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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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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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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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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Why Shakeology?

The more important question is, why not?  

Investing in yourself, in your health, requires sacrifice.  There’s no question that some shuffling has to be done to accommodate the budgetary needs of adding something new to your daily menu.  But, sacrifice makes possible great rewards.  At least in the case of Shakeology.  So, why am I so into this product dubbed “The Healthiest Meal of the Day”?  Well, because it literally is the healthiest meal of the day.

Tell me more, tell me more.

Okay, so if that explanation isn’t quite enough for you, let me expand on it a bit.  I won’t get into the technicalities of Shakeology (it contains x% of this, and x% of that) – you can read that on your own.  What I will discuss is how Shakeology helps me.

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ENERGY!

So, apparently, when you get all the nutrients you need for the day in one healthy shake, you have a TON of energy.  Maybe that’s because our bodies are typically deprived of these ingredients.  Maybe it’s because the ingredients used for Shakeology are the purest available on earth.  Whatever the reason, all I know is Shakeology gives me energy.  And, this is coming from someone that has lived in a constant state of exhaustion (fibromyalgia-style) for YEARS.  After having Shakeology for a couple of days, I was completely taken aback when I realized: “I’M NOT TIRED!”

Balance

The nutrients in Shakeology create harmony – both physically and mentally.  It’s difficult to explain, but it gives me a sense of balance that was lacking before.

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Eatin’ Right!

By starting my day with Shakeology, I am setting the tone for the whole day.  It’s my way of telling my body “I will nourish you today with the proper food.  I will eat healthy all day!” – somehow, it makes me not want junky foods.

Fibromyalgia

I had read some things prior to starting Shakeology that suggested it could actually help with fibromyalgia symptoms.  I thought it was too good to be true.  But, it IS true.  Aside from addressing “fibro fatigue”, it also helps tremendously with fibro fog, pain, and depression – to name a few.  Along with the Ultimate Reset and my fitness program (TURBOFIRE!), Shakeology has all but eradicated my symptoms.  But, without Shakeology, I truly don’t think I would have even been able to begin Turbo Jam or any cardio program.

                                                                                  DEEEEE-licious

One of my FAVORITE things aboSlide1ut this amazing, healthiest-meal-of-the-day beverage is the taste.  You can really tell they put a lot of effort into the formula and were careful to pick the best of the best.  Personally, I prefer the Vegan Chocolate (because, hello, I’m vegan) and I’m stuck on making it this way:

  • 12 oz. Almond Milk (plain, unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp. peanut butter
  • 1 frozen banana*
  • 4 oz. water*

*We use frozen bananas because we live in a somewhat remote area and only go shopping once a week.  Also, I have a distaste for overly ripe bananas.  If you use fresh bananas, substitute the 4 oz. of water for 8 ice cubes and you’re good to go!

Cost

I realize for many people, the cost is an issue. BUT, when you calculate it versus the cost of a meal (or going to Starbucks every day), it is a very affordable option.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • The cost of a 30-day supply of Shakeology: $129.95
  • Cost per meal breakdown: 129.95 ÷ 30 meals (1 per day for 30 days) = $4.33

Let’s compare that with a typical meal or visit to Starbucks:

  • Cost of a Venti Mocha: $4.25 (no food here folks; just coffee, fat, and sugar) = – .08 vs. Shakeology
  • Cost of a breakfast meal at your favorite fast food joint: $4.50 = + .17 vs. Shakeology

Need I go on?

The Moral of the Story?

Shakeology is amazing.  It’s my favorite meal of the day and I believe it will improve the wellness of anyone that tries 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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Recap: Beachbody TurboFire Challenge Week 3

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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