Coach Andrea: From Weight Loss Struggle to Fit

What do you do when everything feels broken and no one will listen?

To find out, I am going to take you on a little journey of my experience with health, hormones, and weight loss in the shortest version I can.

Everything Seemed Fine

Never in my life had I ever struggled with my weight. I had always been active and aside from my teenage years of living on Doritos and Mountain Dew, I ate fairly healthy. In 2016, I was the leanest and “fittest” I had ever been. I say this in quotes because I was very restrictive with my food, my sleep was trash, and my mental health was as well.

I retired from the Air Force in 2018 and started my job at Iron Hero CrossFit. Things were going great!

Cue 2020 and 2021, where the scale starts creeping up ever so slowly. I was feeling more tired than normal, I was having night sweats, I was grumpy, and overall did not feel like myself. Something felt very off and by the end of 2021, I was the heaviest I had ever been.

Mentally, I knew I was struggling and that I needed help so off to the doctor I went!

“Nothing Is Wrong?”

I had a number of unchecked things going on and finally decided it was time to go through PTSD counseling and treatment as well as getting the correct medicine with the help of my primary doctor. This was the hardest part, but also the easiest, because I knew what I needed help with and what needed to be fixed. We started with the usual:

  • Thyroid
  • Cortisol
  • Adrenal function
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol

I was fed that everything was “normal” and “I probably felt this way because of my anxiety and PTSD.” I felt so defeated and sad that I cried in his office and almost all of the way home. Is he really blaming how I felt on my mental health? Could it really be that? Maybe I was fine and there wasn’t anything off.

I was questioning my own self and almost gave up trying to figure out what was going on.

“What am I going to do?” I was, and still am, a fitness coach and nutritionist and I was the heaviest I had ever been. I was struggling with my weight loss and my fitness was slipping.

“How in the world can I coach these things when I am struggling also?” At the same time I was going through my certification with Precision Nutrition [for my Level 2]. In this course I had a learned a lot of what is called Deep Health. Deep Health incorporates 6 things:

  1. Social
  2. Emotional
  3. Environmental
  4. Mental
  5. Existential
  6. And physical well-being

As a class we had started discussions and case studies focusing on this idea of health being more than just fitness and the food you eat. This helped me make routines for the things I could control at the time which made me feel slightly better.

These things are now a huge part of my everyday life.

The Real Fix

Somewhere near the end of 2021, I went to my Women’s Health Clinic for a routine check-up. We started talking about my symptoms and she immediately wanted to run a hormone panel. This is the one thing my primary doctor did not check, and would not check, because I was “too young” for that to be a concern.

Turns out this was the issue. My estrogen was low. This was something so simple but it caused so many issues.

The fix? I wear a patch that I change twice per week. While this is not the only reason I lost nearly 50lbs in 2022, it gave me back my energy and my quality sleep which has allowed me to focus on other things: my nutrition and the intensity of my workouts.

What other daily habits resulted in my weight loss?

  1. Eating good whole foods much of the time
    • This means my diet is not unattainably restrictive
  2. Lowering the amount of alcohol I was drinking
    • This was huge, for me
  3. Setting, and sticking to, a sleep schedule
  4. Continuing to get treatment for my mental health

Help Is Always Out There

This has been a long and tough journey for me. It has taken work, discipline, and time but it is important for me to share it with you. If you feel something isn’t right, ask for help. You will find the right person who will be there and listen.

If you want the help to build quality and sustainable Healthy Habits to get you results, go HERE to set up a free consult. If there is anyone who will listen to you and who wants to help, you’re looking at her!

Can’t find a spot? Send me an email! [email protected]

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