Member Highlight - Donna

Finding Strength

Donna McVeigh

Member Highlight - Donna

For many, the gym is a place to come to lose weight. For me, it is my community, my solace from the craziness the world can bring and my support network. I am 45 years old and have suffered many different health issues, both physical and mental, along with some serious injury over the decades. Working out with Kelly for the past 2 years has made me the strongest and healthiest I have been in my life!

I struggled with anorexia, binge eating and addiction

Donna from age 16 through early 40’s

I struggled with anorexia, binge eating and addiction

My relationship with food for 30+ years of my life was unhealthy to say the least.  After suffering a traumatic experience as a young child, I began eating excessively, weighing in at 200 lbs by the time I was 16.  After being advised to “diet” by my doctor, I went to the opposite extreme. By the time I was 21 years old and 6 months away from graduating Sacred Heart University, Magna Cum Laude, I weighed 72 lbs.  Over the next two decades I struggled with anorexia, binge eating and addiction which all took their toll on my physical health.

I had not been in a gym in over a year and was afraid to strength train

I was recovering from a shoulder injury, had lost too much weight from tick borne disease treatments and was at a low point when a friend, who recently joined Chelsea Piers, recommended I come in for a tour. I had not been in a gym for over a year and was afraid to strength train because of my shoulder, yet I wanted to build lean muscle mass and compete in a figure competition.  After meeting with the membership team and Kelly, I knew Chelsea Piers was the right choice for me to begin my journey towards renewed health and fitness.

Kelly was the perfect trainer for my severe health issues, eating disorder mindset and my shoulder injury. She didn’t use a cookie cutter approach, she tailored the workouts to my specific needs and motivated me in healthy ways. Kelly not only helped me work out in a healthy way to protect my shoulder, she gave me all the tools I needed to succeed outside of our workouts together.  She cared about my goals and helping me achieve them.

I finally have a healthy relationship with food.

I finally have a healthy relationship with food. Beyond the workouts, Kelly has introduced me to foods, food groups and meal preparation that once paralyzed me with fear and mental obsession. After not eating red meat in over 25 years, I now eat grass fed beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish because Kelly has helped me understand the lifesaving importance of healthy fats in my diet along with healthy carbohydrates. I no longer count every calorie and allow a number on the scale “make or break” my day.

A life of renewed physical, mental and emotional health and well-being

A life of renewed physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.

It is not only physical and emotional strength that I have gained from the changes, I am the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. My doctors are impressed and amazed at my results. I am now off all my prescription medications aside from my thyroid medication. No longer do I have silent reflux, anemia or hypoglycemia and my liver and kidney panels are normal for the first time in decades. My once severe osteoporosis has been reversed, many of my hormonal issues have been balanced, my immune system is strong, my chronic sinusitis, allergies and endless infections are almost a thing of the past and my skin and hair have never been healthier.

I thank God every day for a life of renewed physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. I couldn’t have done it without Kelly and Chelsea Piers. She is the GOLD STANDARD of what a true personal trainer and nutrition coach should be!


Editor’s Note:

We thank Donna for sharing her story of strength with the Chelsea Piers community to bring awareness to the struggles that many with eating disorders face alone.

For resources and information on eating disorders, please see below

HealthyChildren.org

Stamford Health

NationalEatingDisorders.org