Dr. Robyn Odegaard-
Dr. Robyn Odegaard: Growing up on a farm, I always had a lot of energy. As a teenager, someone said to me, “I used to babysit you. I have never met a two-year-old who was so exhausting.” (How do you even respond to that?) In high school, I ran cross country and track but at 18 I was moved far from home (long story) and didn't have the opportunity to exercise anymore. Looking back at pictures it’s easy to see that I got a little fluffy. Not to worry though. In my early 20’s I discovered volleyball, eventually playing competitively in beach tournaments. In those pictures I’m back to my lean, athletic self.
When life moved on from volleyball I continued to go to the gym and lift. But the intensity wasn’t there. I no longer had a workout partner or the competitive motivation. I would go regularly, take a break and go regularly again (sound familiar?).
In my mid 30’s I was soft again, but not in the girlish way I was at 20 but in a thick-around-the-middle-I-have-no-waist kinda way. When I complained about it people would tell me I was “crazy” and that I was skinny. But I didn’t feel it. I bought a hybrid bike (halfway between a road bike and a mountain bike) and started riding 10-20 miles at a time (weather permitting). But the weight just kept creeping on.
About the time I finished my doctorate in psychology and started my coaching and speaker training business (Champion Performance Development) in my late 30s another nagging problem arose. My cholesterol started to do more than just creep upwards and doctors started to nag me about taking a statin (cholesterol lowering drug).
By 45 I was twenty pounds overweight and my cholesterol hit 256. I was working out 5 days a week religiously and biking 50-100 miles a week. But nothing was touching my weight or my cholesterol. My doctor was adamant that my cholesterol level was causing damage to my cardiovascular system.
I relented and picked up the prescription. One of the (supposedly rare) side effects of statins is muscle damage. Within 6 weeks of starting cholesterol-lowering drugs, my shins ached so badly I couldn't sleep. I called my doctor and told her, “This is simply not going to work.” She didn't fight me on it (she knows there’s no point) but she did express grave concern about my heart.
It was about that time that Russ and I decided to go on the superhero diet (Don’t look it up. It’s not really a thing and it didn't work). After two months of that failing to budge the scale or my cholesterol downward, we started talking about options. And that is where RnR Journey to Health started.