Dani Loses Food Addiction, Gains Fitness and Confidence
A year ago I made the decision to commit myself to being healthy, not only for myself but more importantly for my five young children. I had reached a point where I couldn’t say “Yeah, I know I am big, but I am not that big and I am happy”. Because the truth is I was that big and I was utterly unhappy. I knew I had to find a solution and needed a program that made me accountable in finding the FIT me.
Growing up, my life was surrounded and revolved around food. I come from an Italian family and food was used for all moments and occasions in life. My relationship with food was tainted from the beginning. We ate for all occasions and then, we ate more. Food soothed me when I was anxious, lifted me up when I was sad, celebrated with me when I was happy. Food was there for everything.
I was the typical chubby girl in elementary school. My mother cut my hair extremely short and permed it. I would come home from school and my snack would be ice cream with peanut butter and magic shell, I ate directly out of the butter bowl as well. Are you drawing a conclusion as to how I looked in elementary? As I grew up and entered middle school I ‘evened out’ but was still bigger than my friends, healthy and athletic but bigger. As a freshman in high school I was what everyone would consider being healthy with an athletic build. But I didn’t see it. I told myself that this low-carb diet everyone was talking about was my answer to be just as skinny as my friends and within 2.5 months I went from a healthy 5’ 5”, 135 pound girl to a 93 pound walking corpse. I can tell you every single thing I ate, every mile I ran, every crunch I did to get there too. The next 14 years of my life was spent trying to find a balance in what being physically fit should be.
After I got married I stopped yo-yoing and simply started putting on weight. I had extremely unhealthy eating habits, did little to no exercising, and was struggling with confidence and respect for myself. Then, in January 2009, my father died from suicide. My father and I were extremely close and his death left endless unanswered questions. I was devastated; words cannot even begin to describe that feeling. Food, again, was my crutch to help get me through; it was the constant in my life when so many other things were so far out of control. I felt like it truly covered up the hurt and in some odd way, I felt connected to my dad when I was eating some of his favorites. My overweight problem quickly escalated to being obese. I just kept going though, I would tell myself tomorrow I won’t eat, or I am okay with who I am, my appearance isn’t important.
That spring I became a mommy for the first time through the adoption of our son from Ethiopia. A time that was extremely exciting and monumental was directly affected by my size. The 28-hour flight to Ethiopia is torturous, especially to an obese person. The airline we took was compact (that is even giving it credit) and had no air vents. Can you imagine the site? I should look back at those moments and photos and relish but I cringe at the person and site of what I had become! I was uncomfortably big, ashamed, and miserable in my own skin.
The week we got home from Ethiopia we found out we were pregnant with twins, naturally on our own. SURPRISE! I was hefty to begin with and let me tell you I was even heftier when it was all said and done! I used my pregnancy again as a reason to eat and use food as a crutch. If I wanted it, I ate it, it was as simple as that.
It was at my son’s first birthday party that I saw my friend Jenn and was blown away. Her twin boys were 18 months and Jenn looked better than she ever had in her life, it was honestly jaw dropping. When I asked her what her secret was it was simple; Farrell’s. I asked her about the program and I remember thinking I could never accomplish what she did, she looked absolutely amazing.
Two weeks later the twins were born unexpectedly. So now, within a 10-month span, I had lost my dad whom I was extremely close with to suicide and was a mommy to a 12-month old and twin ultra-preemies. Up to this point I had used food as a crutch, I never took the time to analyze the events that had taken place and were going on in my life. I just kept going the only way I knew how. The next year was spent in the hospital with one of the twins, there were weeks that I did not see my other kids or family or even the light of day other than from a hospital window. That year broke me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was a lactating mother so I ate for free while there. A year in the hospital eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner catered in for someone who had struggled with using food as a crutch was a disaster in epic proportions. When our son was finally released from the hospital we had homecare, doctors appointments and eventually I returned back to work. Life revolved around our little boys ages 2, 1, and 1.
Our family quickly expanded again a year later when I went to Congo to get our daughters. They referred to me as Big White Mama! I was so ashamed of myself. The entire trip was not only emotionally challenging, but because of my size it was extremely physically exhausting. I was in a war torn third world country where my daughters went without food for days and I chose to abuse it. It hit me extremely hard sitting in our hotel room observing my daughters interactions with food, their urgency to devour every single morsel that was set in front of them and their panic when it was all gone. The fact that one of my daughters literally slept with summer sausage for months because she didn’t trust she would ever eat again. I watched the children on the streets knowing that their future was full of missed meals and dirty water, something I had taken for granted for so long was something millions of people were literally dying over, something my own daughters could have died over.
When we got home the reality of having 5 kids under the age of 5 hit me like a ton of bricks! I could not keep up! I was tired, I ached, and was out of breath all the time. For my birthday present to myself I vowed to make my 28th year of life a healthier one. My friend Jenn that I spoke about earlier had just had her second set of twins (yes she has two sets of twins!) and she posted her 10 week progress pictures from Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping. I was blown away again! I questioned if I could do it or not, if I could complete the 10 weeks and get results and truly change my life. I asked Jenn and Lisa question after question because I was afraid to sign up because I was afraid I would fail. My friend Jenn reassured me it would be the best decision I would ever make, it was worth the investment in my health and my future. So I signed up and I committed myself to 10 weeks and by god I was going to give it my all! Before our first day we met our personal coach and she was amazing from the beginning. She was so welcoming and supportive and helped truly in any way she could, even went with us to the grocery store to lend us more ideas on what to look for and stay away from. The program began and I remember thinking that first week what did I get myself in to, I am going to die! I was ashamed and scared; I was winded and exhausted during warm up; how in the heck was I ever going to complete this program?!? But I did. I focused on the gains I was making, each day I went I got stronger, I got more confidence in my abilities and myself, I felt better. I had forgot how good it felt to be healthy and active. The 10 weeks flew by and I lost 30 pounds, 5.3% body fat and tons of inches! Most importantly I started letting go of the self-hatred I had built up from over the years. None of which would have been possible without Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping.
Now, a year later I can say that the Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping program has truly given me a new lease on life. I went from a size 20 to a size 4. I used to use food as therapy and now I use food as fuel for my body and the gym as my stress reliever. What I have gained from Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping isn’t only affecting my life but my kids’ lives as well. They absolutely love going to the gym with mommy and showing off how long they can hold a plank or how many push-ups they can do. I am proud to say that I am teaching them the importance of truly taking care of themselves. Although fruit snacks still exist in their diet the majority of the time they prefer healthier options like fresh fruit, salads, chicken, brown rice, and veggies with greek yogurt dip or almond butter. I truly feel like I am giving them the knowledge to make healthy choices through life. I have also had countless people ask me about the program and several have now signed up themselves.
For the first time in my life my addiction to food is gone. I truly learned what healthy looked like. It wasn’t running miles upon miles and restricting calories, it was building muscle and focusing on the right nutrients to put in your body and when. Fit is indeed the new skinny, I am proud to be strong! Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping has truly given me the knowledge to succeed at living a full healthy life, a life that my self worth isn’t determined by the number on the scale. I was in doubt before but Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping truly is a program that can transform lives.
Disclaimer: The above testimonial was contributed by an actual member. We cannot guarantee everyone will achieve similar results. We do believe that everyone can achieve measurable results, but the specific results will vary from person to person.