We are getting to the end of 2015 and I have SO many things to be grateful for. This has been an incredibly successful year for me. I have gone through a tremendous amount of growth and transformation this year. And in that spirit, I have an important announcement to make. In order to do that, I must go back in time a bit.
For those of you who know me, or have followed my story for quite some time, you may know me as a “Team Beachbody Coach.” I was indeed, one of the Beachbody success stories. I lost lots of weight (55 pounds) and went on to compete in an NPC bikini competition four years ago using their products. Losing that weight provided my body with what it needed to successfully reverse high blood sugars. I was awarded one of the monthly prizes from Beachbody two years ago. And yes, my health was better than it had been in years. But this year, I decided to leave Beachbody, which I will explain in a moment.
At the beginning of last year, I purchased another one of their programs with the intention to compete again. I followed the meal plan to a “T” and ended up realizing that I couldn’t do it, not because I lacked the self-discipline, but because there were certain things about this particular meal plan that were not right for me. See, seventeen years ago, I had started suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Losing 55 pounds successfully, had improved my health. But the new meal plan that I was following, which contained dairy and lots of fructose (natural sugar from fruit), made my IBS flare up. Was it Beachbody’s fault? Absolutely not. I just didn’t know that dairy, fructose and starches would cause my condition to get worse. That meal plan also caused weight gain, a result of the inflammation from the foods I was eating, which in turn, affected my joints giving me a bad case of frozen shoulder.
I went to a chiropractor who told me to forget about competing. “Frozen shoulder is a condition caused by age” he told me. “Modify your workouts, don’t lift heavy weights, don’t lift weights overhead and forget about competing again.” I left the clinic heartbroken. I contacted David Esparza, Sr., a local coach in Santa Barbara and asked for a second opinion. The FIRST thing he did, besides assessing my injury and giving me warm-up exercises that helped my condition, was to modify my diet. All fructose, processed foods of all types and dairy were removed and the amount of starch I was eating was decreased substantially. Within a week, my pain was gone and I was back to training with David, who has an immense amount of knowledge and wisdom. It felt great to train with someone in person instead of by myself this time.
In regards to my diet, no fructose, no sugar, nothing processed, also meant no protein shakes of any type and no Shakeology. Just real food, the way that nature gave it to us. Although these tools had provided me with what I originally needed to reach my weight loss goals, I was now faced with the fact that I needed something different for my body to reach its highest fitness and vibrant health potential. My IBS flare-ups were still happening and my less than ideal diet that I had followed before I hired David had made my condition a lot worse. His customized meal plan provided me with exactly what my body needed to start to heal itself. However, it wasn’t completely healed, and by then, I suspected that there was more to this condition that I needed to figure out.
So around April of this year, I chose to follow a new path in functional health with the whole purpose of digging deeper. I got certified as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and began my own detective work to figure out what the heck was really going on with me. I ran several lab tests: A hormonal assessment profile followed by a metabolic assessment profile, an intestinal permeability test, and finally, a pathogen test. What I found out was an eye-opener:
- My hormones were imbalanced. I was on my way to suffering from stage III adrenal dysfunction.
- I wasn’t absorbing protein (nor carbs, nor fats). I had some serious work to do with my metabolism.
- My intestinal permeability needed lots of healing. The villi and microvilli (which keeps the bad stuff out of the intestines) was damaged and needed to be repaired.
- And finally, I had a protozoa (blastocystis hominis) and this one in particular, which is common, has been known to cause IBS symptoms (including chronic diarrhea, constipation, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, fever, allergies and a few other symptoms).
With this information in hand, I went on to create a healing protocol for myself. What was really great is that I already had the diet and exercise part nailed thanks to David’s guidance. But now, my body needed a few more things to heal, so along came supplements that are specifically geared for that purpose. And thanks to this new knowledge, healing protocol, support and consistency, I’m symptom free after (more or less) 17 years of suffering from IBS. It took several months, but I can now say that I feel SO much better. I’m sleeping well, my chronic issues are gone, my inflammation is gone and I no longer have the digestive issues I was having for so long.
So why did I leave Beachbody? I left because I grew. My needs grew. My curiosity grew. My thirst for knowledge and healing grew. I left because I could no longer honestly say that my needs were being met with what they provided. And that’s not a bad thing. With that, I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for what they provided me with: The stepping stone and initial tools I needed to start my quest to improve my health.
And now that I’m symptom free, I’m eager to help others reach a higher level of fitness, health and vitality, using real food. A customized meal plan according to their metabolic needs, and if they want to compete, the tools that they’ll need to do that in the most healthy, balanced way possible. (I will get you in touch with David for that purpose). You shouldn’t have a need to have a “forever coach”. My job is to now provide you with the tools you need TODAY to improve your health, so you can continue on your own to reach a higher level of vitality with a lifestyle that supports that.
If you can relate to any part of my story and would like to get in touch with me, you can do so by writing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check my new website to find out more about what I now do by clicking here: http://vitalitydetective.com