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  • Emily Ledford

Client Spotlight: Chrissy Neighbors

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Chrissy joined my online group training program 5 x 20 Challenge in August of 2020. She is a busy wife and mom of 3 boys and is a Developmental Specialist who works with infants and toddlers with special needs. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a few years ago which has caused a great deal of physical pain and inflammation in her body. Here is her story:

What had you done before this program?

Before my diagnosis, I did Couch to 5K and then two half marathons. I also did Beach Body. I’ve never been one to feel like I was doing anything unless I was running for hours and doing tons of cardio. My son got sick and he was sick for about 3 years. I decided the best way to cope with that was eating and drinking too much and I stopped exercising altogether. We all know that isn’t the best idea.

What made you want to do the 5 x 20 Challenge?

I needed more accountability than what I had. I know I cannot do it on my own.

I was an all or nothing type of person. I was either doing it and doing it perfectly, or I was like, “To heck with it, I might as well quit because I can’t do it perfectly.”

I had joint pain from Crohn’s disease and that is what kind of finally pushed me. I heard that exercise helps but it was the last thing I wanted to do. I could barely unscrew a doorknob or open a jar without pain. My knees, ankles, feet, wrists, elbows, shoulders, - everything hurt. Head to toe. I was pretty much in a recliner whenever I did not have something to do and then I’d go to bed and fall asleep in 30 seconds. I was miserable and exhausted, and someone pointed out that I was never smiling. All I could say is, “I’m sorry. I am hurting everywhere.”

How has the program impacted your life?

This past round of bloodwork my inflammation markers came back normal for the first time in 3 years! Your program has been exactly what I needed. The right amount of support, encouragement, and I feel like you do not judge. You say the truth, but you do it in a way that is the perfect mix of understanding and accountability.

Is there any exercise that makes you feel really strong?

I did 10 push ups on the floor! Four months ago, I don’t even think I had ever even attempted a push up that wasn’t on my knees! Whoohoo! I have never had anyone tell me not to do them on my knees before so that helped tremendously. I also like squats because I can lift pretty heavy with them.

Most memorable personal record:

I did one and a half Kind-of pull ups. If I could get one good pull up, that would be awesome!

What would you say inspires and motivates you?

I want to do life without feeling like everything is a chore. I noticed right away that even walking was easier. My abs feel tighter and my posture feels stronger. My joint pain is gone now. I did not think my feet would every stop hurting. That’s pretty motivating!

Any cool side effects from lifting?

Although I have had some weight loss, the coolest side effect is no more joint pain. I would love to scream that from the rooftops because I feel like so many people are in the same boat and say they have too much pain to workout. It’s very helpful that I can do form checks with you because I don’t want to hurt myself.

What has changed in self-confidence, fear, self-doubt?

I am more confident in everything. I have gotten to the point I can get up and go to the basement to exercise because I know it will make me feel better. It’s at a point where its sustainable. I have learned to be more patient.

What would you tell other women who are thinking about it?

Just try it for with an open mind. I always gave up on it too soon. I never stuck with it for very long. I think the moral of the story is don’t wait til you feel great to start. Just do something. ~~

Thank you, Chrissy, for telling me and everyone else your story! If you want to find more out about the 5 x 20 Challenge, you can read more HERE.

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