Breakthrough Spotlight –
Our September 2016 Breakthrough Spotlight is Amy Cooper!
We wanted to feature Amy’s story because her dedication and patience in her training has brought her to some exciting results, proving that consistency is key!
Breakthrough: Thank you Amy for sitting down with us to be our Spotlight this month!
Amy: Well I’m flattered, thank you.
Breakthrough: We’re excited to hear your story because you’re a great example of what can happen when you train consistently and don’t give up, even with a few set backs. So tell us a bit about your fitness journey? How were you feeling before you started training? Where were you at?
Amy: Well it’s interesting, after I went to law school I just got really fat and stopped exercising all the time. I started working out after about 5 years, in 2010, and I discovered kettlebells, and that was great, but then I had to have surgery, so that set me back a bit.
Breakthrough: Was there a turning point for you where you felt like now was the time to really get consistent and prioritize your fitness?
Amy: I had a job where the stress levels were so high that I was told I wouldn’t live to old age unless I quit that job. And I told you my A1C was up and all of my inflammation markers were up and I was overweight, and then I started training with you guys. It was sporadic at first, and I had a couple of injuries to work around, but I found that here I didn’t want to give up.
Breakthrough: Right, you needed to do something to put yourself first and take care of your health. What have been some of the biggest changes you see in yourself now?
Amy: You know, I was told that I was going to have to have fusion surgery in my back or else I wasn’t going to be able to walk in five years but that was over five years ago… and here I deadlifted 145 pounds a couple days ago! Also, I was a size 12 and I’m between a 6 and an 8 now.
Breakthrough: That’s so fantastic!
Amy: And I always say this, after about a year of working out consistently, I could put my pants on while standing up. And I know that doesn’t sound like much, but for anyone with lower back pain, it was a miracle! Because before I had to lie on my back on the bed with my legs up in the air and I’d put my pants on and then catapult myself forward holding onto the top of my pants to get them on. I couldn’t even stand and bend to tie my shoe. It’s amazing! It’s a miracle, it’s just a miracle.
Breakthrough: Well that’s because of you – you’ve put in the hard work! You show up, you’re dedicated, you do what you have to do week in and week out. Most recently you started making some big changes with your nutrition too, like discovering your love of cooking healthy meals again, which you had lost for a while.
Amy: That’s another big thing that I was thinking of – how it’s organized my life again to take care of myself. I love to cook, but after law school I just didn’t. But I have my routines now – I cook, and I’m just taking care of myself. And as I said, my last blood test my A1C was down to normal levels, and my cholesterol plummeted like 86 points.
Breakthrough: So your doctors must be happy too!
Amy: Oh my gosh, they said I’m going to live forever!
Breakthrough: Good! That’s good! So what’s been the biggest accomplishment for you, in terms of your dedication to your training?
Amy: Psychologically, for a while I kept thinking “OK you’re coming back, but you’re not an athlete anymore. You’re not young, you can only do so much,” and I’d stop myself. The big change was, at first I’d come in and say “I’m not going to be able to do it,” but now it’s like I can do everything! And I’ve seen that in other people too, particularly my age. I can see the psychological change in them when they gain the confidence to do things. And that’s the most exciting.
Breakthrough: That’s pretty powerful!
Amy: Yeah it is, it’s very exciting, and it’s exciting to see in others. I started fencing again in my 30’s, and I competed, but when I had the first back herniation, you feel like it’s over and I’m going to be old. But it isn’t over and you can continue on!
Breakthrough: Yeah, that’s awesome. I definitely think that’s true, we don’t have to throw in the towel. If you’re willing to be patient and consider the long term of training for quality of life, you can really accomplish a lot.
Amy: Well, and I want to say that every time I say that this has just been the greatest thing training here, you always say that it’s just my hard work. But no it’s not just my hard work because I could be doing a lot of hard work and not get the results – because I might not have people know what they’re doing, who know how to train you. Who understand how to keep me under control and make me work in baby steps, which was the hardest thing ever. So yes, I’m willing to put in the hard work, but I’ve had results that I’ve never had before in my life of working out, and I’ve been active all my life, and I’m elderly.
Breakthrough: Oh come on, you’re not elderly!
Amy: Well I am under law! But really, I’ve just given this whole life back to myself, which I think I was missing.
Breakthrough: That’s just fantastic! So, you’ve lost weight, you’re getting amazingly strong, you’re seeing good results in your blood work… so all aspects of you are in great shape! You’re a big inspiration – this is why we like to share these stories, because you’re a walking example of what can happen when you don’t give up, and stay dedicated to taking care of yourself.
Amy: Well I appreciate it and everyday I just know what a miracle it’s been, and how much I appreciate everything you guys have done for us!
Breakthrough: We appreciate you too! Thanks Amy!