defyingfibromyalgia

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


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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.

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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.

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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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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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Recap: Beachbody TurboFire Challenge Week 3

tf_logo_lowres

Dates: June 17 – June 23

Total Workouts: 6

Total Workout Duration: 315 Minutes / 5 1/4 Hours

Nutrition: Beachbody Shakeology Vegan Chocolate DAILY; Vegan Power Diet

Supplements: VegaSport Pre-Workout Energizer; VegaSport Recovery Formula; CoQ10; MSM / Glucosamine

Okay, I’ve made it through another week!  Phew!  As usual, TurboFire was the perfect combination of CHALLENGE and FUN.  That’s why I love it.  I was super impressed with some of my progress this week.  In fact, I think it’s safe to say I AMAZED MYSELF!  So, let’s take a look at the recap so you can see what I mean…

First Impressions

This is week 3 – I can totally do this.  I began with ZERO anxiety and 110% confidence that I would KILL every workout.  And I did.  A positive attitude goes a LONG way!

I made some major strides this week and grew a lot in my strength and durability.  I attribute that to two things: one, it’s been 3 weeks since I moved to a high altitude climate and I think I’m getting used to it; two, I’ve worked my butt off every single day.

Favorites

Well, well, well…  How to pick a favorite?  6 awesome, challenging workouts. 6 days of feeling empowered, strong, and invincible.  Here are a few favorite moments from the week:

  1. HIIT 15 + Tone 30 – Thursday June 20: This is the second time I’d done this workout and, well, it got a LITTLE easier.  The biggest thing?  I CAN JUMP!  When doing plyometric training, jumping is key.  When you have FM, jumping is HARD.  But, I kept trying until I could do it.
  2. BURPEES:  Okay, okay, okay.  I know a lot of you do these without breaking a sweat.  But, really, I didn’t think it would ever happen for me.  Chalene calls them “SUMO” but you know what she means.  You know you’ve got to try.  Until you CAN.  This week, I finally could.  And I was AMAZED.  This was the day I wrote my post “Amaze Yourself”.
  3. Core 20 + Stretch 40: In last week’s recap, I listed this as my least favorite workout of week 1.  After doing it each week, it’s moved to the favorite category.  It’s TOUGH.  But it WORKS YOUR CORE!  What I’ve learned is: your core really is the key to all movements, so you need to WORK IT.

Secret Weapons

  1. Shakeology: I suppose it’s really no secret, but I LOVE Shakeology.  It REALLY helps my symptoms and truly is the “Healthiest Meal of the Day”.  It gives you everything you need to FUEL your body and keep moving through the day.
  2. VegaSport: In watching TurboFire before beginning the program, Chalene mentioned drinking Beachbody Results and Recovery during workouts, especially HIIT workouts.  The thing is, it’s not vegan so I knew I couldn’t drink it.  So, I looked for a vegan option.  I found VegaSport.  Not only is it vegan, but it’s also formulated with ALL NATURAL ingredients. I use both the Pre-Workout Energizer and the Recovery Accelerator and LOVE THEM BOTH.  A great option if you want a natural way of soothing sore muscles after working out so hard.

Overall: Week 3

Hey, I did it!  I LOVE the challenge of TF and I love that your strength grows exponentially each time you workout.  My body is changing, I am growing stronger, and I feel better each day.  Actually, I feel AMAZING.  Fibromyalgia who?  Yep, it can kiss my grits.

See y’all next week for another recap!

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon

 


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Amaze Yourself!

Are you waiting for someone to come along and give you all the answers?  Someone to say, “This is how you will make your life better”?  Well, it ain’t gonna happen!  The thing about it is, this is YOUR life.  Take control of it.  Find the answers.  And do something to make your life better.  Make that choice.  And you just might be amazed.

I Can Do Anything!

