Dawn Heaney

Dawn Heaney: “First and foremost, I had to set goals”

A series of health issues (irregular heart beat and potential thyroid issues) had me seeking the assistance of medical professionals.  One of these medical professionals seriously opened my eyes when she said, “If you continue to live your life life in the manner in which you’re currently living it, you will not live a very long and healthy life.  You’re overweight, you’re a smoker, and you’re cholesterol and glucose levels are well out of the normal range.”  While I was well aware of some of these things (the weight and the smoking) I never had anyone sum up my health in such a blunt and matter of fact manner.  This doctor wrote me a prescription for cholesterol medication, told me to change my diet, and suggested I make a follow up appointment with her in the near future.  When I left her office I felt as if I had been hit with a 2 x 4.  I was hell bent on not taking the medication she prescribed so I knew I had to get busy with some serious lifestyle changes.  First and foremost, I had to set goals.  These were my goals:

1.     Lose Weight

2.     Change My Diet

3.     Exercise

4.     Quit Smoking

5.     Be Medication Free

The very next week, I decided to tackle goals number one, two, and three.  I joined a gym and changed my eating habits.  Nine months later, with diet and exercise I lost 50 pounds.  After these goals were accomplished, I realized that goals one through three were almost pointless if I didn’t quit smoking.  That’s right; I exercised and changed my diet, and STILL smoked.  I knew there was no easy way to quit and medication was just not an option for me so, I made the decision to put them down.  In moving forward with goal number four, I did just that, I put the cigarettes down.  It’s been over a year now since I quit smoking.

I went back to my doctor with my before and after picture and gave her an update on my progress.  She was extremely impressed with my progress.  She did a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and told me that some of my blood levels were still not where they should be.  This was highly disappointing considering all of the hard work and determination I had dedicated to making changes in my life.  She again suggested I take medication.  I asked her if there was something else I could do instead of taking the medication.  She said I could increase my exercise and make a few more changes to my diet.  The suggestion about the increase in exercise was NOT something I wanted to hear and certainly not something I wanted to do.  However, what it really meant was my current exercise program was just not quite cutting it.  Although it was not something I was thrilled about, I was going to have to make a change to my current exercise program in order to accomplish my very last goal of being medication free.

Shelby Frakes had talked to me a few times about trying out her boot camp at Bayou City Crossfit so; I decided to take her up on the offer.  My first “try out” session with Shelby took all of about eight minutes and completely kicked my butt.  She said she had “taken it easy on me” because she wanted me to come back.  That statement alone gave me a reason to be apprehensive about what was in store for me.  Regardless of the painful aftermath of Shelby’s “try out” session, I purposed that I would go through the boot camp for at least three months.  Shelby tweaked my diet and kicked my butt in every single boot camp session three days a week.  I continued with her program for a total of six months before I made a follow up appointment with my doctors.  Collectively, I received REALLY great news.  The news was that my heart was now beating like a finely tuned watch with no skipped beats at all, and my blood levels were well within the normal ranges.

I’d like to say thank you to Shelby for pushing me, encouraging me, and helping me to achieve my fifth and final goal of being medication free.  I still can’t believe I pay someone to inflict pain upon my body on a regular basis but it has certainly made an enormous impact on my health and is completely necessary for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Because of Shelby and Bayou City Crossfit, I have increased energy, endurance, strength, agility, flexibility, and a much better immune system.


  1. Donnie Doughty says:

    sweet way to go keep it up

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