Before Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping I’d always been . . . fat. So when I tell you Farrell’s changed my life in every conceivable way, I mean that in the truest sense possible. At age 30 I’m living an entirely different life than I was a year before, filled with brand new experiences.
I had all the typical embarrassing fat-kid moments growing up that continued and worsened into my adult life. I had constant severe back pain, day-long migraines, allergy issues, high risk for diabetes, severe sleep apnea, and zero energy to fight any of it. Combine a few of them on any given day and I had a pretty miserable existence, especially for a guy in his 20’s. I was living my life in constant fear that I would run into a situation where my physical size would make me feel ashamed, or excluded. There were few things more painful than having to see my own image in a picture or be forced to buy new clothes and have to search out the largest sizes. I learned to judge the structural integrity of chairs on the fly.
I tried other fitness programs on my own and had mediocre success with them, but never found a way to make it sustainable. It was always temporary means that resulted in a temporary end. I would gain the weight back and then some. I felt trapped and it became easier to accept that I lacked the mental fortitude to save myself.
In December 2016 my girlfriend and I realized that we had been allowing happiness we had with each other to drown out the issues we had as individuals. We decided that we owed it to the other and to ourselves to make a final push and we enrolled at Farrell’s. After the flurry of excitement around enrolling, terror began to sink in. I couldn’t walk outside at work without sweating through my shirt, how was I going to do an ‘extreme’ workout. I had all the same deterring thoughts most people do. I worried about being judged, about not being able to make it.
Then, we weighed in. I was 333 pounds. The most telling part about the weigh-in to me was that it wasn’t a shocking number. At one point, I knew I had been up to 364 pounds. I then shamefully shuffled my way in for my ‘before’ picture.
This is where Farrell’s changed my life.
I was right, I couldn’t do it by myself. I was heaving and leaving puddles of sweat and that was only a few minutes into the warm-up. I gave up on myself multiple times that first day, but my partner, a total stranger, didn’t. She encouraged me and motivated me to pick myself up off that mat exactly one more time than I had given up on myself. On my way out, the manager, Bob, who had already learned my name, made a point to congratulate and encourage me. I had made it through.
We decided to follow the nutrition guidelines we were given with portions adjusted to our macros through the first five weeks and we felt great. The motivation and inspiration never stopped from people I had never met. We followed the nutrition guidelines and didn’t need the help of any outside services or nutrition other than the guidance provided within the Farrell’s program. Final testing for the 10-Week Challenge came and I had lost 48 pounds, but more importantly something spectacular happened; I wasn’t mortified to have my picture taken. I had changed more on the inside than the outside, but I decided I was going to make my body look the way Farrell’s had allowed me to feel and enrolled in the one-year National Challenge.
I’m not a morning person, but I made an exception for Farrell’s. The people were the reason I found myself so motivated and encouraged. From instructors and a manager who genuinely cared, to fellow members who became friends. I showed up knowing they would show up for me, push me, encourage me, and I owed it to them to return the favor. Some days I showed up solely because I knew I’d be letting them down if I didn’t. I never regretted it. There’s no card-swiping and disappearing into a maze of equipment. It’s unlike anything I had ever experienced in an amazingly good way.
Thanks to Farrell’s every day brought new, positive experiences for me. After losing over 100 pounds, I was finally able to fulfill a lifelong dream; I jumped out of an airplane! I ran a 10k mud and obstacle run! I ran a 5k! I went from a 4XL shirt to a medium and actually enjoyed (don’t tell my wife) clothes shopping for the first time ever. I liked seeing myself in pictures. It’s hard to express the supremely underrated, awesome freedom to not have to constantly worry about being judged for or scared of your own condition.
Farrell’s allowed me to build enough self-worth that I decided to propose to my girlfriend, now my wife, something I can never be grateful enough for. She was a huge part of my success. We decided to get married shortly after our one-year challenge end-date as the ultimate celebration of both of our accomplishments with Farrell’s and our dedication to ourselves and each other.
Every day I get to wake up next to my wife, get a level 10 workout with other members who still motivate and encourage me, and live my brand new, amazing life, all because we enrolled at Farrell’s.
Sam Wexler is our 2018 Male National Challenge winner from our Farrell's Cedar Rapids – C Street location.
Check out our Facebook live check presentation to Sam!