These stories are coming to you from Lori and Mike, two hardworking and inspiring members of the Full Circle family. At one point, each has been on some kind of drug to correct a basic health marker, whether it’s blood pressure, lipids, or something else. Then, after training and nutritional interventions, they were able to either lower their dosages, or discontinue taking medications altogether!
We are beyond proud of them and their dedication to bettering their health.
“It wasn’t even borderline.”
By Lori Medford
Blood pressure medication was not the graduation present I was expecting in the fall of 2004. My doctor explained that the problem was likely hereditary, and that my blood pressure had probably been elevated since childhood. My diet of McDonald’s and an exercise program that consisted of walking from my couch to the refrigerator probably didn’t help the situation. After filling my prescription, I tried to eat more salad and joined a gym so I could run on a treadmill. That commitment lasted approximately two weeks before I was back in the drive-thru. In my thirties, though, something changed. I suddenly realized that I wanted to live a really long time and made it a goal to be the healthiest person I could be. That was when things started changing in ways I hadn’t expected.
I joined Full Circle in January 2013. The WODs were a gateway drug to my current Strongman programming, and I have consistently been in the gym 3-4 days a week for the last two years. For me, that is just crazy talk! I also started to care about what I was eating. Our gym offered a 10-week training program that taught me about macro nutrients. I didn’t know much about it at the time, but I learned how to track my protein, carbs, and fat intake in a way that would help me meet my goals. I started eating better, feeling better, sleeping better – everything was just getting better. Then something very unexpected happened.
For 10 years, I had taken a tiny pill every morning. I understood that it was preventing the silent killer from doing some serious damage to my body, but when my prescription ran out, I procrastinated on making an appointment to get it refilled. Four weeks went by, and I knew that when the nurse took my blood pressure it was going to be out of control.
It wasn’t. It wasn’t even borderline.
It was 120/70. I hadn’t taken the medicine for a month. How was this possible? She took it again, and it was still 120/70. When the doctor came in, we talked about how my lifestyle had drastically changed in 10 years. I am healthier today at 33 than I was at 23. He told me he wasn’t going to renew the prescription, and I totally cried. It never occurred to me that it was an option to come off of the medication. It felt like freedom. I immediately texted my coach and thanked him. I am so grateful for our programming and for the unanticipated benefits that have come with it.
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“I did an experiment, and the impossible happened.”
By Mike McDonnell
If you have ever seen the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” that is exactly how I was feeling during the holiday season of 2011. I was also about 8 years into taking Lipitor for my hereditary high cholesterol, and the more I read about it the more I didn’t like being on statin drugs.
After a lifetime of playing competitive soccer and competing at the NCAA Division 1 level with VCU, I had recently retired from the beautiful game. Mostly because my body just wouldn’t move like my mind wanted it to move. I did not feel good at all. As a matter of fact, I felt like shit.
Enter CrossFit Full Circle.
My first workout was some kind of tortuous combination of 400M sprints and box jumps, but it hooked me. I was all in even though I’m pretty sure walking was something I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do again.
I had hit my all time high weight of 212 lbs and needed to do something, so I threw myself into the care and direction of Coach Jason and Coach Matt.
After 1 year of very hard work, which included lots of very early mornings, numerous workshops to learn what the hell a snatch was (it wasn’t what I thought it was), a few nutrition workshops, and millions of questions fired at the coaches and fellow classmates, I went to see my doctor.
I started the appointment by telling the doc I had stopped taking my Lipitor about 10 months ago. That fact was also the reason I skipped my 6 month appointment to check in on blood work. Luckily my doctor is young and at least open to learning new things, so she didn’t walk out, but she did look at me like I was an idiot and that I was lucky to make it that long off my medicine. This was probably because I had stopped taking it a few times in the past out of pure laziness and my numbers would sky rocket.
So, she did the normal check of vitals and was impressed with my blood pressure (although I didn’t have high blood pressure in the past) and my resting heart rate. Then she guided me to the lab and said she would call me with the results in a week or so.
Then, I took off for a 10 day vacation. When I got back there was a nice surprise in the mail… a copy of my blood results and a note from the Doc: “looking good and no need to pick the meds back up, see you in a year, keep up the good work!”
For the first time since being aware that I had “high cholesterol,” I have been able to manage the number to below the 200 indicator of “high.” I won’t go into my opinions about this as a measurement, but it is one that I am trying to manage. The rest of my other numbers, that are probably better indicators, were also significantly improved. Insulin, triglycerides, c-reactive protein, Apo B, apo A-I and the apo B/apo A-I ratio.
This works. I am living proof. I did an experiment, and the “impossible” happened. Do your homework. Read what the coaches recommend. Ask questions, lots of questions. Sign up for the workshops – nutrition, mobility, PR challenges, and movement workshops. The CrossFit Full Circle team is legit and can get you results if you are willing to do your part. CrossFit Full Circle changed my life, and it can change yours as well.
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