One month into my doctoral program, I was stressed out, anxious, not sleeping well, and gaining weight. I expressed these concerns to my daughter, who is a professional bodybuilder and fitness coach; she offered to help me get healthy and fit while earning my doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah. Over the next two years, I lost 35 pounds and 12 inches of fat from my belly and became more muscular than ever before! I even decided to participate in my first bodybuilding show, “Debut at 62,” on November 19th in Providence, Rhode Island.
I was honored to be the student commencement speaker and recipient of the Student Service Award for my contributions to the NP profession—but what I’m most proud of is adopting a healthy and fit lifestyle in the midst of the most stressful two years of my life. In fact, I believe learning to cope with extreme stress helped me perform more effectively in my doctoral program. I had more energy and concentration, better sleep, and very few physical complaints.