100815 Sunday “Rest Day”

G7 Stories – Veronica Garza from G7 Athletics on Vimeo.

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16 thoughts on “100815 Sunday “Rest Day”

  1. John duncan

    Very Inspiring. Disturbing that current medical knowledge is so insufficient…guess that means we shouldn’t trust doctors, right Corey? :)

  2. miriam

    This kind of story upsets me in so many ways. My husband, once very fit and an ultra distance runner, and a very healthy eater (yes, we ate some grains, but hardly any processed food, all freshly prepared, mostly fresh veggies, some meat, no desserts) is ill with an autoimmune disorder, has had multiple tumors removed from his chest, and has been treated with radiation therapy, multiple meds and prednisone for 9 months. I see him getting weaker, not stronger, so whenever I see testamonials like this I get pissed off that he’s sick. However, I am skeptical that crossfit and cutting out grains is the One True Path to eliminating autoimmune disorders and a host of other illnesses. Are we saying that a runner who ate a plate of pasta and a scoop of rice a few time a week is susceptible to autoimmune disorders more so than the crossfitter who eats no rice or pasta? I would like to see the scientific studies that prove this to be the case instead of anecdotal pieces, which is all that I’ve heard to date. Otherwise, it it extremely difficult for me to listen to this stuff. Sorry, my true emotions.

  3. hjudge

    The more I know, the more I realize the medical community is unintentionally destroying my father. They don’t know why he has polymyositis, and while they know it isnt treatable with steroids or any known medication, they prescribed and his sensitive body, already suffering from heart disease and wounds, is falling apart. Next week he is losing his leg because the doctors say his painful wound will never heal. He also has a CAT scan this week because of masses in his lungs and stomach never understood, this is an old story to my family. We have been through this. I dont yell but I screamed when they put him on steroids.. his kidney functions were at 4 and he suddenly had to take insulin, never a diabetic.. and they brought him ice cream when his blood sugar crashed… hospital food kills people.

    Not the Mayo Clinic, not four months at Mission, three times in ICU, every specialist has brought him any relief or answers. But he is a fighter and I am grateful to still have him after last summer. He is my dad, and while I have qualities of my mother, anyone who knows our family will tell you I am just like him. He is a riot, he can be stubborn, he is a natural people person and the world is better because he is a part of it.

    I have been trying to get him to go Paleo. Especially when there was a chance to save his leg… I sent him videos, articles, and given him books. But the urgency of the medical community trumps my advice still. I think he thinks preventive measures are too little, too late. I used to fight him hard, to the point where we didnt speak. It wasnt until Mayo Clinic that I realized it wasnt worth it. My stubbornness was well intentioned but I missed a good year of banter with him. Didnt help it was an election year either :)

    Ive talked to his doctors. Hell, they love me.. but my words, I can see them travelling around their heads. I wish, I wish, I wish he would try my lifestyle. He says now he will… after the surgery. Maybe. Sigh.

    To end on a positive note (of course) he is so proud of his only child changing her life. He even asked if Ill ever joined those competitions Ive showed him on youtube. I laughed, but then told him that he has to take care of himself so he can cheer me on from the stands. Such a proud daddy-o.

    Thanks for the video and for giving me the tools to change my life. Hopefully today’s conventional wisdom on diet and health with be a scandal with the next generation.

  4. miriam

    Heather, I am so sorry for what you are going through as well. Emotional roller coasters are part of the experience, as you can tell from my previous post, and I understand your frustration with your dad and with the medical community. While I’m completely frustrated with conventional medicine, I am sometimes frustrated with the Crossfit/Paleo proponents, because while I can see that everyone is fit and healthy, I haven’t seen any solid, scientific evidence that had my husband crossfitted and eaten strictly Paleo vs. running and eating healthy, this would have prevented his illnesses or that by starting now it will heal him. So it hurts when people imply that things would have turned out differently if only he had done something different.

    Given my gloomy, angry message above, I first apologize for that and secondly I do want to say again for the record, I love, adore, thrive on CF, I love the community, I love my coaches, I don’t eat clean but close to it, and I’ve dropped from a size…er…whatever…down to a solid 6 and falling in just 9 months. And I haven’t felt this healthy since I was in my 20’s. So, yes, it is obviously very good for me and for that I am eternally grateful.

  5. Corey

    I may add more later, but for now: health is lifestyle. Your genetic code gives you a range of possibility, from there your choices finish the mold.

    Choices are about balance. Life is a balance and your choices must reflect that.

