Welcome to my blog, all about inspirational people with amazing stories to share and who have fought their way to their goals and dreams.



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fitness Model Jacqueline Curl's Story

Jacqueline's story is very unique. She went through a lot of hard times until she finally found out what was really wrong with her. If you have any of these symptoms, please do not be afraid to speak up to your doctor and ask to see a therapist so they can investigate your symptoms further.
 
Thank you Jacqueline for sharing your story.
 
 
 
Q. Where do you live?
 
I live in Calgary, Alberta. I Just moved here 2 months ago and i love it. Im originally from Montreal, Quebec
 
Q. What is your current occupation?
 
I work in a physio clinic as an assistant/aide
 
Q. You started competing recently, how many shows have you done?
 
To date I've done 4 total with many more to come!
 
Q. You won a fitness model competition, which show was it and when?
 
I won the fcpaq CHAMPIONNAT QUÉBEC DE L'OUEST on May 29th 2010, Best day of my life! I won First place Fitness model and overall fitness model.
 
Q. Have you always been active?
 
Nope! I have always liked the gym but never committed myself. I never participated in sports, but have always be drawn to it. I always wanted to be an athlete.
 
Q. How was your childhood? Did your family have healthy options?
 
I was an only child until i was 13 when i gained 2 step brothers. But i spent a lot of time playing alone. My mom was a single mother and spent a lot of time working so i made a lot of my own meals which usually consisted of hot dogs or fast things that were not very healthy. I was kinda chubby as a child. Definitely not active. But dont get me wrong i had a very happy childhood :)
 
Q. Were you ever over weight?
 
YES! I was over weight this time last year. After being sick i let myself go and i knew i had gained weight but i thought maybe 10 or 15 pounds. When i weighed myself one day and saw i had gained close to 50 pounds I freaked out and knew it was time to do something.
 
 
Q. You went through some pretty hard times, and the doctors did not know what was wrong with you. Tell us about it.
 
My mom was very sick at the time and i had to have her admitted to the hospital, it was a very hard time, i was the only one there and had no one helping me out. This happen twice and at the same time i had just met my father for the first time in my life, i was going to school full time, working full time and partying full time. Hardly sleeping and not dealing or talking to anyone about what was going on!

It started with not being able to focus when someone was having a
conversation, I couldn't keep track of what they were saying, then my foot
went numb and it spread to half my body. I would have crying break downs at
work and finally went to see the doctor and they told me I was having a burn
out and gave me time off work. But then it just got worse. I couldn't write,
or sign my name it was just scribble, I couldn't tie my shoes, type on the
computer, talk properly, think straight, I walked funny, I would faint, have
panic attacks, black out, have seizures on a daily basis! I would have
episodes where I'd black out and do crazy things that I wouldn't remember. It
was totally insane! They did every test you could think of, I've had the
works.. MRI, EGG, cat scan, spinal tap over 100 blood tests..etc they did
all that because I was showing all the signs of a neurological disorder.
everything came up negative!!

Q. How tough was dealing with doctors and nurses that did not understand what you were going through?
 
It was extremely hard! i would go to a different doctor and have a different test and different hospital stays and no one would have an answer and every test would be come up negative! You dont realize how strong you are until your only choice is to be as strong as you can. It was months and months of not knowing what was happening to my body. Everyday something new would happen and to have no answers was so difficult. After a while i think people just stopped believing me, that was hard.
 
Q. How long did it take for the doctors to finally figure out what was happening to your body?
 
They never did!!! Months had gone by and one day i just broke from reality and blacked out and did things i dont remember doing and was rushed to the hospital. In the middle of my black out i actually ran away from the hospital and when i finally came to and let them take me back I was admitted immediately and put on protective watch for a whole week because in their eyes i was this crazy person. After being in the emergency pysch ward for a couple weeks i was moved to an actual pysch hospital for 5 weeks which was the most awful, terrible experience of my life. They did nothing for me in there! no therapy, no compassion no comfort no nothing. I was treated like i was in jail. Wasn't allowed outside, wasn't allowed visitors until 5pm...was told when to take a shower, when to eat, when to sleep, when i could use the phone. They would drug me and leave me! No therapy at all! If it wasn't for my family and friends i would have never gotten through it.
 
