Life is not a Race… It is a Journey.

How has your pace of life changed since March 15, 2020?

I know my life has changed drastically since March but for the better. In an odd way, the pandemic we are experiencing, a part of history, is an alarm or an awakening to evaluate how you live your life- not just what you eat, but how you eat, how you move, how you sleep, manage your stress and more. I have called these elements a part of “The WHOLESTIC Method” program.

In order to burn fat, optimize health and improve athletic performance we need to take care of the WHOLE person. Health is not about cuttling calories in and burning calories off with excess exercise.


You have heard my story before on my blogs, podcast and even my book “LIFE IS NOT A RACE, IT IS A JOURNEY”… I struggled with chronic fatigue, weight gain, poor athletic performance, and other unexplained symptoms.  I wrote an entire book about my very personal story, my history, my red flags, and my struggles.


I want to be transparent and share my struggles with you as I know others can relate to my story.  By sharing my story, I was trying to help my own self understand “why me?” but also how to help others learn about these red flags, some subtle and some obvious, so they would not have to  go through what I have happened to me since 2013.

Do you experience any signs and symptoms of METABOLIC CHAOS?

My life has recently changed for the BETTER.

Actually, life seems pretty amazing right now even though we have CV pandemic in our world that doesn’t seem to be getting the right solutions.  My struggles with “adrenal exhaustion” or HPA axis dysfunction …or best summed up as “METABOLIC CHAOS®” since one body system is dysfunctional then we experience a domino effect of other internal breakdowns and burnouts, showed obvious red flags in 2013, but it didn’t just suddenly appear and it didn’t just suddenly disappear for good.  My personality, genetics and lifestyle habits were always making me susceptible to “relapsing” back into my nightmare years in 2013-2015.

I did change my way of living back in 2013 a little bit… then a little more in 2015 because I didn’t change it enough and resulted in taking one step forward and two steps backward.  Honestly, I realized last year, 2019, one of my main sources of my chronic stress was hiding… my fitness studio. I opened up my own “brick and mortar” boutique “all in one” fitness studio in 2010, and my health went sideways since then, so I don’t completely place blame on my over training and racing career in endurance sports because that was only part of the chronic stress.

On October 1st, 2019, I closed my Fitness Forward Studio after ten years of business.  Running a small business and doing all of the behind the scenes work on top of training clients and teaching group fitness classes (plus more) was too much chronic stress for me…especially operating a business in a competitive market with high rent (Bellevue, WA).  Every month was a struggle financially to make my business profitable – that was for ten years.  Marketing, recruiting, hiring, programming and always re-inventing myself/business was a constant stress. 

Choose to THRIVE and not SURVIVE!

Starting in October 2019, I continued to personal train a few long time clients in a local CrossFit Studio were I rented space ten hours a week plus training some clients at their home gym and training run clients outside at the local park.  My stress level started to decrease.  No longer did I have the financial obligation to pay $8000 each month in overhead.  Now I could pay off my debt and take care of myself.

The many months leading up to my closing my studio, an entire year, were extremely emotional for me (surprisingly) – perhaps since I felt like a failure if I closed my studio doors.  Honestly, I should have never renewed my lease as I knew the constant stress was breaking my health down from the inside out, but I was too proud and too embarrassed to show I was struggling. 

Fortunately, I was finally able to “get out” of the small business owner duty last October because our building was being torn down.  I had over a year to look at other spaces and options to re-locate but I finally came to the realization that I didn’t have the passion or drive to continue owning a fitness studio.  I am sure everyone could see it as my energy levels dropped again and then my emotional self re-appear the last May 2019 when I started to cancel group training and just survive the last five months of my lease with personal training and nutritional therapy/health coaching.

Not too much… not too litte…just the right amount for you to provide a beneficial response!

I was able to use the excuse of the building being torn down for my main reason why I was closing my business!  Actually, it was me that needed out and that was my escape card.  I finished the FDN Practitioner program in December 2019 and was on a mission to focus on being a fat loss, health, and athletic performance coach – plus continue to train a few personal training clients. 

Then came Covid in March 2019.

I knew this was not a short term pandemic once we had to follow “new” rules of washing our hands and not touching our faces then to stay six feet apart then we had to stay home in isolation waiting for the virus to magically stop spreading. 

That is another story. 

My experience with the new “stay home and stay safe” guidelines (state law), forced me to stop being able to personally train clients in a studio or in public.  I had to re-invent myself and focus on my online coaching fat loss, health, and athletic performance services- which now including virtual personal training on ZOOM! once again 

The world was changing and so was my own way of living.

Suddenly our fast-paced busy active lives changed- as did every other athlete.

What are your struggles? Everyone says you are “normal” but you know when you are “off”!
  • No longer did we wake up at 430AM to go to the gym to lift weights Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. 
  • No longer did I go to master’s Swimming at noon Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. 
  • No longer was I able to run/walk with a client two days a week
  • No longer were we doing bike/run workouts in the gym Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 530AM.
  • No longer where was my husband heading to the office to work all day while I was personal training clients at the CrossFit studio and their homes.

Now we were both working at home, working out at home or from home and eating at home.

I am sure you can relate!