    What you eat, and your activity level, are two of the three factors that determine your health. Mind-set is the other. Worrying, fretting, anger, negative self image, etc are as big a “killer” of lifestyle as ice cream and “whole grain” pasta. Negative thoughts lead to physiological stress delegating the very same hormonal make-up as your activity or nutritional status.

    I don’t like “paleo”. It is a phrase, and that phrase has boundaries and boundaries create division. Real whole foods, natural items, etc. There is no such thing as “Paleo” cookies. What that means is, someone found a way to disguise sugar, use some real ingredients, and have something taste similar to cookies. But they drew their boundary to include some form of sugar and their definition of “paleo” was different from someone else’s, different enough to allow “real” sugar like agave nectar. Understand that the word Paleo is a title, but life does not have such specific boundaries.

    Too little activity is unhealthy, but so is too much, and so is a poor balance of intensity levels. The idea behind chronic stress and chronic disease is that excessive levels of stress hormones create a natural process to be in excess. Short-duration, high intensity workouts produce a large stressor, but have a resulting increase in recovery hormones (the “healthy” ones). People who spend HOURS exercising have greatly increased levels of stress hormone, but don’t work out intense enough to increase the recovery afterwards. People who don’t work out at all have no spike in either stress or recovery and as such lose their capacity due to a LACK of stressor.

    I see people who have a relaxed controlled mind, are the proper amount of active, but eat shit and look/feel/perform like shit. I see people who eat well, are regularly active, and worry/hold grudges/etc. and they look/feel/perform terrible. You get the idea. You must have all three.

    The girl in the video not only ate better and made improvement in her physical capacity, but also gained CONFIDENCE and SELF-ESTEEM. It was NOT just eating better and exercising more. Her improvement in health is due to her ENTIRE change of being.

    Some people are born with Down’s Syndrome, others aren’t. I will never deny that genetic make-up plays a role in your outcome. However, I do believe that we can maximize our choice after we are born and become aware; it is our job to deal with whatever genetic make-up we have and maximize our potential.

  6. Corey

    In response to the medical profession: There are good lawyers and bad lawyers. There are good accountants and bad accountants. There are good doctors and bad doctors.

    Miriam brings up a great point. “Show me the research”. I believe a great doctor looks at both the research and their own personal history of their practice. When research comes out showing that something doesn’t work, like it did with the arthritis medication Vioxx, doctors stopped prescribing it. But research also showed that certain forms of arthritis have been shown to improve with rehabilitation, and those doctors had been prescribing rehabilitation with the Vioxx as well. Were they “bad” doctors for prescribing what their peers had said worked, be it medication or lifestyle modification? I don’t think so.

    Doctors prescribe Prednisone to autoimmune patients because blood tests comeback showing an increase in inflammatory markers. Prednisone helps to reduce inflammation, so it seems a good fit when coupled with something to reduce the cause of those inflammatory increases. Often that is lifestyle choice. There are PLENTY of doctors who, when prescribing the medication for the short term, address lifestyle changes as well. If the doctor in the video did not, then I beleive he was a bad doctor. But do not turn this thread into a “damn the health care system” blog.

  7. miriam

    I have known many people who had a relaxed, controlled mind, had the proper amount of active, who ate very well, and who nevertheless got a disease out of the blue and died. They maximized the hell out of their potential, they were happy while they were alive, but they got sick and died. Nothing the doctors, the alternative medicine folks, the fitness experts, the nutritionists, the religious leaders, the healers/shamans, the family or the person could do. Sometimes bad shit happens to good people. And, just as mystifyingly, sometimes good shit happens to bad people. Go figure.

    Corey sums this up very well:
    “I will never deny that genetic make-up plays a role in your outcome. However, I do believe that we can maximize our choice after we are born and become aware; it is our job to deal with whatever genetic make-up we have and maximize our potential.”

    This is an outstanding conclusion to the trouble I started above. Thank you! :-)

  8. T-Bone

    As much as I complain about doctors, the one thing in this video that really bothered me was Veronica’s proud statement that she hasn’t seen a doctor in so long.

    My sister has autoimmune hepatitis and ITP. She’s had a splenectomy for her ITP, she’s been on prednisone and a million other drugs, and there is probably zero chance of her escaping a liver transplant at some point. Doctors and medication saved her life when her disease was in its acute phase and the residents at UM were taking bets on how long she would live. Is medication the only long term solution? I hope not. I saw what it did to her, and she said she would rather die than ever go back on it.

