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Elina: I Am a Miracle

Here is our first article in a series called Transformations. Elina talks about her journey back to a healthier her.

Q: What transformation, if any, have you experienced?

A: I almost can’t believe I’m the same person. The quality of my nutrition has improved dramatically. I have also been motivated to get into the best shape of my life. I joined a gym, and before we knew it, we were running our first half marathon.

Q: What inspired you to seek out health coaching?

A: I always thought I knew the basics about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle; however, I realized I had a lot to learn. I was at one of MaryAnn’s wellness workshops and it inspired me to reach out for health coaching sessions. I met with MaryAnn every few weeks to strategize about improving my eating habits. My initial goal was to live a cleaner, more holistic lifestyle and to lose some weight during the process. As a survivor of breast cancer at 28 years old, I knew that the right type of nutrition would help reduce my recurrence risk.

Q: What were your expectations? What surprised you about the process?

A: I wanted to learn a lot about food. Upon my request, MaryAnn shared resources, inspiration, and recipes. She took my husband and me on trips to Whole Foods as together we identified “whole” foods that fit into our new healthier lifestyle. I have reached and surpassed my initial wellness goals, and I am proud to say that my actions have greatly enhanced the health of my husband, as well.

What I never expected was how something as simple as drinking more water could be life-changing. I remember I complained about feeling fatigued and experiencing a plateau in my weight loss. I created a goal of drinking at least eight cups of water a day. Just by making this simple change, I started seeing results immediately. I felt more energetic than I had in years, my skin started to glow, and suddenly the scale started moving again. From that very moment, I realized that I didn’t need to make drastic changes to meet my health goals. Just simple everyday changes helped me achieve the long-term results I was looking for.

Q: What have you found most valuable about your health coaching sessions?

A: The most beautiful part about my journey is that it helped restore confidence in my body. Going through a breast cancer diagnosis at 28 and the terrifying treatment that went along with it had really made me lose faith in my body. I thought I would never be as physically strong as I was before my diagnosis. But here I am, in my mid-30s, feeling stronger and more fit and healthy than ever. Aside from the physical benefits, working with a health coach helped me believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind to.

Earlier this year, when I told MaryAnn that I was pregnant, which was a very challenging journey post breast cancer, MaryAnn said four words I’ll never forget—“You are a miracle.” When I look at my miracle baby boy Aiden, I think of everything my body has achieved. I survived breast cancer, a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation, and then ran a half marathon and carried a baby for nine months after many doctors told me it would be impossible. Reflecting on all of this makes me remember that our bodies truly are miracles—capable of overcoming obstacles and doing amazing things.

 
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