Veronica Garza is an athlete, co-founder, and Business Manager of G7 Athletics.

When I joined G7 Athletics a little over a year ago, the gym was just a group of family members and friends working out in a backyard. After watching my brother and sister flinging around some barbells and weights, I was convinced that the workouts they were doing were too difficult for me.

Most of my adolescent years, I was involved in physical activities like cheerleading and gymnastics, but it had been almost 10 years since then. After high school, I rarely exercised or gave any attention to my physical health, which took a toll on my body. At one point, I was almost 200 lbs and constantly in and out of doctors' offices for a number of issues.

My senior year of high school I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a condition of having a low platelet count. I was treated with Prednisone and gained a significant amount of weight as a side effect of the treatment. In 2004, I was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that frequently caused achy joints, fatigue, sun sensitivity, and issues with my kidneys.

On top of all of that, there was the fact that I was a size 14, 185lbs and very out of shape. As far as I was concerned, there was absolutely zero chance that anyone was going to pull me out to the backyard in the hot summer heat and expect me to get through a workout alive.

I have always had a fear of working out in public. I hated going to gyms because I worried that people would make fun of me if I couldn’t figure out how to use the complicated machines. Worse, I worried that they would think to themselves, “It’s a good thing she’s here. She really needs to be exercising more.” The truth is that nobody really thinks those things when you walk into a gym, but I had never found a place welcoming enough for me to feel otherwise. A year ago, I finally found that place.

After numerous attempts to convince me to join, I decided to give CrossFit a try, but I went into it with hesitation and doubt. I didn't think I was capable of doing the intense workouts my siblings were doing, but they assured me I would be fine.

Although the workouts were testing and required a lot of effort, I was capable of completing them. My siblings helped me to start off at a level I was capable of achieving. This meant getting into a resistance band to complete pullups, doing pushups on my knees, and running shorter distances than what was prescribed. Everyone was very encouraging and I really felt like they wanted me to succeed.

On my brother’s advice, I started following a Primal diet, cutting out grains, avoiding sugar, avoiding vegetable oils and consuming plenty of meats, vegetables and animal fats. In a very short amount of time, this led to visible weight loss and an overall feeling of better health. I even started getting better in the workouts!

One day during a workout consisting of squats I realized that my knees were not hurting, which is something I was used to. I have not needed to see a doctor in over a year now, and I rarely ever deal with the symptoms I was dealing with before. I feel stronger and healthier, which is the most important thing for me. It's an added bonus that I have lost 40 lbs. and dropped from a size 14 to a size 6 in less than a year.

Although I have a long way to go, I have come a long way. In less than 1 year, I have competed in two CrossFit competitions and tested my bravery and skill against some amazing athletes. In March 2010, I competed in the CrossFit South Texas Sectional in Austin, TX and received 21st place. In May 2010, I competed with the G7 Athletics Affiliate team at the South Central Regional in Fort Worth, TX.

Most importantly, I feel healthier, happier, fit, and more confident. Every day I am challenged with a new workout in the gym, but I know that every day I will get through it. This attitude now extends to every aspect of my life. I now realize that I am capable of achieving things that I never thought possible.

This is just my story about how G7 Athletics has positively impacted my life. Many of the athletes at our gym have experienced similar situations. I currently help run the gym and get the opportunity to be a part of the wonderful G7 Athletics community as an athlete and Business Manager. I'm happy to be in the position I am in right now where I can tell people about G7 and speak authentically on how it can improve their lives. It changed mine.

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