Name: P. Sandoval
Improvement: Gained strength and endurance back
Time: 4 months
Program: 2019 / 2020 Total Transformation Challenge
What was your biggest challenge / obstacle (s)?
My biggest obstacle was the fear of not being able to continue my physical transformation after surviving COVID. My health (physical and mental) had digressed so much that I didn't recognize myself in the mirror after being hospitalized for a month. When I went home on oxygen, I couldn’t even take a short walk without being out of breath and energy. Then the hospital reopened the gym. The great convenience of having a gym, the Wellness Center, provided by JFK is a true privilege and has changed my life. There I was able to rebuild my strength and stamina and get motivated by my coworkers.
What motivated you to stay on the course?
What motivated me was looking at pictures of myself before COVID and thinking “I can do this!”. I want to live a long healthy life and enjoy my daughter and grandchildren. I have several family members that died at a very early age due to poor health. I didn't want to be just a memory that my family would talk about. Prior to COVID, I participated in a 5k Run Obstacle Courses called “MudGirl Run” and that was another proof that “I can!”
Another motivation came from the nurses on 4S (COVID Stepdown unit). These professionals are compassionate, caring and made me feel appreciated not just as a coworker, but that I wasn’t alone fighting the fight that many unfortunately lost.
Did your diet change? If so, How? Please be detailed.
Yes, I had to replenish and repair what COVID took. My diet now consists of more greens for my iron. Foods with vitamin C to boost my immunity. My biggest meal is lunch, which is also the last meal of the day that includes carbs. Dinner is my smallest meal with no carbs. Eating out is now once a week.
What advice could you give to others that want the same results?
To be consistent and don't fall off the wagon completely. Slipping is ok but get back on, even after a while. Also turning physical activities into smaller competitions by thinking "how many more steps will that be if I.....". It all pushed me forward physically as well as mentally.
How is this experience going to affect you going forward?
Self-doubt is a constant challenge in my life. But I know now I have the capability to be stronger and better therefore this is a challenge I can manage and beat.