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I Truly Look Forward to the Future!

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I Truly Look Forward to the Future!

I Truly Look Forward to the Future!

By Brad M., Farrell’s 2020 $10,000 National Challenge Finalist

 

I first heard about Farrells a few years ago. I attended a couple of classes with a friend and was interested but never pulled the trigger. I was a member of a different gym and worked out regularly 3-4 times a week – lifting weights, some cardio, just the usual workouts I had done since playing sports in high school. I would fluctuate up and down 10 lb. week to week. I competed in challenges a couple of times and was always very disciplined and motivated during those challenges, dropping 40 lb and seeing great results. But then when the challenges would end, the weight always slowly came back, and I would just gravitate back into my normal routine. While I was still working out regularly and even being conscious of my diet, nothing seemed to change or stick.

Finally, I decided I needed a change from what I was doing. So, I contacted the Farrell’s Head Coach and met her at the 180th & Q studio. We talked about the different class time options, and she explained what the classes and program were all about. It seemed like it was worth a shot! I enrolled for the 2018 Fall session and was ready to get after it!

Just before the start of Week 5, I had a flare-up with a chronic knee condition and my doctor recommended I rest for 2-4 weeks. I met with my Head Coach again and we agreed I would start up again the next session (Winter 2018). That was a tough time of year to be ‘resting’ and not working out…it was the holidays…Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the junk food, heavy meals, drinks, and inactivity that comes with it. January came and the winter session began. I was back and even more motivated to get after it, after having been forced to the sidelines.

In the beginning, the toughest thing was the diet/nutrition. I couldn’t get in the mindset of SIX MEALS A DAY.... I’ve done many diets/nutritional plans, and most were always three meals and three snacks, so it was tough to plan and adjust to six meals. The food logging and tracking were also tough at the beginning – I spent hours the first couple of weeks obsessing over calculating and logging all the carbs and protein. But soon it just clicked, and I could appreciate the purpose of those food logs – it changed the way I thought about my daily diet, and I felt confident knowing exactly what to eat and how much. It changed my relationship with and my attitude towards food. This time, when that 5-Week mark hit, I was feeling amazing and was laser-focused on that 10-Week goal.

At 5-Week testing, I had lost 20 lb. and was hoping to lose 20 more by Week 10. My coach. Jessica. and classmate, Michelle, were 100% in my corner, always motivating and encouraging me. I always had them in my ear telling me that I could ROCK the Challenge and even WIN! I put in the work and ended up losing 20 more pounds for a total of 44 lb. and won the $1,000 10-Week challenge! It was such a great feeling. I had done similar challenges and achieved similar goals before, but this felt different. It felt like a more permanent change, a lifestyle change.

Next, my coach encouraged me to keep going and take on the year-long $10,000 National Challenge. I was hesitant thinking about something so daunting – a whole year! But I decided, why not? It would be a great way to continue to hold myself accountable, and another great goal to work toward. For me, having a goal or challenge makes it easier for me to stay focused and committed.

So, my year begins…

With spring and summer brings intramural volleyball and softball, pool parties, cookouts, and all the other social events that come with warm weather. That means lots of food and drink! The struggle begins. I knew I needed to find a way to moderate and keep myself under control when it came to my diet. I like to have a few drinks and of course, I love food. I put my mind to it and was able to find a happy medium where I could still do the things I loved. (it’s all in moderation, as they say). I was able to maintain and even lose some weight over the summer.

Next up is the toughest part of the year – the holidays! Back to Halloween and CANDY!! It was a constant struggle, but I had such motivation to push myself and power through a time where I normally would give in and revert to old habits. Next up were Thanksgiving and Christmas. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Sure, I had a few drinks here and there and of course, still indulged with food, but I always had the goal in the back of my mind and just kept my eyes on the prize. The holidays are over and I’m on the downhill slide. I’ve always been able to recover quickly from the holidays and get back on track, and that was even more true this year because I knew I only had about 2.5 months left. It was time to really put in the work and push myself harder than ever before. I set a goal to be at 13-14% body fat at the end of the year-long National Challenge (I started at 31%). 

Now the final hurdle – an all-inclusive resort vacation we had booked nearly a year prior. Six days of all-you-can-eat-and-drink. Not exactly conducive to the discipline I should have in the final month of a year-long weight loss challenge. I had lots of anxiety leading up to it – wanting to enjoy myself and indulge and get my money’s worth, but also not wanting to destroy the progress I had made. I think I ended up with a pretty good balance. I let loose and indulged, but kept my eyes on the prize and didn’t go completely nuts (even worked out almost every day!) Enjoyed a Jamaican vacation, now back in Omaha for the final three weeks.

One of the goals I had set for myself, in the beginning, was to run a 5k before the year was up. Before starting Farrell’s, I rarely ran and didn’t enjoy it, but now I actually look forward to it and was enjoying the challenge of training for the 5k. I completed it a week before the end of the Challenge and was very proud of my endurance and stamina. I finished with a decent time, but more than anything it was great to achieve that goal and to do it almost with ease!

 

I have always been big – I was 200 lb. by middle school and have been around 270 most of my adult life. I’ve suffered from back and knee problems and even have early Rheumatoid Arthritis. And I’ve always had self-confidence issues.

Since joining Farrell’s, I feel drastically better physically and mentally. Fewer issues with back, knees, and joints. Fewer aches and pains. But the mental effects have been the most profound. I just feel happier – like a weight has been lifted – I’m so much more positive and optimistic about life. I have energy and love being active with my kids. My mental state has done 180-degrees. Eating healthier (and having the nutritional knowledge engrained in me now so I don’t even have to think that hard about my diet, it’s just second nature) combined with being so physically active and being in great shape – it really has changed everything. I consistently receive compliments on my progress and my results, which helps boost my self-confidence. Also knowing how hard I’ve worked just makes me feel proud and accomplished, which boosts my confidence too. My final results: from 277 lb. to 190 lb., and from 31% body fat to 13.7% (hitting my goal in body fat loss!).

The last year with Farrell’s has been incredible for me. It really is more than a gym, it’s a lifestyle and truly a family. All the coaches, staff, and members have become my family and we are all in it together. We all help motivate each other and hold each other accountable. I want to thank my Farrell’s family for helping me make such a positive change in my life – a lifelong change. I also want to thank my wife for her support– it hasn’t been easy, but she made it possible for me to commit so fully and has been there encouraging me the whole time. I truly look forward to the future!

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