SUPERFOODS and the creators of Shakeology scoured the globe for the finest ingredients with the highest nutritional content. Check out this video about where the ingredients come from.

Shakeology is packed with:

  • Proteins
  • Amino Acids
  • Vitamins & Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytonutrients
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics
  • Digestive Enzymes

Because it is packed with so many nutrients, Shakeology GIVES YOU ENERGY.  I mean, real energy.  Without it, I would never have been able to start Turbo Jam and I certainly would not have moved on to TurboFire.  It’s amazing stuff!

Get Your Nutrition on Track

I can’t say enough about the importance of addressing nutrition in order to support your body and find some relief from your symptoms.  If you would like help in your journey, feel free to contact me here or follow me on Facebook for info on upcoming support groups.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


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Fibromyalgia and the Beachbody Challenge: Why it Works

bb_challenge_lg_horiz_light_high_resI’ve talked a lot about my experiences with various Beachbody programs.  In doing so, I think it’s become pretty clear that these products have changed my life.  But, what I want to emphasize is this: there’s nothing special about me.  Nothing super-hero-esque that makes me able to do something you aren’t able to do.  I am just a person with FM that decided to fight back.  Each one of you has that same power – that same choice.  The reason I became committed to Team Beachbody is this: I truly believe these programs can change the lives of every single person that commits to them.  I see it and hear it every day.

So, what’s with the Beachbody Challenge?

Well, in case you didn’t hear about it, I’ve decided it’s time to host a Challenge Group.  It’s open to everyone, but my main focus is connecting with people that felt like I did a few short months ago – helpless, hopeless, and defeated.  I want to prove to you that you CAN feel better; you CAN fight back.  And there’s no better way than this environment of support.  So, why will it work for Fibromyalgia?  So many reasons….

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  1. Shakeology: When you’ve got the healthiest meal of the day in your arsenal, you’re truly set up for success.  Each Beachbody Challenge Pack comes with a 30-day supply of Shakeology – the best nutrient-packed meal replacement shake on the market.  The nutrients in Shakeology are the foundation for health and wellness, which is your key to overcoming FM.
  2. Support: By participating in a Challenge Group, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people that are facing the same challenges as you.  Group members will be there to encourage you on tough days and celebrate with you as you succeed.  The support available with Team Beachbody is the stepping stone to results and success.  When you feel hopeless, someone will be there to say, “you can do this”.
  3. Accountability: Being a Team Beachbody Coach means I’m going to be there for you every step of the way to hold you accountable and encourage you to achieve your goals.  More i6ff1f-foodfuel3mportantly, your group members will be there waiting to hear about each day’s workout.  That accountability is what will help you stick to the program and get the results you’ve always wanted.
  4. Meal Plans: Each program comes with an awesome meal plan. This totally takes the guesswork out of getting the nutrition you need to be healthy and get fit.
  5. Results: What can I say?  BEACHBODY GIVES YOU PROVEN RESULTS.  The programs work.  And, more importantly, getting fit is your BEST defense against FM or any other health condition.  This is how you fight back.  This is how you get results.  Physical exercise has been proven effective in fighting pain, fatigue, and other FM symptoms.  For more info on that, check out my post, “Why Physical Exercise for Fibromyalgia?“.

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What are you waiting for???

So, whether you have FM or not, it’s pretty clear that these programs are going to unlock your hidden potential.  It’s time to STOP letting people tell you what you can and can’t do and START proving them wrong.   I want everyone out there that is living with something like this to know one thing: you don’t have to settle for this life.  You CAN create the life you deserve.  Whether you’re ready to take the challenge or not, now is the time to improve your nutrition and get active!

Do something every single day to make tomorrow better.  You CAN do it!

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


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How Do You Defy It?

Slide1We all have obstacles. Yours could be fibromyalgia.  It could be obesity. Or diabetes.  There are infinite possibilities.  I’ve been asked several times how I defy fibromyalgia.  Trying to answer that in simple terms is difficult – there are so many things involved in this process. So I figured, why not devote an entire blog post to this complex, yet all-important question?

Mental

When you have something like FM, it’s easy to focus on the physical.  The pain, the exhaustion, the feeling that you CAN’T do what other people can.  Well, I’ve learned something that has changed the course of my journey: the MENTAL is much more powerful.  Defying Fibromyalgia is about 80% mental / 20% physical on most days.  Sometimes it’s more like 95/5.

The easy answer to how I defy it is this: I decided to.  It’s a decision you make.  A decision to fight back.  Whether you’re fighting FM, diabetes, obesity, or some other obstacle, your mental state is the key to your success.  Without the right mental state, none of the other elements are possible.  Maintaining proper nutrition, sticking to a workout schedule, getting through those tough workouts – none of that would be possible without making a mental commitment first.Slide1

Anytime you decide you’re ready to tackle that obstacle that’s been controlling your life for far too long, you’ve already taken the first step.  Defying FM – or anything else – is tough.  It requires determination, tenacity, stubbornness, and FIGHT.  Deciding to do it means you have those qualities.

Emotional

Like all big accomplishments, there is certainly an emotional side to my ability to defy FM day in and day out.  In the early stages, it was incredibly tough to remove my emotional self from the daily decision to fight.  Every accomplishment was an emotional high.  Every time I had a tough day, it was an emotional low.  Those tough days made me feel like I was crazy for trying.  That I couldn’t do this.  Those days reminded me that I have FM.  Luckily, the emotional investment made when I committed to this journey was more powerful than every negative thought I had.

Physical

beachbody ultimate resetThe physical aspect of my journey has been critical to my ability to keep moving forward.  I am motivated by my pain, my exhaustion, and my symptoms.  When I began the journey, I completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  This was a HUGE part of overcoming my physical symptoms.  It was a huge part of making a physical commitment to changing – of believing change was possible.  For me, there was the necessity to have things get worse before they could get better.  The first few days pushed me into horrific pain, but somehow I knew it was the end of it all.

As I moved through the process of defying FM, I entered the physical challenge of cardio exercise – which I honestly believed was impossible.  Each day that I pushed play, I was retraining my mind and body to believe I could do this.  Defiance enters the picture when the workout gets tough, when you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning to workout, and when you push through the pain to find your way to feeling better than ever.

Defy It!

The moral of the story?  All things are possible.  I NEVER thought I could overcome my symptoms.  I NEVER imagined being able to put FM in the backseat.  I NEVER knew I could live a life that wasn’t filled with pain every minute of every day.  But, here I am.  I’ve done just that.  By continuing the fight, I’m achieving things I thought were impossible. That makes it possible for you, too.  There’s nothing unusual about me.  I just decided to try.  You can too.