Paying It Forward Farrell’s-Style
We recently announced our newest $10K winner, Kurtis Berg. But we want to take a moment to highlight one of our many $10K Finalists, Ben Castro-Yerty, from our FXB Ashworth location in West Des Moines, IA.
Ben’s brother, Joel, was our 2012 $10K winner. We love to see how our members “pay it forward” for other members to achieve their health goals and find success.
“Hey, aren’t you Joel’s brother?” “Didn’t your brother win $10,000 at the gym?”
I’ve been asked these questions so many times over the past year that I’ve lost count. Like every younger sibling, my life and my story are intertwined with his.
My brother and I grew up in a cash-strapped, single parent family. Food was one of the few luxuries we had, and “nutrition” and healthy eating habits weren’t exactly on the top of our list when it came to dinnertime. So, of course, we both grew up fat and grew larger every year.
I’ve always loved my brother; he’s been my friend, my mentor, my father-figure, and my hero for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been worried about his weight. He was on the good course to be dead before turning 40. I’d see him and think, “This could be my last time hanging out with him. He could drop dead of a coronary tomorrow.” When we had to move away from each other 10 years ago, that thought was first and foremost in my mind. I might not see my brother, my hero, again.
When I got married, there were lifestyle changes as we left Iowa and moved from state to state, but the trends followed me. I’d wake up, start my day with a soda and keep kicking back the fizzy drinks all day, but no solid foods until my wife and I were back home for dinner. At 6 p.m. we finally ate something substantial. Neither my wife nor I cooked regularly though, so the old standbys came back, but worse. I’d eat two frozen pizzas a night, or we’d go for fast food and I’d get four double cheeseburgers. Or I’d just eat the entire pack of hot dogs, sometimes without even cooking them.
Then one day, I went to the doctor about a pain in my side and they told me it was due to excessive fat in my liver. I knew it wasn’t normal for humans to turn their livers into foie gras, but I never thought anything more of it. I knew I was smart, sexy, hilarious, and friendly, and that was all that mattered. It didn’t dawn on me that I was on the same fast track to the grave as my brother.
Then, after 10 years of marriage, my wife and I had our son. I was his stay-at-home primary caregiver for the first year and a half of his life, and I noticed that it was a little weird how often he ate. Then I realized that this silly little infant, humming to himself while he drank his food, was normal, but because of me could develop my bad eating habits and my inability to fix them.
Then my family moved back to Iowa and I got to reunite with my brother, Joel, after nearly a decade of being away. He looked AMAZING, having dropped 134 pounds thanks to his gym, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping, and the lifestyle changes. Even better, he won the $10k challenge and offered to pay for me to get in for a 10-week session. So I went and I worked out hard every night. But more importantly, I learned. After 30 years of eating, I finally learned how to do it right. Food isn’t something you hide or something you over-indulge in and then feel bad about. Food is fuel for the body; it lets me run, kick, punch, and keeps my body performing at peak performance. I know the difference between carbs and protein, and know which foods are friendly to a healthy lifestyle and which foods are only “sometimes” foods. I know that eating regularly, six times a day minimum, of smaller portions, is better than waiting until 9 p.m. to eat two frozen pizzas.
I continue to have questions as I continue my journey, but I know I always have a support group at Farrell’s that can help me, be it the wonderful staff, the awesome instructors, or the other folks that are giving their all on the mats every day.
Best of all, I know that I won’t be passing my old atrocious habits to my son if I keep up my hard work. Every day is a fight to keep from going back to the “I’m not hungry; I’ll eat later,” and then gorge mentality. A lifetime of habits is a hard thing to shake, after all, but that’s why even as this first year ends, I know my journey isn’t over. And I know I’ll have my friends at Farrell’s with me for as long as I’m with them. Even better, as I begin to coach new classes, I know I can share my passion for the program and the knowledge I gained with others. I know I still hate push-ups, but I also know why I’ll keep doing them. To all the folks at Farrell’s, from those at the counter to the ones behind the mic and the others behind the scenes, thank you.
You’ve saved my life.
In just one year, Ben lost over 116 pounds, knocked over 8 minutes off his mile run, lost an incredible amount of inches, but most importantly, gained the lifestyle to enjoy a long and healthy life!
Ben is a FIT Member at our Ashworth, West Des Moines, IA Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.
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.
Posted on 02/05/2015, in Franchise News & Events, Transformations and tagged $10K Challenge, 10-Week Challenge, exercise, Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping, fitness, FXB Ashworth, health, healthy eating, iowa, motivation, nutrition, transformation, weight loss. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.