Q. When did you finally take control of your life and how?
 
After 5 weeks, i was getting a little better on my own none the less and i was released but had to attend a day hospital. There was my saving grace, i had lots of therapy, and FINALLY was told what i had. Its called conversion disorder. Conversion disorder is a condition where a patient displays neurological symptoms such as numbness, paralysis, or fits, even though no neurological explanation is found and it is determined that the symptoms are due to the patient's psychological response to stress. Conversion is a psychiatric diagnosis.
Conversion disorder symptoms may occur because of emotional distress or psychological problems. Symptoms usually begin suddenly after a stressful experience.
Some doctors falsely believe that conversion disorder and similar disorders are not real conditions, and may tell patients that the problem is "all in your head." However, these conditions are real. They cause distress and cannot be turned on and off at will. Research on the mind-body connection may eventually increase understanding of these disorders.

The only way to cure this is therapy, once you find out what caused it (i.e.: what caused you to get so stressed) and you deal with the stress then you deal with the conversion disorder and it will get cured!
So therapy is what helped in the beginning. and like i said i was on all kinds of meds and because of them i gained so much weight. I must have gained 50 pounds! i also used to smoke a lot to get the edge off. i slowly started to get better, and then i started to work out to get rid of my stress and clear my head and that's when i got addicted to it and started training so much and quit smoking and started feeling soooo much better, better then i ever had. I started walking in my area, every morning. I would power walk to my favorite tunes on my iPod and just walk. It was so nice to be outside with the fresh air. I finally felt alive again. I was a new person better then the old person i used to be!
 
Q. How do you feel that fitness and healthy living saved your life?
 
Oh my god, i dont know where to begin! It has changed me in every way, and im actually getting emotional as i type this. It has given me a reason to wake up each morning and something to look forward to. The people i have met along the way and friendships ive made have saved my life like you wouldnt believe! Im proud to say i have not had to take meds for over a year now or had to go see a doctor. When i feel a little stress coming on i ride it out at the gym and i think how far ive come and i always leave feeling alive and new. I have a joke with my dad that when im at the gym im at therapy lol I will often say gotta go i got therapy! And thats what it is. Competition is the same price as a therapist and all those crazy meds so i choose fitness!
 
Q. How long have you been training for now?
 
Its been just over a year!
 
Q. How does it feel to be a role model for others out there?
 
Its really weird especially when people say i inspire them or they look up to me because to me im just a regular person, i dont think it has hit me yet what ive been through and what a huge deal it was. But im working on it and trying to accept it. I love to motivate people and inspire them so i hope im doing a good job.
 
Q. Do you get a lot of questions or advice at the gym?
 
I get everything from how do i do what you did, to how do i build muscle, how do i motivate myself, whats the best exercise to get abs. I get it all. I try an answer everything but im just learning myself so i usually direct them to someone i know can better answer their questions.
 
Q. What does your typical eating day look like for you?
 
Right now im carb cycling so i have 1 day with 3 carbs, then 1 day with 2 carbs and then the last day with 1 carb and i repeat. I always have 5 oz of protein, green veggies and love to snack on mixed nuts. For carbs I like yams and brown rice oh and of course steel cut oats with mixed berries.
 
Q. Do you have a favorite cheat meal?
 
CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!! i love chocolate!!!
 
Q. How much do you love life now?
 
I love life A LOT! A lot more then i ever have. Theres always room for improvement haha! If i could just find someone special that would be amazing! LOL but i do love life a lot and dont take it for granted anymore. I try and live every day like its my last
 
Q. Do you have any advice for our readers who think that there is no way out and want to give up?
 
 Theres always a light at the end of the tunnel, ALWAYS. No matter how low or how dead you feel it will get better i promise. You need to  find something to turn to. Something to be passionate about something that makes life worth living. For me it was fitness and for you it may be something else. Find something you love and pursue it! YOU CAN DO IT!
 
 
Q. Any other words or advice?
 
Don't be ashamed to admit you feel a certain way. I'm not ashamed i spent 5 weeks in a mental ward. Not in the least. You could do anything you set your mind to and don't let anyone hold you back! You are your biggest fan, you are the one that controls your destiny! You are in the drivers seat of YOUR life, make it a good ride, because you only get one shot!