Tuesday, January 17, 2023
I can't even count how many people I've worked with in the 15+ years I've been a personal trainer and health coach. I love the challenge of helping someone reach their health and fitness goals.
But my absolute favorite success story is my husband.
Brien and I met in the fall of 2004 when we were both running cross country in college. Although to be honest I don't remember actually talking to him then. He says we did, so we'll go with that...
I was vaguely aware of who he was because I was friends with two of his closest friends, but we didn't actually start hanging out until the summer after our junior year of college when his friends moved into the apartment below mine. We dated for 6 months, broke up for a year, then started dating again in the fall of 2008 when he finished army basic training. We ended up getting engaged and married in 2009, then dove head-first into army life.
In the spring of 2013 he got out of the army and we went back to civilian life. He got a job at the juvenile detention center and went to grad school at night. I ran my personal training business and took care of our 3 littles. Life was crazy and often very stressful.
While in the army, Brien developed pretty severe acid reflux. After army life it continued to get worse, along with some other gut issues. Between 2015 and 2019 he saw quite a few different doctors, but he continued to get worse and worse. He was in the ER several times thinking he was having a heart attack because pain was radiating through his chest and into his left arm.
He had every test imaginable done for his stomach, lungs, and heart, and never got any answers. Doctors told him it was just stress, that he needed to go on stronger meds for his acid reflux, accused him of using illegal drugs, and told him it was all in his head.
Needless to say, it was really frustrating.
Several times over the years I suggested a total diet overhaul. We ate "pretty healthy" most of the time, but there was plenty of room for improvement. But he was adamant that changing how he ate wouldn't help.
Finally, in the spring of 2020 he had had enough. He told me he would eat whatever I told him to eat for one month.
I put him on a strict paleo diet: no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol, no legumes (basically, we cut out all the major inflammatory foods).
The first 2 weeks were absolutely awful. He had severe fatigue and brain fog, his gut was a mess, and he was soooo cranky. I assured him these were all normal reactions, and reminded him that he promised me a month.
So he stuck it out. And by week 3 he was feeling better. At the end of week 4 he told me he wanted to keep going. By the end of the third month he was off of his acid reflux prescription and most of his other symptoms were gone. He had also lost 40lbs, which was not even part of our goal. He never once counted calories or macros. We just made sure he was eating real, nourishing foods.
It has been absolutely life-changing for our family. We've since experimented and figured out which foods he can handle and which cause "flares" of his old symptoms.
I'm a wife, mother of 4, and health coach with 15+ years experience in the fitness industry.
After spending many years helping people change their eating habits to reach their health and fitness goals, I'm sharing some of my favorite tips and recipes here.
I hope they help you reach your goals!