Archive for March, 2019

NutritionPersonal HealthWeight Loss

Riding a Rollercoaster

I know I am not alone in describing the emotional toll of health and medical diagnoses as a mental rollercoaster. While I know that my weight loss has resulted in no more plantar fasciitis, no more monthly cycle irregularities, and no more weight-related aches, I have always had other issues. Issues that no doctor has ever taken the time to properly diagnose. This past week, I went from a high of happiness knowing that my weight loss reversed another ailment, to a low of being diagnosed with something that I have probably had my entire life.

The Thyroid Problem Symptoms

Since I started puberty at the age of 14, my cycles have been irregular. My weight didn’t really start creeping up until my early to mid twenties. Pretty much every year of my life I have had a women’s wellness exam where I articulated to my doctor that I was irregular with severe cramping and heavy flow. How irregular? I was going 3-8 weeks between cycles with one instance of a 9 month gap and no resulting baby. 

Doctor Timeline

In 2006, a doctor assumed thyroid issues which were confirmed with the TSH blood work. I was prescribed Synthroid and dismissed. While the medicine helped me mentally – because I had been an emotional nightmare – none of my other symptoms changed. I continued to be irregular to the point where we were buying pregnancy tests a few times a year because I was “late” and there might be a chance.

In 2012, my husband and I decided to pursue fertility options while still in Canada. They did the standard blood work – cholesterol, chicken pox, STDs, and other variables that might affect a healthy pregnancy as well as checking if I ovulated every month. The results – I wasn’t ovulating regularly. While I was bleeding, I wasn’t always releasing an egg. My full menstrual history was revisited and the cure was a prescription for Clomid with monthly blood work to see if it triggered ovulation. Eventually they found the right dosage for ovulation, but nothing took. We moved to the states and put babies on hold.

In 2013, after moving to the US, a doctor felt nodules on my thyroid and the referrals began. In under 24 hours, I knew the nodules were not cancerous, so I was to simply continue on Synthroid. My other symptoms continued.

Almost 30 Years Later

In March 2019, I finally got to see an endocrinologist who sent me for a new thyroid ultrasound. The discovery? My nodules were gone! My weight loss and healthier lifestyle made them disappear! I was ecstatic! Could I stop taking Synthroid? Had I completely reversed everything my obesity had created? On Friday, March 29th, the morning before my Bsides Austin presentation, I received the news. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.

Working on a new goal

The Effect on Me

While I know I am not dying, this has hit me hard. I have been struggling to understand why it took into my 40s for a doctor to finally listen, pay attention to my symptoms, and dig further. In addition to always knowing I had something else going on with my body, I have been dealing with pressures – internal and external influences – of having children. Married since 2003, the pressures and assumptions that I would produce children started from the engagement in 2001. Ever since we got married, we always just figured it would happen.

Now that I finally know there is something else going on with me, I am hoping I can move on and continue focusing on me physically. I actually feel like there is some closure, but I think I will always be a little upset. Upset at the possibility that an earlier diagnosis might have made a difference earlier in my life. Upset that no doctor listened. Upset that it took so long to finally know more.

I am now simply hoping that there is nothing else going on. Hoping that cancer and other family illnesses never come in to play. Hoping I can completely let go and move on.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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Creating Successful Personal Trainers

When I moved to Austin, my plan was to continue my personal training career by forging new friendships and finding new clients. I also knew that I wanted needed to continue working with a personal trainer (PT) because having someone challenge and coach me is important to me – personally and professionally. 

Finding That Someone

To my pleasant surprise, I found a fantastic powerlifting trainer, coach, and mentor in Justin Wecker. Even more exciting was the fact he had just bought into a personal training school – a school focused on providing classroom and hands on gym training to people pursuing the PT certification. While his recent acquisition really excited me, because of my technical training background as well as my passion for PT, I was hesitant to approach Justin about working with/at/for the school. What would he think of me? Would I scare him away? If I worked with him at the school, would our trainer/client relationship suffer?

Forging a New Business Relationship

When I finally decided to discuss the school with Justin, we’d known each other a whopping six weeks. Six weeks of working together as trainer/client and gradually getting to know each other. I know he was hesitant because of previous business relationships – completely understandable. I also knew that I really wanted to help him.

After visiting family over the holidays, I returned to Austin ready to help. Back in January, I started helping Justin quietly in the background with content updates and various other work for the school. Over the past few weeks, I have also shadowed him for many classes and recently started instructing some classroom sessions.

Training Trainers

I couldn’t be happier. I have thanked Justin several times over the past few weeks for pulling me in to PFTA Austin, but I feel the need to thank him again – this time publicly. While we still have things to sort out and a business to continually evolve, I couldn’t be more happy with what I am doing.

I truly love training people – as clients and as students. I also want to see more certified personal trainers do more than just lift. It only took me 20 years of adulting to find my true passion. Thank you Justin for helping me find it!

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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Giving Back to InfoSec

In addition to my exciting work news from last week, I am very happy to share that I have some upcoming speaking engagements at local security conferences. While you are probably wondering why I am submitting and presenting at these conferences, for me the decision is obvious. After working in the InfoSec space for almost 20 years and watching friends struggle with mental and physical health, I want to give back. 

Working for a Living

Working for a Living is a presentation allowing me to share my journey, talk about the importance of nutrition and exercise, and talk about the importance of self. My goal in these presentations is for at least one person to walk away with a purpose, some goals, and a plan. A purpose, goals, and a plan to put themselves first – mentally and physically.

Security Bsides Austin

On Friday, March 29th at 2pm, I am presenting at Security Bsides in Austin.
Commons Learning Center on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus at The University of Texas at Austin:
10100 Burnet Road
Bldg 137

HouSecCon 2019

On April 9th or 10th, you will find me down in Houston at the Marriott Marquis Houston for HouSecCon 2019.

If you happen to be in Austin or Houston during these conferences, please stop in. I will be sharing tips and tricks from previous blog posts, such as how Certified Personal Trainers Do More Than Lift and How to Eat Healthy on a Budget.

If you would like to connect with me while in town, I can be reached at (512) 710-7773 | keli@kelihay.com

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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ActiveNewsPersonal HealthPersonal TrainerPersonal TrainingTrainingWeight Loss

Living and Loving Healthy in Austin

Austin has been a wonderful surprise for me. Having been here six months and now working, it’s starting to feel like home. Yes – I am working, training, and happily busy.
If you are looking for weight loss help or personal training, you will find me in the Domain area of North Austin. Please come on up to visit!

Weight Loss Consultant

Back in December I started working as a weight loss consultant for a major weight loss company and I am really enjoying it. This job occurred because I struck up a conversation with another member at the gym. This new found gym relationship and resulting job, continue to prove the value of interacting with other people at the gym. In my role as a consultant am really enjoying connecting with and helping people take control of their eating habits and lose weight.


Certified Personal Trainer Instructor

In January, I started working with Justin Wecker at PFTA Austin. This opportunity arose because of my passion for instructional design and training as well as Justin needing help. Our collaboration has resulted in a newer, refreshed course that we are proudly debuting in April.
If you have any interest in personal training, sign up for the class at the 50% discounted rate today!


Personal Trainer

This past month, I put the steps in motion to begin personal training out of Gym One. This really excites me. Before committing to a specific gym, I wanted to make sure it was the right place for me. When I joined Gym One at the end of October, it quickly felt like home. Bruce, Austin, and the various trainers at this gym are a family. The egos are low, the squats are deep, and the reps are plentiful.

Ready to lose weight and get moving, then contact me at 512-710-7773 or keli@kelihay.com

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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