How My Unexplained Infertility Made Me Change My Approach to Healthy Living

Dana Camacho's health journey included cutting back on sugar, increasing weight lifting, and embracing cardio.


Photographs courtesy Dana Camacho.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email [email protected]

Who: Dana Camacho, 34, a paralegal from South Philly

Why I decided to make a change: “I really took control about a year ago… I considered myself to be somewhat healthy. I was working out daily and thought overall my eating was good. On the surface my doctors said I was healthy, good egg reserve, no signs of PCOS, nor any of the other common infertility causes. I couldn’t figure out what was causing my infertility. However, after six failed IUIs, I couldn’t stand to hear ‘unexplained infertility.’ Obviously, there’s a problem. I started doing research and reading about diets and infertility. When I inquired about specific diets with my reproductive endocrinologist she indicated that there was not much science on the topic. So I figured I’d experiment myself. What did I have to lose? I decided to really focus on my diet and exercise.”

Height: 5’9″

Weight lost: Around 18 pounds

How I feel now: “Obviously when you lose weight, you feel great. I am still a work in progress, but I can at least say I’m happier with my appearance.”

How I changed my diet: “I started seeing a nutritionist. While the nutritionist didn’t see anything alarming in my diet and agreed that overall my eating was not poor, there was still no change in body structure: I wasn’t losing weight, I had just kinda plateaued. I briefly mentioned some of my concerns with Katie and Charbel at RippedPHL when they were introducing their nutrition program. Both agreed that my eating was playing a major role in my overall body structure and health. While what I was eating was not necessarily bad or unhealthy, it just wasn’t for me. One month into nutrition counseling with Ripped and I was down six pounds! I never knew what counting macros was and couldn’t believe I had turned in to one of those people, but thank God I did. Now, fast-forward six months and I’m down nearly 20 pounds, down in body fat, and up in lean muscle. I decided to take a break from trying to conceive to get into better health and hope for much more success in the very near future.”

How I changed my workout plan: “There’s always room for a challenge at RippedPHL. I increased my weights and gained some more speed on treads.”

“This is in no way easy, but if you want results you have to go get them.”

What I’m most proud of: “My running. Who loves cardio? Not me.”

The hardest part: “In the beginning, the hardest part was counting macros. I would get chest pains and stress that I wouldn’t make my numbers. It was challenging, but I learned that meal prep (even just on a daily basis), can really make a better diet much more tolerable.”

What I want everyone to know: “This is in no way easy, but if you want results you have to go get them. I promise you, it won’t kill you!”

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