Do you ever just feel invincible?  That’s what happens when you take control of your life.  When you start making positive changes.  Changes in your relationships, career, health, fitness, home, and anything else that might be bringing you down.  The changes I’ve made have led me down a path of amazement.  Amazement at MYSELF.  At the things I CAN do today that I COULD NOT do yesterday.  Sometimes, I just stop and think, “I’m amazing”.

Now, I don’t mean to sound cocky.  I’m anything but.  What I do mean to sound like is someone that is accomplishing something HUGE.  Someone that was completely incapacitated by a condition for the last 7 or 8 years that decided enough was enough.  Someone that took that condition by the b@!!$ and said, “you do NOT get to ruin my life anymore”.  That’s me.

And in so doing, I have been able to continuously grow in my abilities.  DAILY.  I wake up 6 days a week at 6am and workout.  I give it my all.  Today, I really had to stop and reflect on how far I’ve come this far and how amazing it really is.  I had to think about my inability to walk up a flight of stairs a few months back and my ability to do plyometric High Intensity Interval Training today and KILL it.  That’s amazing.  I had to think about the fact that I thought I would NEVER ever ever ever (times infinity) be able to hike and I do it EVERY DAY now.  I mean, can you see why I would say I amaze myself?

Do Something for YOU

The thing about what I’ve done is, while it does benefit those around me, I did it solely for MYSELF.  Every day when I workout, I do it for ME.  When I choose to eat healthy, I do it for ME.  What do you do for YOU?  Do you do enough for yourself?  Do you give yourself the opportunity to be AMAZING?  Go ahead, give it a try.  You just might achieve something you never thought you could.  The only way to find out?  Try.  Do something for you today!

AMAZE 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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“No, You Can’t” | “Yes, I CAN”

IMG_3064We’ve all got ‘em.  Those opposing inner voices.  There’s the good one.  The one that believes in you.  Then there’s the naysayer.  The one that thinks you’re a quitter.  When you’ve got something like FM, those voices are always at it.  Especially the naysayer.  Whether you’re walking the dog or just trying to get out of bed, that voice is always trying to get you to give up.  To admit that you just can’t do it.  And, man, how do you shut that thing up???

Well, I wish I could say I have the answer.  But I don’t.  That voice has developed over many years — over a lifetime of experiences — negative and positive.  She has been “trained” to tell you “you can’t do this”.  That voice is still in my head trying to convince me to give up on this journey.  To believe I shouldn’t be doing this.  To go back to being unable to do anything.  And, well, she doesn’t get to win.  Ever.  Again.  Nancy Naysayer already had several years, now it’s time for Polly Positive to get a chance.

So, how do you ignore that voice?

How do you push past the negative images, feelings, words, and beliefs to find your inner strength?  To find the voice inside you that believes you can?  It’s not easy.  And it’s something you have to focus on always.  Like all things, it’s a choice.

  • You choose to believe. 
  • You choose to try. 
  • You choose to hear positive words rather than negative ones. 
  • You choose to motivate yourself.  
  • You choose to overcome.

How do you get through a HIIT workout when you have FM? 

How do you choose to tackle an intense 20-week fitness challenge when you could barely walk up a flight of stairs just a few months back? 

It’s all the same.  You make a choice.  You either try or you give up.  You either listen to Nancy Naysayer or Polly Positive.  Believe me, I’ve got the “I can’t” voice SCREAMING at me during some of my workouts.  But I also have Chalene Johnson yelling at me to PUSH harderAND I have ME.  I have the person that I choose to be.  I have the person that I am becoming.  I have the will to be healthier than ever and to continue to strive for more.

You’re not alone.  Everyone hears “no, you can’t” – sometimes it’s from within, sometimes it’s from friends or family.  DON’T LISTEN TO ANY OF THEM.  Only YOU can decide that.  It’s up to you.  Shut down the negative, elevate the positive.  You can do this! ‘Nuff said.

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Get more info on Beachbody products here:

beachbodycoach.com/WendyGordon

myshakeology.com/WendyGordon

myultimatereset.com/WendyGordon