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 👊. Until then I will continue to be an advocate and hopefully a source of info for those looking for answers.
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 been 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!!!
I feel super blessed to have been part of last nights #epic fights at Rage in the Cage! Aside from the fact that it was LOADS of fun, I got to experience getting glammed up like a celebrity from head to toe! I want to give a huge shout out to Paula Wheeler who did an absolutely flawless job on my spray tan!! Ever since my surgery last fall I have been super self conscious about the scars on my stomach left by the “fun” 6 incisions made during my Heller Myotomy with Dor Fundoplication Surgery to treat my Achalasia, more about that: here. So when I was asked/told that I would be a ring girl for the fights I was quite hesitant. Although I am getting on stage for a Bikini Comp in 2 weeks I knew that I would have a hard core spray tan for the comp while on stage and that my scars wouldn’t be visible, I also didn’t think I was stage ready body wise and a bit nervous to be walking the ring with 2 seasoned Bikini Beasts! But I decided why NOT! So friday I met with Paula to get sprayed and Saturday I went back to get my second coat. I was thrilled, not only did the tan not stink like the ones you get for a show, it helped to cover up my scars really well! Saturday morning I got my haiiiiiiiiiiir did by my friend Ashley and boy did she hook it up! My hair was amazing and the style lasted from 1pm to 2am!!! After hair was makeup done at MAC-Chandler. My Makeup Artist was Adriana Ortiz and she did totally did her thing!
I almost didn’t recognize myself when she was finished. The makeup was amazing and lasted alllllllll day and allllllllll night from 2pm to 2am and was super easy to remove! (I will be hitting her up to do my makeup for the show). Then it was time to get to the event. It was amazing to be part of something SOOOOO ORGANIZED! Especially since I have been part of things in the past that were super unorganized disasters in the past 😐 I gotta give it to the entire Hyland Group. They had everything covered down to the tee!!! The event was packed, the fights were #legit and the energy in the place was electric, everyone was crunk, cheering and having a good time.
and Teri Stewart
did their thing as #ragebabes! I’m so honored to have rocked it out with them!
It was also so cool to see the fighters rocking their Freak of Nature Hoodies you can order yours athttp://www.fonbeast.com/
It is so inspiring to see young entrepreneurs taking big risks, putting everything on the line and having everything turn out awesome way to go Nathan, Nolan, Danielle and Ashley Hyland! Shout out to all the amazing people I know that came out to have fun and support this event, I hope you guys had a blast and I hope you caught the shirts I was trying to fire your way ;-)!!! I feel super BLESSED to have a husband who is super supportive and always there for me and down to have a good time no matter what (not to mention the fact that he is pretty smokin hot!) as well as to have been asked to be a part of this event. I am looking forward to the next fight night in October (hopefully they will have me back walking the ring ;-))
For info on getting tanned, makeup or hair done private message me for the info! Those girls are rockstars.
Check out the link for the article below. I too am often asked if I Crossfit (some people say because I have a “crossfit body”, which I definitely don’t but thats a whole other post in itself)…my answer hell no! I tried it a few times and the first time I went I ended up being injured for 2 weeks! The “coach” assigned to me for the workout (since I was a newbie) I later found out wasn’t certified…in fact she had failed her certification 2 times already. Her instructions were little to none in fact she wasbunable to properly demo the movements herself!!! The owner of the gym (a major douche) came over and rudely asked me how many pushups and pullups I was doing each round, when I replied 10 he YELLED AT ME “YOU CAN’T DO 10, THATS 100!!!!!!!!” after telling him I didnt know how many to do since it was my first time he laughed and said sarcastically “pfff, not 10!” When I asked him “how many, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5,?!?!” He walked away and didn’t even reply…wow how welcoming. I have been an athlete my ENTIRE life, I have had some of the most OUTRAGEOUS coaches, I have a super thick skin, and I can hang with the best of them, but this guy was just straight disrespectful. Considering he had the body of a 1990’s Al Bundy, and looked like he hadn’t done a “kip up”, a “lap around the parking lot” or an “overhead squat” in about 78 years. I decided to cut my reps down to 5 per round but the damage was already done and the next day I couldn’t straighten my arm without excruciating pain. Me who is a fitness professional, a former college athlete, and someone who exercises an average of 10 hours per week…injured at crossfit (I can only imagine what happens to deconditioned folks). I was forced to get subs for some of my classes and to teach those I was unable to find subs for with one arm(ever seen Zumba with only one arm…its not pretty and everyone starts doing what your doing). Do I think all crossfit places are as much as a disaster gongshow as the one I went to on Tempe? No, the friend I went to that “box” with that day evwn explained to me that her “box” wasn’t like that and would never treat people let alone guests that way (lets be real shouldn’t they be trying to make peeps feel welcome so they will sign up and pay $200 a month for a membership there?!?!), but it was too late my mind was made up, I went to crossfit another few times at a place a friend who I kbow to be very knowledgeable opened up but I would only go on days I knew the “WOD” would be leg focused. In general I do not think this “sport” is something scientifically backed and safe for the general population. Read the article “Why I Don’t Crossfit” here.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Mine is backed by personal experience and scientific research! Happy Tuesday!
