defyingfibromyalgia

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


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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.

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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.

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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?

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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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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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Think Like a Warrior

Slide1“You have to think like a warrior” ~ Chalene Johnson

Anytime you face a challenge, your mental state is the key to your success.  Even with a fitness challenge – without the right mindset, you will fail.  When I took the first step in this journey, I knew my mindset would have to change.  I’ve always been strong.  I’ve always been a fighter.  But that wasn’t enough.  I really had to become a WARRIOR.  That’s the only way you can survive life’s real challenges.  You coach yourself through those tough parts.  You tell yourself, “you can do this”, and you keep fighting the fight – warrior style.

How Do You Get There?

I think the hardest part in facing something truly CHALLENGING is getting started.  Once you get going, once you put one foot in front of the other, you’ll have some forward mobility.  The simple act of “deciding” is the key.  Making that choice.  Saying to yourself, “I can do this”, is really what it takes to get you started.  A lot of the other skills – the fight, the drive, and the determination – already reside in you.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t even consider facing the challenge in the first place.  Either you’re a fighter or you aren’t.  But only a true fighter can become a warrior.

What Keeps You Going?

There are many days – MANY DAYS – when I absolutely do not want to get up at 6 am and face this ridiculously challenging workout.  Just the other night, we arrived home after a weekend away.  It was Sunday and all day I’d been thinking, “YOU HAVE TO WORKOUT WHEN YOU GET HOME”.  Still, when we finally got home after driving for 9 or 10 hours, I almost convinced myself it was okay to skip it.  To put it off until another day.  It was 8pm and the workout was an hour long.  Heck, I wanted to be in bed at 9.  But, you know what? I did it.  And I felt SO AMAZING afterwards.

What keeps you going?  YOU DO.  You decide to do it.  Or you decide not to.  Whatever the challenge is – it’s up to you.  Yeah, it’s nice to have someone cheering you on, but really it’s all on you.  That’s the true test of life’s biggest challenges.  You have to face them on your own.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


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Recap: TurboFire Beachbody Challenge: Week 5

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5 weeks down, 15 to go! This week, we’ll do something a little different with my recap.  Now that I’m 5 weeks in, I can say I love each and every workout.  I get excited each night before bed when I check my calendar to see which workout I get to do in the morning.  My workouts are ALWAYS scheduled.  They are non-negotiable and that structure is encouraging and somehow comforting.  I love TurboFire.  I love being strong.  And I know this is the best thing I’ve ever done for MYSELF.

Improving

Facing this challenge head on has been pretty remarkable thus far.  Steadily, I am improving.  I am growing stronger and more confident in my abilities.  Steadily, fibromyalgia is getting further and further away.  My thoughts don’t surround it any longer.  I think of other things.  Things I can do now.  Things I couldn’t do before.  I think of the possibilities.  The world of possibilities that didn’t exist until I took this risk.  This challenge.  This journey to awakening the fighter that I’ve always been.

Overcoming

Even with such great strides, there is the old “habit” to overcome.  You know the one.  The years in the making habit of thinking “there’s no way I can do that”.  During this week of TurboFire, that habit made itself known.  There were certain things – things that would be challenging for anyone – and I thought “I shouldn’t even try that because I know I can’t do that” – CAN’T?!?!?!  And so I tried it anyway.  To my amazement, I CAN do that!

It’s all about overcoming those things.  Facing those challenges head on.  Finding out if you can, rather than assuming you can’t.  Sometimes you fail.  But sometimes you surprise yourself.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


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Why Physical Exercise for Fibromyalgia?

For most of us, the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia comes with strict warnings about curbing our activities in order to keep our symptoms at bay. We’re led to believe that with increased activity, our symptoms will worsen. And so, we go about our Fibromyalgia-controlled lives, taking tons of prescription medications to try and minimize the impact of these symptoms so we can go about our day-to-day activities. You know what? This is just plain WRONG!

Now, let’s be clear. I am not a doctor. I do not claim to offer medical advice of any kind. What I do offer is my story and how my symptoms have reacted to exercise.

How do I do it?

Well, the first obstacle to overcome in adding physical exercise to your once-sedentary life is getting started. The key here is to find the right exercise for YOU. Not me. Not your friend. Not your sister that is perfectly healthy. YOU. I started with yoga several years ago – mostly because that’s all I believed I could do. Also, I really love yoga. BUT, it wasn’t enough. Find what works for you. Maybe it’s walking. Maybe it’s using the treadmill at the gym. Maybe you feel like really challenging yourself with something like Turbo Jam or Zumba. Whatever it is, just start. Start carefully. Maintain an awareness of your body and your wellness the entire time. But start.

Once you get the ball rolling and you start feeling what it does for you, I think you’ll be hooked. I sure am. There have been multiple studies in recent years that have proven cardio exercise to be an effective way of minimizing the symptoms of FM. What hasn’t your doctor told you? Hmm. You got me. That’s why I do my own research so I can be in total control of my health, my fitness, and my condition. Relying on someone that is paid to tell you the answers may not always be the best solution.

