Where do I even begin? The last year and a half for me has been by far the most challenging time in my entire life. I went from beginning to feel sick to extremely sick, to not knowing what was wrong, to finding out I have Lyme Disease, and then going through 10 months of extreme treatment. To top it off, after I finished treatment I was extremely weak with a severely compromised immune system. Below I’m going to go into detail about my story and how I went from not being able to function to achieving absolutely incredible Body Beast results. I hope my story inspires you or someone you may know. No matter how great of a challenge you are experiencing in your life, you can always conquer it.
I remember the first day I experienced strange symptoms. I sort of chalked it up as a “bad day” of not feeling well, but that feeling never really went away. Instead, it progressively got worse. The first real physical symptom I experienced was pain in the back of my head. It was odd, I had never had something like that happen before. What was so strange about it was that the location was specific. It was right in the connective tissue between the neck and the skull on both sides. As days went by, the pain intensified and more symptoms began to show up. I started developing pain in a specific spot in my spine, dizziness, extreme fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, breathing issues, slurred speech, memory issues, ringing in my ears, and the list goes on and on. Months went by and everything seemed to progressively get worse to the point where I could barely function throughout the day. All I wanted to do was sleep. To make matters worse, every single doctor I went to assured me that nothing was wrong and that it was “all in my head.” Many of them even tried to get me to take pain killers and depression medication. If I wasn’t going to get help from doctors then I was going to take matters into my own hands and that’s exactly what I did.
I started doing an insane amount of research on my symptoms. After sifting through all the bullshit I finally came across Lyme Disease as the possible culprit of all my problems. Instantly I thought back to all the times I was bitten by a tick when I was younger. Apparently Lyme can lie dormant in the system for years until something triggers it to come out and play. It could have been a number of things I guess, but I’m sure stress played a big part in it. Anyways, I sought out a Lyme specialist and got tested and the test came back positive. When I found out I had Lyme is was sort of bittersweet. Now you’re probably asking, “How in the hell can it be bittersweet?” When you suffer for months and months without any answers, it’s a relief to finally know that you’re not crazy like the doctors kept saying you were. On the other hand, though, I knew I had one hell of a journey ahead of me.
When I found out I had Lyme was when my symptoms were the worst they had been. I knew that if I didn’t fully commit to treatment and change my lifestyle that I might not be around much longer. Then we found out that Melinda was pregnant with our first son. To be honest, it scared the hell out of me because all I kept thinking about was still being extremely sick when he arrived. But at that moment I swore that I would do everything I could to heal so that I could be the father I wanted to be when he arrived. It was all the motivation I needed. My specialist started me on an antibiotic treatment plan, but I did additional research and discovered some natural ways to heal as well. I combined both plans and committed myself 100% to getting better.
There were a lot of ups and downs. I had to change treatment plans multiple times after hitting plateaus and there were weeks I’d feel better and then weeks where I felt worse. When dealing with lyme, that’s to be expected, but nobody can imagine the mental challenge that presents. If you’re not in the right place mentally I can completely understand how it’s easy to slip into a depression, but thankfully I’m very strong mentally and was able to push through it. I owe that to my upbringing and involvement in personal development at such a young age. When I was 15 years old I read a positive thinking book called “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. That book has had a major impact on everything that has happened in my life to this point and it most certainly played a role in my progress with Lyme.
One of the problems I had during my Lyme journey, though, was that I wasn’t able to work out. When you are eliminating the Lyme bacteria, the dead bacteria can overwhelm your system. Even though I was detoxing regularly, it still wasn’t enough to eliminate all the toxins, so my symptoms would get worse. In the Lyme world it’s called a herxheimer reaction, or “herx” for short. Every time that I would work out I would experience absolutely awful symptoms for a week or so because I was moving those toxins around in the body and eliminating them. Because of that happening every time I attempted to work out, I decided to hold off on working out all together until I was done with treatment. Looking back that was a major mistake because exercising was helping me detox quicker, but hindsight is 20/20. Anyways, once I finished up with my treatment, I was extremely weak and the lightest I’ve been in years at right around 158 lbs.
I was much better when treatment ended, I would say even around 90-95% better. At that point I swore I would commit to Body Beast and get some of the best Body Beast results anyone has ever seen even though I knew I would go through ups and downs while going through the program. I knew that as soon as I started I would have some symptoms return because of the stored toxins in my muscles and fat cells. I was correct and a lot did return, but I pushed through it every single day even if I felt awful. I was determined. I wanted to show people that if you don’t use excuses you can accomplish some incredible things in your life. Then I had some major obstacles pop up. Because my immune system was so weak after months and months of antibiotic treatment, I developed a few very serious infections. The first was a staph infection in my ear, which caused me the worst pain I have ever experienced before, and I have experienced a lot of pain. Second, and worst of all, I developed a MRSA infection on my face. If you don’t know anything about MRSA, it’s a very serious staph infection that is pretty much antibiotic resistant. I almost landed in the E.R., but luckily the bacteria responded well with treatment the doctor gave me. Despite all of the obstacles, I still pushed through and finished my 90 days.
To say that my Body Beast results were good would be an understatement. I believe my Body Beast transformation is absolutely fantastic and that’s because I pushed as hard as I possibly could. My nutrition was spot on, my supplement use was as well, and I gave maximum effort during every workout. It’s interesting because a lot of the stuff I learned about nutrition while going through Lyme treatment played a big role in my ability to heal and add on muscle fairly quickly. I was taking multiple vitamins daily, drank my Shakeology twice a day, and used the entire Performance Line. I will go into detail about what supplements I used and why I used them in another post.
To wrap this all up, here are my Body Beast results. I went from 162 lbs to 173 lbs, therefore gaining 11 lbs of muscle. In addition, I added 4.25 inches on my chest and 1.25 inches on my biceps. Hopefully my story was able to inspire you in some way and give you hope that no matter what you go through you can get through it and accomplish great things in your life. I focus on moving forward daily. If you enjoyed this post or know someone that it might help, please share it on social media. If you would like to be Coached by me (I’ve been an online fitness Coach since 2008), feel free to email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. I’m here to help and maybe I can help you make some permanent changes in your life as well. You can also just add me as your Coach right now by clicking here.
My name is Josh Spencer and I'm a husband, father, online fitness Coach (since 2008), soon to be author, and holistic healing advocate. Since 2008 I've helped thousands and thousands of people make a change in their health! I believe that in order to make incredible changes you have to have the right mindset, nutrition, and workout plan.