The sad reality of massive weight loss is that things don't always go back to the way things were. I've been fighting through a long journey back to fitness since a car accident in 2004. At the dark end of the tunnel I was in a wheelchair/limping due to a severe leg injury, 266 lbs., complete loss of thyroid, and was enduring 15-17 Migraines a month. Instead of giving up, I found every reason to fight, and get angry at the cards I was dealt at such an early age in life.
I fueled my recovery and gave me limitless determination and will to rehabilitate and train to get stronger. Today I am fit, strong, and healthy (albeit the migraines will never go away) coaching and motivating others with similar stories and goals, giving them the push they need to succeed even in their darkest times.
So what exactly happened? I'd have to say in short, it was all bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and bad genetics triggered by trauma. Today I'd call this a period of my life character building, as every portion of my body and mind would be put to the test over the next ten years.
I was always athletic and in shape. I played competitive sports through high school and college, and could always be found in the gym until I was involved in a high-speed head-on collision. I was young and dumb at an early age of 21 and wasn't wearing my seat belt. I had severe leg and head trauma, among other injuries, and was Life Flighted via helicopter.
During my stay at the hospital I was given hardware in my right leg – a titanium internal brace that I still have today. My right leg is also now slightly shorter than the unbroken leg. Post-accident, I spent some time in a wheelchair, then crutches, and then a cane. I moved onto walking with a severe limp for a long time.
My stability muscles and tendons were weak, injured, and atrophied. During this time, the stress of the accident, recovery, rehabilitation, and bad genetics caused Graves’ disease to trigger (a thyroid autoimmune disorder). By the end of 2005, I no longer had a working thyroid through the Iodine 131 procedure. My metabolism, immune system, and endocrine system crashed after the procedure. The weight came on fast due to my immobility and crashed metabolism.
I've spent the last ten years rebuilding my body while mastering my thyroid. I've been to countless doctors, and taken various doses of medications. I've spent years in the gym rebuilding my leg and body from a post-accident state of atrophy, injury, and obesity, while mastering my metabolism and thyroid medications. I've had over five different reconstructive surgeries (excess skin removals and scar reductions). I was told by doctors, friends, and family that what I've done couldn't be done, but I did it. My body is now back to 100%, and stronger than I've ever been in my life.
Today I am closing in on my journey, while helping others achieve their fitness goals. My passion reaches people, and I'm able to connect with them on a personal level and their struggle, because I share the same struggles they do every day. I try to give them the help I didn't have on my journey, while showing them that willpower can achieve anything if you don't give up. That limits truly only exist in the mind, and weakness is a choice we make. I plan to complete this chapter of my life by stepping on stage and competing in my first Figure competition later this year as a testament that anything is possible if you believe!
Contact Erika Amini, Team Fitbody Fusion Coach:
Email: [email protected]