I used to run. I used to go to a gym without trainers, using various equipment with what I realize now was pretty bad form. The result was knee pain. I then fell on my knee and injured it. The fall along with misguided exercise, yo-yo dieting, and arthritis made it harder and harder to get around. I also have a hereditary swelling in my legs called Lipedema. The combination made me increasingly immobile, over-weight, and depressed. I bent over when I walked, unable to straighten up without pain. I was having trouble straightening my leg out after sitting, intermittently. It was bad.
The gym became my life-line. The trainers (particularly, Keith) never let me give up. If I couldn’t do one thing they always had an alternative. They were both compassionate and upbeat. I came six days a week, determined to regain my mobility. I also saw Bethany (the wonderful Nutritionist) once a week. I learned how to eat whole foods and avoid inflammatory foods. I also learned to stop making food the enemy. I slowly started to lose weight and gain strength! A little less than a year later I had a total knee replacement, and after a difficult recovery and painful physical therapy, I came back to the gym (as soon as the doctor gave the OK).
I have lost more weight but I have also replaced fat with muscle. I am doing things now that I haven’t done in years, from walking up the stairs “like normal people,” to doing squats. The swelling in my legs has also gone down and I am standing up much straighter. The gym for me has been life-changing and I cannot thank everyone enough for helping me get to this point.