Four years ago this month, I left my 21-year IT career. It was no longer serving me well, and I needed to move on. I made a choice.

Things had to change as a result of leaving that position, and I am better for those changes.

That same month I went out with friends for a night on the Pedal Wagon. That triggered something in my back and for the next 10 days or so I was a mess. Chronic lower back pain was an issue for me for many, many years.

A friend recommended a gym to me. As I took time away from working I knew I wanted to tap into a healthier lifestyle to see what I could do about the pain besides popping a pill.

I hobbled in to meet Coach Ryan Patrick with PeakFAST. BEST MOVE EVER! We connected at a point in my life where I was ready, willing and able to change my thoughts and my choices to lead me to better overall health.

Not only did I build strength in my lower back and in my overall body, I learned how to treat my back on a daily basis to lower the frequency of the back pain and to reduce the length of time for recovery when it did flair up.

The relationship I built with Ryan and PeakFAST led me to my career change that I had no idea I would be choosing when I first left IT. I felt stronger, had more energy and did things I never knew I could do. So I decided I wanted to pay it forward and help others live their best life.

My key learnings the last four years:

  • We make choices every day that determine what happens in our lives. And not making a choice is still a choice!
  • We can…and should…ask for help. No one has to do any of this alone. Find the people who motivate you and who bring positive support into your life.
  • We have to put in the work. There is no magic pill or silver bullet. It is small, consistent tasks done every day. And if you miss a day or even a week, you get back to it as soon as you can.
  • Getting to our goals takes a lot of time and energy. Maintaining once we get there takes less work if you’ve learned things along the way.
  • Starting over is WAY harder than slowing down and then ramping back up.
  • We can still enjoy the foods and beverages we like. We must choose differently when and how much, but it can be done.
  • We can train ourselves to enjoy healthier food options.
  • Healthy food options can taste really good if you learn how to make them. Experiment with herbs and spices…makes a HUGE difference.
  • We can scale back one area and dial up another to be effective at maintaining where we want to be.
  • We have to be willing to learn and to experiment with many things to find what works for us. Just because your friend Sally did something a certain doesn’t mean it’s the right way for you.
  • Two of the most basic things we can do to feel better is drink more water and eat more whole foods. Sounds cliche, but try it. Stop eating processed foods at even one meal for a couple of weeks and see what you notice.

I’m sure there are many other things, but these are the ones I live by on a daily basis. I check in with myself daily and with my doctor annually. If both show positive results, then I know I’m doing what should be doing for me.

Fast-forward to today. I now have the training and knowledge needed to help others. So that’s the plan now. Get in front of as many people as possible and help as many of them as I can.

Just as I was when I met Ryan, I need people who are ready, willing and able to make the changes they need to reach their goals…whatever they may be.

My goals are to be fit enough to do the things we enjoy to do well into our older years. I want to avoid medications if at all possible. Right now, I take B12 because that showed as a deficiency for me. I can live with that for now, but I check it each year to see how my choices affect the numbers.

It’ is not fancy or earth-shattering. It is a goal to make daily choices that bring more positive into my life than negative.

Time to pay it forward. I’m here to help if you need support along your journey. Email me at jenrizzo@leanchanges4u.com if you’d like to chat!

Coach Jen

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