My name is Chris S. I have always struggled with my weight. Ten years ago, I had successful gastric bypass surgery. At the time of the surgery I was 460 pounds. Over the next two years I was able to get down to 195 pounds. Fast-forward 10 years and some of the weight came back.
My neighbor had joined Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping’s 10-week challenge
and was talking to me about it. I had made a promise to my wife earlier in the year that I was going to get in better shape. I wasn’t anywhere close to what I was 10 years ago, but I also wasn’t exactly in the greatest shape. So, my friend invited me to the Friends and Family Week. I hated gyms, but after attending Farrell’s for a week, I felt that it was different. I always knew that if I had someone working with me and helping me that I could be successful.
I joined the 10-week challenge in June 2017 and finished in August. I only missed one 5:15 a.m. workout, which made me proud. I had quit so many other gyms, but didn’t want to disappoint myself by missing a class. During the 10 weeks, I joined Farrell’s FIT for a one-year commitment. I didn’t worry about the scale and I could tell I was getting stronger and my clothes were loose. I had only lost 10 pounds, but that didn’t bother me.
On September 20, 2017, I was rushed to the hospital due to passing out. I just assumed it was me being sick as my wife had just gotten over a cold and sore throat. We called 911 after I passed out again. I was taken to Methodist Hospital, where testing found a tumor. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Esophageal Cancer. I began six weeks of chemo and radiation that lasted until the beginning of November. During the radiation and chemo, I was able to workout at Farrell's and my body responded better than expected. My doctors were slightly amazed that I did so well, to the point they joked that I looked perfectly healthy. Surgery to remove my esophagus was scheduled for December 5 with recovery in the hospital expected to be 14-21 days. I was released in eight days and recovered from home. They tested me again and I am happy to say that I’m 100 percent cancer free!
When I was diagnosed in September I had a lot of people tell me that it was going to be rough, and I knew it would be. I was told I was going to be really fatigued and all these things that were going to happen like losing my hair and vomiting and being sick all the time -- by the grace of God, that didn’t happen. And then my recovery after chemo and radiation was so good, I felt like my old self again. I went through surgery and doctors told me my body has been a prime example of one of the best recoveries they’ve seen from surgery.
There are a lot of things that contribute to my positive attitude, including my loving wife and all of the prayers that I've received.
But physically, my body was able to fight cancer, and I truly believe that was because of the Farrell's program. I truly believe it.
When I began my Farrell’s kickboxing and strength training classes and the 10-Week challenge in early June, I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to make it, but I knew I wouldn't quit. I wasn't sure I would sign up for an additional class, but I at least wanted to finish the 10 weeks. By the time the 10 weeks were over I was so proud of myself and so proud of how my body responded I wanted to continue. I don't know how to say this, but I truly and honestly believe from the bottom of my heart that the Farrell's program and instructors saved my life. They were a contributing factor in saving my life. And I will go every day and tell anybody I know how much Farrell’s means to me. I just want to tell you thank you.
Chris S. is a FIT Member at our South Des Moines, Iowa, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.