My story at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping didn’t start the way most people would think. I wasn’t motivated, I wasn’t excited, I was in fact at an all-time low, and being at rock bottom, my options were very limited. I didn’t really see it as a choice, rather what I saw was a broken woman in the mirror whose life was wasting away because I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it.
I needed a change of heart, mind, body, and soul. I had done several workout and nutritional programs throughout the last few years, all of which worked for a while. I would be really motivated and then that motivation would just fizzle out like a sparkler. Strong and energetic in the beginning only to burn out quickly. I quit. I was famous for starting strong and quitting quickly. I would all of a sudden find a ton of excuses that outweighed my reasons for starting. That was my thing.
I first heard about Farrell’s Elk River through my friend Justine. She was my neighbor at the time, and I noticed how incredibly healthy and happy she looked. She took me to a few Farrell’s Friends and Family classes and shortly after that I made the decision to join. I decided to enroll for a multitude of reasons, but the biggest reason was to simply do something for myself. Invest the time, money, and effort on myself.
The first week was fun to me, it was something new and I really enjoyed it. Weeks two and three weren’t as easy. I struggled a lot. Questioning why I started in the first place and why in God’s name I hadn’t yet taken a day off. Surely I had earned it. That was exactly the type of thinking that led me to the door of Farrell’s Elk River. I realized if I looked at my journey as just a series of small choices, then the choice to continue became an easy one. It wasn’t as daunting and scary as I first thought. I struggled with nutrition. That was my main problem. Anyone can show up workout hard and feel great afterwards, but what you eat is what you reap.
What I found as I struggled was the overwhelming support I had. I had support coming from every direction. The truth about Farrell's is it’s all about the community. I have built so many lifelong friendships with people who have shared the struggle, celebrated the success, and everything in between. We have sweat, cried, and laughed together, and this is the point when you realize that Farrell’s isn’t just a gym, but a family and a mindset. We take care of each other.
Before Farrell’s I never took any pictures. The pictures I did have of myself I would crop or have my friends delete them. So unfortunately, there is about a two-year time span of my life that had no photographic documentation. I decided when I started this journey that I wanted to change. I wanted pictures of myself to have as reminders. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these pictures would soon become my drive and inspiration.
After my initial 10 weeks, I found that I was already achieving my current goals. I needed bigger and better goals. I was incredibly proud that the girl who used to quit not only finished the 10-Week Challenge and took second place, but that I never missed a day. Farrell’s became an obsession and the first healthy addiction in my life. I realized 60 days straight without missing a day was just the start. I needed to go further and push harder. My first goal was 100 consecutive days without missing a single class. Then 100 turned into 150, which then turned into 200, and 200 turned into 226 days consecutively without missing any classes.
This is where the pictures come in. I have taken a picture every single day without hesitation - sweat, blood, tears, and a smile (or the best I could do). As I look through these pictures you can see a difference in me. Not just physically, but mentally as well.
The workout routine has helped me tackle my battles with anxiety and depression as well. You can see there was a point that confidence has sprouted and grown into pure happiness. I am proud of myself for the first time in my adult life. I am confident. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am determined, accountable, and better than I was yesterday. These are things I would never have used to describe myself but have become a part of the woman I am now. I am a completely different person today.
Change is difficult, but Farrell’s made it easy. I have learned it’s OK to fail, because failure isn’t what counts, but rather how many times you get back up afterwards. I am competing in the Farrell’s National Challenge and my goals are lofty. I know there is no such thing as a physical challenge, but rather the biggest obstacle I have to overcome is my own mind. My heart is in the right place. I can now look in the mirror and see a woman who I am proud of and who sets goals and crushes them daily. I am a constant work in progress and my journey is far from over.
To be continued . . .
Deanna L. is a FIT Member at our Farrell’s Albertville, Minnesota, location.