Tara Watkinson – Struggle with a Brain Injury – Testimonial

I just completed my 12 week program with Alyssa. She has helped me tremendously! I am in such a better place than I was 12 weeks ago, body, mind and soul. 

My situation is a little unique, but in a nutshell; four years ago I was working at a great job, my kids were 5 and 2, I was doing boot camp twice a week, P90X at home and jogging around my suburban Ottawa neighbourhood. I was in great shape, happy and healthy! Then a head injury changed my life forever.  The ER doctor said I had a “mild concussion” and gave me the usual instructions. However the months went by and I was feeling worse and worse. Finally I was seen by a specialist and diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Unfortunately, despite seeing many specialists and trying every therapy I still suffer from this injury. I ended up medically retiring from my position and basically lost the person I was. Symptoms reduced slowly and I’ve learned how to manage my injury, gradually taking on my new role as a ‘domestic engineer’. However, due to the lack of physical activity, chronic daily symptoms, medications, emotional eating etc., I ended up gaining 30lbs! 

The weight was really affecting my emotional well being and I started seriously trying to lose it about a year ago thinking “I’ve had two kids, I can do this!”. But I couldn’t. I was feeling so frustrated and lost, I was starving because I didn’t know what to eat and then binging when the hunger got out of control. My wonderful sister in law recognized my struggles and hooked my up with the fabulous Alyssa Coppolino!

Once I started working with Alyssa I just let go of what I thought I knew and trusted her. I did what she said, That’s it. Her eating plan was simple and that’s what I needed. She had me eating lots (and lots) of healthy food that I enjoyed! When I started training it did stir up my symptoms, but I keep at it and they subsided as my brain got used the novelty. Experiencing ‘the burn’ and the feeling of sore muscles again was soooooo amazing. Strength training has done just as much for my psychological wellbeing as my physical. Alyssa was so encouraging but also totally honest, the perfect balance of tough love. She is the fastest responder of emails I’ve ever known!  Once I got the hang of the program she taught me how to track and manage my macros. 

I’ve learned that I need to eat to lose weight! BUT, I must be consistently accountable.  I’ve learned that sometimes the payoff of training is worth a few hours of symptoms. Of course I have days I have to put my brain first and need to take it easy, but at least I know on good days I can push myself again!

My results might not be overly dramatic (I’ve lost 9 lbs) but I am very very happy. I’m sure I’ve gained some muscle mass and clothes that were getting tight are now fitting great again. But most importantly, Alyssa put me on the right path. I’ll never be the same person I was before my injury but I’m finding a healthy strong version of my new self. I cannot wait to see where I end up. I’m going to try this on my own for a bit but I WILL work with Alyssa again! I cannot thank her enough for giving me hope that I can achieve a strong fit body once again!

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