Liz is living with Cushing’s Disease and is on a mission to be happy and well
Patient Worthy is so excited to welcome Miss Liz Calabro to our family of incredible patient contributors! Liz is an IFPA Bikini Pro NASM CPT. Or in other words, a certified personal trainer via the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Liz obtained her B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics Nutrition from New Jersey’s College of Saint Elizabeth. This is a few years after she graduated from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with a B.A. in Education. (Liz and I are old college buddies, so I can brag about how smart and awesome she is!)
She had absolutely no idea she was demonstrating Cushing’s symptoms and her world was about to implode.
“I was competing in bikini competitions, got my pro card, and was in the best shape of my life.”
Liz kicked off her professional career teaching high school geometry in NJ. A few years in she decided to pursue a new career in nutrition and personal training. Liz went in to the whole thing with the idea of learning more about sports nutrition to work with athletes. Little did she know that her world was about to change…
“I felt off- depressed, anxious, irritable, couldn’t sleep– all Cushing’s symptoms.” said Liz.
But she didn’t know it was Cushing’s then. She actually just chalked it up to a miserable “period”, her menstruation cycles were out of whack and she was so busy with her new lifestyle and goals as a competitive bikini pro. Over the course of the next two years, Liz became embarrassed by the amount of weight she was gaining.
“I finally went to the doctor. They found a pituitary tumor and I couldn’t have been happier!”
The diagnosis resulted in Liz having surgery this past October (2015) and she and her doctor have since been working to lower her cortisol levels and to find the best medication regimen to manage living with Cushing’s. Liz is also trying out alternative treatments like acupuncture and herbs, in addition to her nutrition and exercise to control “this thing” as she calls it.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would be 1 in 3 million, but everything happens for a reason! It’s all about balance and health.”
Liz’s outlook on life is just superb. She is positive, inspiring and she’s got a great sense of humor. Liz continues to become more and more passionate about becoming healthy on the inside, and she tirelessly works to encourage the same with her clients. Liz believes that she was meant to have Cushing’s so that she can further understand the body and help others reach their optimal health.
This journey challenges me to always stay positive and strong. I’ve grown so much through this experience. I know that a year from now, I’ll be tumor-free and recovered.” – Liz on Cushing’s Awareness Day (April 8, 2016)
Liz’s journey isn’t over. She hopes to learn more about integrative medicine through her own experience living with Cushing’s disease and she is looking forward to sharing her journey, lifestyle tips, recipes and maybe even some workout routines with Patient Worthy and all of you!