    At the same time, she is a horrible patient. Because of her, I can see through Brian’s eyes how frustrating it must be to give patients a list of things that they NEED to do in order to manage their disease…and then have them blatantly ignore you. I certainly advocate patients doing their own research and exploring alternatives, but I do not believe that shunning the medical community completely is the answer. When you have a chronic disease it needs to be followed and managed, even when you aren’t having symptoms. I watched my sister refuse to go to doctor’s appointments and then – BAM – all of a sudden her platelets were at 3000. So, I strongly believe that this is as important of a lifestyle choice as any of the other factors that have been discussed. Not all doctors are good doctors. So, just make sure yours is.

  9. Rob Garza

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for posting the video. My sister is an inspiration. She’s worked very hard for her current state of health. I hope the video brings hope to others struggling with autoimmune diseases.

    Please allow me to clarify some things. The point of the video was not to knock the medical community, nor was it meant to imply that not eating grains will cure all autoimmune diseases. In addition to cutting out grains and exercising, she drastically reduced her sugar, vegetable/seed oil and alcohol consumption. Diet is not a cure all, just as medicine (natural or synthetic) is not. The changes she made to her lifestyle could potentially help others. They are an avenue to explore. The problem with her doctor is he only saw the one path.

    We are forced to play the genetic cards we are dealt. I ate the same foods my sister did and I didn’t get sick like she did. The extent of my struggles were flatulence and diarrhea. It seems that she was genetically predisposed to react more harshly to the foods she ate. Maybe it was the food she ate coupled with exposure to some other external factor (pesticides, paint, plastics). There’s no way to know for sure. The point is she was really sick before, she worked hard and is now much healthier.

    My sister Veronica has not totally shunned doctors. For 2 -3 years she did not have health insurance. When she finished school, she could no longer be insured through my parents and because of her pre-existing condition she was deemed uninsurable. Last year she got hired on as an instructor for the local university and now has insurance. She has an appointment with a doctor next week. Let’s hope her results reflect how she feels.

  10. M3

    i had mixed feelings about that vid too.
    it’s awesome she has had positive change in her life.
    i was taken aback mostly by the obvious marketing angle.
    i don’t believe there is ‘one true path’ to anything.
    there are just way too many variables for anyone to do all the math needed to come up with any single answer.
    the vid does seem to project CF and ‘paleo’ as a panacea.
    there is no doubt, intelligent decisions about your exercise, diet and mental processes can give you the best possible chance of a long, healthy and happy life.
    when faced with something like Miriam’s husband, Heather’s dad or Tamara’s siter are going through…you fight the good fight; looking and exploring every option…you don’t give up.
    my thoughts are with you all.

  11. Aidan

    Thank you Crossfit community for keeping it real. We’re all in this journey together. I can’t really say it any better than M3 already did: “when faced with something like Miriam” husband, Heather” dad or Tamara” sister are going through…you fight the good fight; looking and exploring every option…you don’t give up.” Let’s get up and get at it, y’all.

  12. miriam

    I thought I wouldn’t post again, but I have to. THANK YOU so very much to Rob for your wonderful, heartfelt, and thoughtful post. I really appreciate the time you took to bring context to the video. The back story was more enlightening to me than the video. Here’s to your sister’s continued good health and yours as well.

    Cheers, Miriam

  13. hjudge

    If it sounded like I was damning the health care system, it wasnt my intention. As I read my last post hours later (and all the wonderful posts afterwards) I see I do still have some anger towards the situation. Truth is, there are some heroes that saved my dad’s life and continue to give him as much time as we can get. Some were MDs, some were nurses… and everyone at Thom’s. His case is so complicated, I get frustrated we don’t have a ring leader. My husband and I are, and we are far from experts.

    Our general physician is amazing though. He treats my whole family and we have his home and cell phone number. Seriously. He spent hours trying to figure out what was going on, and still is haunted by the underlying condition that he feels is really the culprit. Im way off topic, just wanted to give kudos to the ‘good doctors’. No purpose in talking about the lemons.

    Rob, thanks for sharing the rest of your sister’s story! Your family pulled together for your sister, reached out to learn, changed what they could, and it is damn inspiring to know that ‘miracles’ happen. Sometimes doctors need to set expectations, I understand that, but sometimes we have to ignore them just so we can hope that our lives, our bodies will heal. and sometimes we surprise the experts. and cheers to that.

    “you fight the good fight; looking and exploring every option…you don’t give up. Let” get up and get at it, y’all.” Perfect…Thanks M3 and Aiden. and Tamara and Miriam for sharing your stories. Corey, thanks for an insightful conversation and helping my husband and I, even if just by caring. so far. :) night.


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