Ready for some inspiration!? This month’s CLIENT SPOTLIGHT definitely will leave you feeling fired up!
Over the past 2 years, Randy & I have had the pleasure of working with a regular client whose goal was to get healthy and strong ahead of her 50th birthday. After her Coaching call last week, I was not only amazed at her results, but more so impressed with how she has been going about it.
I have listened to Heather talk through her struggles and successes during our sessions, but it is her patience, persistence and willingness to be Coached with a positive attitude through the journey that is incredibly impressive. As such, I wanted to share her story with our ExecLevel Wellness client base so others could see that building a healthy lifestyle (really any journey) isn’t a straight line, and takes continual adjustments to find the perfect recipe.
1. Tell us a little history of your weight loss journey over your life span, including successes and frustrations.
My weight-loss Journey began over 20 years ago when I was diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome that eventually turned into fibromyalgia. I decided that I was not going to take medicine or have monthly cortisone injections. I chose to turn to alternative holistic healthcare during the 1990s. Holistic healthcare was looked upon as quackery and the idea that eating whole foods to reverse my diagnosis was not yet supported by society as well as it is today. At that time, mainstream grocery stores did not carry the health foods that are available today. The only store I could find spelt flour, quinoa, almond flour, etc. were at a specialized health food store.
Although I lived hours away, I decided to seriously begin my journey learning about lifestyle change with Dr. Harbosky’s office in Chicago, Illinois. Due to his health focus and success with me, I remained a patient of Dr. Harbosky for over four years. In that time, he had me on a regimen based on the health philosophy of the diet “Eat Right For Your Blood Type” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. On this diet I consumed vitamins and supplements and I juiced my own carrots/ green vegetables. My food was only whole foods including grass-fed beef, chicken, turkey, and fish. I consumed no processed foods, white flour, sugar or caffeine. For me, this diet was successful. And, after four years of consistent 100% compliance, I reversed my diagnosis and became 100% pain free while living a normal lifestyle again.
The only frustration was the strictness of eliminating all foods except whole foods. After 4 years, this proved not to be realistic or sustainable for the rest of my life. During this time, I learned about processed food chemicals as well as how the combination of all the additives and preservatives wreak havoc in our bodies. Mentally I became paranoid to eat anything that wasn’t whole foods and this caused anxiety. I chose to reintroduce select foods that I had eliminated.
Unfortunately, I eventually began to experience health issues once again. In response, I hired another alternative holistic practitioner and repeated my weight loss healthy lifestyle journey once again with a hundred percent strictness. This time the regimen was 80% juicing and 20% whole foods. Once again after two and a half years of being 100% strict with consuming only whole foods, I was not able to sustain this lifestyle change long-term.
So, in 2017 I choose to hire Dr. Randy and Amy Nelson, co-owners and co-founders of ExecLevel Wellness, as my personal wellness lifestyle coaches. I have been working with Dr. Randy and Amy Nelson for 2 years now and I don’t consider what I am doing with them to be a roller coaster diet. It is a healthy lifestyle where together they provide me with resources and knowledge that is helping me to create my new normal that works for me.
I’m utilizing their three-pronged approach:
(1) Fitness: an at home fitness program focused on strength training, HIIT & core work that easily fits into my busy schedule.
(2) Nutrition: a simple, sustainable 40/30/30 plan that does not eliminate any food groups and allows for treats like wine and chocolate and eating out at restaurants.
(3) Support / accountability: Weekly Coaching calls where I celebrate wins and develop strategies for any obstacles I’m experiencing.
By working towards health in this manner, this last year I have lost 25 pounds of body fat while gaining muscle. I utilize quarterly DEXA scans to verify my results. It is important to make data driven decisions. In addition to my ExecLevel Wellness Coaches, Dr. Dodd at the Central Illinois DexaFit location (https://www.dexafit.com/locations/illinois/central-illinois) has been a great supporter and encourager of my journey.
Today I am 5 pounds from my goal weight. Maybe more importantly though, I have more energy, flexibility, stamina, endurance and less pain and fatigue and I am motivated to continue this lifestyle.
