Dr. Hotze interviews Lisa, who spent most of her life not feeling well. She had unexplained brain fog, aches, pains, insomnia, and many other symptoms. She was overweight to the point of not even being able to walk around her house – she had to crawl. She searched for 17 years to find the right doctor and they all told her blood work was normal and didn’t help her get well. Find out how coming to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center transformed Lisa’s life!
Stacey Bandfield: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. So glad you’re joining us today. And I just love success stories. They’re just one of my favorite things to talk about. We’ve got a great one on tap for you today. If you’ve ever felt hopeless, tired, fatigue, this woman had it all. And we just love stories of transformation. So, Dr. Hotze, take it away.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Thank you so much, Stacey. And thank you for joining us. I do believe that you and everybody needs to have a doctor and a staff of professionals who can coach them on a path of health and wellness, naturally, so, as you mature, you have energy, vitality and enthusiasm for life. Wouldn’t you like to feel that way? Well, you can. And we have a simple program that helps us do that. And we’re going to visit with a wonderful, long-time guest of ours of 14 years, Lisa Bourassa, who lives up in McKinney, Texas. And she came in back in 2006 and has had a dramatic change in her life that has carried her over the last 14 years. Lisa, welcome.
Lisa Bourassa: Thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here.
Stacey Bandfield: We’re so glad to have you here because you do have a remarkable story. Now, Lisa, tell us about yourself and your family. How long have y’all been up there in McKinney?
Lisa Bourassa: We’ve been here for 22 years, the same spot, love McKinney. It’s just a great place to live.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Now, did you grow up in that area?
Lisa Bourassa: No. So, I grew up in South Texas down by Corpus Christi, Kingsville. Met my husband at Texas A&M and then we moved up here in McKinney and have just been here for our adulthood.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Now, listen, for all you Aggies out there, you’re supposed to say whoop whoop.
Lisa Bourassa: Whoop. Yes sir.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Well, that’s wonderful. So, Lisa, what led you to, in the first place, get in touch with us here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center? What had been going on in your life that precipitated you traveling down from McKinney? Surely, you have doctors up in Dallas and McKinney and all that area. Tell me about what was going on with you and what your experience was with the conventional doctors you saw.
Lisa Bourassa: Of course. So, pretty much my whole life, I hadn’t felt well. I couldn’t explain it. I just had kind of that fog brain, always felt like I had the flu. And it was so hard to explain to people because they thought, “You don’t have the flu,” but that’s the way I felt every day.
Dr. Steven Hotze: What’d you feel? Achy and just tired. Describe what you mean.
Lisa Bourassa: Achy, pain, just sick, and had insomnia, just everything you could think of to go wrong that couldn’t be explained. So, I never had a fever or an infection. It was just, I didn’t feel well. I left home at about age 18 to go to college, and that’s about when I started looking for answers. So, believe it or not, I searched for 17 years, went to doctor after doctor. And the thing that was so hard was that basically they would say to me, “Your blood work looks fine. You’re within limits. I know you don’t feel well.” And I just started getting bigger and bigger. I was really obese. And the only thing they could say to me was, “Have you thought about depression? Have you thought about maybe anxiety?” And I was always aware that that happened, but I kept thinking there’s something behind this. There’s something that’s wrong.
So, doctor after doctor after doctor, I don’t know how many I went to, would just say, “Well, if you would get up more, if you would move more, if you would eat right, and if you would think more about this depression thing…”
Stacey Bandfield: That had to be so discouraging.
Lisa Bourassa: It was. It was so hard because I knew that that wasn’t who I was, that there was something else out there. And so my husband and I would go to a doctor. As soon as they said something like that, we would thank them for their time and we would leave. And I remember that one of the doctors was saying, “Well, what do you want from me?” And I just remember thinking, “I just want to feel well. I’m so tired of being a spectator in my life. I’m so tired of being so tired.” I mean, it got to the point where I was so ill that I listened to what the doctor said and just get up, just move, just do things. And I started trying to do that and it would backfire because I would do that and then I was bedridden for a week at a time because that’s how horrible I felt. And I couldn’t do anything.
It got so bad to the point where I was…this part’s hard. I would get my kids up, I was a stay-at-home mom, get them to school, and once they were at school, I’d take a nap. And then anytime I had to move around in the house, I would crawl. No one ever saw me do this, because at this point I kept thinking, “Maybe there is something wrong with me mentally, because why can’t I walk around my own home?”
So, that’s the point that I got to. Well, my mother-in-law had gone to a seminar where you were speaking, Dr. Hotze, or conference, and she happened to walk in. She was listening to what you were saying. And she said to herself, “That sounds like my daughter-in-law.” And so she came home with your book and brought it to me and I started reading it and researching it. And I thought, “Wait a minute. These people sound like me.” And I couldn’t believe it. And so that was the first time I started getting an idea of, “Who’s this guy in Houston, and what’s he doing? And could he help me?” So, that’s kind of how I first heard about it.
