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:

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