My Fitness Journey to Health
Emily Reynolds is a World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (WBFF) pro Diva Bikini athlete, an International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) pro bikini athlete, O’Neill 365 Icon, figure champion, competition coach, personal trainer, nutritional and wellness consultant, fitness personality and model.
But it wasn’t always this way.
I know better than most the power of nutrition and exercise. I know because in the not-so-distant past, I suffered from a health condition that crippled my entire world. The only thing that saved me was a healthy diet, fitness and the power of believing in myself. This is how I got to where I am today. I grew up healthy and fit for most of my life. After college, I started noticing that I wasn’t feeling like myself anymore. I didn’t have the energy I used to. I started experiencing ailments I never had. Eventually, these ailments worsened to the point that I could barely get out of bed some days. Every joint in my body ached, I suffered from chronic headaches, my stomach hurt all the time and I felt as if I was allergic to everything. My life was in a downward spiral with no end in sight. This went on for many years.
After countless doctor visits and several second opinions that gave me diagnoses such as lupus, fibromyalgia, IBS, diverticulitis, chronic fatigue – I was even told by one doctor that I should be put on disability – I was left feeling hopeless. I finally found a doctor who accurately diagnosed me. I had Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity in the thyroid gland. The thyroid does many things in the body, one of which is regulating a person’s weight. Even though weight gain was the least of my concerns, in the years that I was sick, I gained an unprecedented amount of weight: 40 pounds. I went from an extra small to a size 13.
The doctor’s orders were to have my thyroid completely removed. I did it, but I know now today that wasn’t necessary. And it caused a whole host of other problems in my body as a result. I was fed up with the doctors, and sick and tired of feeling so extremely sick and tired. But, I refused to end my search for answers; I felt that doing so would be a death sentence. So one day, I made a life-changing decision. I decided to fire my doctors and hire myself to take control of my health. I didn’t just want change; I needed change. There simply was no other option in my life.
From that decision, began my journey.
I hired a personal trainer, a nutritionist and started to take wellness supplements. I worked with holistic practitioners who taught me the power of natural medicine. I was driven, dedicated and determined to take back my health and my life.
During this time, I knew someone who competed in figure competitions. The transformation of her body was inspiring to me. After some convincing, I reluctantly decided I was going to start training for one; I felt it would give me that extra push I needed to focus on getting well. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t an easy journey. In fact, it was one of the most challenging things I had done. It took a lot of work, both physically and mentally. But, I made a vow to keep pushing forward and never turn back.
At the end of my first 12 weeks of serious focus, exercise and nutrition, I couldn’t believe my progress. I had lost 27 pounds and dropped to 18% body fat. I then took that step I never thought I could or would; I entered my first figure competition at the NPC. I ranked fourth place in my first show. Figure and bikini competitions soon became another passion of mine.
With my newfound focus on wellness, nutrition and fitness, I had my life back and felt better than ever. From that point on, I spent countless hours researching, learning and experimenting with nutrition and fitness. The more I learned about holistic living and the power of the body and mind, the more I realized everything we need is in nature and within ourselves. The pure power of a healthy, natural lifestyle is something I will never stop believing in.
I knew I had to do something with my journey. I wanted to share it with the world. And that’s exactly what I do every single day. As a fitness personality, competition coach and trainer, I am able to share my knowledge. My mission is to inspire and change lives through my experiences and my love for helping people.
I love being in the fitness industry because I see people every day take charge of their bodies, and empower themselves to make the changes they want in their lives and experience incredible results. There is no greater feeling than the rewards of a healthy, fit lifestyle. And these rewards trickle into every aspect of your life, because you can’t fake feeling absolutely amazing. To me, there is no greater reward than coaching people on this journey to health, wellness and success.
As a coach, I practice what I preach and believe in what I do. Along with fitness, eating and living clean, the power of positive thinking and believing in yourself is hands down, the single-greatest thing you can do for yourself.
If I can turn my health and my life around against all odds, so can you. I am this passionate about health because I know what it’s like to go without. Each one of us has what it takes to get right where we want to be. You have the power to live your life healthy, happy and balanced. All it takes is a little push in the right direction.
I learned how to be my best me. Let me help you be your best you.
Remember…Be your best you