My health has always been an issue. My heart would go crazy. My resting heart rate was normally 110 beats per minute. If I challenged myself with any type of exercise, my heart would race to 180 and when it would do its crazy thing it would beat over 200! I couldn’t breathe and I felt and looked like I would die. None of the medications the doctors gave me helped. They would actually cause more problems. At the age of 24, I had to have emergency surgery because they could not make my rhythm go back to normal. My first heart surgery was for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.
I had a tonsillectomy at 25 because I suffered from tonsillitis about 3 – 4 times a year and the doctors said that was the best option.
At the age of 27, I found myself so sick that I could barely move. The all-over pain, fatigue, brain fog, and the discomfort I experienced from eating, all had me bedridden. I was fighting a disease that doctors claimed didn’t exist. “It is all in your HEAD,” was the most frequent diagnosis received.
I felt I had no hope.
A sweet family heard of my condition and gave me a bottle of Wild Yam cream. I finally found some relief! It was then that I quit relying on the doctors and started being my own doctor. I soon learned that birth control pills made my symptoms worse. The answer was finding herbs to balance my hormones. I found a book on (CFIDS) Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome that suggested Yoga. I started doing a basic yoga routine. It consisted of Forward Fold, Cat-Cow, Child’s Pose, and Downward Facing Dog.
Next, I had to eat again, but how?
Every time I would eat something, the pain would be so bad that I felt like my stomach was being ripped open. I had irritable bowel syndrome and colon spasms. My chiropractor put me on a drink that helped heal my digestive tract and digestive enzymes. That helped tremendously. I also found a small link that wheat was possibly causing my, now chronic, ear problem.
Fast forward to age 36, the crazy flares and crashes that are prevalent in patients with CFIDS were continuing to plague me and I discovered a company that helped educate me on toxins in our home environment. I learned that the very cleaners, detergents, and sanitizers I was using were making me even sicker. Even the makeup and lotions that I put on my face and body were only making my health worse.
Within a few weeks of getting the corporate poisons out of my house, I was getting my energy back! I knew that I wouldn’t be able to teach the jumping around aerobic classes at the gym, but I knew that fitness is my lifeline. I decided that instead of just going to a class at a gym, I would get certified as an instructor in Pilates. That process brought me to a level of fitness that I hadn’t seen since my teenage years.
At 40 years young, I went to a local gym to share my knowledge as a Pilates instructor. The manager told me that their clients only like cardio and dance. It was then that I had an epiphany and created THB Dance Fitness!
I have always loved to dance. At the age of 14, I professionally choreographed my first show. I also failed to mention that I was a group fitness instructor at the tender age of 21. Dance and fitness are my passion, but the difference this time… was to create routines that would improve my mobility and strength and, at the same time, not cause my body to shut down.
So, THB Fitness was created to be a challenging exercise regimen and still be enjoyable. I took all the years of exercise training, knowledge from being a massage therapist and my love for dance and made Totally Hott Body Fitness.
Five wonderful years, I taught a group of amazing individuals in Galveston County. We were like a family. During that time, I endured two more heart surgeries and shoulder surgery. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we danced and danced, until I just couldn’t do it anymore.
My husband convinced me that my teaching was just too hard on my body. He couldn’t watch me in pain all of the time. I decided to take a break from teaching. We moved to the hill country and a small town named Lago Vista, near Austin, Texas. Lago Vista means Lake View in Spanish and the town lives up to its name.
It was there that I had my last heart surgery. They had to work in an area known as “The Widowmaker.” It was a dangerous surgery to be sure, but it was successful! At the age of 46, my heart finally beat at a regular and normal rhythm!
Four years went by and I would teach Pilates individually to a few clients. My health seemed to deteriorate and it got to a point where I could only instruct, not do. The stressors of raising teenagers and the trials of life had me mentally and physically exhausted. Feeling like I was at the end of my rope, I cried out to God. I couldn’t go on with this life.
I didn’t have any fight left.
God sent a book club to my rescue.
The book, The Inner Matrix, the community with strong women, and the accountability of meeting each week kept me alive. I returned to that book club three more times. Each time was 6 weeks of reading and discussion. To this day, I still practice what I learned from that experience.
I found Fractal Healing, a guided meditation with self-affirmations and I listen to it every night before I go to sleep.
My mental health was improving, but my physical health was not.
I had put on a few pounds. Truly, I was heavier than I had been during two pregnancies. Just before I turned 50, my right knee started to not function properly. I could barely walk and standing up was very hard. Climbing stairs was impossible. I couldn’t even climb into our jeep. I walked like someone thirty years older than me. I tried everything I knew to help. I took herbs and homeopathic medicine. I used essential oils and even Kratom when the pain was too much. My husband would give me full-body massages three times a week and I performed stretching as often as my body would let me.
When I discovered Beachbody and started following my coach, I began living vicariously through her. Then one day, I finally said yes to just dipping my toes in the water. That is when my world opened up.
I found in Beachbody, daily encouragement to be the best that I can be each day!
My best physical effort allowed me to do what I call THE 3C’S of YOGA... Cat, Cow and child’s pose. I would do them 3x a day for 3-5 minutes. My exercise space was on the floor, on my bed or standing with my hands on a countertop. I even did them while sitting in a chair.
Tia Chang was the first Beachbody program that I gave a chance. That program got me in touch with my own body. It gave me the physical body awareness that I needed to fix my knee. During the neuro reset, Dr. Chang taught me about the popliteus muscle. It is located on the outside of the upper calves and inserts under the knee. That muscle was so tight that it was limiting my range of motion. In all my years of training and education regarding the human body, I had never heard of this muscle. Tia Chang helped me regain balance in my body and by the second movement, which is known as “the Phoenix Tail”, my knee slipped back into proper alignment. The pain that had been plaguing me for so long was gone! As I continued to tune in and participate in Tai Chang, I found that I was able to dance again. I could climb stairs and hills without a problem. I got my life back!
If I feel the pain creeping back in, I log on to BEACHBODY on demand and do the neuro reset and the Phoenix tail and it sets my knees into proper alignment. I changed my diet to include Intermittent Fasting and I said goodbye to all inflammatory foods.
The biggest change came when I started using Shakeology. The energy, clarity, and overall great feelings in my body have given me a new lease on life. Shakeology allows me to supplement my diet and decrease the number of unhealthy food choices that I was making every day.
My husband renovated our garage and built a professional workout/dance studio with club lights and two dance poles for me! I am back to teaching Totally Hott Body Fitness and Pilates. I just launched a new Pole Training and Fitness class twice a week and it is filled up with new clients! I am finding the cutest clothes in my closet, that have been squirreled away for the longest time and now I can fit into them again! I’ve been losing fat and gaining muscle and I am happy in my own skin for the first time in so many years. My life is back!
Ask yourself this question: Are you the happiest healthiest person you can be?
Yes or No?
Are you willing to make the changes you need and are you teachable?
Your mental desire to make a change to good health is the most important characteristic to get started. As you open this door, the physical will catch up with the mental and you will be thrilled with your results.
You deserve to To Live The Happiest Healthiest Life you can.
My mission is to pay it forward.
Let me help you.
Together we can change the world, one starfish at a time.