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Terri C. - Alpharetta, GA

My weight loss journey started in November, 2011.  I had just completed the 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer -- having walked 20 miles a day for 3 days.  During the year of 2010, I walked 700 miles training for the 3 day, and gained 20 pounds along the way.  Being 59 years old and hypothyroid, my metabolism was flat and I was eating all the wrong foods and too much of it.  I rewarded myself too much for walking all those miles!  I was 5'2" tall and weighing in at 162 pounds.  I knew something had to change!  So, I went to Lifetime Fitness and signed up for their Weight Loss Program including a Personal Trainer, a nutritionist and a Pilates Instructor.  I started just before Thanksgiving and was determined to lose weight over the holidays.  At the time, I could not do one unassisted sit-up or one push-up.  My legs were strong from walking, but I had no core or upper body strength and too much belly fat.    But I had a goal:  I had signed up for the Iron Girl Triathlon in May, 2012.  I had 6 months to get in shape to do my first triathlon. 

My personal trainer began to drive me towards the right type of exercise and my Pilates instructor went to work on my core and flexibility.  Then I started meeting with Jason Barry, for help with my diet.  Jason suspected I was insulin resistant and got me started on a low carb diet.  I ditched all processed foods, sugars, starches and empty calories.  I eat fresh, organic, whole food and lots of it!!  We also ordered the metabolic lab tests to see if they would reveal anything else going on.  Surprisingly, I was losing about 1 pound a week which is something I had never been able to do on my own.  

When the blood work came back, there was a strange reading on there for Thyroid Peroxidase and it was a HIGH level.  I looked it up on the internet and found that this is an antibody that comes from Hashimoto Disease -- an autoimmune condition where your thyroid is attacked by your own antibodies.  I had been hypothyroid for 15 years, but no doctor had ever told me I had Hashimoto!  It was shocking to me and I would not have known that I had this condition without the blood work recommended by Lifetime Fitness.  I decided to go to a Naturopath (ND), show him the test results and gets some help.  My ND did some additional tests and figured out that I also had other thyroid and adrenal issues that would absolutely prevent my metabolism from responding to exercise and diet.   He provided me with natural medications and herbs that would gently heal my metabolism.

While I was seeking the path to better health and metabolism, I continued working with my personal trainer and he focused the workouts on the skills and muscles that I would need to be able to do a triathlon.  I fell into a schedule of weight training and swimming twice a week, cycling twice a week and running twice a week -- oh and I should mention that I have never run for more than 2 minutes in my entire life!!  

By May, 2012 I had dropped from 162 to 133 pounds.  I lost 5 inches on my waist, 4 inches on my hips and 4 inches on my chest and dropped 3 sizes.  I finished the Iron Girl Triathlon on 5/20/12 which involved a 1/3 mile swim, 19 mile bike ride and 5K run all in the Lake Lanier area (lots of hills!!).  

I had many strikes against me but I did not give up.  I surrounded myself with the experts who knew how to train and feed my body and a fabulous Naturopath who helped me to heal naturally.  I am a work in progress and my next goal is a 4 day cycling tour of Niagara Falls in August.  Don't be afraid to set goals for yourself -- small ones that you can hit every day and big ones that you can see in your future.  Then, hold yourself accountable for what you eat and for healthy exercise.

Reader Comments (1)

Congrats on that awesome goal Terri. I also started at LifeTime in Alpharetta a few years ago and started training for the Iron Girl. After the first one I went on to the Olympic Iron Girl in Lake Henderson Nevada. Now I enjoy all kinds of races, including my newest love.. Mud Obstacle races. I hope to run into you sometime at the gym and again good luck to you and I know you are super proud of yourself :) GO IRON GIRL GO !

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

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