Fortunately, my husband is also my best friend and training partner, so we have survived this crazy historic time in our world together and even are more compatible. 

We were missing lifting heavy weights but instead we started doing Travis Eliot yoga in the mornings and yin yoga in the evenings plus walking a “mealtime” or running or cycling or both on work breaks.  I used to teach yoga for many years and go to a yoga studio, but I cut it out the past few years as I was “too busy” to find a class to get to… now we were finally motivated to get on our yoga mats in our own home.

Then my husband got a new job that was for a company in New Zealand – so now we both had jobs that we were able to work from anywhere.

My point today is that we have learning lessons from every experience- including positive lessons we can grow from and help us become better people. 

My fitness studio was a stress for ten years and was part of why I have never felt “healed” and regained full energy as I did prior 2013.   I definitely repaired, rebuilt, and restored my health since 2013, but I have always a fine line to be aware of too much stress and too little recovery.   My epigenetics, microbiome, food sensitivities, gut health, pathogens, and hormone balance are always “hidden” internal chronic stressors that I need to re-check and assess with functional lab testing as I am prone to take one step forward and two steps back. 

Until these past few weeks, I was not aware of how busy our lives still were “pre-covid” days.  I do believe everything happens for a reason and this pandemic around the world is hitting everyone hard, but I hope it is a learning lesson for everyone and an eye opener… how healthy are you?

My health is a priority for me, but CHRONIC stress impacts every part of you from the inside out.  My stressful busy life was finally changing since I was “forced” to close my studio then “forced” to stop personal training clients in person and “forced” not to go to the gym anymore.

Life SLOWED way down for all of us. 

Slow down, pushing PAUSE and taking time to REBOOT the system is beneficial for all of us… if you do it the right way! 

My new summer office! Its like camp!

I am talking about getting outside for morning light exposure, doing strength training as power yoga or home strength workouts, getting outside for longer walks, taking short runs and getting out for bike rides and hikes.   Then we need to focus on eating nutrient dense food- ideally without a food label and fresh from the local farmers market. 

Now we finally had time to make our health our priority including our nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress reduction, movement, digestion/gut health/immune system, hydration, and happiness… or rather “THE WHOLESTIC METHOD”. 

I know my husband and I have slowed down and changed our ENTIRE life the past few months.  We decided this was the ideal time to finally make a move I have dreamed about since I was a teenager and moved to North San Diego.  We are renting a cute one-bedroom apartment on a property in the mountains north of Escondido and east of Oceanside, CA for two months while we find the right area to live for us – cycling and running!

Follow my new journey on IG!

We explain WHY we moved for #QOL = quality of life.  Yes, the taxes are a lot here and the politics are always open for arguments but the quality of life for us is ideal.  WE love to bike in the mountains and then run along the coast and enjoy the farmers markets, healthy food and amazing time on the beach watching the waves crash. 

Life is a journey.

I am now finally taking care of the WHOLE me as I was “Forced” to slow down, reset, and reboot the WHOLE me for once.  It has taken me many years to understand what “slowing down” is really about and now, thanks to CV19, we have arrived in our happy place.

Now I hope to heal and rebuild myself as we reduce life stressors and start a new full time with my online fat loss, “Health (RE) Building” and Athletic Performance coaching business.  Once we move into a new house and get settle in our new hometown- then reality will set, and stress levels will go down another level!

Stay connected and join my journey on the “LOW CARB ATHLETE” page on Instagram or Facebook! Side note- I deleted Facebook on my Iphone and Ipad as it was a source of CHRONIC stress the past four months so what was my solution? DELETE. Just look on your computer for work related reasons!

Learn more about my story and my WHY by reading my book and manual on Amazon here!

Amazon Life is Not a Race book and “The WHOLESTIC Method Manual” here

I help driven and ambitious people, who are trying to do all the “right” things, investigate what is actually going on “under the hood” to get their body and vibrant self back. 

Perhaps you have seen multiple doctors and experts but they tell you everything is “normal” and there is nothing wrong with you.  That was my experience.  I refused to believe that “nothing is wrong with me” and this is part of “getting older”.  This was not going to be the new me and stop me from investigating what was really going on from the inside out – under the hood.

Hills and more hills here!

You have a choice to take care of the WHOLE you and even transform the WHOLE you from the inside out.  Please don’t give up and settle, as the struggle is real and you are not alone.  If you feel exhausted trying to do all the “right” things and still can’t feel, move or look better then we need to take a different approach. 

Remember- the definition of Insanity is …

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If you are stuck in the “cycle of trial and error” then it is time to take a different approach and look at the WHOLE person with “The WHOLESTIC Method” investigation coaching program if you want to REPAIR-REBUILD-RESTORE the WHOLE you to be a fat burner, health optimizer and reach peak athletic performance gains.

I would love to hear from you if you relate to my story!  You can schedule a DISCOVERY call here.

Our new saying #QOL

Debbie Potts

Health Coach, Author, Speaker & Podcaster

Host of ‘The Low Carb Athlete’ Health Building Podcast

Creator of ‘The WHOLESTIC Method’ Coaching Program



How Chronic Stress Impacts The Whole You eBook

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