Two years ago, odd things started happening to my body, it seemed I was reacting to everything, I was
breaking out in hives, tired, achy, just not right. The hives covered most of my body and were so bad
that I ended up in the emergency room & on high doses of prednisone as the doctor was concerned that
if it didn’t get under control within 24 hours I’d have to be hospitalized because of the risk it could cause
blood poisoning or organ issues. Fortunately for me, the prednisone worked & the hives started to go
away and so I began to taper off the medication, only to flare again once at low doses. This circle of high
doses to control to tapering off only to flare again would continue for 8 months when finally after 3
biopsies, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
A year later the disease was under control & I was slowly tapering to low doses of medication to
maintain the symptoms, however, I was 25 pounds heavier from the prednisone, which is a steroid, and
from becoming sedentary through the ordeal. I’d always been active so weight had never been an issue,
I could lose 5 or 10 pounds easy, but 25, I didn’t even know where to start I only knew I didn’t want it to
After returning home from a beautiful Caribbean vacation, the pictures were all I needed as incentive
and so I started my own weight loss program. 4 months & only 7 pounds later, it was frustrating and I
was suffering from information overload from all the researching I’d been doing on autoimmune
diseases, my disease, as well as weight loss & exercise – I was bombarded and being someone with a
demanding, stressful career & life, I didn’t need my weight loss to be too!
Enter Sandra! Thanks to a mutual friend who knew of my situation, she recommended I talk to Sandra
and so we were introduced – and by introduced, I mean through email – to date we haven’t met face to
face. I detailed everything I knew about my illness, my lifestyle etc. and sent all the info to Sandra, a
couple days later, an email came back – “Yes, I can help you!” And so I signed up for a 3 month internet
In those 3 months, I lost 15 pounds and 29 inches. For those who don’t know about prednisone, it not
only causes weight gain but fat gain and fat redistribution – so about the time I’d get bummed out about
only losing 2 or 3 pounds, I’d take my measurements and OMG – I’d have lost 9 inches, it was crazy,
Sandra had turned me into a fat burning machine!!!! I found it so easy – don’t get me wrong, it was
hard work, but Sandra laid everything out for me, I just had to follow, do the work and get the results.
Also the food was fantastic! I learned how to incorporate the rules into all my favorite dishes & having
the 80/20 rule meant that I still got to splurge occasionally and I loved the workouts. Having been
someone who enjoyed fitness, it didn’t take long to get back on the wagon but what was enjoyable to
me was the diversity of weight work – I knew how to do bicep curls & sit ups but the variety of moves
meant muscles were popping out in places I’d never seen them before – so cool!!
At the end of the program, I was back to the size I’d been before I got sick, it was amazing. I ended the
program & went on my way full of the Lean for Life rules & knowledge that Sandra had instilled in me,
all prepared for anything or so I thought. A few months later, I started having issues again, first adrenal
fatigue caused by having now been on steroids for two years, then I’d start dealing with IBS & migraines,
what was happening to my body?? By November, I could hardly get through the work day let alone
maintain my fitness program.
Once I started feeling semi well again, I contacted Sandra because I thought there was still more that I
needed to learn and honestly, I missed working with her so I signed up for another 3 month internet
Within a few weeks, my autoimmune disease flared and I was back to the doctors, having more tests
and all that fun stuff, but what really helped was Sandra & her knowledge. Where I was thinking ok, I’ll
do what I can, she jumped in & altered my program to where I was doing what my body needed to heal.
We went from metabolic weight training to yoga, nutritious smoothies & meditation. If I didn’t know
what my body needed, she did!!
I’d like to stress one very important feature of the Lean for Life program – it is not a ‘boxed set’
approach to fitness!!!! This is my program, specially designed for me & my needs!! Sandra brings an
expertise unlike any other I’ve experienced. I’m not on a weight loss journey, I’m on a wellness journey.
I live with chronic illness and need to arm myself with everything I possibly can to live as healthy &
symptom free as possible. As far as illness goes, I’m fortunate, mine is controllable and has the potential
for remission and just because I choose to take it head on doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days & days
that I need to alter what I’m doing but having someone like Sandra in my corner means I don’t have to
worry about taking on the overload of information, she does that for me and presents me with the best
options to deal with what I have on my plate, literally & figuratively, at any given time.
I’m learning to listen to my body, autoimmune, IBS, migraines, all my little demons, are to my
knowledge, all lifestyle issues, by living a clean & healthy lifestyle, I’m giving myself the best opportunity
to live symptom free!! Once my focus changed from one of vanity to one of wellness, it was remarkable
how easy everything became – health is not difficult, Sandra showed me this! And for anyone who has
commented that they admire my willpower – I give them my opinion – I don’t believe in willpower, I
think it’s a copout –you either do it or you don’t, it’s that simple. I never understood why willpower only
applied to good choices, after all, when’s the last time someone said “wow, it really took a lot of
willpower to eat that box of donuts”!!
The only limitations you will have with Sandra’s Lean for Life program will be the ones you put on
yourself! I’m 44 years old, I’m learning to live with an illness, I live over an hour from a gym, I live over
800km from my trainer – all things that had to be factored into my program and still I have had
success!! My first session with Sandra was all about losing the weight I’d gain, second session has
turned into Sandra helping me to learn about how to listen to my body and do what it needs to heal –
who knows what future sessions will bring, but I’m very confident there will future sessions, this
program is changing my life, I love it and can’t wait to see how it plays out – stay tuned