defyingfibromyalgia

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


2 Comments

From Impossible to Possible: It’s All in the Mindset

Progress Pictures, ChaLEAN Extreme Week 8

Progress Pictures, ChaLEAN Extreme Week 8

When I started this journey, pretty much everything seemed impossible.  I was told by “experts” that the most exercise I could ever hope to do would be yoga and walking.  So, for YEARS, I accepted that as fact.  I accepted that this was my life – this would always be my life.  But, when it comes down to it, what do they know?  They don’t have fibromyalgia.  They don’t know what a stubborn, determined FIGHTER I am. Yes, it’s tough.  And most people probably wouldn’t do what I’ve done.  But I have PROVEN that it’s possible.  After that, it’s up to you.

The Change in Mindset

I remember how I felt when I considered doing my very first program, Turbo Jam.  There was no one out there saying “this is possible because I did it”, so I was left to wonder if it really was possible at all.  But I was determined to find out.  So in spite of my mindset of “I really may not be able to do this”, I tried.  And I did it.

The same thing happened with TurboFire.  I looked at the videos and thought, “How in the hell am I going to do this?  Is this even possible?”  I mean, it REALLY seemed impossible.  But I pushed play that very first day and I never stopped.  20 weeks later I was done.  And something magical happened midway through the program.  My mindset changed.

Somehow, I stopped being someone with fibromyalgia and started being someone overcoming an obstacle.  As soon as that switch was flipped, everything changed.  To this very day, I’m asked to share my story with others because it is seen as “amazing” and I am uncomfortable with it.  I feel that I am the same as everyone else. I see myself as a (very stubborn) woman with a (tough) obstacle.  I see myself as someone that USED to have fibromyalgia.  I see myself as just like you.  Just like anyone else that has something to overcome.  (which is everyone)

My Latest “Impossible” Accomplishment

I’m 8 weeks into my latest program, ChaLEAN Extreme.  It’s a circuit training program with a HUGE focus on strength training and lifting HEAVY.  Believe me when I tell you that, once again, I wondered if this program would be possible for me.  But, unlike the other times, as soon as I had that thought I remembered each previous obstacle.  I remembered the first time I pushed play on Turbo Jam, the first time I completed a TurboFire HIIT workout, and the overwhelming achievement of summiting 13,000-foot Mount Audubon and completing an 8 hour, 19 minute hike.  With those thoughts came the reality that, while CLX might be difficult, it IS possible.  One thing I’ve learned in this amazing journey so far is this: “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”.  And I do mean anything.

As I started my final circuit with CLX today, I knew it would be tough.  I previewed the workouts and with mouth gaping opened I thought, “holy crap, this is going to be tough.  But I can totally do it.”  Day 1, Lean Circuit 1.  Seriously guys, this is a tough workout.  There are tricep pushups, plank with a single arm tricep extension, and a zillion other things that I would never have even attempted only 1 year ago.  But I did it.  And I will complete the next 4 weeks with the same determination and drive as every single other challenge.  Because that’s what I’m made of.

Why TRYING is the First Step

As soon as you make the decision to try, you’re changing your mindset.  Your choosing CAN over CAN’T.  Your choosing a better life.  No matter what your obstacles, this is the first step to changing everything.  I never imagined 1 year ago that I’d be where I am today.  I was in terrible pain constantly and my life was HARD every second of every day.  I was depressed and hopeless.  I was overweight and unhealthy.  And I figured that’s how it would always be.  Until I’d had enough.  Until I decided to TRY.

So, when will you make that choice?  When will you decide enough is enough? 

2014 will bring even bigger advances for me.  I will complete program after program, continuing this life-changing trend.  Continuing to defy the odds.  Continuing to leave my obstacle in the dust.  Continuing to forget that I used to be a girl with fibromyalgia.  Continuing to be a FIGHTER that overcame an OBSTACLE.

TBB_blue

Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


3 Comments

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.

TBB_blue

Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon


2 Comments

Facing Your Fears

All too often, fear paralyzes us.  It prevents us from taking chances, from growing, from becoming a better version of ourselves.  What I’ve learned is, when you face your fears, you become stronger and more resilient.  Your confidence goes through the roof and you reflect on the experience thinking, “I can’t believe I just did that!”  And what a great feeling that is.

