My dad died in 2013 from bladder cancer. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. Not only was he my father, but he was my best friend. The person I turned to for advice on anything and everything- career wise, friend wise, man wise… my dad was my person. While he was sick, I became very depressed. When he died, it got even worse. I gained weight, I wallowed- I basically became a hermit. I needed a change. I moved to Arizona from Philly 8 months after his passing to start over. It was then that I discovered a community called Tone It Up. A community full of women supporting each other and motivating each other to work out and eat healthy and live your best life. It’s what I needed. I started working out regularly and eating healthy. I was losing weight but that wasn’t even what kept me going. It was the community- I made some of my closest friends through it and it completely transformed my attitude.
Flash forward a year and things started going downhill again. Almost every time I would eat something, I would feel extremely sick. Occasionally even vomiting. I couldn’t work out without getting sick. I went through countless doctors and numerous tests to try and determine what was wrong with me. Eventually, one of the doctors discovered that I had a gastric emptying disordered. Essentially- the food I was eating was sitting in my stomach and rotting instead of moving through. With the right medication, that issue was fixed. But a month after that discovery, I had a grand mal seizure. One so bad that I was blacked out for about 10 minutes and when I awoke, I had no idea who I was, who my friends were, or who my boyfriend was. This lasted about 45 minutes and every time I think about that it scares me. While doing the testing, it was discovered I had epilepsy, a benign tumor called a facial schwannoma and lesions on my brain. I was horrified to do anything because I thought it might cause another seizure. But I was determined.
I have the amazing support from my family, my boyfriend- who I am lucky enough to have as my rock, my friends, the Tone It Up community, and most importantly- from myself. You can try to do your best for others, but you will never succeed if you aren’t doing it for yourself and supporting your own mind and body. So be brave, be strong, fight the world. No one else is doing it for you. You only have one mind, one spirit and one body- so take care of them. You never know when they might need you to the most.
More About Heather
Heather Renshaw is an accountant based in Arizona, originally from Philly. She has a passion for fitness and health, and is a proud member of the Tone It Up community.
Heather is appreciative of her amazing support system of her family, her boyfriend, and friends. She believes in supporting your own mind and body to be your best self.