She Strength Warriors – Nov 2019

WAKE-UP CALL BRINGS WELLNESS

For more than 25 years, Nellie Curiel has dedicated herself to making sure the IT systems at Hutchinson Community College run smoothly. Troubleshooting, upgrading, and maintaining were things that she did very well, but when it came to her own systems, her body, she had checked out.

“I never really was physically active after high school, and my time in the military. Of course, I got pretty fit in the Army during basic training, but afterwards? Not so much. I was 57, and I thought my ship had sailed. I thought it was too late to get in better shape.”

But something caught Nellie’s attention that made her rethink her position.

“I think I saw an ad on Facebook for Anna Woods and SheStrength. I read it but didn’t really do anything about it. But then a friend of mine at work mentioned her, too. She said ‘I think she’d be a good fit for you. She does this metabolic makeover thing. You could get your body evaluated, and a body comp analysis.’ I thought okay, let’s go see what it’s all about.”

Nellie admits that her initial perception of Anna wasn’t entirely positive, but that changed very quickly once they met.

“They say first impressions are everything, and that’s what got me about Anna. She was extremely kind. From the minute I walked in the door of her house, I felt relaxed. The family atmosphere put me at ease. All I was going by was her picture on Facebook, but that one conversation just made me comfortable.”

Diving into the fitness world can feel extremely intimidating, especially if you’ve been out of the game for a while.

“Honestly, Anna looked very intimidating to me, like she probably works with all these bodybuilders. I thought this wouldn’t be my cup of tea. But after she explained how the SheStrength program works, I thought it would be a good fit for me.”

After deciding she wanted to take the next step in her fitness journey, she had to get her husband on board.

“I was worried about him understanding the cost, but my 22-year-old son put everything into perspective. He said, ‘Dad, that’s cheaper than one month of insulin.’”

Once on 3 different diabetic medications, Nellie is now down to two, and is off blood pressure medication.

“I can’t believe just how much my health has improved. Yes, I’ve lost weight, but more than that, I’m SO much stronger. I never thought I would be lifting weights, let alone deadlifting 160 pounds! It’s crazy how when you’re taught the correct way to move your body, how much better it all works.”

Nellie’s physical health isn’t the only thing that’s improved. Her mental health has also seen positive changes.

“I lost my son 11 years ago, and it took me 10 years to “wake up.” I had to get healthy, but I couldn’t do it for my other son, or my husband. It had to be for me. But my mental state didn’t allow me to believe I was worth it. Anna has changed all that. She has helped me realize I’m worth it. People who didn’t know me before, they wouldn’t recognize the old me. It’s strange to hear people say, ‘you just glow,’ but I’m getting used to it.”

Perhaps it’s this new-found confidence that has embolden Nellie to do something she never thought she would: perform on stage.

“My inlaws have a family band, and they’ve been trying to talk me into singing with them for years. I never would. Finally, I said yes.”

After several public performances, it’s safe to say Nellie enjoys sharing her talents with others. And she’s especially fond of one of her biggest fans.

“I was singing at an outdoor venue and had my phone in my hand in case I forgot the lyrics. My phone buzzed. I had a text message. It was from my son. He said ‘You sound great!’ He was outside at his house, and could hear me from there.”

Nellie’s story shows that it’s not only our body that can be improved through working on our fitness but our entire outlook on life as well.

“I cannot say enough good about Anna and what she does. She believes it, and she genuinely wants to help people.”

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