Debbie is one of those people that fell in love with the process of getting and staying fit.
She came in ONLY with the goal to support her husband, which I’ll let her tell you more below, she had no intention of anything more. In fact, if I remember correctly, she said she would like to lose SOME weight but just wanted to be healthier for her family’s sake.
Well… we hit the fast-forward button she has completely changed her life, and she continues to inspire others to change theirs. Her story is VERY relatable to many that start working out late in life but still manage to only get in better shape each and every year killing that dogma that once you hit your 40’s your body goes to hell.
She is truly in the best shape of her life, AND I only see it getting better from here 🙂
What was life like BEFORE RTC?
I never really had worked out before RTC. My husband just had a quadruple bypass and had to go to heart rehab 3x’s a week. I wanted to be supportive and knew we both needed to change our lifestyles. So I told him…
“I would workout 3x’s a week and be sore right beside him.”
So I started a “drop a dress size”, and showed up for each session, and that’s where it all began.
What is life like NOW or how has it changed?
This one is hard to answer without writing a book! Many aspects of my life have changed.
I never believed that I could “train” for a goal until meeting the coaches. We would set a goal for whatever I wanted to accomplish big or small, then when the first goal would be completed, and they would look at me and say what’s next?
Then I would think what would challenge and inspire me all at the same time. And another goal would be set. Then having someone believe I could do something and train to achieve it, is huge for me. Sky’s the limit!!
So I have set and completed multiple goals in the 5 years I’ve been at RTC. Three National Powerlifting records, Two 1st place division records, I’ve run a half marathon (working on my second in Feb 2018), trained for a Fit Fabulous and Forty photo shoot and vacation for my 40th birthday.
As of writing this I have lost over 60 lbs and am continuing to lose. These have all been big goals in the last few years for me.
What do you see in your future because of your changes?
My future will always contain a fitness goal, something to strive for and accomplish.
My food choices will forever be changes since coming to RTC. I’ve learned so many things about myself, my nutrition, my hormones, etc…(That’s a whole other story)
My strength has definitely changed, physically and mentally. That is a forever change in my life.
My time that I spend at RTC is awesome. We are all like family here. Its great to come in and be greeted by all your workout buddies faces. We are all working on our own goals and Travis is orchestrating all of our training to help us achieve them. It’s really cool to see everyone’s transformation. And lifestyle changes.
Everyone’s journey is different, but each one begins with one step, and then another, and another. Until what was difficult to do before now becomes easy.
For me and my diet, I had to get to the point that I hated feeling bad for me to make a change. Food was making me so sick, I had to go back to the basics and go on an elimination diet. I learned about it from a nutritional workshop Travis was hosting. That gave me a blueprint of what to eat and what not to eat. Then I worked on a lot of research for myself and my stomach issues. To figure out what works best for me.
Can’t wait for whats next for my journey. Each step is a new beginning. 🙂
How She Started with her Workouts
When I first met Debbie it was honestly to just get her to feel and move better so she could help her husband out more so in the very beginning it was lots of education on HOW to workout and HOW to eat. We honestly spent a lot of our time together talking and educating the world of fitness from popper nutrition to how to incorporate exercise into her busy schedule. What she didn’t tell you was during this time of starting to workout she was also beginning to start her OWN business so we knew that time was very limited.
Our focus early in her career was similar to Daniel Meyer’s lots of bodyweight and volume work with very short rest. We only had three days a week to workout so we made sure to get the most bang for her buck.
When life settled down we noticed that she has a natural strength to her and a competitive drive; I proposed an idea of a powerlifting meet and she committed for 4 months to dedicated strength training just to see what she can do. Well as you can read above, she did VERY well.
The below video is just a few of her lifts from her FIRST powerlifting meet 🙂
Debbie was diagnosed with Hashimoto before I met her and with that, she was starting her own education process with learning what caused her body to have more intense reactions. Being that food was a big culprit of some of her responses we spent a TON of time going through elimination diets.
What I mean by elimination diet is that for a period of time we remove certain foods that have a history of causing inflammatory reactions to individuals GI systems. We would abstain from certain foods (gluten, nightshades, some starches, types of protein) and then after a period of time, usually after 3 weeks, we would reintroduce them one at a time and observe any reactions that she had. Reactions such as bloating, swelling, acne, lethargy, the list goes on. This allowed us, over time to know what foods really aggravated her body and her thyroid.
With this came a very steady weight loss and overall just feeling BETTER.
As of now, she is very well in tune with her body. She knows what aggravates her, what her body loves, and what she needs to eat to perform and excel with her workouts on a daily basis. Food no longer makes her sick, it’s no longer work for her to do this, it’s just a lifestyle that she loves.
What We Are Planning For The Future
Debbie is in the process of running another half marathon so we are keeping her strength in check while her body healthy for the longer runs ahead THEN we are getting her prepared for another powerlifting meet early next year. She wants to set some new national records AT a lower weight class, this means we have to spend more time leaning her out without a drop in her performance. I anticipate that when everything is said and done with this meet next year, she will be the strongest, and leanest she has ever been 🙂
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other cool letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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