Natalia V. – Warrenville, IL
*Results not typical
I have been a member for two years now and I have done two 90-Day Challenges with some okay results. The spring 90-Day Challenge was about to start and I was torn on whether I wanted to join. I had been dealing with serious sinus issues that turned into trigeminal nerve pain and was taking pain medication because it hurt that much. My personal trainer Chris Horton advised me to join and said that he had a plan that may help with my sinuses. He advised me to try the Food Sensitivity Test because some symptoms of intolerances can relate like environmental allergies. I was desperate at this point so I decided to give it a try. I met with Meredith Palagi, the Registered Dietitian, to interpret my results and I was shocked to find out that there were 26 foods that I had sensitivities to. I revised my meal plan and in a few weeks my sinuses felt great! It was just the start I needed for the challenge.
As if the sinus issues weren’t enough I was born with instability in my knees that I have had surgeries to try and correct. I have always been cautious when it came to running or biking because it always hurt so I got into swimming. I have been doing it for five years and was getting really good; however, I never really had the strength in my legs to get a good kick and improve my times. Chris has modified my workouts and built the strength and stability in my knees and slowly they started to feel better. We worked our way into doing more impact exercises which allowed me to get on the treadmill and bike pain free. Since we were doing more cardio, I did the Active Metabolic Assessment to make sure I was working out at the right intensities. I honestly can’t remember running, even as a kid, so it was a great feeling when we worked in some running in our workouts. I figured since it wasn’t hurting and because I always avoided walking whenever I could that I would embrace it now and try the 10K Step Challenge. I thought it would be really hard for me to get 10,000 steps a day but after the first couple days I did it with ease. Even better, I didn’t have any pain. I challenged myself every day to try and improve my numbers and got all the way to 130K steps in one day! Maybe I was making up for lost years of not walking but I was so excited.
Biking was my other nemesis and since I was feeling better walking and running then biking was the next thing to scratch off my list. I started going to Spin classes and loved the instructor Monica Zecher-Kaminski. She helped me get my bike set up and even though I was nervous she helped me feel comfortable. I enjoyed it so much that I made Spin part of my weekly routine. Monica is a very motivational person and when she brought up “Ride for a Reason” I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it. Not only did I get to face my fears in a long bike ride outside the comfort of the Spin studio, I was benefiting a truly good cause. My team “Spin Stars” was able to raise $1,385 ($5,500 our club) to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Life Time Foundation.
Another big part of my transformation this 90-Day Challenge was the nutrition aspect. After my initial session with Meredith, I continued to attend the Healthy Living Challenges Seminars which were extremely helpful when it came to planning and preparing my meals for the week. I also invested in the Stress and Resilience and the Resting Metabolic Test. Both of these helped me understand my metabolism and my energy levels. I knew the best times for me to work out and we tweaked my supplements and meal plan to make sure I was optimizing everything. Lastly, I did the Detox 4 weeks before the end to give me that extra kick in the butt. I have never eaten this way before but I have never felt this good before. I can’t believe how great I feel and the amount of energy that I have just by changing my diet.
As the challenge comes to an end I am really proud of everything that I have accomplished. The whole experience has opened my eyes to what I am really capable of and how strong I really am. With all the results I have seen, weight loss, body fat loss, increased endurance, increased strength and increased power I have improved even in my true passion, swimming. I will be going to a Nationals Masters Swim Competition this August to swim the 400M Individual Medley, 200M Breaststroke, 100M and 200M Butterfly. I am really excited to take this next challenge like I have all the rest. I am truly glad that I decided to take the step and join the 90-Day Challenge. It has changed my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine!