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Monday, March 23, 2015

Fallon's Epic Journey!!!

I have come across a lot of incredible athletes in my time - those who can hold 300 plus watts for 5 hours on a bike, swim 1500 meters in less than 15 minutes, runners that run 800 m in under 2 minutes and mountain bikers who cycle for 24 hrs straight.  Although I find these inspirational, sometimes other feats inspire me more.  Fallon's journey is one of them.   I used to work with Fallon, was lucky enough to see the start of her journey and now I get to witness the continued progress, as we work out of the same CrossFit box - Workhorse Lifestyle.  Knowing the story, I asked Fallon if she would be willing to share as I thought it would inspire others.  Here is Fallon's story so far:

My name is Fallon and about 4 years ago I decided I needed to get control of myself.  I had no idea how to do that.  It took a huge shake up of my “normal” life to show me that the only thing that I had/have control over in my life was/is me, I needed to take responsibility for that – this might have been the hardest realization that I have ever had to manage and as you will see maybe I didn’t.

I needed to make some massive changes.  My health and wellness was suffering drastically from my lack of love and respect for myself.  To be completely honest I don’t know what my weight was when I started this whole thing – but I do know that I was over 330lbs, easily, probably pushing 350lb.  I knew it was bad and didn’t need a number to verify that.  Walking for any distance was a struggle, but I had to start somewhere.  So that’s what I did.  I love spending time outdoors so I walked, slowly but surely, and after a month of this it got easier.   I felt better physically and mentally.  I kept walking for about three months.  I decided then that I was embarking on a journey to a better version of me.   If I was going to do this I needed a benchmark, I got on the scale – 320lbs. While I was at it I might as well look at cleaning up my eating habits.  Back then I didn’t eat much for most of the day – never had breakfast, rarely stopped for lunch – but when I got home from work I ate non-stop for 4 hours and then went to bed.

In January 2012 I joined a conventional gym and started eating three meals a day and within no time the weights was falling off of me.  I felt better than I had ever felt in my entire life.  At the gym I was now feeling good enough to take part in group exercise classes, I loved it and they loved me.  As I gained more confidence in my ability to take part in exercise I decided to take a leap and join a bootcamp style fitness group.  I did this at the end of 2012, and it was the best thing I had ever done for myself.  I quickly gained a network of people who were on similar journeys as myself as well as many friends who became my support network.  At this time I was soaring – my weight had dropped I was getting stronger and more confident.  I felt great.

In 2013 I decided I was going to put my fitness to the test.   I started with a 5k mud run.  Signing up for something like this was a huge success for me, showing up was an even bigger one, and well finishing was fantastic.  Continuing with bootcamp and then joining a spin class with a fabulous motivator and friend, Kirsten Haglund (PUSH Fitness) I went into the summer of 2013 at the peak of my life.  I was eating clean and feeling the best I have ever felt.  So that summer I decided to start training “dirty” literally with a close friend.  He has a beach volleyball court in his back yard – he threw some logs and tires in there and I joined him and the rest of the Byrne’s Digs family flipping tires in the sand.  That was it for me - that’s when I knew that I had something in me that was stronger than I had believed.   I became the real me that summer – it was amazing.  My focus was on me, inside me, and I was the best version of myself.

In November of 2013 I ran 10K in a local event.  It was awful – I am not a runner – but again, I signed up, showed up and finished.  What an accomplishment, seeing as just two years before I couldn’t even walk up the stairs in my house.  At the end of 2013 I had lost more than 100lbs.  I weighed in at 236lbs.  I had dropped 10 pant sizes and was finally able to start shopping outside of the plus size section.   I was strong physically but mentally I was still feeling a bit weak.   I hadn’t yet figured out how I got to where I was when I was 100lbs heavier.  I knew that I needed to understand that in order to be sure I didn’t get back there.

In early 2014 I was doing bootcamp, spin, and light-weight training with a solid group of ladies every weekday morning.  They were my unit.  We supported and pushed each other.   I know now that I was still successful in my journey because I was leaning on them.  By spring of that year I had dropped down to 215lbs.  My eating habits and food choices were spot on.  My training was intense but enjoyable and I was committed, to my group.  And then the unit fell apart, and so did I.  First I stopped attending the classes that had been part of my routine.  I tried desperately to find another routine that would take its place but it didn’t work.  So I started looking in other places, focusing outside of me, to find control.  I started training others both in Spin and in the sand.  I spent most of 2014 focusing on everything other than myself and in doing so I lost myself again.

I was struggling, I was stressed and I had lost control.  I remembered this feeling, all too well.  While all of this negativity was building and tearing up all that I had work to change some really timely things were happening.  Things were taken from me that would force me to change whether I wanted to or not, I was introduced to things that inspired me and deep down I remembered the fire I had light and I knew I was the one who had to keep it lit – no one else was going to do that for me – no matter what I believed.

So in October 2014 I re-light the fire.  I went outside of my comfort zone.    I made a commitment to myself.   I would start training again, in something that I had been aspiring to for some time.  I joined a local CrossFit box.  I became a WorkHorse – because this was something I wanted to do.

So here we are almost 6 months later and what I will say is this last year has been harder for me on this journey, than losing all that weight – that was the easy part.  Being lost, finding myself and then losing myself again has taught me some very valuable lessons.  The road to a better me is never ending, it’s not just about losing weight and being more physically fit, the mental component is more challenging.  I know that there are so many people who walk on my path with me, at times, but ultimately I am the one who has to take each step – no one can do that for me.

So 2015 is a year where I promise not to loose myself. I will be the best version of me this year, better than I have ever been and I can’t wait to show you that.

Thanks for sharing your story Fal, we look forward to periodic updates in the future as an Infinit Guest Blogger.  Your story is truly inspirational!

I wish you continued success.

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada