Renea Bartlett Pope Teacher

Dear Bob:

To say that you have changed my life seems like a cliché, but Elliott and I are better people for having known you this year.

Like many thirty-somethings, I had become sedentary, overweight and out of shape. In truth, my lifestyle in Atlanta was commonplace. Unfortunately, Americans are getting bigger and less healthy given our predisposition for poor quality foods, high stress jobs, love of “the good things in life”, and lack of exercise. My diet wasn’t all that bad, actually, since Elliott and I usually eat fresh, whole foods. I do have a sweet tooth, though, and what Atlanta girl doesn’t love her Coca-Colas? I’ve been on thyroid replacement drugs for seven years, and my weight kept creeping up. No matter how hard I tried, nothing worked. But, let’s be honest, I wasn’t trying all that hard.

Arriving at Nido was a wake-up call because I never before had been in a community of such active people. Literally, everyone does something: mountain biking, hiking, triathlons, tennis, etc. Being invited to the Faculty Fitness class was just the motivation and guidance I needed. Your enthusiasm for health and wellness is infectious. Your weekly classes kept me accountable to the group because, like many people, I’ll break an appointment with myself but won’t skip a workout scheduled with friends. I also appreciate that you are an encourager and a motivator who pushes each participant within his or her limits. Since exercises are modified to each individual’s level, I always felt successful at the end of the session. I knew I had pushed beyond my limitations, but did so without going too far or risking injury.

While I really enjoyed Faculty Fitness classes, the personal breakthrough for me came with incorporating Primal Nutrition into my life. Through your guidance, I’ve given up pasta, bread, rice, and other white starchy carbs. I haven’t had a soft drink in (gasp!) five months! My awareness of how processed foods and flour based products has increased, and I can no longer claim to not have the tools and knowledge necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

The results for me have been extraordinary. I have so much more energy throughout the day. I do not experience the afternoon sluggishness that used to be a daily occurrence. I sleep better at night, and have less difficulty getting up in the morning. I feel that my cardiovascular strength and endurance have improved. I am stronger, more flexible, more toned and have lost weight. Although I don’t use a scale, I know that I look leaner and my clothes are looser. I estimate that I’ve lost fifteen to twenty pounds. I do know that I’ve lost two inches in my waist and two inches in my hips. There is no better reason to go on a shopping spree during my next visit to the States!

The best outcome from these little transformations is that I feel more confident and am so proud of the changes I’ve incorporated into my lifestyle. I’m fond of a quote from a motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, who says, “No one can do your push ups for you!” That is true, and I am indeed glad that I’ve had the perseverance to do the hard work. However, I know that you were absolutely instrumental in pushing me toward making these changes because I hadn’t committed to do the hard work in at least fifteen years! So, dear Bob, thank you so much for all that you’ve done for me, and so many others, this year. One letter is not at all sufficient to convey my gratitude.

I thank you for your unwavering commitment to share all that you know.
Love and thanks,