Fit4HIM Healing and Fitness Ministries, Inc. - Relying on God Himself to get Fit4HIM in spirit, soul, and body!

My health and fitness journey began in April of 2011. My doctor referred me to the YMCA after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia (a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues). On April 4, 2011, a pre- fitness assessment was conducted. The results of this assessment revealed my body fat was 35.3%! I was "AT RISK"! At risk for what? I was told I was at risk for obesity-related illnesses. Obesity-related illnesses? I'm not obese! I am only 130 pounds! How could I be obese? It was then made clear to me that I was clinically OBESE due to my high body fat percentage!! What? Me? Obese?  I was ALWAYS the skinny kid. The kid that had to eat more to GAIN more weight. How can I, at age 46 (8 days before my 47th birthday) be obese? (Later I would learn of the "skinny/fat" phenomenon)

Needless to say, something SNAPPED on the inside of me! There was NO WAY I was going out like this! I had a flashback of when I tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints). I can remember the moment the rheumatologist informed me that I had RA. I promptly responded "I can't have RA! I had four children, 4 years old and younger, and there is NO WAY I can or will have RA!" Of course, his facial expression seemed to express, "Oh no, she is one of those "Jesus Freaks!" He explained to me that he would need to monitor me to determine what type of treatment I would need for RA.  Every three months I was scheduled for blood work, results, and preparation for treatment. However, every three months my blood work would reveal that my RA factor was decreasing! It continued to decrease steadily and consistently. Finally, after two years of visiting him in three month increments, my rheumatologist exclaimed to me, "Mrs. Alexander, there is NO need for me to treat you for something you do not have. You do NOT have rheumatoid arthritis! I calmly smiled at him and said, "I told you I can't or will have RA" and thanked Jesus out loud! We both laughed and rejoiced together! He revealed, however, that he thought I had fibromyalgia (FM) . From my personal research of my symptoms, I admitted that I believed that my symptoms were more in line with FM. He then referred me to the only fibromyalgia specialist in town, who referred me to the YMCA. 

So here I am, at the YMCA, with the fitness assessment result of OBESITY being explained to me. Numerous questions began to bombard my mind. Questions like:  Is this what happens when you get older? Is this how the rest of my life was going to be spent (i.e. obese, depressed, stressed, and in pain)? No offense, I said "NO, to that HELL" and GOT BUSY!! The second part of the YMCA medical referral program was to create a exercise program for me. My program included water aerobics, walking on the treadmill, and weight lifting machines. I had NEVER walked on a treadmill or lifted any weights before in my entire life! As a matter of fact, it was the first time I had EVER stepped into a fitness/weight room! However, as it is often said, the REST BECAME HISTORY!!  My walking pace on the treadmill increased to almost a running pace. I, then, started running on the treadmill (I never ran before in my life)! I weaned myself off of all prescription medications and began taking natural supplements instead with little or no side effects. I changed my eating habits to include more protein, low carbs, low sugar, low grain diet (I'm still working on this. Gradually transitioning into the Paleo/Primal Blueprint diet/lifestyle). I ran my first 3 miles on the pavement in July 2011. In October 2011, I ran my first 5k race. It was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (my sister is a breast cancer survivor and I support them in researching for a cure). I must admit, I was not prepared for the large number of people running in the race. I allowed some of the racers' rudest throw me off mentally and had to walk during the race to take a mental break.  However, I still completed the race in 28:02 with a 9:02 pace! I quickly ran another 5K later that month and won 3rd place in my age division! The next month (November), I joined the local chapter of the national running group called Black Girls RUN. "The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently, lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle." TALK ABOUT DIVINE APPOINTMENT! I quickly became actively involved in BGR becoming the local chapter's first race coordinator and then a run coordinator!! It was here that I was given my running nickname - QUICK STEP!! 

I planned my first, and probably only, race season as my goal has never been to become a runner. My goal is to be fit! Just as  being slim does not ensure good health; so it is that running does not ensure overall fitness (in my opinion). Anyway, my " 2011/2012 Race Season" consist of each type of race (i.e. 5K, 10K, Half, and Marathon).  Thus far, each race has been a testimony of God's goodness.  I was coming off of some type of injury (mostly due to FM) for every race.  I ran the 10K (which was the Cooper River Bridge Run with a mile long 4.1% slope), after having achilles tendonitis. I only had about 2 weeks to train for it yet I finished the race in 55 minutes. I ran the half marathon after having peroneal tendonitis (tendonitis around the ankle area) sustained during the Cooper River Bridge Run, with only 2 weeks of training. I finished it in 1:51 minutes. I was, until recently, training for the Chicago Marathon until I sustained a stress fracture in my foot, thus ending my first racing season! 

LET ME BE CLEAR - I an NOT bragging on myself! I AM BRAGGING ON GOD!! ONLY GOD can take a 47 (now 48 year old) woman, who never ran before, with stiff, swollen, and painful joints and muscles, and have her run faster than women (and men) that are 10-15 years younger and have been running and training for years!! Some have said to me, "oh, you are just a natural!" Well, I praise the One who gave me this "natural" gift - HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST!

As far as my body fat percentage - at the last assessment (April 2012 - one year later), my body fat percentage was 19.56% (ATHLETE STATUS)!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!

As far as the fibromyalgia, I am patiently waiting for healing to manifest in my body! I am doing what I know  to do to help my body with the symptoms (i.e. exercise, proper nutrition, etc.) until my change (healing) comes! IN THE MEANTIME, I will Run4CHRIST (my 5k Training Class and Bible Study) to get Fit4HIM (my healing and fitness ministry)! 

5K     RocktoberFest Placed 3rd in age group!
10K            Cooper River Bridge Run

13.1         Divas Half Marathon.                                                             26.2        Charleston Marathon