Dr. Steven Hotze: And you read “Hormones, Health, and Happiness.” And here’s a copy of it, folks. That’s the book. That’s my Opus work. And that’s the story about how you can regain your health naturally so you have energy, you have vitality, and you have enthusiasm for life, like Lisa has done. So, you came in here to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center back in 2006. By the way, I noticed you made a note. One of the doctors told you it might be all in your head.
Lisa Bourassa: Yes, sir. That was one of the hardest things because I do trust the medical profession and I do want to get better. And I thought, “Well, I do need to make sure to look inwardly, and I do need to make sure that I’m checking off that box.” So, I made sure to go to counseling. I made sure that I was trying to take care of myself. And as I did that, I found out, no, that’s not the answer.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Did anybody put you on antidepressants or antianxiety medication?
Lisa Bourassa: They all had said that. There was one doctor that said, “If you want to get better and if you listen to me, you will get on something.” And I said, “I hear what you’re saying. I understand what you’re saying, but I’m going to go ahead and go to counseling.” And he said, “You won’t go and you won’t get better.” And so basically that was the last time I saw that doctor.
Dr. Steven Hotze: So, you decided to come down here to the Health and Wellness Center back in 2006. And tell me about your experience when you came in. What was it like?
Lisa Bourassa: Well, it was fantastic. But first, I want to back up just for one second, sir. I wasn’t sure that I was going to come to the clinic because for 17 years, I had gotten my hopes up and I thought, “Well, I’m not going.” Or not, not going, but I’d go in and then just be defeated. So, I made a phone call to your clinic and the person, the lady that answered the phone, I don’t know her name, but it was like she was an angel because when I called, I just laid it on the line and I said, “Here’s all my symptoms. Here’s who I am. And I’d rather know that if you’re going to say I’m crazy or something, I’d rather know now on the phone. I can handle it.” So, I did. And I gave her everything, even to the point where I was crawling around the house. And she said, “You sound exactly like the people that we care for.” And she said, “We’d love to have you as a client.” And I couldn’t believe that because I’ve never heard that before. I’d never had been validated that I actually had true symptoms and I wasn’t well, and there wasn’t a blame that it was my fault and if I just did better.
So, that was my first experience with the Wellness Center. And then you better believe I called and made that appointment, or, I talked to her that day, then I got off the phone and talked to my husband and we made that appointment, I believe that day. When I came in to see the doctor, it was like nothing I’d ever been to before. Because first of all, she listened. She wanted to know what was wrong. And then not only that, she came and she looked at me and she touched my hands and she looked at my skin and she looked at my nails. And she was looking for signs that I wasn’t healthy. And I can tell you and whoever’s listening, the day before I came to you was the last day I ever felt that bad because going forward, I knew I had somebody in my corner.
Dr. Steven Hotze: That’s wonderful. And that’s what we love to do. We love to take individuals who have gone the conventional route, tried all kinds of therapies, all kinds of diagnostic procedures, and never got any help at all. And they’re at the end of their rope. We see a lot of people who come in and say, “You’re my last hope. I don’t have anywhere else to go.” So, Lisa, when you came in, we started you on, you had classical features of hypothyroidism.
Lisa Bourassa: Yes, sir.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Low energy, difficulty losing weight, weren’t thinking clearly, had moods that weren’t good, joint, muscle aches and pains. You had irregular periods too, didn’t you? Heavier periods.
Lisa Bourassa: Yes, sir. Everything.
Dr. Steven Hotze: So, your menstrual cycles were out of whack. And that relates to the female hormones. Did you have any allergy problems?
Lisa Bourassa: Yes, sir. Allergy problems, adrenal fatigue. I think I had everything.
Dr. Steven Hotze: So, we got you started…
Lisa Bourassa: That day.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Yes, we got you started. Did you do any allergy testing at that time?
Lisa Bourassa: Yes, sir. I did. And got the allergy drops. Yes, sir.
Dr. Steven Hotze: And so you really fell into our treatment program, but we got you started on the good, healthy yeast-free eating program. We replenished your hormones. Empirically, I mean, even before we looked at blood tests because you had all the classical features of hypothyroidism, and I do believe that anybody who has the classical symptoms and features of hypothyroidism deserves a therapeutic trial, no matter what their blood tests say, because you want to make sure you’re at an optimal level. I like to say it’s like infusion. It’s like a company. A company that’s having difficulties financially often goes to a private investor or a bank and asks for a capital infusion to get them back on their feet. Well, your clinical symptoms were…you’re alive, so we know you had some hormones and you’re still menstruating, but they weren’t at an optimal level. They were in low levels of the range, and we want to get them at an optimal level of the range.
