#TBT 2 years later

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2 years ago today I had my HM (heller myotomy) surgery to treat A (Achalasia)! It’s crazy the difference 2 years can make. Over the course of time since my surgery I went back to school, prepped and competed in my first fitness competition, got an amazing job at NASM, got pregnant and had a baby!

When I was first diagnosed with “A” it was super depressing. There were many days that I felt totally alone, despite the fact that I was surrounded by my hubby and great friends who were very supportive, I found myself frequently asking God “why me?!”. Finally, it was through the power of social media (and my oh so amazing hash tags) that a girl named Brie found me and reached out to me via Instagram. I have never met her in person but she also suffers from A. She introduced me to an Achalasia group on Facebook and finally I no longer felt alone.

After reading stories and posts from others suffering from the same disease my thoughts of “why me?!” Became “why not me?!”. A is relentless, it knows no age, gender, socioeconomic group or ethnicity. No two people are alike. We all suffer from different symptoms but the one thing we have in common is somewhere along the way our bodies decided to start attacking itself. I began to think to myself “God never gives you more than you can handle”. I am blessed to have been diagnosed at a young age, and because I am young fit and healthy my recovery has been quick. I was able to resume my regular activities 6 weeks after surgery and have never looked back.

My outlook on life has changed tremendously since my diagnosis. I no longer sweat the small stuff and I look at each day as another opportunity to be amazing and to be a blessing to someone else. Over the past 2 years I have had others reach out to me via social media and through my blog who are also suffering and looking for answers. Since it is a rare disease many times even the doctors don’t know what to tell people so I am always happy to lend some info and share things that did or did not work for me.

There is no cure for Achalasia so it will be something I will deal with for the rest of my life. But I am healthy and blessed to be able to eat (almost like a normal person) again. My 6 scars have faded but they will always be there to remind me that I am stronger than what tried to slowly kill me. Everyday I pray they find a cure for this and that my daughter will never have to know the struggle of Achalasia!

To those of you suffering who have questions about exercising please feel free to reach out to me 💪 I am pretty much a pro when it comes to post op activities. To those of you in the Facebook support groups and to my girl Brie, you will never know how much you have helped me through this struggle, and I am forever grateful! We are #achalasiaasskickers and we won’t let this stop us!

For more info on Achalasia visit:
http://www.achalasia.us you never know it could one day help someone you know!

See you on the flip side!

-Xoxo Izzy

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Broken not Destroyed

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This time last year I was in a hospital bed recovering from my Heller Myotomy surgery to treat #Achalasia. What a year it has been! In the past 365 days I have gained a new lease on life, a new job, new friends, and stronger bonds with my old friends and loved ones, and took home some hardware in my first fitness competition and became an official ragebabe for Rage in the Cage!
I know everything happens for a reason, and to be honest I don’t know too many people that could have endured the shenanigans I had to deal with and survived it like a boss #justsaying, but I am happy that my story has helped reach those who were suffering alone. I am thankful I can eat food like a normal person (even though I still get full super quick) but conscious of the fact that since there is no cure I will always have Achalasia. My scars have faded but are still there to remind me of the struggle that I and many have to face. I am hopeful that with the daily advances in modern medicine one day we will have the knowledge of what causes this rare disease and ultimately cure it šŸ‘Š. Until then I will continue to be an advocate and hopefully a source of info for those looking for answers.

See ya on the flip side xoxo.

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#izzytakesthestage

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After months and months…….and months of anticipation it finally arrived! The ANBC Arizona Natural Physique Competition, and it was awesome! I feel sooooooo blessed to have such amazing supportive friends and family in my life which all helped to make my journey to the stage epic! After overcoming a diagnosis of Achalasia last fall while training to do my first show (more about that here) my goal was to gain weight(about 15lbs) in order to compete (bigger shoulders,wider back, and build a booty!)The show went great!!! Although my tan did start to turn green in the evening during finals (i think its the HULK in me trying to come out). I walked away with 4 trophies!!! That’s right 4! More importantly I set a goal and crushed it which is what I love to do…and I had fun (and looked good) doing it :). I also met a ton of cool new people at the show mostly everyone backstage was super friendly…the others were just mean mugging…. Big shout out to my trainer/hubby Donald, my nutrition coach Scott Keppel, and my posing coach Kelli Michelle for helping me look my best on show day! Another big shout out to everyone who came out to the show to support and all of you who have been supporting me from a distance!!!The feedback I got from the judges was that I have “really great glutes”(they better be great I’ve been on operation build a booty for 8 months and eating non stop to get those #gains!!!!) but I was borderline “too muscular for bikini…specifically my quads” (or i like to refer to them quadzilla) which I already had concerns about going into the show. Which was good feedback since that is something that can be fixed (the quad thing…I don’t have plans on softening up all over….just not for me)! I think I pretty much have competition fever now and I recently met with Donald and Scott to figure out what’s next. Since I don’t really want to get bigger and compete in figure I will keep working towards doing my 2nd Bikini show (I am pro card hungry)! So there it is! #izzytakesthestageround2 to come later this year! Until then I will be back posting my non stop gym selfies. For those of you who are #achalasiasurvivors like me I hope that my journey has beenĀ  an example that even though we are stricken with this disease which has no cure, and no known cause, there is nothing that we can not do! Like the Under Armour commercial says “I WILL WHAT I WANT”! Since I am on vacation I will keep this post short and sweet! Remember folks eat food, lift heavy and live life to the fullest!!!

