Gail Fusz – Mission Possible

Wall of Fame

Goal:

To alleviate pain inside and out, get fit and reclaim my joy.

How Jackie Helped

 

You can see the effects of the steroids to her cute face and the issues with her left knee.

I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 3.  When I was a toddler, I would get out of bed and crawl to the kitchen.  My left knee was so swollen and stiff that it would not straighten. The doctors could not diagnose me correctly right away, so I was on large doses of cortisone, the “wonder drug” of the 1960’s. At that time, no one knew the long term effects of cortisone, such as osteoporosis. I did not have physical therapy as a child. Instead the physician made a plaster splint to put on my leg at night to keep it straight, so that in the morning, I could walk, instead of crawl.

My left knee and later my right knee and elbows were problematic off and on during my adolescence. I never got into physical activity or sports because my mother was always afraid I would hurt myself.

After many years of cortisone use, I developed osteoporosis in my left knee and have been told I will need a knee replacement within 5 years. I could never fully bend my left knee to do a quad stretch or other movements of the knee as others do.

Before meeting Jackie this past September, I was having constant pain in my left knee.  It was very painful just to walk down stairs. I also have multiple ruptured disks in my neck and back, so I have pain from those injuries as well as arthritis in my fingers and wrists. I started taking pain medication and ended up addicted to opiates. In August, I was very depressed, and didn’t care if I died. I couldn’t do things I enjoyed and if I stopped taking the pain medication, I would go into withdrawal. So I went into a drug detoxification rehab hospital for one week to get off of the opiates and onto something safer. When I got home, I made myself a promise to get into better shape. I had gained weight while taking the opiates due to my inactivity and cravings for carbs, and I was terribly out of shape.

I knew that if I tried to get back into shape on my own that I would have excuses not to work out and would stay overweight and out of shape. When I found Jackie’s website, I knew she was the trainer for me! I decided I needed a personal trainer, but not a “twentysomething” who would not understand my limitations. I’m age 60 and I wanted someone that fully understood and had been trained in dealing with the aging process. I was impressed with her CSST certification.  Also, I had a yoga session in the rehab hospital that helped me, and I had done yoga before, so I thought that would be a good fit.

She had lots of success stories on her Wall of Fame about people my age that had overcome their health issues and become stronger and healthier through their work with her.

I had my first evaluation with Jackie in September.  When I started with her my knees hurt on stairs and my left leg was extremely weak and the muscles had wasted away. I had a lot of weight to lose and work to do, but Jackie got me excited about getting into shape and made me feel empowered.

Diet was an issue because I work very long hours as a healthcare administrator, so I started with her one week plan of protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and a healthy 400-600 calorie meal/day. It challenged me at first, but gradually I got used to eating less and working out more. Now I am more disciplined about what I eat and I actually miss working out if I don’t do it!

Jackie’s Stretch and Restore yoga classes calmed me down from life’s stresses and I begain to feel better about myself and more prepared to handle my problems. In the first 7 sessions, I had lost 12 lbs and my body fat dropped by 7%.  My hips (glutes) toned by 1.2 inches and the strength started to come back into my left leg.  My leg meaurements were more in balance as well.

I’ve stayed with Jackie for another 7 sessions.   In just 14 weeks overall, following her plan which now includes her Periodization Program for those over age 50 I’ve had incredible results.  My Body Fat has reduced from starting at 37.7 % to 28.2%! I’ve lost a grand total of 13 pounds from my 5’4 frame and over 19 inches, which included over 3 inches from my hips, 4 inches from my waist and a whopping 6 inches from my abs!  I can’t believe what my body can now do in any position including this side forearm plank with strong form!

The new Gail!

My legs are toned and strong (I’ve lost a full inch from my calves as they have strengthened) and I can even hold a reverse lunge twist with good balance and posture as you can see from my video at the studio!  Pretty great from someone that couldn’t walk downstairs or even sit correctly without pain!

I feel so much stronger–stair pain no more!  In the course of my time with Jackie I had three Synvisc injections in my left knee to “lube” the joint and they are working really well. I am on an opiate substitute for pain and that will continue for maintenance so that I don’t feel cravings to go back to strong opiate medications.

My life has transformed! I have newfound joy and a new body!  Picking out new clothes in smaller sizes is so much fun.  I can carry a lot to the dressing room with my new upper body strength too – LOL!

I’m back to riding my horse Stewart again, which I hadn’t done in over a year.

My story and life has inspired my family as well.  

Inspiring Gianna

My little granddaughter, Gianna, age 6 and I are so looking forward to Jackie’s Two Hearts Workshop this coming Sunday.  She’s already reading the yoga book Jackie recommended, and loves practicing the poses as you can see from this photo.   My daughter told me that every night, Gianna goes to the family room, and after her yoga poses she lays a towel on the floor and gets into her meditation position with her eyes closed and starts counting: 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…. For 10 seconds. That’s probably the longest she ever sits still without talking all day!! I think she might try to teach the class!  When I think back to my childhood, I’m so glad that Gianna has this tool for her health and her life!

Thank you, Jackie for helping me transform both inside and out!

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