So, we put you on a healthy eating lifestyle. That’s the yeast-free eating program. We got you on some natural thyroid hormone. We put you on some natural female hormones, particularly progesterone, that helped regulate your cycles. And we put you on some cortisol that helped you with allergies because allergies stress the adrenal gland, as does low thyroid and all that. Put you on some cortisol. We got you on some vitamin and mineral support. And so tell us your progression. Now, you’ve been on the program 14 years. Tell us about your progression. How it was, and when you started feeling well and how long it took you to really feel like you were doing really well. And by the way, how much weight did you lose over this time period?
Lisa Bourassa: Let’s see. I lost 70 pounds.
Dr. Steven Hotze: 70 pounds.
Stacey Bandfield: That’s incredible. That’s a great achievement.
Dr. Steven Hotze: We don’t do weight loss, but we know if a person’s low in thyroid, their metabolism is sluggish. And when they eat, they’re going to convert it into fat. And they’re going to gain weight, no matter even if you eat well, you can’t seem to lose weight. And so losing 70 pounds of body fat is an enormous accomplishment. I congratulate you on that because you took our recommendations. Listen, Lisa, when we saw you, we saw you as a coach would see an athlete. You were in the health Olympics and were losing. You were way behind the pack. I mean, we weren’t even…
Lisa Bourassa: I was last place, sir. I was last.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Dead last. Weren’t even going to get around and make it to finish the race.
Lisa Bourassa: I was in the crowd. I wasn’t even at the start line. Oh, my gosh.
Dr. Steven Hotze: But we wanted to get you a gold medal and you wanted a gold medal. You wanted to get back and be vibrant. You wanted energy back in your life. And that’s what the thyroid hormones do. That’s what the female hormones do, and the cortisol. They help you generate energy within your cells in the power plants called mitochondria. So, instead of being a low voltage individual, you became a high voltage individual brimming with energy.
Lisa Bourassa: Let me tell you…
Dr. Steven Hotze: Full of life.
Lisa Bourassa: I would say, when I first started, it took me a while to kind of start feeling better on a consistent basis, which I think is normal because we were just trying to figure out what is my dosage? Trying to eat healthy, trying to lose the weight. So, the first three years, that’s where I kind of lost all the weight. So, I want people to know, you see me now and I’m doing quite a bit. It has been quite a journey, but well worth the journey. So, about three years, and then it took another four years for me to build up my strength and energy to where my level, what I wanted because Dr. Hotze, after that seventh year, I walked into CrossFit and I started working out. And that is another part of me that I thought, “I am competitive. I do want to participate in my life. I don’t want to be the spectator anymore.” So, at that seventh year I started. So, now it’s been seven years since I’ve been CrossFitting. And this May, I just turned 50. And I’m so thrilled at where I’m at, at the age of 50. I CrossFit five to eight times a week.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Wow.
Lisa Bourassa: Yes. I just started doing Brazilian jujitsu three times a week.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Oh, my goodness.
Lisa Bourassa: And so for people that don’t know, that’s kind of a martial arts wrestling type thing. And so here’s really the cool part. So, before, I was a spectator in my life. I didn’t do anything. Now, I have a full-time job, mother, wife, work out all the time. And one of the things that we do in our household is every year we ask, what fantastic thing are you going to accomplish this year for your birthday? So, I chose that I was going to pick these, some people say crazy, crazy challenges, and I was going to do five of them over the course of the year. So, I have some buddies that work at the police department with me that are on the SWAT team that are as crazy as I am. So, I’ve already accomplished three different crazy workouts. All of them consist of a thousand reps. So, a thousand rep step-ups, weighted step ups, thousand burpees, thousand calorie row. But the one I want to tell you about was the thousand burpee rep. So, I asked one of my buddies SWAT team if he wanted to do that with me and reluctantly, he said yes.
Stacey Bandfield: Reluctantly.
Lisa Bourassa: Reluctantly. He’s thinking I’m crazy, but luckily he is, too. So, it’s fantastic because we accomplished it. It took us a little over two hours to accomplish, nonstop. And so the whole thing that’s really cool is that here I am, a 50 year old lady, woman, and I asked a 35-year-old SWAT guy if he would do this with me. And he doesn’t mind me saying, but I beat him. I beat him.
Stacey Bandfield: I love that.