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See ya on the flip side,

xoxo

Ā 

I’m baaaaaaack!

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image Wooohooooo so excited to be back teaching! Today was my first class back since Sept 28th todays theme was fan pride so I rocked my throwback GSU soccer t-shirt! I am so happy and excited to be back doing what I love the most! It was awesome to see some of my regular members back in class today and I hope to see everyone throughout the week. I’m teaching more classes this week so if ur free get ur butt to one: Monday 5:30pm BODYCOMBAT 24 HOUR FITNESS MESA DOBSON (neon glow theme) Tuesday 5:30pm BODYPUMP 24 HOUR FITNESS MESA DOBSONĀ  (blackout theme) Wednesday 9am BODYCOMBAT 24 HOUR FITNESS CHANDLER (super hero theme) Wednesday 5:30pm Bootcamp 24 HOUR FITNESS MESA DOBSONĀ  (super hero theme) Saturday 10am BODYCOMBAT 24 HOUR FITNESS MESA DOBSON! Jan 11-15th is fitfest so guests are FREE!! If you wanna come let me know and I will get you hooked up! Today was a good day! Even my scars are getting better they have flattened out and have faded a lot. image Fingers crossed they will go away all together! Now its Sunday so I gotta get back to clipping coupons and drinking this stuff soĀ  my throat will stop feeling like sickness is coming on!! See ya on the flip side xoxo

I’m back baby!

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image Today was my first day working out since Sept 28th when I first got sick! Man oh man did it feel good to be back! I started with a 5.14km (3.2miles) run on the treadmill n finished in 26mins and some change (not my best time but it has been over 3 months since I last did anything to sweat) then I hit the free weights to work chest, biceps and triceps :-)! I’m pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face from start to finish and I have never been so happy to get sweaty! We sre on vacation on Winnfield, LA (a tiny dot on the map between shreveport and baton rouge) for Christmas but that didn’t stop my hubby and I from finding time to hit the gym. Its an amazing feeling to be doing something you love with the one you love! I plan on hitting the gym here for the next 4 days that we are here. Big shout out to Sherri from All Hour Fitness here in Winnfield for setting us up with guest access to use the gym while we are in town!! Thank you to all of you who have been following me on this crazy health journey. I love each and every one of you and am thankful for your support, kind words, and most of all your prayers. See ya on the flip side xoxo.

Louisiana Bound!

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Woooohoooo Christmas vacation has arrived! We made it safely to our Christmas destination of Winnfield Louisiana, however the same can not be said for Foxy’s airline carrier bag. This happpened while on our first flight of the day!
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She was super quiet the whole time but I heard her digging at the bag and saw it moving around and that’s when I saw it…a little black nose coming thru the bag! Not only did she have the audacity to destroy the bag but she also tried numerous times during the 2 hour flight to escape from it!! Needless to say my little nugget loves to be bundled up but not in a crate, kennel, or carrier.
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We arrived in Alexandria where we were greeted by my mother and sister in law as well as 3 of our nephews (feeling loved šŸ™‚). After that we were off to Quitman to surprise our niece Jessica who’s bday it was.  Today was def an awesome day spent with family and my face literally hurts from laughing so much! And more good news my diet has been upgraded and I no longer have any food restrictions (just need to make sure to chew stuff realllllllly good) and then the better news came…….IM ALLOWED TO WORKOUT AGAIN!!!!! Finally it has been over 3 months since I have done any type of exercise! I will be back teaching classes as of January 1st! In the meantime I plan on using this 8 day vaycay as a way to ease back into beastmode! I’m so pumped but I know these 4 things for sure:
1) it will hurt (2 days after my first workout ill prob be in agony)
2) it will be hard (I am always up for a challenge #takethatachalasia)
3) I will most likely barf during my first workout (it has been 12 weeks! Its like starting from scratch)
4) IT WILL BE AWESOME!!!!!
I will be sure to keep you  guys posted on my progress! So excited to see what amazing things this trip brings! Xoxo see you on the flip side.