See ya on the flip side,
Its been 3 months since I had surgery for Achalasia! I am so glad I did. Although I still have food limitations (mainly have to take small bites, drink lots of fluid with food, and eat slowly, and I get full super quick off almost nothing) I am pretty much a “normal person” in the sense that I no longer fear I will choke to death or projectile vomit while eating food! I am fully back into the swing of my workouts although my core is still not back to its full strength since they cut into me with the scope in 7 places, and my abs have yet to make a reappearance, BUT I am working hard to lift heavy, eat more and gain the size I lost while on my deathbed and then some! The main thing people say when I see them for the first time since I was diagnosed is “well you sound great” which is ironic considering my surgery wasn’t done on my larynx I had a Laproscopic Heller Myotomy with Dor Fundoplication…but none the less its good to know people recognized my absence and were concerned :-P. I have officially decided to compete in the August OCB Show here in Mesa, AZ in the bikini division and I am PUMPED! the way my workouts and food are going I will def be ready to bring it when I hit the stage! If you follow me on FB (isabelle alexander), instagram @izzythetrainer , or twitter @izzythetrainer you’ve seen my check-ins and my hashtagging #izzytakesthestage and thats exactly what I plan to do. I will be attending the March NPC show to not only cheer on my many friends competing but I will be back stage helping out as well. I am super excited to get an all access pass of what to expect come August. I have had some Achalasia peeps reach out to me via instagram who haven’t yet had their surgery which I think is really cool. So for you #achalasiasurvivor and #achalasiaasskickers out there here is “Izzy’s list to a smooth sailing operation date” 1) top thing to puree while on ur liquid diet is chili and protein shakes. (Obvi not together) the chili will actually still taste like chili when mashed 2) dont take ur liquid pain meds on an empty stomach you will feel drunk and nauseated and you don’t wanna throw up after ur surgery cuz sneezing, coughing and even blowing your nose feels like death! 3) if u have to grocery shop bring someone with you! You have no idea how much core work is involved in pushing a shopping cart until you do it 3 days after your core has been mangled! 4) hydrate hydrate hydrate leading up to the minute your allowed to before your surgery!!!! Being dehydrated will cause you difficulty with the IV and in my case you will end up with scaring on your veins which looks and feels like bumps…gross! 5) bring with you in ur “surgery bag” a robe, loose clothes, slippers, movies to watch and peeps that love you! Visitors will make you feel better! 6) last but not least as soon as you are allowed to get up and go for laps around the hospital floor! The first time will SUCK! But don’t feel bad! Step by step you will make that lap your biatch!!! 7) as soon as your stitches come out or are dissolved and your scabs have fallen off I recommend using Scaraway silicone based scar strips $17.00 at walmart $19 at frys or kroger they really helped diminish size, color, and appearance of my scars and to help avoid keloids. Achalasia sucks but it could be worse…you could be dead! Xoxo see ya on the flip side!!
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 DOBSON (blackout theme) Wednesday 9am BODYCOMBAT 24 HOUR FITNESS CHANDLER (super hero theme) Wednesday 5:30pm Bootcamp 24 HOUR FITNESS MESA DOBSON (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. Fingers crossed they will go away all together! Now its Sunday so I gotta get back to clipping coupons and drinking this stuff so my throat will stop feeling like sickness is coming on!! See ya on the flip side xoxo
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.