To say that Susan went through a lot before starting her 8fit journey is an understatement. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant with her son, and after overcoming that, seeing an ad for 8fit’s upcoming 12-week transformation challenge motivated her to take control of her health and her life.
In this 8fitter Spotlight, Susan shares her emotional personal story. In her words, Susan explains that after experiencing such a devastating health obstacle, “I was keenly aware that life gives you just one body. When I started the transformation challenge, I decided that my life thereafter would be dedicated to becoming the healthiest version of myself so that I could be here for my son and my family long-term.”
Read more about Susan and her amazing transformation in the interview below.
How did you hear about 8fit and what convinced you to give it a try?
I was scrolling through Facebook one day when I saw an ad for the 8fit app. I clicked the link, looked through the intention of the program, read existing reviews, and then saw the announcement for a “Best Version of Yourself” competition. The combination of what I read and the chapter of my life I was in made me want to try both the app and take part in the competition.
Now that the competition is over, how do you stay motivated? Why do you keep using the app?
Focusing on how I felt when I was a few weeks into the program — all my cravings were gone, I felt physically stronger and had more energy — is something that I constantly leverage for motivation to continue a life focused on health. I keep using the app because…
- I know it works in helping me achieve that feeling of genuine health.
- It’s an easy resource to use in order to stay focused on true health amidst the thousands of opinions out there telling you something new every day.
- It constantly gives me new ideas for recipes and workouts.
What is your favorite 8fit recipe?
I’ve literally had the Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie for about 90% of breakfasts over the past year. Recently, I started using almond butter instead of peanut butter and add spinach for an extra nutrient boost, but the smoothie foundation is unchanged. It’s a great option for a working mom with limited time for prep in the morning and it tastes delicious! I also thoroughly enjoy the Zucchini Spaghetti with Ground Beef and my family has that for dinner every week.
What exercise do you have a love-hate (or all love) relationship with?
Before I began the competition, I carried a lot of excess weight. I also have a bad knee and used that as an excuse by thinking things like, “I can’t do squats because it will be uncomfortable on my knee.” Despite that and other excuses, I made myself follow the workouts as they appeared in the app without modifications. After a few weeks, I was surprised that the squats were doable and I actually started to enjoy them.
You’ve overcome serious health challenges in the past and we are so happy for you. How did you get through it and how is 8fit helping you now?
A reason that the 8fit ‘Best Version of Yourself’ resonated with me so much is because when I applied to participate, I had just overcome a major health challenge. While I was pregnant with my son, I found out that I had developed a brain tumor, which was growing as a result of the pregnancy hormones. As the tumor grew, I ended up losing my eyesight in one eye and chose to have my son six weeks early to protect myself and to ensure that I was around to be his mom.
The day my son was born, he was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit and a week later I had an critical brain surgery. A month later, I was finally able to take my healthy baby home and, followed by a 30-day course of radiation therapy. During that period, I was in survival mode as a mom, a wife and a human.
I had gained weight throughout my pregnancy as a result of the pregnancy itself, but also due to overwhelming stress. Post-pregnancy, I wasn’t able to breastfeed and had little energy to work out as a result of the radiation treatment and so the “baby weight” lingered.
When the opportunity to join the 8fit challenge presented itself, I knew that I needed to participate. I fought so hard to get past that health challenge, piece myself together and become the “Best Version of Myself.” Also, when I noticed that I would finish the competition right before my son turned two years old, that validated my decision to apply even more.
After experiencing such a devastating health obstacle and seeing so many scans of my brain, I was keenly aware that life gives you just one body. When I started the competition, I decided that my life thereafter would be dedicated to being the healthiest version of myself so I could be here for my son and my family long-term. I also didn’t want to leave this world, one day, with an ounce of regret or without experiencing true health.
Tell us about your 8fit challenge experience.
During the 8fit challenge, I lost a notable amount of weight. But, even more remarkable, was how absolutely proud and energized I felt. It would have taken me a few years, if not more, to get where that challenge took me in 12 weeks. I am forever grateful.
My health journey didn’t begin and end with the 12-week journey. In fact, I still use 8fit daily to log meals and workouts. What’s important to remember is that the path to a healthy life is not a snippet in time, it’s a life dedicated to loving yourself. That gift is something that 8fit helps me achieve. Like most people, I have experienced moments along the way where I’m not feeling my best with regards to my health, but the app is the perfect way to quickly redirect my ship and refocus my attention on the ultimate prize: good health.
You’re a mom. Has 8fit had an impact on your family? Does your family taste-test any of your 8fit recipes or do workouts with you?
I grew up in a very unhealthy household, so I knew that when I became a mom, I wanted healthy eating to be the foundation of our home. 8fit has definitely helped guide what our family eats on a weekly basis. My now three-year-old son absolutely loves fruit and whole grain toast (which makes me smile). I love that within the app you can tailor your recipes and make them as simple and family-friendly as you want.
While I can’t say that my son is participating in the workouts yet, I can say that I have a more purposeful focus now on getting my family out of the house after work for walks. And, our dog seems to enjoy standing right next to me during the workouts!
Do you have a favorite motivational quote or phrase?
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
– Elizabeth Kubler Ros
Want more motivation from Susan? In the second part of our interview with this amazing 8fitter, she shares her best advice for those just starting — or restarting — their journey to health.