Thursday, April 9, 2015

Challenger Transformation Story - The Incredible Mercedes

My favorite part about being a Health Coach is watching the incredible transformations in my challengers. Every month I lead online challenge groups for all women and I help them on their journey to becoming healthy on the inside-out. Today I want to share with you one of my challengers success stories as she is one of the many women who have truly changed their life since joining my challenge groups.
Mercedes's has lost 20lbs & 13.8 inches.
 
A little bit about Mercedes’s…
 
She is a mom to a 12 year-old daughter with enough extra-curricular activities to keep her going NON-STOP from one thing to the next. She is a  Marketing Professional with insane deadlines and a busy travel schedule.  Mercedes’s was looking to improve across the board in all health areas and she wanted to develop good, healthy habits. The nature of her job is sedentary and she has been inactive for quite some time now. Mercedes’s not only wanted to improve her physical health but she wanted to learn how to take control of this part of her life.

I asked Mercedes’s a few questions so that you can hear more about her story and journey on becoming IMPERFECTLY BALANCED.
  1. What is your health story and how have these challenge groups helped you?
I came into my first challenge at a point in my life where I truly felt that my weight and the way my body looked and behaved were completely out of my control, following a long battle with hormonal imbalances and digestive issues that never allowed me to feel well enough to have the motivation to begin any kind of exercise or eating program and stick to it.  Constantly zapped of my energy, feeling depleted, tired and frankly, in pain a lot of the time, I found short term comfort in eating the things that made me feel good emotionally and only wanted to rest when any down time was available.  I finally ended up needing a hysterectomy to remove problematic fibroids and stop daily bleeding that went on for almost 2 years! The recovery process from that procedure was more challenging that I ever anticipated it would be.  Not only did I have to build my energy back up but also patiently wait until my body found its rhythm again and began to adjust.  I’ve needed some hormone therapy to treat post procedure symptoms, but the bloated feeling and distended belly kept lingering on for months and months.  This only made me even more depressed about the situation which led me to more comfort food and zero accountability to myself during business trips (and I have a lot of those…), holidays and just about any excuse to not do the right thing.  Being so tired, I looked for occasions to eat out or get take out as often as I could because, after all, “I was so tired” and forget wanting to exercise!  In my younger days, I never had problems with maintaining my weight and my figure stayed on point so having a plan to manage these things was completely foreign to me.  Sure, I’ve done some sort of physical activity in the past, but nothing I consistently stuck to or strayed too far away from walking in the neighborhood or riding a bike.  Weight training? Never! I couldn’t think of anything less exciting to do than engage in any sort of workout routine.    Fast forward to January 5, 2015.  I knew at the end of 2014 that I needed to take control and make a drastic change.  If I hated the way I was feeling and looking, I had to own it and start somewhere.  As a go getter, goal achieving person in every other area of my life, I knew that I what I needed was accountability and the uninterrupted time to focus on me and making these changes.  My travel schedule had been so hectic that I was never home 2 weeks in a row for the longest of times, and with all the disruption that this schedule created in the balance of my family life, I knew I would only be successful in adding this extra layer if I had the opportunity to nurture myself and start building the habit at a time I could focus on it and not have additional distractions.  I had been watching Ali’s blog and on line activities about her challenge groups and knew she would be starting one at the beginning of January, a perfect “down” time for me, also psychologically tied to the beginning of a new year – a new dawning, in my mind, to create new paths in my brain and build a transformation plan knowing that I was minimizing opportunities to sabotage my efforts.   I was prepared to drive myself and follow the program, but what I didn’t anticipate or could have dreamed of, was the amazing support and sense of accountability I found in the challenge group as I instantly bonded with complete strangers that I quickly realized were sharing the same struggles regardless of the different things we may have going on in our lives or where we are in our own life journeys.  These women build each other up and share victories and opportunities in an inspiring, genuine way and when you couple that with the dedication of our coach, Ali Tessitore, her compassion and interest in seeing you succeed, there really is no room for failure.  When days get tough and you find it hard to get that workout in, or pass on that temptation, I know I can just log in and read the posts of my on line sisters in health or ask for help, and within seconds, I find the support I need.  The challenge group has been the definite game changer for me in this project as I not only feel accountable to myself, but I feel accountable to the group. The more engaged I get, the more accountable and committed I feel!
  1. What was your favorite aspect of the challenge group?
I love the fun we have posting check-ins, the daily observations, sharing recipes and learning from each other.  The participants share so many tips and learnings from their own experience that it makes the entire experience that much more enriching, but the true joy for me has come from feeling like I’ve gotten to know some of these woman on a personal basis, even though we’ve never met in person. I know that I would do anything for any of them and that if in need, all I have to do is reach out and ask.  The understanding, caring, compassionate nature of everyone involved is extraordinary and the willingness to support each other bar none.  I know that a big factor in my desire to wanting to stay engaged and looking at this journey as a lifestyle change vs a “diet” or exercising for the moment is the accountability the groups have helped me develop and what I have learned from everyone’s stories.
  1. If someone was deciding whether or not to sign up for the challenge group, what would you tell them?
You have everything to gain and nothing to lose but inches, weight and bad habits!  Joining the challenge group is one thing, but becoming an active participant, engaging with purpose with the other challengers, cheering and supporting all, sharing your own experience and following through with the requests from the coach are all necessary to get the most out of the program.  Watching from the sidelines will not give you the biggest bang for the buck and if you’re looking for results, follow the formula.  I still follow that mantra when I have slow days or feel like things are not happening fast enough: just follow the program and the rest will follow….and it does!  There is no price tag you can put on the power of engaging with a community of women focused on the same goals.  If you plug into that with an open heart and a desire to succeed, you will…!  

All I can say is WOW!!! Mercedes's I have loved every minute of being on YOUR journey of becoming healthy inside-out. Every day you check-in with our group and you always go the extra mile with getting your double workouts in.  You have the ultimate excuse not to get healthy with traveling for work, but you made yourself a priority to be healthier and happier. I love your commitment to our group and to this new LIFESTYLE. I know it will FOREVER change your life! I am so proud of you and honored to call you my friend.

If you are struggling and need to get your health back on track just like Mercedes's did, please fill out this form below so that you can join our incredible support system to getting healthy on the inside-out! I know it will change your life like it has many other women.

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