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From Bed-Ridden to Stage Ready

From Bed-Ridden to Stage Ready


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I have long dealt with Degenerative Disc Disease and Osteoarthritis. After I had back surgery 4yrs ago, I was diagnosed with Systemic Fibromyalgia. The pain was horrific, and still is sometimes, but it will never beat me. My journey to wellness has been life-changing...

In March of 2009 I hit rock bottom. It was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning. Between the excruciating pain, and horrible depression that goes along with the chronic pain, I was in a dark, downhill spiral. I was taking a lot of pain meds, but nothing was working. However, deep down, I knew that was not what my life was meant to be at 30 years old.

I started slow in a heated therapy pool. I left the hour-long class after only 20 minutes for the first week. I was in tears every time I hobbled out the door. It definitely got worse before it got better, but it DID get better. It took about 8 weeks til I was walking good again.

I stuck with it and began light weight training and cardio. I could only lift about 10lbs but I kept going. I continued to get stronger and more mobile. On the outside, it looked like I was perfectly healthy! I even decreased my pain meds by @ 80%!

One day I mentioned to a trainer at the gym that it would be awesome to be a Figure Competitor. Her response: "I don't think you can build that kind of muscle with Fibromyalgia." That was all I needed! It took over a year, and is still a work in progress, but I've proven her wrong! I'm determined to only move forward...NEVER back to that dark place.

Author: Brandi McAtee

Member Comments

What an inspiring story Brandi! I would love to hear more about your current diet and exercise program to keep you on track.

So inspirational! Keep up the amazing work! :)

Thank you! I actually do more low carb/ketosis type diets. I did low carb, low fat, high protein for my 1st few shows and just felt horrible. I knew I would be a little puney, but my Fibro was unbearable for the week or 2 afterward. On the high fat, high protein, low carb (with weekly carb-load) I feel great. I do up my meds as I lean out, since my meds are stored in body fat and I don't have much by then, but overall I feel a lot better on this diet.
My weight training is a 6-day split. Pretty much I train to positive failure every set with 2-4 min rest periods. I've put on 9lbs of muscle since January!
--i1tiger are a beautiful woman!


Thank you for sharing your story Brandi! You are an inspiration!

Thank you!!!

Brandi my Sister, YOU ROCK! You didn't let pain control your life, blessings to you! Keep up the great work, it shows. :)

YOU are SO incredible Brandi! NEVER let anyone set YOUR limits...NEVER stop!!!

AWWW!Your story is amazing! I lovethat you low-carb too! I have found that's what works best for me! Congrats on your wonderful journey!


AWWW!Your story is amazing! I lovethat you low-carb too! I have found that's what works best for me! Congrats on your wonderful journey!


Oh,Brandi! You have no idea how I have struggled for years with Fibro and recently have had a desire to compete. Thank you for your story! Today was an especially bad day for me and you've renewed my passion! What a blessing!!

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