Joan’s P90X Transformation

Check out Joan’s inspirational P90X transformation below:



Joan Spruill
Program of Choice:  P90X


Here’s Joan’s amazing P90X journey:
“April Fools Day, 1999 I got a call from my doctor and was told “We got the tests back. You have breast cancer.”  It was no joke.  Within 2 weeks I was in surgery for a lumpectomy.  Then followed chemotherapy and radiation.  The good news is that the cancer is gone.  The bad news is that during that time I did no exercise at all and all my caring friends brought me food.  The result?  Instead of losing weight on chemotherapy like so many people, I GAINED it.

After a few years of moderate activity I still had not lost the weight and I was thrown another curve.  One day after doing some yard work, including using an electric weed eater, my left upper arm ballooned up.  I consulted my doctor and found out that I have lymphedema in my arm.  Some of my lymph nodes were removed during the surgery and the remaining were radiated and now the ones that are left just don’t process the fluid in my arm like they should.  So I was told not to use equipment that vibrates like the lawn mower and weed eater (what a shame, haha).  But I was also told not to lift heavy objects.  However, I was also told to lift some light weights.  Nobody could tell me what was “light” and what was “heavy” and what I should be lifting, so I simply didn’t do anything.

In 2004 I started a karate class with my daughter to encourage her to get some exercise and to hopefully get my body moving.  I was extremely weak after doing nothing for so long.  I limited any strength moves with my left arm and did the rest of the workouts.  My strength returned in my legs and improved greatly in my upper body.  In 2007 I got my black belt and when I found out that in order to continue advancing I would have to do sparring. The karate was enjoyable, but my daughter wasn’t doing it anymore and I didn’t want to fight, so I stopped training.

So once again I was back to inactivity.  I walked and hiked now and then, but that was it.  In the summer of 2009 I weighed over 180 pounds and was not happy with myself at all.  For over a year I watched what I ate and managed to get myself down to 174 pounds.  THEN I DISCOVERED P90X!!   A friend at my bank told me that he was doing it.  I had never heard about it, so I looked it up on the internet and also watched an infomercial for it.  It looked “crazy hard” and challenging.  I knew that I could take on a challenge because I had done it with karate.  I thought for awhile about using weights with my lymphedema, but I decided that I wasn’t going to let one arm stop the REST of my body from getting fit.  I would measure the arm and monitor it, wear a compression sleeve when I worked out, give the workouts my all, and see what happens.

In April of 2011 I started P90X.  It was hard.  It was invigorating.  It was FUN.  I didn’t baby my arm at all.  I pushed myself to my limits.  Half way through the program I replaced my breakfasts with Shakeology.  At the end of the P90X program I had lost 10 pounds, 2 ½ inches off my waist, an inch off my hips and each thigh, and a whole bra size.  And my arm was just fine.  I had so much more energy!

After completion of the program, I continued with P90X but replaced some of the workouts with wogging (walking/jogging) once or twice a week.  At the end of July I did the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon, hoping to be able to finish in under three hours.  During the first mile someone stepped in front of me and pushed me off the road.  I twisted my ankle and scraped up my knee and face.  I continued thinking that it was just a little twist.  WRONG.  I had sprained it, but I was stubborn (some say stupid) and FINISHED the race in 2 hours and 56 minutes.  P90X had gotten me in such good shape that the only part of my body that was sore at all was my ankle.  My shoulders, back, arms, and legs were all just great.  The year before I had walked the same race and everything hurt when I was done.  The improvement was incredible.

For four weeks I couldn’t do any of the cardio workouts of P90X because of the ankle.  I continued to do what I could.  I had entered another half marathon scheduled for September 4th, and I was determined to be able to actually run on my ankle.  I walked slowly on it, jogged carefully, and eventually was able to jog on it again.  I only got four or five good “wogs” in before the half marathon.  This time, knowing that I had two healthy ankles, I was hoping for a sub 2:50 time.  I clobbered that and did it in 2:36.57.  Again, the reason that I did so well without really training with much running was because of P90X.  It made my whole body fit.

As of the beginning of September, my weight is down to 149 (a loss of 25 pounds), and I have lost 4 inches off my waist.  I am so thankful that I heard about P90X and Shakeology.  My life is mine again, and not subject to what my lymphedema will let me do.”


Wow Joan, great job!  Very inspiring and amazing results!



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