2. What led you to come to ExecLevel Wellness in the first place?
My desire to improve my health, lose weight and learn the skills to maintain my habits as a normal everyday lifestyle. Also, my husband’s line of work requires us to travel quite often and it is a challenge to eat healthy when living in hotels. I knew the careers that Randy & Amy both had and that they have the experience of high level pressure, traveling all the time, working crazy hours etc. So, I called them up and explained my situation to them. I have been working with them for over two years now.
I am extremely happy with the results I have achieved and skills that Randy & Amy have taught me. They both have a passion to help people regain their health so that we can all continue to be efficient, effective and productive not only with our careers but with our personal lives as well.
Hiring ExecLevel Wellness has been one of the best investments of my time and money.
3. It’s been over 2 years since you first came to ExecLevel Wellness, tell us how the past two years have gone, what changes have you made, and how did you achieve such success?
One of the changes I made was to cut down on eating out and cook more at home. This was a process that required time and patience with myself. I learned how my body negatively reacted to foods that I was consuming in restaurants. I am now eating 80% foods that I cook at home and 20% at restaurants. I also set aside Sunday as my “Food prep day”. This is the day that I chop my vegetables and grill out my meat of choice. I generally have everything prepared up to Thursday. On Thursday, I repeat the process. I learned how to come up with a system that works for me with my Coaches help. It took patience and trying different things before I found the system that works. The success that I have achieved is due to my consistency with all the above, as well as tracking my food daily in a food journal that Randy & Amy created for me.
I am learning that writing down food that I am eating is not about the emotions of “guilt or shame” it is about having a collection of truthful data that I can look back at and build upon what is working for me.
4. What has been the biggest change for you? What have been the easier parts to your journey, and what have been the hardest parts? Has it been a struggle or has it come easy for you? What have you liked the most about not only where you are at, but how you got here?
I would say that the biggest change for me has been my mindset. In the past, I had the mindset of a perfectionist focused on an “All-or-Nothing” mentality. On top of it all, I was my worst critic. My goals were not realistic, therefore in my mind, I could never attain them and would give up. I was living in my own insanity cycle pattern doing the same things over and over and hoping for a different outcome. My coaches made me aware of my All-or-Nothing mindset and provided me with resources such as books, online software programs, and their personal guidance. There is a Bible passage that states, “you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Well, let’s just say my coaches let me know the truth…..and, I chose to listen and take responsibility for my choices. The fabulous result was freedom from a toxic mindset and the ability to become holistically well.
5. You are pretty accountable, completing a daily journal and log of everything you do, why has this been important for you?
I have spent over 30 years repeating the behaviors that I am now changing. Dr. Randy and Amy Nelson reinforce the reality that I have to expect it is going to take time and consistent effort before I see lasting results of my new behaviors. I utilize a weekly rhythm register that helps keep me consistent with the top 10 habits that most help me attain my goals. Being consistent helps me reflect, track, and redirect the rhythm I am putting myself into every morning. My goal is to repeat my new habits consistently until I do them without thinking. Aristotle wrote, “we are what we repeatedly do.” I want to live the remainder of my life in good health, maintain the proper body weight for my height, have excellent muscle tone, and flexibility. Marking off my daily list keeps me accountable, which makes it easier to be consistent in implementing my new healthy habits until they become what I do daily without thinking about it.
6. What is the next goal for you? How confident do you feel achieving it?
My next physical goal is to complete The Phoenix Summit Challenge in Arizona taking 9 hours to traverse 17.44 miles, summit 5 mountains and climb 3,060 ft in elevation. I pride myself in achieving my physical goals and I plan / train months in advance. I am fairly confident I will complete the Summit climb with success and the desire to set my next personal goal.
Heather is proof that even with a super busy schedule that includes lots of travel, with consistency and patience you can make your goals a reality!
Heather’s journey is similar in a lot of ways to many clients over the years, both from the struggles they face, but also what it takes to achieve success. We also know that if you try to do it all by yourself, it is 10x harder than if you have others helping and supporting you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others to help, or if you are able, make the investment in yourself with a Coach.
Ready to start your own wellness journey?
Heather started her journey with our From Stressed to Best Bootcamp. You still have time to join our group starting on Monday! The program is 100% on-line (fitness, nutrition and support!) and we would love to work with you. If you have any questions or want to chat live, just email us at [email protected] and we’ll set up a time!