A transient ischemic attack – or TIA – temporarily stops blood flow to the brain.
INDIANAPOLIS – The trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands was a treat in itself. It should be a short break in early October 2019. Instead, Sharvonne Williams collapsed the day before her flight home and didn’t return to Indianapolis until Halloween.
She said it came suddenly and her fall was so severe that she broke her ankle when she hit the floor. Williams said she couldn’t move her left side or speak. At first the doctors thought she was having a heart attack. But eventually Williams was diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. Here the blood flow to the brain is temporarily interrupted. Fortunately, her “mini-stroke” symptoms went away, but Williams said the alarm went off and she needed to change.
“I think, ‘OK, I don’t need this more than once. I need to make sure … that I take better care of myself,” Williams said.
As soon as her ankle healed, Williams began exercising. She got a discounted YMCA membership through work and became an expert on free public workouts in the park near her home.
During the pandemic, she switched to Virtual BeachBody workouts at her home in her Warren Township. The program offered menu ideas and portioned containers that she could use to measure how much she had eaten.
She lost 60 pounds in two years.
“I didn’t realize I got to that point, you know, until you see pictures. You took this picture like, ‘Why do I look like this?'” Williams said.
Her pictures soon became a source of pride. She started posting her workouts and progress on social media. She became a fitness trainer who encouraged followers that being a Best You means controlling your mindset.
“I’ve stopped wanting to weigh myself every time. Because it makes me feel anxious. To me, it’s how I feel in my clothes,” said Williams.
Williams, 31, recently got a tattoo on her right forearm to remind her of a daily focus.
“They say, ‘Fight for you.’ And I got this because I feel like I’m fighting for my life … every day, “Williams said.
Part of her routine is taking five medications a day to control her blood pressure and hopefully prevent another stroke. It’s a reminder to do your part and hopefully inspire others that they can get healthier too.
“I have to rely on how I feel. And I know when I put good things in my body, I feel good. And when I put crap in my body, I don’t feel good. It’s not a perfect trip “It takes practice. And sometimes you fall, and then you just need that motivation to get up again,” Williams said. “I’m excited about it and it’s unfortunate that these events had to happen … for the lightbulb to click. But I’m grateful for it.”
Williams writes about her exercise and diet every day. She loves to encourage others to find 30 minutes a day – even if it happens at three separate 10-minute intervals – to move towards a better you. She recently joined the American Heart Association’s Real People, Real Change program to help women have healthy hearts. You can follow Williams Facebook and Instagram.