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By Megan Zmetana,

 

Behind every person is a story, but for me if I hadn’t gone through my struggles I may have not stumbled across my strengths’.  Last fall after just having a recent surgery on my reproductive organs to hopefully increase my chances of having a successful pregnancy we found out we were expecting a Christmas miracle baby, however things did not end well.  This would now make it my 6th miscarriage and loss of a future my husband and I so badly want.

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Our journey of starting a family has been full of hardships due to unknown infertility complications.  People struggling with infertility often feel embarrassed or ashamed.  I would like to share our story and bring awareness to people who are not familiar with this cruel situation and bring hope to someone who might be going through a hard time.  Infertility is a lonely journey that is a constant emotional roller coaster.  While undergoing fertility treatments, couples tend to live in month to month cycles of hope and disappointment that revolve around ovulation calendars and menstruation.  Most find the sorrow, anger and frustration that can come with prolonged fertility problems invading every area of life; eroding self-confidence and straining relationships.  Studies show that women with fertility problems are as anxious and depressed as woman with cancer, heart disease or HIV.  One reason for this may be the physical demands of fertility treatments:  blood tests, pills, daily hormone injections, ultrasounds, egg retrievals and surgery which can all be a source of stress and emotional upheaval.

After this last pregnancy and loss it had felt like all hope and joy in life was gone.  It took all of my energy to even get out of bed most days as losing 6 pregnancies had taken away most of my heart.  But one night I decided I needed to make a life change.  The next day I contacted Erika with Trench Fitness and decided I would set out to accomplish another dream I had always thought about.  It was time to take care of myself and get that sparkle back in my eyes.

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I was always into exercising and sports growing up.  My Dad was a great athlete and instilled hard work and commitment to sport and health in both my brother and I at a young age.  Running road races quickly became my passion once in university, as I loved crossing the finish line knowing I gave it my all. It wasn’t until my honeymoon in St Lucia where I found an Oxygen Magazine on a pool chair did I really become interested in changing the way my body looked.  I than read as much as I could and would do the workouts in the magazines or my husband who was big into weight lifting would give me workouts to follow.  I now do a mix of running, weight lifting and teaching spin classes.

For me the biggest challenge was myself. I had become accustomed to feeling like a failure and I had got into a bad pattern of eating my feelings.  Working out for me was never a problem, as I love all aspects of physical activity.  However once I did make that commitment I followed my program 99% of the time.  Yes.. I did have a couple extra scoops of granola a few evenings, but that didn’t mean I could throw in the towel. I remember my coach said to me; Megan one evening of a few bad food choices will not erase months of hard work nor will being good for 1 week amount to what you would achieve with months of dedication.

I choose to be natural because I have never been a believer in taking any type of drug for other than medical reasons. I am a pharmacist and I know there are many side effects that go along with taking medications and not to mention many negative long term effects.  I want to put the work in myself and at the end of the day be able to say.. that was all me.. I did that!  That is the same reason why I choose to compete against other Natural Athletes so you know it is a fair playing field.

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I have always wanted for many years to try competing as I follow many fitness idols on social media and only ever fantasized of being able to do what they do.  But it was when I hit rock bottom that I decided I needed to do something for myself and fulfill one of my life goals.  Once I made that commitment, I never looked back and my journey to the stage was truly life changing. I felt alive again and the girl who was smiling ear to ear on the stage, well that was me and that was not a fake smile. :)

My lifetime goal was to always be a mother.  I have done everything in my power to try and make that dream come true.  However it is not in the cards for me for right now, but it doesn’t mean prayers always go unanswered. For now my next goals are to make my pro debut in 2016 ,as well as run a half marathon sub 1:40. And a personal goal for me is to overcome my unhealthy relationship with food once and for all, but long standing habits can not be fixed overnight.  

My core values are simple; be hard working, loving, honest, dependable and the rest will fall into place.

I do not like to be mediocre, if I am going to do something I need to give it my all. I do not quit easy and I will always rise above any situation thrown at me. Sometimes I may lose my way, but being able to find my way back is what is important. My husband is also always encouraging and pushing me to be the best I can be, the pride I see in his eyes when he looks at me is a bigger reward than any trophy. And when times are hard I find strength from my dad who is in heaven and I know life’s too short to have regrets.

Lots of early morning workouts!  Getting up at 5 am so I can be home to enjoy coffee with my husband or a walk with the dog. I also like to prep food in ways that will work for both my husband and I.  This winter we loved creating healthy recipes of our favourite dishes and just pouring water in a wine glass makes you feel like you are out for supper.  I also plan my weeks a week ahead.  I write down what our meals will be and when I will fit in what workout.  Being organized does wonders and helps keep stress down tremendously.

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Right now I have been enjoying myself.. maybe a bit too much. But right now I have been running 6 days a week as I am running in 2 half marathons this fall.  I also teach a spin class and a core class once a week and try to do some type of weights or resistance training 3 days a week.  For nutrition I try and stay within a reasonable macro profile with lots of carbs during the week, due to all the running and then relax the diet on the weekends. But now that fall is here I will becoming much more diligent with following a meal program but still allowing some “cheat” type meals. Some staples I love are protein pancakes, avocado, fresh fish and pasta!

Never give up on yourself. If you put the work in, you will be rewarded. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would take home two 1st place and a second place finish in my first year of competing and becoming a WNBF Bikini Pro at the INBF Canada Central Natural Championships by winning the overalls!

 

 

 

Mathew Park

About Mathew Park

Mathew Park, NAIT PFT Diploma, NASM; CPT, CES, PES, is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, author, WNBF Pro Bodybuilder and Lover of Life! mathewpark.com

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