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Member Spotlight: Chris Shaffer

Chris Shaffer


1.      How long have you been a Member?


I have been a member for about a year and a half.


2.      What is your favorite workout routine/class?

My favorite workout has always been chest day for me. It’s a little more natural to me than some of the other days when I do arms and especially legs.


3.      What keeps you motivated?

At this point in life, it’s the health aspect of working out that keeps me motivated. I’m in the gym just about every day for at least two hours and often longer. About 5 years ago I was having such great difficulty moving and keeping active. My bones hurt everywhere and it was not getting better. I finally decided to go see a specialist who told me I had severe Osteoporosis with three collapsed vertebra in my spine. My Osteoporosis numbers were all in the severe Red zone on my Dexa Scan. Osteoporosis is called the silent killer.

 

4.      What do you attribute to your success?

I began to do some serious research and saw several doctors who are tops in the field of Osteoporosis treatment. For men, the outlook did not appear very rosy as there is little research on how Osteoporosis affects men and how to treat it. Just about 80% of the cases are in women while men make up only 20% of the rest.  When it comes to Osteoporosis, men and women are very different.

 

This is where I started my own Journey. I began taking the medication that is the only real option for men on the market right now. The drug is called Forteo. It is a different class of medication that actually grows new bone rather than smooth over old bone or fill in gaps. That was step number one.

 

Step number two was to begin Vitamin D3 mega doses as I discovered I have a vitamin D absorption problem. Everyone should know their Vitamin D levels. Mine were below 10. They should be in the upper 70’s. This is likely very significant in my Osteoporosis condition.

 

Step three was to get back into the gym and hit it hard. The only other way to build bone is to work out with weights and stress your bones. It was a slow start getting back into weight lifting, but the more I lifted and worked out the better I felt. Thank god for Fitness Loft. I feel very comfortable in this gym where everyone is accepted and progress is cheered on! About 18 months into my plan, the doctor exclaimed I was the healthiest looking sick person he had ever seen. He said based on scans of my back, I should be in terrific pain, but because of the workouts, I was becoming virtually pain free.  

5.      What have you accomplished so far?

On my last visit to the doctor, he gave me the results of my most recent bone Dexa scan. I was a little nervous. I was very hopeful that my bones had improved, but still, I was worried the news might not be good. I had watched my mother pass from the same disease and the truth is, I was scared. The doctors words not mine: “This is phenomenal; I have never seen such improvement in my career. This is unbelievable. I had to review the scans carefully to make sure there were no mistakes.” My Dexa scan had gone from very low numbers in the red zone to all normal good numbers in the green zone.  

6.      What are your goals going forward?

I want to keep working out getting stronger and healthier every day. I want people to know there is something you can do if you get a similar diagnosis. For me, so far, Osteoporosis is not a death sentence. Technically, I still have the disease, but I am in a state where I do not have pain and my numbers are all normal and I aim to keep it that way.


7.      What advice would you give to other members?

I have some very specific advice for members. First, know your vitamin D levels. If they are low, you are at risk for Osteoporosis. MaxD3 behind the pharmacy counter in the punch out 5 pack is the only truly effective D3 on the market in my opinion. My D3 levels are now normal, but it takes one a day which is overdose for most people. You have to see what works for you.

 

If you are diagnosed with any stage of Osteoporosis you should take action immediately. The sooner you identify it the better. I believe that hitting the weights hard was key to my unusual bone growth and repair in addition to the D3 and the Forteo. I feel better than I have in years and I am no longer worried that I will suffer the same fate as my dear mother. I’m a case of one according to my doctor. He hopes to see more as do I.

 

 

 

 

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