When Bronwyn Lotrit was 19 years old, she experienced persistent neck pain.
While she visited numerous chiropractors, physios and biokineticists for treatment, the pain got so bad that she was placed in traction, hospitalised for pain management and was pumped full of cortisone.
Searching for answers
“Even after all of this, I had no answers and was still in a great deal of pain. To make things worse, the cortisone made me blow up like a balloon and I gained so much weight.”
A few months later, Bronwyn was involved a car accident and suffered from whiplash. Her doctor ordered new scans of her neck and discovered that she had a herniated disc at level C4/C5.
“I had pins and needles from the top of my head down my shoulder blades. It was unbearable! My neurosurgeon performed a disc replacement. I was in ICU for two days and was kept for observation for a week or so.”
At this point, Bronwyn thought that she was done with the pain and would be able to move forward with her life. Unfortunately, that was not the case and she had to learn to live with the discomfort.
Shortly thereafter, she began to experience back pain, which left her unable to sit or stand for long periods. She felt even more demotivated and unhappy.
A few years later, Bronwyn fell pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Between her pregnancy and the cortisone shots, her weight reached 104 kilos. In addition, she was told that she needed a disc replacement in her lower back.
A new pain in the neck!
“That op took its toll on me. The recovery was much harder, but I survived. And just when I thought everything was finally okay, I started to experience severe headaches.”
It turned out that the artificial disc in her neck had split open and was pushing into her spinal cord, which was not great news.
“I was scheduled for a cervical fusion where they took a piece of bone from my hip and put it in my neck.”
A chance discovery
Bronwyn’s ongoing cycle of pain and recovery would continue and take her toll on her mental and physical health. After a lot of back and forth with her doctors, she was also diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. And… drum roll, please… this disease also affects all the medium to large joints in your body.”
Everything began to make sense for Bronwyn following that diagnosis. She realised that her nutrition needed to become a focus. When she started looking at ways to give her body the nutrition it needed, everything changed and her transformation began.
New lease on life
“I finally started to feel like a new person! I had no more headaches, aches or pains, well, no new ones at least. Unfortunately, the surgeries have left me with some pain but I have learned to manage it.”
Bronwyn also started pushing her body to new limits through exercise and used fitness to build a much stronger and healthier body than she ever thought possible!
Her new outlook on life gave her the push she needed to get active and follow a healthy diet, and she has since lost over 40 kilos in the process! That’s quite the transformation!
Paying it forward
“I love life now and that’s why I decided to pay it forward. If I could turn my life around using good nutrition and fitness, how many other women could also benefit?”
Bronwyn currently runs two free bootcamps – one at Curro Krugersdorp Primary School on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 17:30, and another at Kingskloof Hiking Trails on a Saturday at 09:00.
“I want to try to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy nature. I want to build a community of like-minded women who can come together to build confidence and inspire one another through fitness!”
Keep up with Bronwyn by following her on Instagram, or pop her an email if you’d like to get in touch.