How I Battle the Skinny Demon, by Deanna D’Amore
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In July 2013, I crashed my mountain bike and wound up in the trauma ward with multiple broken thorax bones. The treatment was bed rest, which turned my body to mush. In just a month at Gymnasium I had rebuilt a lot of my strength, power, and stamina, becoming more limber and with less body pain.
[After 3 months…] I just returned from five days of telemark skiing at Alta ski area in Utah, elevation 10,000 feet. I am here to testify the Gymnasium path to fitness prepared me for this ski trip better than any other fitness approach I have ever tried. At the end of every day I was tired, sure, but not sore, and still not sore the next morning of every day. My endurance and recovery were remarkable. As I skied, all I could think of was how well all those movements and rebuilt strength really served me well. The focus at Gymnasium on building core strength also really helped my balance in the bumps, steeps and at speed. I was just amazed and overjoyed at how effective an hour a day, three days a week, week after week at Gymnasium prepared me for this physical challenge.
When I resolved to change my food and fitness habits I found Gymnasium and started the 60 Day Challenge. My previous experiences as a farmer had taught me a lot about food and healthy eating, but I wasn’t really ‘walking the walk’…
I decided it was time to get more connected to my food. In the past I had suffered from a binge eating disorder, so this move to reestablish a healthy relationship with food was very significant for me. I quit eating processed foods and added sugars (including alcohol). I held myself accountable, put a chart up on the wall to track my progress, and told all of my friends about my decision. I created a diet for myself based on fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts/nut butters, eggs, fish, and occasional meat. By eating more of my own vegetables I became a testament to the healing power of fresh, local produce. I grew the vegetables, and the vegetables grew me.
After only two months…I can do 6 pull-ups. (I couldn’t do one before). I lost 15 pounds. I fit into my little sister’s jeans, I can lift more than my guy friends, and I have way more energy all day. I am more in control of my eating habits, more powerful, and more at peace with myself than ever before. I actually enjoy eating. I don’t feel anxious or guilty about food. I feel so free.
Gymnasium was the catalyst that helped me get myself in balance. By deliberately challenging my mental and physical self, I am more prepared to deal with the physical and emotional stresses at my job.
Gymnasium taught me this: Don’t underestimate your own strength. Set intentions, take baby steps, breathe, love your body as it is, and find ways to move that bring you joy. Gymnasium is an incredible fitness community that meets you wherever you’re at, and I am so thankful to have found it.
At 44, I was fit and healthy but bored with how I was exercising. Whatever I did, however healthy and challenging, felt one-dimensional in terms of overall fitness.
I joined Gymnasium to prepare for a 4-day hike to Yosemite to climb Half Dome. The work at Gymnasium prepared me for all the physical and mental challenges I encountered on the trip–-and there were many. Most importantly, Gymnasium instilled a confidence in me about my body that I have never had before. In a strictly physical sense, I feel like I can accomplish what I want to and do it with grace, joy and without injury. This is something I had on the top of Half Dome and will continue to have. In addition, I have found little surprises that I continue to be delighted by:
Gymnasium is a space, a community, and a path: Strength & Movement.
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