Lisa Bourassa: Now, subsequently he’s beaten me in other things, of course. But this was the one that I can kind of hang on to. But without walking in the door, without believing that there was another way to heal, somebody out there to help me, I could not imagine doing this right now and being this healthy and this strong in life. It’s changed everything. And I’m so thankful. And I really hope people listening realize it doesn’t happen overnight. But I believed if I did my part, then I knew you were going to do your part at the clinic. The doctor said that, “I will be with you until all your symptoms are resolved.” That’s amazing. And it has happened. It didn’t happen overnight. And then also I realized, too, is that my body changes as I’m getting older. So, I might have to tweak something. And it’s not a one case fits all. So, I just hope that anybody that’s listening knows if you do your part, Hotze Clinic will do their part. You meet at the middle and crazy things can happen. Crazy. Fantastic.
Stacey Bandfield: Like a thousand burpees.
Lisa Bourassa: Yes.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Now, I want you to explain to our listening audience what the burpee is.
Lisa Bourassa: I guess the best way to explain it is you would do a pushup, then you would get to your feet and then you do a jump. And then you come back down. And you do that a thousand times.
Stacey Bandfield: It’s pretty intense.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Now, do you do it right in a row? Do you take a break, or do you just do it all at one time?
Lisa Bourassa: All at one time. So, it took two hours and eight minutes for me to complete 1,000. And so we just went and did it as fast as we could. And there was a couple times where I was laying on the ground, just kind of trying to catch my breath and then just jumping right back up because I thought, “Why not?” And the reason I picked a thousand is 500 is hard. 500 of anything’s hard, but a thousand is a true challenge because when you get to 500, you have to realize, I’m only halfway done.
Dr. Steven Hotze: That is a remarkable story. Now, here, listeners, this young woman, Lisa, was 70 pounds overweight, crawling along the ground at her home when nobody was at home because she couldn’t even stand up, being told by her doctors that all she needed to do was exercise more and eat better and she’s going to feel well, or “Get on an antidepressant because you’re depressed,” or “Lady, it’s all in your head.” And she knew something was wrong. She knew it wasn’t that simple. She knew she had an underlying cause for all her symptoms. And about how many doctors did you see, do you think, over those 17 years?
Lisa Bourassa: I would probably venture to say 13 or 14 because I never stopped. And I would just go to somebody else. And when I felt my lowest in kind of that bedridden condition, my husband would say, “Go now. Go have them draw blood now because you don’t feel well.” And so I did that so many times. And then towards the end, whenever I was getting closer to coming to see you, because I came to see you when I was 36 years old, I kind of just lost hope. And so I would do that every once in a while. But at first I was just like, “I’m going to find this. I know it’s something.” And so I would venture to say it was a lot of doctors. We have a lot of doctors here in this Dallas, Fort Worth area.
Dr. Steven Hotze: Well, listen, Lisa, what is really remarkable is that you had the purse capacity, the commitment, the diligence to keep pressing ahead, trying to find an answer. You were taking charge of your health and you weren’t letting some doctor take charge of your health because they can’t do it. The only person, folks, that’s responsible for your health is you, not your spouse, not your doctor, not the insurance companies, surely not the government. None of those people are responsible for you. None will take as good care of you or as bad care of you as you will yourself. So, this is a remarkable success story.
And Lisa, I want to congratulate you for taking charge of your health and getting yourself on a path of health and wellness. We simply made recommendations. Yes, we’re here to help you and encourage you, hold you accountable, but ultimately, all the weight of an athlete falls upon the athlete’s shoulders. All the coaches in the world can tell you what you need to do, how you need to practice, what you need to do to compete, but ultimately, the athlete has to decide to do that. And you did. You’re the health athlete. And my dear, I award you a gold medal. Congratulations.
Lisa Bourassa: Oh, thank you. I’ll take it. Thank you. And I’m so happy not to be just a spectator in my life anymore.
Dr. Steven Hotze: You’re an athlete on the field, no longer a spectator. Well said. Lisa, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s a remarkable story. It bolsters my spirit and gives me encouragement. I love to hear these stories because I love doing what we’re doing. We love to help people get their lives back. And that’s what you’ve done. And your husband got his wife back, even a better one than he took to begin with. Think of that. He’s a blessed man. Well, God bless you. And thank you for joining us today. Lisa.
Lisa Bourassa: Thank you so much, Dr. Hotze.
Stacey Bandfield: It’s such a great, great story of transformation. And for those of you out there who want to feel that hope as well, you can give us a call (281) 698-8698. We’d be more than happy to send you that book that Lisa read, Dr. Hotze’s first book, “Hormones, Health, and Happiness.”
Dr. Steven Hotze: As a matter of fact, if you’ll simply call that number (281) 698-8698, tell them you heard us on the podcast and you’d like a copy of the book. We will send you that book free of charge with no shipping. We’ll send it to you. And I want you to have it because I want you to understand how you can take charge of your health and get on a path of health and wellness so you, too, can get your life back.
Stacey Bandfield: Absolutely. We want to be able to help you the way that we helped Lisa. We’re in the transformation business. So, thank you for joining us today here at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.