APRIL MEMBER OF THE MONTH ~ JEN BREKVELD
EARLIER THIS YEAR SHE RECEIVED A TOUGH DIAGNOSIS. SHE HAD BECOME DIABETIC. REALIZING THAT BEING A BUSY MOM AND HAVING AN ‘ACTIVE-ISH’ JOB WASN’T KEEPING HER HEALTHY, SHE BEGAN TO MAKE SOME IMPRESSIVE CHANGES.
Jen immediately began to address her diet. She started to pay attention to what she was eating, decreasing carbs and sugars and began losing weight. She knew that she needed to continue to fight this disease with exercise, as everything she was reading pointed to it. Just at the right time, Ignite Fitness was beginning our 6 Week Challenge program. Jen signed up to keep working on her goal of reversing her diabetes diagnosis. She chose to keep pushing for this big goal so that she could pursue pregnancy and to regain her health.
When asked about the top one or two things that held her back from these goals previously, she quickly stated a “lack of motivation, and not putting herself first”.
After signing up for our 6 Week Challenge, she was so excited to continue on this journey. She had already lost 20lbs with just changing her diet and knew that even more progress was coming if she signed up.
POSITIVE CHANGES AND OVERCOMING STRUGGLES
In my interview with Jen I asked her what she has liked best about working with us. She has really loved the small group classes, the engagement that comes from classes and the personalized coaching that is available. She also said the communal suffering of the Workout Of the Day (WOD) and the great feeling of accomplishment and community that comes from finishing is pretty cool.
Some of the challenges that she has overcome to keep progressing towards her goal of reversing diabetes, are DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), though she did mention that even when she came and was sore, it seemed to help it go away! Time commitments, keeping up with kids and family life are obviously factors that can slow progress. She says that if you can just keep working towards your goal and learning though mistakes, setbacks or injury, you will be able to achieve your goal. Once you see even a small amount of progress it becomes very motivating to see even more success.
For Jen, this was primarily seen in her blood sugar level. She is now out of the diabetic range (it’s only been 3.5 months!) and is now motivated not only by reversing diabetes, but by what she can do. After seeing that she is able to change her blood sugars, she is tackling her body composition/fat loss with the very long term goal of completely eliminating diabetes.
I asked her what she was most proud of achieving since starting with us in February. With a big grin she flexes her arm and says, “Definitely the muscle. I was so surprised at how fast it showed up.”
RECLAIMING HEALTH AND LIVING LIFE
In talking with her further, she says that now she is feeling so proud of herself, driven and motivated for further success. She now can see her future looking full of fun, with some bucket list items being revisited. She is happy with the fact that her kids have been positively influenced by proxy of her positive changes in diet and activity. They want to try rock climbing and Jen is excited to go try with them! She was eager to add that so much is different in her life since beginning CrossFit. Her confidence and motivation are higher, she says she feels a real and surprising drive and just feels better. She is excited to see the fitness from the gym translate into ‘real life’ fitness, doing things like rock climbing and noticing that her back doesn’t hurt at her job anymore.
The last question I asked her was ‘What would you say to anyone else who might be dealing with diabetes, or wanting to lose some weight?’ With a smile she said, “Just do it. You will feel strong and better for it.”
We have been so excited to see Jen’s progress these last couple of months, and are so happy to share that she has committed to working on her goals beyond the 6 Week challenge and will be here for at least a year working towards her next goals.
GO JEN! We are fully behind you and ready to support you in this journey!