The Results

Like all things, the results of physical exercise will differ from person to person. I know what the research suggests and I know what has happened to me as a result of dedicating myself to a cardio training program. A few things that can happen as a result of exercising:

  • Strong Muscles. As you strengthen your muscles, your body is better able to ward off pain. The stronger you are, the easier it will be to move. You can prevent muscle atrophy, which is a common result of the lack of movement FM sufferers are instructed to maintain.
  • Energy Levels. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I have energy. As you know, FM depletes all energy from the body. It’s like you are completely exhausted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Exercise gives you energy!
  • Happy. It’s been proven time and time again that exercise releases endorphins, which will instantly boost happiness. With depression and anxiety being very common for FM sufferers (including me), this was a HUGE help.
  • Empowerment. This may be the biggest one for me. When I began my training program, I took control. I took BACK control from FM, which I had allowed to have total control for years and years. Actively participating in an exercise program gives you control of the process and it makes you feel powerful. Unstoppable even.
  • Improved Sleep. Hallelujah! I can sleep. There’s nothing like being exhausted 24/7 and unable to sleep. Ever. But that’s what happens for most people with FM when they don’t take measures to improve symptoms. Exercise makes you tired. You sleep. It’s wonderful!

I’m in it for the long haul

I grew up playing tennis. I was very active throughout my childhood and much of my adulthood. Until I was diagnosed. I believed I couldn’t live that life anymore. It was taken from me. But I was wrong. Now that I’ve found my way back to this amazing, active lifestyle, I don’t plan to ever go back. This is a lifestyle change I’ve made for myself. I’ve also made it so that I am able to enjoy hikes, walks, and other activities with James and the rest of my family. I realize not everyone has the same story or the same symptoms. And for some people, this may seem impossible right now.

But, maybe you could try something. Maybe you could decide to go on a ½ mile walk every day for 2 weeks. And then you can go on a 1-mile walk every day for two weeks. And on and on. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll notice something. Maybe you’ll start to feel better. What do you have to lose? Your FM symptoms? Well, I certainly don’t miss mine!


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Recap: TurboFire Beachbody Challenge Week 4

Slide1Another week down!  Woohoo!  Okay, so that’s 4 down, 16 to go.  But who’s counting?

Let’s take a look at week 4, shall we?

Summary: I like to kick, I like to punch, I like to HIIT

Like all other weeks, this one started out with a BANG!  Chalene likes to jump right in and get your week started with an intense workout.  But then, all of TurboFire is rather intense.  So, there were Fire workouts, there were HIIT workouts, there were Sculpt workouts, and there was the formerly dreaded Core 20/Stretch 40 workout.  This week, I seemed to move through the workouts with less effort than the previous weeks.  Even as things get “easier”, each workout leaves you out of breath and SWEATY.  I can feel the results and I love it!

The Best

At this point it’s tough to pick a favorite.  I love every TurboFire workout.  And, what’s even better is I’m able to think less and less about the fact that this would have been impossible a short while ago.  I focus on pushing myself and getting it done each time I push play. And that’s just what I do.

My favorite moment of the week was the completion of the HIIT 20 / Sculpt 30 workout.  It was the longest HIIT workout thus far and I KILLED it.  I am unstoppable! 

TF_product_configuration_170x100What is TurboFire Doing for Me?

Now that I’m a few weeks into the schedule, I think it’s good to reflect on the process as a whole and really share the things I’m gaining from it.  It’s impossible to list everything, but a few things really stand out.

  • Fibromyalgia: Probably the most obvious outcome of this challenge is the affect it’s having on my FM symptoms.  I’m not saying the symptoms don’t exist, because they do.  What I am saying is that they are not the central theme of my life any longer.  Being fit is.  Being capable is.  Being strong is.  FM has really taken a backseat to all of these positive things.  Thanks to my choice to get up every morning, push play, and really PUSH myself through these tough workouts.
  • Confidence: To say this process has pushed my confidence through the roof would be an understatement.  The fact that I’m doing this for ME is like saying to myself “YOU matter; YOU’RE worth it; YOU deserve a better life.” It makes me feel important, valuable, and unstoppable.  This has changed how I see myself, how I feel about myself, and the confidence I have every single day.
  • Strength: This may seem obvious, but TurboFire really makes you STRONG.  Both inside and out.  I love feeling empowered and like I can take on any challenge.  It makes me more capable of facing any obstacle that comes my way.

Final Thoughts

I chose not to have a “least favorite” workout this week.  At first, the challenge of the whole thing becomes a bit overwhelming, but I am now at the point where I look forward to each day’s workout.  I check my calendar before bed to see which one I “get” to do in the morning.  I absolutely love this and love what it’s done for me.  Finding your “soul mate” workout is a beautiful thing.  Are you ready to find yours?

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon