Everyone has their reasons for wanting to create a healthy lifestyle change. It may be by doctor’s orders, they may do it for themselves, or maybe they do it for their loved ones. Whatever their reason to start they will not be successful if they are not committed fully to it. It took me a while to commit to a healthy lifestyle change, but my Farrell’s family helped me stay committed to my goals through all of their positive encouragement.
November of 2014 my husband was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia at the age of 30 and went through a bone marrow transplant in March of that year. My focus became my husband’s health and keeping life as normal as possible as I could for our two little girls, who were four and one at the time. I was not focused on my health or taking care of myself. My husband has now been Leukemia-free for two years, however he suffers from a side effect from the bone marrow transplant called Bronchiolitis Obliterans, which is where there is scarring in the small airways of the lungs causing him to struggle with breathing even when just playing with our girls.
While going through all the treatments and spending time in the hospital, my mom kept saying to me, “you need to take care of yourself.” But of course like any daughter I just kept saying, “I know, I know.” But I really did not do anything to take care of myself and kept my focus on other things. I was eating whatever I could grab on the go while running between work, hospital visits, and activities for our daughters. I was stressed all the time and was just trying to make it through each day during this crazy new norm of ours.
Then one day it clicked with me and I knew that I needed to take better care of myself. I was not happy about the way I looked; I was avoiding being in pictures and avoided going swimming with my children because I did not like my body in a swimsuit. I was missing out on things in life because I was self-conscious about my body. I also knew that I needed to be healthy to take care of my family; I needed to step up and help with some of the things my husband now struggles with due to his lung issues. I needed to be around and active for my girls.
I began to work out on my own by running (I hate to run), doing home workout DVDs and joining a gym where I would work out alone. Nothing was really working for me. I would go to the gym for a week or two and then stop going. I would do a couple of weeks of the at-home workout DVD, but then find an excuse as to why I could not do it. Then I started running on the bike path, I was sticking with it for a while, but I was not finding the results I wanted. I needed something that was going to push me.
While visiting family in Des Moines over Christmas 2016 my husband’s aunt and uncle invited me to go to Farrell’s in Altoona. I was a little nervous and not sure what to expect, but they would not accept any of my excuses. I attended a kickboxing class with them and I loved it. I may have been slower than some others but it did not matter, I got an awesome workout in and felt great afterwards. The next morning I got up and went to a strength training class. Afterwards my muscles were sore, but it was a good sore. I knew that I had done something great with my body. After the kickboxing and strength training workouts in Altoona I was in love and knew it was something I wanted to keep doing, it was something I needed to do.
Bettendorf Farrell’s had just opened, and with some encouragement from my aunts I joined their first 10-week challenge. I was both excited and nervous to start this journey, and not really sure what to expect. My first goal was to just keep going and stay with it for the 10 weeks. After the first week I was proud of myself for keeping up with both the kickboxing and strength training workouts and the nutrition plan. I felt myself getting stronger and not getting tired as quickly. But most of all I was having fun working out. My 5 am group was more than I could have asked for in a group of people to work out with. We motivate each other and hold each other accountable. This was the push I needed to help me achieve my fitness goals.
One thing that stuck with me through my 10 weeks and continues to stay with me today is what my coach, Pete, said to us on the first day. He kept telling us that it’s not about a number on the scale, it’s about our overall health. While I am losing fat I am also gaining muscles and the scale does not show all the hard work you have been putting in.
After the 10-week challenge I was happy about my results. I had lost weight, lost inches and gained muscle, but most importantly I gained confidence in myself. I know that I can handle anything Pete throws at me during class and I can put my best effort towards it. I also feel confident in my body. I am still working towards some of my personal goals, but I am happy with the results I have seen so far, and I can say I am proud of myself for how far I have come.
Joining Farrell’s was one of the best choices I have made. I am changing my overall health and modeling a healthy lifestyle for my daughters. I am now a FIT member and I cannot wait to see where the next year takes me and I hope that I can help encourage others to make this positive lifestyle change.
Laura W. is a FIT Member at our Bettendorf, Iowa Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.