Denise Andrade Woods’ Testimony
Wonder Woman WOD
August 17, 2014
Wow! Thank you for all who nominated me as the AMAZEn Bootcamp Spotlight Bootcamper this week. What an honor. It came at quite a surprise and one of my first reactions was…”I am so not worthy of this honor”. The crazy thing is we all suffer from various forms of insecurities. Whether it be our weight, our strength, our fears, our anxieties or whatever we make up in our head that makes us feel as if what we are doing isn’t good enough. Those of you that know me, know I’m a HOT MESS…Here’s where my journey starts…
You see I’ve always been a “big girl”. Let’s just say I blossomed pretty early in life. I was 5’7.5” in 4th grade. I was taller than the principal of my elementary school. Tragic for a girl. By the time I was in middle school, my poor little body didn’t know which way it was going…should I be a little girl or a full blown woman? I have always struggled with my weight. My sweet older brother used to always call me “puffy taco” b/c he took after my mom and couldn’t gain an ounce of weight if he tried. I, on the other hand, took after my dad’s side of the family…lucky me. Ha! Well, those insecurities (no matter how hard you try to push them to the side), have always been in the back of my mind. I have always been an athlete. That’s where my competitive nature comes in. I knew I would never be that “skinny girl” so I just relinquished in the fact that I would be the “athletic one” and I was ok with that. I knew my limitations. But, you know how brutal kids can be.
Well, flash forward through an academic scholarship to Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) and a college student studying Pre-Med, who went from playing sports her whole life, to a total stress ball of studying and a roller coaster of weight fluctuations. Bring on the anxiety. I had no idea at the time what was happening (now it all makes sense). I struggle with the mentality that my “good enough isn’t always good enough” and my fear of disappointment took over. I was finally the size/weight I always dreamed of being but that came with a price. My anxiety was so off the charts that I couldn’t eat and my tummy was always a wreck. I internalized it all. I never took medication for it but I soon realized that exercise was a great outlet for me.
Then…I met this boy. Darn boys. This boy was naturally lean and fit and never had to do a thing to get that way. He could eat whatever he wanted and not gain an ounce. Not this girl. I packed on the pounds and was absolutely miserable in my own skin. But…he loved me in spite of all that and then comes marriage (stress allowed me to lose all that weight and then some right before the wedding…woohoo!!). A crazy stressful career, 16 years of marriage and 4 little boys in a baby carriage….bring back the anxiety. I gained 50lbs with each one of my boys except my Eli…Oh yes, my Eli ruined me. I gained 65lbs with my 3rd little man. The weight didn’t come off so easily after that one. I saw pictures of myself a year after he was born while we were on vacay and just couldn’t handle it. I looked up the deets on Amazen Bootcamp because I had heard so many great things about it and got Channel’s number/email. I had an email all written out, but it took me a couple of days to actually send it. I told her I was scared but ready to get my groove back. Her response said it all. She barely even knew me and was so excited to welcome me…She sent me a message the night before that said “see you in the morning”. I couldn’t let her down. I showed up on a Saturday (3 years ago), scared out of my mind, not knowing a soul. I met some incredible people on that day. Many of whom have become some of my very best friends. Veronica Schindler and I became fast friends and partners. She pushed me and I was loving every bit of this Bootcamp. Well, in true Denise Fashion…apparently I did get my groove back…1 month after starting Bootcamp, I found out I was pregnant with baby #4! Wha!!?? NOOO!! This can’t be! I’m just getting my groove back!! (V, let me know how she felt about it too…haha!). Well, that didn’t stop me. Baby #4 and I worked out at Bootcamp 3xs a week every week until I could no longer do a burpee properly and I felt like he was going to fall out while I was running . Baby Grant came a month early and totally rocked my world. Roller coaster once again. I struggled to find the time to take care of me. Until that darn anxiety came back. I was a mess (I internalize it all so it makes it even worse). Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman who?? My doctor threatened me with medication (funny how the “drug rep” is so against taking medication herself). He asked me if I was still exercising. I told him I was only getting about 3-4 hours of sleep a night and was completely exhausted. How could I possibly have the energy to work out when I can barely hold my head up (as I broke down crying). He told me to try getting back into exercising and seeing how I felt. If it didn’t help then he was going to put me on meds. Blah! I prayed…A LOT!
