Transformation Tuesday: Sara Discovered a Pain-Free Way to Lose 30 Pounds
In our #TransformationTuesday series, we chat with real Bowflex owners who have not only experienced major successes in their fitness journey, but have overcome major hurdles. This week we interviewed Sara, a proud mom of two who found a pain-free way to exercise after experiencing a herniated disc injury.
“I am able to crawl on the floor and play with my kids again, which in itself feels like a miracle. I have lost about 30 pounds and am back to wearing the clothes I wore before my first pregnancy, which I never expected in a million years.”
Sara, can you tell us a little about yourself, and your long distance running?
Sara: I am a happily busy stay at home mom of two, and a Navy wife. My son is 2.5 years old and my daughter is almost 8 months. We are now stationed in Indiana, after a 3-year tour in Naples Italy, where I was a group fitness instructor and personal trainer until the birth of our son.
I have been running since I was a freshman in college, first for fitness and then for stress relief. I ran my first half marathon in 2010, and my first full marathon in 2011. Since then, I have run maybe 5 more half marathons and one more full.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what happened during your second pregnancy? How did this make you feel?
Sara: During my second pregnancy, I started to experience pain in my left hip which I first attributed to normal pregnancy strain. It eventually got pretty debilitating, but I was 9 months pregnant so I guess I figured I should be uncomfortable by then. I remember 3 days after my second baby was born, I woke up and my hip and leg hurt. I realized that the pain wasn't pregnancy related at all and I cried, because I had been so hopeful that it would just go away. The lowest point for me was when my daughter was 3 months old, at which point I couldn't hold her while standing for fear that my leg would give out completely. Then one day, my son was being silly and started limping around, which I guess was how I looked when I walked. It broke my heart to be 27 years old and so limited in movement that my two year-old thought it was a funny game.
It turned out I had a badly herniated disc in my lower back (L4-5), and eventually had surgery which was only half successful. I still have pain from my hip to my toes on my left side.
Why did you choose the Bowflex Max Trainer?
Sara: My dad, actually. He originally bought the Max Trainer to keep himself in shape during the off season when he couldn't ride his bike. But he knew that I really missed running and thought it would be a good fit for me to exercise without having to leave the house, so he gave it to me and for that I am forever grateful.
Can you speak about what it’s been like to find a pain-free workout solution?
Sara: I can't even really describe what it's like to lose yourself to motherhood, much less doing so while in so much pain that you can't even think straight. Fitness was such a huge part of my life before having kids that not being able to be active was like losing myself entirely. Now that I can take an hour a day to work on myself, to sweat and compete with my past records, it feels like I've found myself again and it's just so good to know that I have that outlet.
Tell us about the Sara in your “after” picture. What has changed? How do you feel?
Sara: I am able to crawl on the floor and play with my kids again, which in itself feels like a miracle. I have lost about 30 pounds and I am back to wearing the clothes I wore before my first pregnancy, which I never expected in a million years. I am confident, comfortable in my skin, and closer to pain free than I thought was possible.
Is there something you can, or want, to do/accomplish now, that you could not do prior to your surgery?
Sara: I would like to run another half marathon, eventually. I didn't like full marathons even before my back injury, so I think 26.2 miles is a bit excessive now. But my surgeon assures me that running is unlikely to cause any new injury so I would like to get back to it. But honestly, even being able to stand up straight or walk without a limp is something I couldn't do before surgery so I'm grateful for every small improvement.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Sara: I would like to add that every injury is unique and I am lucky that exercise helps me manage my pain, instead of making it worse. I would hate for anyone to hurt themselves because they think they should be able to do more than their bodies allow. If any activity or exercise causes more pain than normal muscle soreness, it's time to see a doctor before continuing to make sure you aren't hurting yourself.