I have struggled for years with health issues that resulted in having barely enough energy to get through the day, massive weight gain, and multiple trials of various anti-depressants. I was 223 pounds at my heaviest. That’s a lot of weight on a frame that was designed to carry a lot less. I hurt all over. Pain medications followed, which made me even more tired, so I was given more anti-depressants to perk me up. I was in a horrible state and was being overmedicated, which is dangerous.
I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and I began having all sorts of abdominal issues. An MRI showed a large benign mass as the culprit, so I was scheduled for surgery in December 2015. I was so big and my subcutaneous and visceral fat layer so thick that the actual size of the mass turned out to be 14 pounds and wasn't known until I was on the table. Thankfully, my doctor had the foresight to ask her partner to assist that day. What was supposed to be a 45-minute procedure turned into almost four hours and both vertical and horizontal incisions that took another hour to close up.
I remember waking up in the hospital the color of death from significant blood loss and realizing, because of how unhealthy I was, how close I came at only 48-years-old to “permanently hanging with Jesus”. Seeing how rattled my husband was, seeing the exhaustion on my doctor’s face, and listening to what happened, I realized I had to do something. While I was recuperating, I hatched the "Look Fabulous at 50 Plan" a full 12 months before I actually turned the big 5-0. I joined the largest national weight loss program for the sixth time and became revenue for yet another gym.
I made progress losing and gaining back the same 10 pounds five times in 2016. Things weren't working. We went to Hawaii in February 2017 and I had to order shorts online because the local big retailers didn't carry my size in the store. I know, right? A serious wake-up call. Then came a posting on a local Facebook bulletin board by a woman who was looking for a workout partner for a new gym in town called Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping. I actually scrolled past the posting and didn't give it another thought. In March 2017 I had flunked out of Weight Watchers for the sixth time. I totaled all the membership fees, materials I had accumulated over the last year, and thought about all the money that I had just wasted, and for whatever reason I thought about that Facebook posting for the workout partner at Farrell’s. I began to research Farrell’s and really focused in on what the Farrell’s members had to say, scrutinizing the before and after photos.
I honed in on one member in particular because we had very similar body types and I was blown away by her results, which gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe this place would be the difference I needed to be successful. I read all the reviews from members not only from the Farrell’s Elk River location, but other locations as well. All of them were raving about the results and how fun it was and the friendships they have made. I reached out to the gal looking for the partner and we signed up together. On April 10, 2017, two complete strangers began their journey through the next 10-week challenge. We decided the 6:00 a.m. class worked best for us, so we signed up. I am not kidding you, there were multiple days when the alarm went off that I wanted to stay in bed. But then my new friend would not have had a partner and I would feel guilty, so I dug deep and went to Farrell’s. The first weeks were hard and I struggled to breathe. I remember looking over at the FIT Members and thinking, “Oh man… if I make it through the 10 weeks and have to go work out with those people, surely I will die.” They were doing burpees when I was struggling to do jumping jacks; they were doing planks for days using the base of the bags when I could barely do a push-up. They were my inspiration someone I aspired to be, so I kept at it.
About week three I started to notice changes. My headaches were less frequent, I was sleeping a lot better, and the pain I was feeling wasn’t there anymore. It had been replaced with a soreness that comes from working muscles that hadn’t been used in decades. It was a good hurt. Before I knew it, I was hooked. I began to look forward to going to Farrell’s every morning. The kickboxing and strength training workouts were always different, but more importantly, I had met people who were on their own path, but we were all on the same journey: to be a healthier version of ourselves.
Working out had become fun. I had found my gym with a program that worked and a support network of friends that have become family.
At the end of my first 10 weeks with Farrell's I was able to do what I had been trying to do unsuccessfully for 18 years.
The Farrell’s program has given me my life back. When I joined Farrell’s I was 210 pounds and had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. I was on 11 different medications to control the multiple conditions I had developed from being overweight and so unhealthy. I am happy to say that because of the Farrell’s program I am one of the few people that has actually beaten metabolic syndrome. I am also no longer suffering the pain of carrying all that extra weight. My migraines have disappeared, I am sleeping better and overall am a much happier person to be around. I am now down to one prescription and my resting heart rate is at 50. In my first 10 weeks, I lost over 20 pounds, decreased my BMI by 3.2 percent and lost 7.75 cumulative inches.* I have graduated to the other side of the gym and am working out with my beloved FIT Members. When they plank, I too can plank and jumping jacks translated into burpees. I have continued my journey as a FIT Member and have lost 34 pounds, decreased my BMI by 5.2 percent and lost 23 inches overall.
I recommend Farrell’s because it works. Over the last 18 years I have hired four different highly-paid trainers and all of them together are no comparison to the caliber of the Farrell’s program and their trainers. Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping is a comprehensive program that combines a graduated fitness regime, natural food-based nutrition plan, and a team/coach approach. If you commit to this program you will get results.
Andrea E. is a FIT Member at our Elk River, Minnesota, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.