Thank God for 6am Bootcamp, all the coaches who get up before the crack of dawn with us crazies (Warren, Kelli, Cecily) and all my new accountability partners (Tricia, Jake, Mott and Salter)! With 2 jobs, all my boys’ activities, and a hubby that’s just as busy, 6am is the only time I can fit it in. It’s been a challenge (this night owl hasn’t figured out how to go to bed at a decent hour), but it has completely changed my life. I’m certainly not at my fitness or weight goals…yet…but I’m getting there and my anxiety is well under control…NO MEDS!! Praise the LORD!! Exercise is the most underutilized drug for anxiety/depression. If you, or anyone you know, suffer from any sort of anxiety or depression, try exercising regularly…30 minutes a day is all it takes. If you need a partner or a push, call on me. I’ll meet you there. Trust me, it will make a world of a difference.
Channel, thank you for this AMAZEn opportunity and for being a blessing and inspiration to us all! It’s pretty incredible to see how many lives you’ve been able to touch and change in such a short amount of time. Seriously so honored and so grateful! Love you all BIG BIG!!
PS. Please don’t hate me after this Wonder Woman WOD…hehe..it’s not my fault. ;)
OXOX <3, Denise
Teresa V 11:26pm
Are you a drug rep in Castroville too?
Sheri K 10:03am
Congratulations Denise! I remember the first time you came to BC on Saturday. Yes, you were very nervous, but did great and I knew immediately I had made a new friend. I also remember the day at BC when you told me you were pregnant. Wow! It was a wow for you too. And then you were blessed with another boy. And through it all you forged ahead with grace and dignity. Always there with an encouraging word and friendly smile. Took a little time off to regroup and start a new business and your wild life with 4 boys. Then you can back to BC and with a vengeance. I'm so happy you are back and making your health and fitness a priority. I don't know you young mothers find the time to do this, but I surely do admire you. You are all Wonder Women in my book! Congratulations again, and I can't wait to WOD in your honor today. Then we need to squeeze in another lunch sometime like the old days, you me and V. :) Love you girl... Momma K
Denise!! I can't wait to do that WOD again when it not ONE HUNDRED DEGREES in the gym! Haha! I thought I had already posted here but I haven't so just wanted to say how WONDERful I think you are! ;) You are beautiful inside and out and I'm still not sure how you show up at 6am looking so good!! I remember the first time I coached you at 6am and you had said you were just coming back from a long time away from ABC...you worked hard and it was like you were never gone! Plus you looked perfect when it was all over. HOW do you do that?!? I'll figure it out someday ;) anyways, CONGRATS! Well deserved! Love coaching and working out with you! Xo
Angie A 8:36am
Congratulations Wonder Woman!! So excited I was able to see you @ 6am:) Your story is inspirational & inspiring. You are gorgeous inside & out!! Looking forward to your WOD. May God continue to give you the strength and endurance to do what you do! 💛
Thank you so much for sharing your story! Like so many others have said, it is inspiring and amazing. I'm honored to get to know you and so glad to be able to honor you, and all the blessings the Lord is pouring upon you, in your spotlight WOD tomorrow! :)
Love you...love your family...love your story! I'm so happy that we get to honor you and spotlight you, Denise! You ARE an amazing woman...not just because of all you do, but how you do it. You do it with grace and a love that shows when I see you with your family. Thank you for using your spotlight to bring attention to an issue that effects so many. I sincerely believe The Lord had used and is using that to help bring healing. I got lots of love for ya baby!! 😘💖