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I have had quite a journey with weight loss, fitness, and health over the years.
I had gastric bypass surgery about 15 years ago and not only lost, but kept off 160 pounds. Then I was blessed with the twins and after I was ready to join the real world again (after hospital bed rest, a 6 week NICU stay with the twins, and then having preemies twins come home on oxygen during a horrible RSV season, and all newborns entail), I found a plan to try out. I went to weekly meetings, did my counting of points, and lost 50 pounds (twin weight plus more). That was great, but I was not strong, energy levels were still low, and I was always hangry.
When I got to a goal weight, I had a mommy makeover surgery that I had been wanting to have since the weight loss from the bypass surgery. Losing 160+ pounds in ten months does a toll on your skin! Unfortunately, I had a complication with the recovery and had to have a second surgery a few months after the first. I felt so stiff and not like myself. I was scared to workout and I also got sick of counting, tracking, and measuring everything I ate and slowly a few pounds crept back on. I felt like I was in the yo-yo of plus or minus 10 pounds all of the time.
I started taking Pilates again and it was the best rehab I could have ever hoped for my body and mind. I realized I wanted to know more about Pilates for myself and others. Since I have been extremely heavy in my life and hated waking into any fitness related place, I wanted to be able work with people of all sizes and fitness levels to show them they can do Pilates no matter where they are in their journey.
Not only was my body revitalized, so was my mind and spirit. I completed the Comprehensive Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training Program in less than a year, which was fast especially while taking care of young twins, our household, and working full-time as a Director of Accounting at a PR firm. Needless to say, I got a little burnt out.
We had decided when the twins started Kindergarten, I wanted to be self-employed so I could drop off and pick up the kids from school. Stars aligned and in January of 2017 that self-employment dream was kicked off. I started my own CPA firm, jumped head first into LuLaRoe, and continued to teach numerous Pilates classes each week. I also made the decision to transition to a brand new Pilates studio that aligned more with my mission for bringing Pilates to others. (www.wholelivingpilates.com)
You are probably thinking she is crazy with so much on her plate and I hear ya. Unfortunately, my hair heard it too and while on vacation in May I noticed a big bald patch on my head. I freaked out, tried not to Dr. Google it, failed on that, self-diagnosed, rushed to the doctor as soon as we got home, and was given the news that I struggled to handle for a little while – I had Alopecia. There is not a clear-cut cause (although they say stress may cause it), no real cure, and no way to know if it will just be patches, total hair loss on the scalp, or total loss of hair over one’s whole body. I was told to try and reduce stress from my life. Ummmm… sure. Twins, multiple endeavors that I was working hard to build, running our household, a sick family member (who turned out not to be sick which is a story in itself), and just the general stresses that come with life…
A friend called me as soon as I text her the news that it really was Alopecia. (Side note – I don’t know about you, but isn’t it weird when people call you these days?!) She was in the process of completing a program called Whole30 and said she had to tell me about it. I had vaguely heard about it, but never tried it. She said that it has been known to help with autoimmune issues (like Alopecia) and maybe it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. Since I felt like I had no control over this Alopecia thing, I thought it might make me feel like I had a little control back. I also wasn’t feeling the greatest – sluggish, no energy, wasn’t sleeping well… I read about the program (more on that later) and decided I had nothing to lose. A few days later Rob and I were starting Whole30.