Last spring I started writing a chronicle called the “Last 20 Lbs.” to encourage women to gain self empowerment by losing weight and getting fit. Candidly, with a send of humor, sharing my own struggle, through a weekly installment. It was about taking off twenty pounds of post divorce weight, getting in shape for television and turning a triumphant new chapter in my life now that I’m over the age of 3o something.
The column ran a couple of months and I lost twelve pounds. I then had a knee injury and a couple of surgeries which required putting the column on pause. I am now healed up and ready to go again.
Everything was going well, SENSA was keeping me magic powder to sprinkle on my food, and I was training with Scott Bittermen from Emerge Athletics and taking an early morning AM Fittness Groove boot camp class with Ajia and doing a little jogging in between.
I lost 12 pounds, was nearing my goal and feeling good.
Then, a series of disasters happened, including a near death experience. I injured my knees, really badly, it was actually a re-injury to both knees that were already fragile from ten years of dancing professionally. As if that was not bad enough, I had an umbilical hernia from a past surgery which needed mending. The Orthopedist told me to just give myself a rest and try to not do too much, not walk around too much. Hard to do as a New Yorker on the go. So I decided to have the surgery on my hernia while I was resting my knees so that everything could heal at once. I gained all the weight back. Not being a quitter, the very first day I was cleared for exercise, I went for a jog.
Ten minutes in, I felt a throbbing pain in my left arm. Not a sharp shooting pain, just a fatigued feeling , similar to after working out arms. My heart was pounding in my throat. I slowed down and it went away, so I figured it was just from being out of shape from two months of not exercising.
Two days later, I went to my dentist Dr. Goldberg and the palpitations started again. I told him, he took a listen to my heart and said he could not hear anything wrong but he wanted me to see someone immediately. That helped save my life.
To make a long story short, four doctors and five days later, (This says volumes about our health care system!) on my birthday, I was finally in for an angiogram. My EKG, fitness level, young age and female gender had yielded results that were inconclusive. Even Dr. Coppola at NYU, who I owe my life to, was pretty sure he was going to send me home with some Plavix and call it a day. He told me he was going to give me a local anesthesia and I could watch everything that was happening on the monitor. “No way!” I exclaimed. “Please, it’s my birthday, I’m frightened, squeamish and I don’t want to know a thing! Please, tell your bartender to juice me up and put me out!” Thank G-d for that, because when I woke up Dr. Coppola said, “You had us all fooled. Your heart is amazing. Two of your arteries were completely blocked. You’ve been operating on 50% of your heart. I had to put three stent in.” Talk about a game changer! So, for my birthday I received the gift of a new lease on life and hopefully another 40 years to do great things, with my newly detailed heart. In my case, this was hereditary. Even at a young age, size 6, strong, reasonably fit and female, heart problems can happen.
At first, I was simply grateful to be alive, but as the adrenaline and pain killers wore off, I just felt sad and mad. Sad, that my heart is forever changed along with my whole life. That from now on, I will bruise like a tomato from all the meds I have to now take, wondering if I’ll ever be able to wear a skirt or dress again without people asking me if i’m being abused. I bruise so easily now. I feel like I look like a dalmatian. Sad and mad over all the stress and challenges that have taken such a tole on me. Mad and determined to put myself back together again. I have things I want to do with my life and need feel and look good while doing them.
In my journey, I am being sponsored by different trainers, classes, supplements and healthy snack companies.
Gennaro Ferra, former Mr. Australia
AM fitness Groove with Ajia as a group class
I will start by taking a photo of me “before” and end with a number of pounds lost, and an “after” photo.
So I’m back in the ring, getting back in shape, down to fighting weight. Fit, firm and fabulous. Nothing else will do.
To help me do this…
SENSA, I am going back to sprinkling! Thank you SENSA!
Escape 9.2 alkaline water from A virgin source in the Caribbean. Our bodies are mostly water, so obviously the better quality water you drink, the better quality your health will be. Thank you Escape!
Ugi, which is a new piece of exercise equipment, nutrition plan, and video series allowing a person to get a full body workout without needing slots of space or fancy gym equipment. Thank you Ugi!
Former Mr Australia, Gennaro Ferra, has offered some of his time to train me along with other fitness experts who are taking interest in my project and are getting ready to come on board. Thank you Gennaro!
So far, after cutting out wheat, carbs, sugar getting on the elliptical, taking walks and drinking plenty of water I have already started to see a difference. Three pounds in two weeks, without starving or living in the gym, just making small changes and easing back in to a steady exercise routine.
I will highlight my experience with each expert who steps in with their expertise, equipment, time, water, health food, supplement etc. To all of you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
This new reinstatement of “The Last 20 Lbs” is because I wanted to share with my readers my challenges, which hopefully are relatable. The quest for health and fitness is on going, even when there are setbacks. The healthier we are, the better our quality of life. But the bottom line is you can’t quit.