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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How I Overcame Fibroymyalgia

IMG_5816It’s been a while since I’ve updated my story here.  I guess I’ve been busy enjoying the fact that I have my life back.  In the past several months, so much has happened.  I’ve been privileged to speak with dozens and dozens of fellow fibro warriors that seem to want to make a change.  All too often, the reality of the process scares them off.  But, even so, I gained much from each interaction.  It’s made me somewhat of an expert in the field, in spite of my lack of medical training and degrees.  In my journey I found that doctors were never much help anyway.  I discovered some interesting links in the backgrounds of each person and many correlations in the current lifestyle, nutrition, and lack of exercise.

It’s a gift to be able to connect and have people so openly share with me their stories and obstacles.  What’s clear is that

Mount Flora Summit - August 17, 2013

Mount Flora Summit – August 17, 2013

these obstacles are HUGE and seem impossible to overcome.  I remember what that was like.  It’s also clear that there is a strong connection with a trauma of some kind and the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Almost every person I’ve spoken with either had childhood trauma (often repeated for many years in the form of abuse) OR a significant trauma as an adult, such as a serious injury or illness.  It’s also clear that what we choose to nourish our bodies with TODAY will determine the course of our future.  It will decide if we end up in a wheelchair or at the summit of a 13,000 foot mountain.  I obviously chose the latter.   It truly is a CHOICE.  We choose to either give in or put up a fight.  We choose to either say CAN or CAN’T.

What Made the Difference?

If you’ve followed my story at all, you know this hasn’t been easy.  This ISN’T easy.  There is no overnight solution.  There is no magic pill.  There is HARD WORK.  There is the power of CHOICE.  There is POSITIVITY.  It’s frustrating to see the number of people who WANT so badly to make a change, but are too afraid to FAIL.  Failure is a gift!  Failure is our greatest teacher in life.  Without failure, there can be no achievement.  So what are you all afraid of?  I admit, when I started my journey in March 2013, I was TERRIFIED of failure.  I had no idea if I could do it.  But you know what I was more terrified of?  Living the fibromyalgia life.  Living the same life I’d been living for many years.  A life filled with pain and weakness; fear and exhaustion; hopelessness and depression.  That scared me more than failure ever could.  That’s what made the difference for me.

As soon as you realize you have 2 potential futures – one with constant pain, exhaustion, and perhaps even a wheelchair; or one with freedom, energy, happiness, and health – you’ll be on your way.  Once you see that dark future; the fibromyalgia future – you become a WARRIOR.  You become unstoppable.  You will do anything to fight back, to take your life back.  And that’s just what I did.

IMG_5797My Results Thus Far

So, I started this whole crazy ride in March 2013 when I turned to my best friend who also happened to be a coach for Beachbody.  The first thing I decided to do was deal with my nutrition.  I knew what I was eating only made things worse. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I’ve done for myself is start using a superfood meal replacement shake called Shakeology.  This has changed everything for me.  Without it, I would NOT be where I am today.

So step 1 was a 21-day detox called The Ultimate Reset.  This did AMAZING things for me.  By the end, I felt almost “normal”.  I was able to HIKE!  I was vegan, coffee free, and medication free.

Step 2 was a cardio kickboxing program called Turbo Jam.  Was it tough? Yes.  Did I want to give up? YES.  Did I feel like a failure almost every day? YES YES YES.  BUT, I kept pushing play every day for 8 weeks.  By the end, I had no symptoms.

Step 3 was a DIFFICULT cardio program called Turbo Fire.  I have to admit, this seemed impossible when I previewed the videos before I started the program.  But I DID IT.  All 20 weeks of it.  And fibromyalgia was LOSING.

Step 4 was a strength training program called ChaLEAN Extreme.  I was amazed that I could lift weights!  I hadn’t had symptoms in months.  And I finished this program too.

