Shanna’s Skinny It Up Challenge :: Week 7

Well to be completely honest, I don’t have much to report this week because I’ve been pretty sick and haven’t been able to work out yet this week (but I am going to tonight!).

So instead of boring you with the same updates, I wanted to share one of the emails that was written to me by O2 Fitness Wilmington Member, Robert McIver. Thank you Robert for letting me share your story!

Hi Shanna! I really do enjoy reading your messages as you tackle the body toning & weight loss journey. Sounds like you’re having a good time with this adventure which is SO very important.  Keep up the good humor.  You are a real trouper to share your stories not to mention the delicious recipes.  Thanks SO much!

I joined O2 Fitness, January 2011, when diagnosed with Osteopenia, November 2010.  I was running & walking a LOT prior to being diagnosed, but believe part of the problem was that I wasn’t hydrating enough before, during, & after my runs/walks. I was supplementing my runs/walks with an elliptical I have at my home.  I was doing tons of cardio, but very little weight training, which may have lead to the diagnosis.

I’ve learned that hydrating is SO very important when working out. Anyway, the reason I was doing so much cardio was that I experienced a heart attack October 2004.  I was just a little overweight at the time (maybe 5-8 pounds) & my blood levels were just slightly elevated, but I am sure my prior sedentary lifestyle had a LOT to do with that life-changing experience (wouldn’t recommend this as a way to get attention!).  

After my heart attack, I got on a workout binge, all cardio almost every day.  My experience in Cardiac Rehab was invaluable!  That program helped me coordinate the many lifestyle changes I had to face (eating, handling stress, workouts, etc). I discovered that weight training is a major ingredient when it comes to bone density.  You don’t have to bulk up, but some form of weight training (machines, free weights, BodyPump classes, etc) are so important.  Just love the BodyPump, BodyStep, & BodyCombat classes!  

I’m hooked & can keep up with members 30 years younger!  I supplement my weight training with the classes.  Keeps things interesting.   I thought about taking one of the Yoga classes, but don’t think my body can bend that way, however, I hope to take this class one day.  

I know stretching is so important. Last April, my body fat percentage was dropping, I dropped 10 pounds, & was feeling really good…working out 6 days per week.  I was pumped!  On my way home after a rigorous workout at O2 Fitness on a Sunday afternoon last April, I experienced my second heart attack on my way home from the gym.  I had to pull over & call 911, but the nice thing is that I’m here today writing you this note.  The problem was not plaque related, but rather scar tissue growing over a stent implanted 6.5 years prior, a VERY rare thing.  I was told that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. When the heart attack was in progress, the technicians said clinically I couldn’t be having a heart attack because my blood levels were perfect.  

My first question to my cardiologist was “how soon can I get back in the gym?”.  He made me promise to take a 2 week break.  To be on the safe side, I waited a little longer, but I’m hard at it again!  I really believe that my regular workout routine prior to the second heart attack had a LOT to do with my quick recovery.  I had the heart attack on a Sunday afternoon, catherization Monday afternoon, discharged from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, & back at work 80% Wednesday morning!

I tell people that I have a prescription that says I must workout in order to live.  I used to use the excuse that I didn’t have time in the day to workout due to appointments & other after work things I was involved in.  The way to get around this is to set an appointment for yourself (workout at O2 Fitness, walk on the beach, run/walk, etc).  Do something that isn’t work related, yet gets you out of the desk chair.

Most of us take really good care of our cars (regular oil changes, tire rotations, etc), but take our bodies for granted.  It’s a normal thing though. I’ve dropped my body fat 10% since the first of January & lost about 8 pounds so far this year. My biggest problem has always been the belly fat, but it’s slowly shrinking.  There’s a six pack under there somewhere! I am extremely active in our local Heart Walk helping them raise funds for heart research & public awareness of heart disease & stroke. Don’t get me wrong, cancer researching is also extremely important & I support that as well.  

However, heart disease continues to be the #1 killer of Americans today (especially women) killing more Americans than the top 3 cancers added together.  Heart disease is an invisible killer.  You can’t see it & most people don’t even know they have heart problems. I get on my workout soapbox whenever I can in hopes to save someone else’s life.  Life is SO precious…We need to take care of our bodies!

Please keep up the good work.  You won’t see instant results, but over time, if you keep up with your workouts & healthy eating, you will be a totally new person…more toned & feeling great!   I am excited that you are taking a proactive approach by working out & eating healthy.  Have a heart healthy day! Many thanks, Robert

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