*Note from Sarah: Jason Seib is back with an incredible story about one of his clients, Erika, and the power of living a paleo lifestyle. (Not to be confused with Everyday Paleo college student contributor by the same name!!)
Read and enjoy!
Erika Knows No Bounds
Sometimes we make excuses for why we don’t have the results we want. If you are someone who makes more excuses than progress, you might want to stop reading this right now. There’s a good chance that the obstacles you face are about to seem really trivial. Especially if you erected all of them in your own path.
Erika has been a member of my gym for a little over a year and she is a monster. See for yourself. Here are some of her numbers.
Deadlift – 285 lbs (current gym record for the women)
Back Squat – 220 lbs
Shoulder Press – 95 lbs
Bench Press – 115 lbs
Here she is with a 275 lb deadlift.
And here she is locked out at the top of a 105 lb push press.
Okay, so Erika is strong and that’s impressive, but there are lots of strong girls out there, why should you care? Because Erika is in a very elite class of strong girls and few can hold a candle to her drive and motivation. Erika has Multiple Sclerosis. She is supposed to be losing her ability to move her body. Instead she is consistently increasing her ability to lift weights at loads that most women will never approach. Before you assume any of this was somehow easy for her, check out her story as she described it to me in a recent email.
“I was diagnosed just before Christmas 2007 when I was 16. In March 2007, I ended up in the hospital for two weeks because my whole left upper body was severely numb, and they were having a difficult time figuring out what was wrong (it took nine months.) I could barely use my left arm or hand…I was put on harsh steroids for a month or so after my hospital stay, then when I was diagnosed, I started on a weekly injection called Avonex (interferon). After about a year, my left torso returned to normal, but there was still quite a bit of numbness in my left arm and new numbness of my right leg, random muscle spasms, and fatigue (I would take 2-3 hour naps most days.) After a MRI, my neurologist deduced that the medicine was not working because my brain lesions were progressing faster than they were supposed to. So, I was upgraded to Rebif which is three injections a week (terrible side effects from these, by the way.) I started paleo shortly after you spoke to our class in October 2010, but have only been very strict since summer 2011. I had a check-up a while ago, and my neurologist said I have no clinical symptoms of MS; the MRI is the only proof. My numbness, muscle spasms, and fatigue have disappeared. On rare occasions (probably when I’m over-stressed) my left hand will feel a little numb, but it goes away within 24 hours. I am due for another MRI next month, and we’ll see if there’s any improvement, as I have been trying my best to comply with Terry Wahls‘ protocol and have been off my immunosuppressant injections for a few months.”
March 16 marked 5 years since the first of her symptoms. She told me that when she sees her doctors they always ask her if she is experiencing any weakness. Haha! I can only imagine what they would say if she told them about her gym exploits. They might even think she was lying.
So what is holding you back from results like this? Let’s be honest, some of you are here because you want to look better naked, not because you are trying to overcome a life threatening disease, or even because you want to be healthier. Of course, there are also some who are tying to escape the day to day trials of ill health, and there is no doubt that I can’t pretend to relate to your situation. But what if we all trained and lived with the same kind of motivation that we find in Erika? Or even Deb, who felt awful but hadn’t been diagnosed with anything chronic. These people that we use as examples on this site and on EPLifeFit each have the same things in common. They don’t come to us because they hate their bodies and desperately want to change them. And they don’t come to us because they feel like victims. They come to us because they love themselves enough to know their bodies deserve better than what they have been getting. I’m not trying to sound like a zen master when I say this (over and over again), but it truly is all about perspective.
Anyway, how are those excuses sounding now?
Go forth and be awesome.