IMG_3564Let Fear Motivate You

Since I began my journey, I’ve been on a mission to squash every fear I have.  My fear of failure.  My fear of being unable to do something.  My fear of making my condition worse.  It’s always been about my mindset.  It’s a sort of a “What have I got to lose?” situation.  I mean, really.  What do you have to lose?  If you start out in unbearable pain – constant pain.  If you start out exhausted and unable to enjoy life.  What do you have to lose by pushing yourself?  In my mind, not much.  And so that’s where I started.

As I’ve made progress, I’ve been able to accomplish things that truly seemed impossible.  So much so that I’ve never even considered doing them.  And then, all of a sudden, I find myself doing them.  There have been so many achievements of which I’m proud in this journey.  My first HIIT workout – that was a WOW kind of moment.  The first time I found myself able to do burpees – it was like, how in the world am I doing this?  And the first time I was able to reach a summit.  Now that was really something.

Getting to the Summit

So, the first summit wasn’t exactly planned out.  We just sort of went hiking and there we were – at the top.  At the beautiful, breathtaking, emotional top.  At the 13,000-foot top.  At the 3 ½ hour hike top.  It was AMAZING.  And at the time, it was certainly the most difficult thing I’d ever done.  That is, until the following week…

IMG_3680Mount Audubon

August 25, 2013

Mission: Mount Audubon

Elevation: 13,223

Feeling: Determined

Start time: 8:21 AM

With dogs in tow, we set off to reach the summit. James (my significant other) and I had no idea what kind of adventure we were in for.  But, as we climbed, we found out it was a bit more of a challenge than we’d expected.  As we ascended the mountain, we were taken aback by the views.  The ever-changing landscape of the mountain.  It was truly stunning and impossible to capture in photos.  We climbed.  We went from dense forest to rocky paths.  And I mean rocky.  We weren’t really tracking the time – we just IMG_3672kept going.  We reached the switchbacks and that’s when things got interesting.  We didn’t think the views could get better, but they did.  And better.  And better. We also didn’t think the path could become more treacherous, but it did.  And it continued to do so all the way to the top.

The Final PUSH

We sat down right before the final push to the summit and looked up at the path we had to conquer.  We had a light snack and tried to compose ourselves.  The fear was building up inside me and I was having one of those conversations with myself.  “You can do it”, “You can do anything”. Thinking of the things Chalene Johnson yells at me during my workouts.  The “trail” was entirely made up of rocks.  Boulders really.  I had never done anything like this and I WAS TERRIFIED.  It was time to go.  I came to get to the summit and a bunch of rocks weren’t going to stop me.IMG_3728

I stood up and looked at where I’d spend the next hour.  It was less than a half-mile, but it would take us an hour to get to the top.  It was wobbly rock after wobbly rock.  Fear was building.  I stepped, looked for something to grab, hoped my dog wouldn’t fall, and honestly thought several times that this would be how I would die.  I was okay with that because I was doing something impossible.  I was happy and proud that I was even trying.  And I was pretty sure no one with Fibromyalgia had ever tried this before.  I was also sure that 95% of “normal” people would never consider trying this.

IMG_3724Finally, we were at the top.  I sat on a rock (there were plenty!) and wept.  Happy tears. Tears brought on by relief and adrenaline.  I just sat there.  I looked around at the incredible views and thought “holy sh*t, how did I get up here?”  Then came the tough part: the descent.  After being so scared, how was I going to get down the mountain?  Time for another conversation with myself.  This one consisted of, “There’s no other way down.  You have to do this. You have no choice.  You can do this.”  And then we set off to descend the mountain.  To somehow get down these rocks.

Mission AccomplishedIMG_3735

8 hours and 19 minutes after we started our hike, we made it to the bottom.  I had never been so happy to see cars, other people, and a place to sit.  On our way down I said to James, “I really don’t think this was worth it.” When I got to the bottom I said, “I’ve never been more proud of myself.  It was totally worth it and I’d do it again.  Just not anytime soon.”

TBB_blue

Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon