Once upon a time I was in shape. I spent most of my 20’s in the Navy and ran 3 miles almost every day. Then, I met my husband, had 3 kids within 5 years, and packed on 50 pounds. After the last baby, I could no longer claim it was just baby weight.
As luck would have it, in fall 2014, I won an entry into a local 5K race with access to a trainer. I worked out 6 days a week, dropped 15 lbs and completed my first 5K in 33 minutes. I was so excited. After the 5K training I started doing an exercise program at home. Little did I realize I wasn’t correctly exercising my body.
In 2015, I lost sensation on my right side and it took months to figure out what was wrong. The pain was so extreme, I thought I was having a heart attack and my doctor sent me to the ER. We did MRI’s, nerve tests, physical therapy and multiple doctor visits with little improvement. After 3 months in agony and spending most of my days in bed, a pain specialist diagnosed muscle spasms in my shoulder and got me on the correct treatment regime. Finally, I had relief. (Read about this agonizing story here.)
However, this experience made me scared to work out again (other than walking.) I didn’t want to have a relapse and spend months in bed in pain. I packed on 30 pounds in the next few years and held steady at my new weight (and largest size of my life.)
I was in denial (thanks stretchy leggings) and started to get comfortable with my new size. But, my energy levels were suffering. I had brain fog and constant pain in my body. My doctor diagnosed Fibromyalgia and gave me two options for pain relief – medication or regular exercise.
I could no longer deny the neglect of my health. I had not worked out regularly in almost three years and my body and mind were suffering. I decided I could not allow fear to control me one second more. Something had to change. I was sick of being tired and achy. I wanted to live my life, not let life plow over me as I watched others do the things I could not.
One day, I saw an ad for Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping upcoming winter class on Facebook and something inside me said to do it. I had several friends who had completed Farrell’s 10 week program and they always raved about it. I knew the program would be tough, but I honestly felt like the 10 week program was my last ditch effort to feel normal again. And, this time I would have help from trainers and coaches to make sure I do the exercises correctly and avoid injury.
My husband agreed to sign up with me to support my journey and get healthy together. I’m so glad he joined because we help each other meal plan and encourage each other to wake up for those early Saturday classes.
I was nervous at the initial weigh in and even more nervous at the first testing. It only took a few days to realize Farrell’s is not like a normal gym. They welcomed us with open arms. It was a no judgment zone with people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities. The one constant is that everyone works as hard as they can and encourage others to do the same.
At 5 week testing I had lost 6 inches from my body and I felt healthy again. The most amazing part was the brain fog had dissipated and the constant Fibro pain was now just a general sore feeling from the workouts. Thanks to a healthy mind, I was able to finish a draft of a book I wrote years ago and published it! Then a month after that I published another book. It had been 5 years since I released my last book. I just hadn’t been able to stay focused on a project long enough to finish. Now, I was able to publish not one, but TWO books during the 10 weeks at Farrell’s.
I am now in my last week of Farrell’s 10 week program and have lost 17 pounds without starving or doing a crazy fad diet. I focus on good nutrition and eating a healthy balance of carbs, fats, and proteins at every meal. I’ve more than doubled the amount of sit ups and push ups I can complete and have lost almost 16 inches off my body. I changed my eating habits and listened to the advice from the coaches and trainers. Farrell’s program is a healthy lifestyle change that actually works, not just a get thin quick fad.
I decided to join FIT and continue past the 10 week program because I don’t want this feeling of pure elation to end. My mind is sharper than ever, my body feels strong, and I’ve made friends at Farrell’s. I look forward to my 1130 class, push myself hard every workout, and focus on good nutrition. I’m finally taking time for myself and my health and not allowing fear to consume me. I faced the fear and love it!
Note – If you decide to join Farrell’s in Bellevue, Nebraska, let them know Nicole sent you. If you participate in the 1130 am class, I will see you on the mat for your transformation. I was NOT reimbursed for this endorsement. I am sharing a program that has worked for me and helped me get my life back.