Now I’ve moved onto P90X3.  This program is tough too.  But now I don’t even consider myself a person with fibromyalgia.  I honestly don’t even think I would be diagnosed with it today.  I have my life back because I FOUGHT for it.  It’s been over 300 days since I’ve had a symptom.  So you tell me if it was worth it.  Tell me if it’s worth it to try.  To fight back.  To be willing to WORK HARD.

So, Where Do You Start?

You start by being willing to try.  You start by telling fibromyalgia to take a back seat.  You start by letting your DETERMINATION take over.  I love sharing my story.  I do it because I want every person out there with fibromyalgia or any other huge obstacle to know there is HOPE.  There is always HOPE.  My #1 goal in being a Beachbody coach is to help people who are ready to try.  If you want to sit around and complain about your obstacles, I can’t help you.  If you’re ready to FIGHT, I’m here to be your BIGGEST CHEERLEADER.

IMG_5203Are you ready to fight back?  Contact me at CoachWendyGordon@gmail.com to join the fight.

 

 

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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 to Pick Your “Soul Mate” Workout

P90XLogo_low_restaiCheng_logo_lowresInsanityLogo2be_logo

tf_logo_lowresPUMP_Logo_RGBturbo_jam_logoChaLEAN_logo_low_res

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably started at least a dozen different workout programs – only to get bored, give up, or fail to finish for some other reason.  You probably felt really bad about yourself afterwards, wondering why you couldn’t find the determination to finish.  Consider this: what if those workouts weren’t “right” for YOU?  What if each of us has a “soul mate” workout?  What if all it takes to get fit and STAY FIT is to find that perfect workout?

Exercise for Fibromyalgia: How to Find Your Soul Mate

Whether you have FM or not, finding the right workout can take some time.  There are a lot of factors to consider in your quest for the right fibromyalgia workouts – or workout for anyone for that matter!

  • Your Goals:  Before you can choose your workout, you have to identify your goals.  Is this about weight loss? Health? Fitness? A challenge? All of the above?  What does this mean for you?  With that in mind, you’ll be better prepared to choose your soul mate Beachbody workout.
  • Time: How much time can you devote per day to working out?  If you only have 25 minutes, why choose a program that requires 55 minutes, 6 days a week?  That’s a recipe for disaster.  Be realistic about the time you have and you’ll be even closer to finding the best Beachbody exercise program.full_trainers_lineup_low_res
  • Trainer:  This is SO important.  If the trainer annoys you, offends you, or just rubs you the wrong way, DON’T CHOOSE THAT WORKOUT!!!!!!!!!!  Do a little research and watch a few videos of the trainer FIRST so you’ll know if you feel that all-important connection.
  • Workouts of the Past:  Consider the workouts you’ve done in the past.  What have you liked about them?  What did you not like about them?  This will really come in handy as you seek the perfect fit.
  • Fun:  A workout program you’ll want to stick with will be FUN.  What’s your motivation to get out of bed a 6am (in my case) and hit that workout hard?  For me, fun is certainly on that list.
  • Challenge:  Equal to fun is challenge.  If you get bored with the workout, you haven’t chosen wisely.  Make sure you choose something that you can grow with, something that will challenge you the whole way through.

With dozens of Beachbody workout programs to choose from, you can easily find the right fibromyalgia workout for you!

Top Beachbody Workouts for Fibromyalgia

Every person is different – and at varying stages of recovery, pain, and fatigue.  While I’m not a doctor, I am someone who understands first hand what it’s like to live with FM.  And so, I feel pretty comfortable with these recommendations for fibromyalgia workouts:

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  • Tai Cheng:  If you are in a great deal of pain and need to start with something light, this would be the perfect foundation.

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  • TurboJam:  If you’re craving cardio, but don’t want to jump straight into TurboFire, Insanity, or P90x, TurboJam is lower impact, but still has the fun and cardio workout you’re after.

tf_logo_lowres

  • TurboFire:  What can I say, I love it!  It’s a challenge and it truly does empower me to fight fibromyalgia – and WIN.

I’ve also read success stories with FM patients completing Insanity, P90x and many other Beachbody programs.  Give one a try!  You might surprise yourself!

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon