One woman's way of pushing forward to live a healthy lifestyle after terrible car accident

August 16, 2016

One woman's way of pushing forward to live a healthy lifestyle after terrible car accident

This is my Story of how I Eat the Bear:

Back in January of 2015, I decided to take up making fitness and health my lifestyle. I made that decision based on the people I was surrounded with when I started chiropractic school. A lot of my peers were making working out and eating healthy with supplementation their daily routine. I was inspired to be like those peers! Before I made this decision, I hardly put the effort into much physical activity and pizza was my frequent to-go food. From the day the decision was made, I never looked back once to going back to that old lifestyle.

At the beginning, putting the time and effort into working out was a constant struggle. I could hardly motivate myself to even make it to the gym which was in the same building as my classes. I was out of shape and exhausted constantly from just walking up and down the stairs. Despite being self-conscious of myself, it was time to change for the better. I started from the ground up. I started at 10 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of strength training two days per week every two to three weeks. I started building up from that, working out longer and frequent. I shifted from the elliptical to the treadmill for cardio and from using just dumbbells to integrating dumbbells to using exercise machines for strength training. I started changing my eating habits from pizza and junk food to foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. I started adding more chicken, talapia, hard boiled eggs and calcium and fish oil supplements into my diet and more fruits and vegetables along with greek yogurt and nuts. Some days at the gym were great, getting in powerful lat pull downs or leg presses with a lot of reps without being as tired. Other days were like hell being sluggish with short running periods and hardly catching my breath. I incorporated protein bars as snacks throughout the day to sustain me between meal periods and to avoid fast food cravings.

With the changes gradually added into my lifestyle, my body started to changed. I got positive comments on how I look from family and friends alike. Through the whole process of dedicating myself to being healthy through fitness, I did not once notice the changes my body was experiencing with my efforts. After hearing their compliments, I started to notice that my own body was reaping the benefits of my hard earned efforts! The transformation really shows when using a mirror and when my clothes were getting too big for me! My mentality spiked up to get me in the gym 4-5 times per week every week. I constantly challenged myself to run longer and faster and strengthen different parts of my body. I felt proud of the progress of my fitness journey. Living the active lifestyle was becoming part of me as person mentally, physically and emotionally!

Then, one afternoon as I was driving home from school on a cold February day the following year, I found myself in a car accident. I was scared, horrified and worried with adrenaline going through the roof! My posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) was banged up, my sacrum was jammed into my hip bone and my neck experienced a whip lash from the impact. I sought chiropractic care for my injuries, knowing that this branch of health care is the best care for my situation. Soon after starting chiropractic care, I got frustrated that I couldn't just jump back to the gym with a weak knee, misaligned neck and hip. The car accident halted my workout routine for 21 days. Twenty one days without being active felt like 90 days! My chiropractor wanted to make sure my hip and neck were properly aligned and my knee to gain some strength for me to return back to working out. Once I returned to the gym, I had another challenge to overcome. The injured knee was fatiguing fast which slowed down my running and limited my strength training for my legs. I had to adjust to incorporating more stretching to help my weak knee. Yet, I was fully determined to never give up and not let my injuries slow me down. I wore a knee compression band to stabilize the knee as it is still healing and getting chiropractic care at the same time. I started doing exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee to compensate for its lack of strength. I kept my workout routine consistent as before the accident. On good days, I didn't have much pain on my knee after workouts. In the other hand, there were bad days where my knee was burning up from the intensity of the pain and I could barely move. From this incident, the strong sense of perseverance helped me pulled through the life's speed bump day in and day out.

To this present day, I am working out 4-5 times per week on a weekly basis. My knee is still in the process of healing but it is much stronger now with less pain than before. To further challenge myself and discover more of my potential, I am in the process of training to run my first 10K this fall! I am excited to see how I will perform on race day! From this experience, I learned that I have a much stronger will than I once thought. With that comes limitless potential. If you set your focus to making positive changes, you will get the results. I hope my story can inspire at least one person to take that leap of faith into fitness and into your future endeavors to reveal your true potential. Trust me, I never ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be living the active lifestyle! Here I am, proving myself completely wrong. You never know unless you try. Once you do try, it will be a worthwhile rollercoaster ride! Your life is in your hands so make it uniquely yours!

Thank you for taking your time to read my story! Don't hesitate to reach out to me!

Inspire yourself to inspire others!

All the best,

Tram Vo
Doctor of Chiropractic Candidate-NWHSU