Healthy Lifestyle Comeback

by | Jan 15, 2021 | 0 comments

This picture says it all. I was broken, sick, exhausted, and hopeless. I hit rock bottom in 2020, which is saying a lot because 2020 sucked. I lost a business I loved and I was losing a community that kept me happy and sane for the past three years. I am the queen of comebacks, but this would be my biggest comeback. Comebacks are a unique combination of hard work and good luck. With 2021 rapidly approaching, I was not sure I could rally both this time. 

The stress and sadness impacted my body, which is terrifying for someone with MS. If I got sick, could I get too sick to work?  I was on the precipice of losing my entire career, not just my business. This is always on the mind of someone living with a disease like MS. There are many talented and brilliant MS warriors who have made this sacrifice, and it looked like I was headed for an early retirement. My pain was so bad that I could not run and could barely walk. I had accepted that my body might take away more. In addition to my usual MS and lupus symptoms, I started losing my hair. That seemed particularly cruel at the time, but I was accepting the new reality because I thought I had to.

It felt a little ironic that I was trying to create a health and wellness business when I was in so much pain. I had eight weeks to pull it together and I decided to be my own first customer. I took a photo and coached myself.  I cried a lot for those 8 weeks. I don’t mind work, but it was not easy to focus on the positive with so much physical and emotional pain. 

I called my doctors to make sure I was managing my health and needed to start preparing for the worst. I scheduled an MRI because I was scared. I knew things were bad when I lost my car in the hospital parking lot. I walked up and down each row for 45 minutes. Not only was my body aching I was suffering from brain fog. I cried a lot in 2020, but losing the car in the hospital parking lot made me laugh.  It seemed cruel enough to be funny, and I had already cried enough.

I am happy to say that in a little over two months, I am on track to hit all my goals. The MRI I took after working with the program looked great and on top of that I am feeling so much better. I did not lose the ability to run like I feared I had, and each run is only getting better. Many of the symptoms that had plagued me over the past three years have disappeared. In addition to feeling great my hair is growing back and my hands are more mobile than they have been in a long time. I know that being happy about a full head of hair is vain, but it’s a sign that I’m getting my health back so I’ve decided to celebrate this as a milestone.

I have some advice for anyone looking to make a healthy lifestyle comeback

Don’t wait to feel better. Trying to feel better is better than any other option out there. 

Find a supportive community. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Embrace your starting point, no matter what. This is tough but essential.  

Owner and Founder of Empower Fitness,

Nicole Kefalas


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