As wonderful as it is to see the physical changes that happen around you in others at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping, it’s really an amazing thing to see the changes happening in yourself – reflected in the mirror. As if that wasn’t enough already, the transformations go way beyond the physical, into people’s hearts and minds and out through their lives in so many ways. It is so cool to see what people step up and into as they learn to overcome their physical lives. From new challenges such as running marathons and bodybuilding contests, or taking on new job descriptions and business adventures, people are finding and following all of their passions. This stems from a newfound confidence.
My battle with overeating and being overweight started in 4th grade. So, even though my weight evened out after a few years, and I was actually a normal, healthy weight of 122 pounds throughout high school, the damage had been done in these early years in how I viewed myself. I continued to have a bad self-image, and therefore unnecessarily did yo-yo dieting for years to come. I went on to get married and have five beautiful children. My husband and I, in partnership, have homeschooled all of them and are now in our last year with our twins who will graduate from high school. Through this long 26-year journey, I have lost and gained weight so many times. In the end, reaching 260 lbs., I was pre-diabetic, defeated, and very miserable with very low energy for life and all of its demands.
When I started my Farrell’s 10-week session, I had no confidence at all that I could do this and successfully lose the weight I needed to. I was desperate. I wondered if it would work for me. I held a quiet hope, but more so, had so much fear. Would I fail again? I had so many reasons to quit - from starting in a strength deficit to dealing with a couple of injuries along the way. There was a lot of discouragement that I battled throughout the year because it was so hard for me. When I began my initial testing, I literally could not do even one sit-up. My physical state was quite unbelievable. My knees hurt within a couple weeks and I had to do most exercises with modifications. I was so slow and weak. I was dragging around an excess of 130 pounds. I remember it being too much for me to get up and down off the mat, besides the push-ups being a struggle, too. So, during the times we would partner up and alternate, I would just do my push-ups standing up against the wall. I questioned whether I belonged there as I watched my fellow 10-weekers blow past me in gaining strength and quickly moving up in band colors.
Through the continual support and encouragement from my new family at Farrell’s, I kept pushing through and didn’t give up. The perseverance I have learned has paid off! Strength DOES come over time! It is quite a different thing for me to hear others call me an “inspiration” now. I am humbled by that.
With the kids being older now, it was great timing for my transformation to take place. It makes me very happy that I can end this season of raising my kids on a note of being a good example in the area of physical fitness. What Farrell’s has taught me, I am able to pass on to them now before they launch out on their own. My youngest two have joined me at Farrell’s, with my daughter even winning the $1,000 in her 10-week session. It has been the best P.E. class for our homeschool!
This lifestyle change that I have made goes beyond my nutrition and exercise habits. My way of thinking has changed. I have learned to approach “doing the hard thing” with an attitude of wanting to see what I am capable of. Overcoming doing a sit-up has carried far over into believing I can gain strength to do other new things that seem impossible. Now, I can imagine the reward that I can live on the other side of overcoming. I have learned that whatever I am facing, I can persevere and not let discouragement overcome me.
I still have more physical goals, and I will win over those because “slow and steady wins the race!” I am so thankful for what you have given me and for how God has used Farrell’s to change my life!
Karen S. is a FIT Member and 2017 National Challenge participant from our Shoreview, MN Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.