Andrew Reinholdt is a 2019 National Challenge finalist and member at Farrell’s Peoria, Illinois. Andrew’s story is truly inspiring and we are honored to have him as part of our Farrell’s family. Congratulations, Andrew!
My Farrell’s journey began during the summer of 2018, but it took years – four years – to overcome a rare form of cancer to get there finally. My only regret is not starting my fitness journey sooner.
My health decline and weight gain began in late 2013. I started experiencing severe stomach pains and figured it was just a case of the stomach flu. During the next few years, the pain came and went, progressively getting worse. I lost a large amount of weight from constantly being sick.
After years of countless doctor appointments, it was finally determined that I had a blockage in my small intestines. A biopsy discovered that the cause of my pain was neuroendocrine carcinoma, and my surgery was scheduled for May of 2017. During surgery, they found 37 tumors and removed 17 inches of my small intestine. My appendix was also deformed from the tumors. After healing from surgery, I finally could eat without experiencing pain for the first time in years. Because of this, I just started eating, and my weight quickly climbed.
Time To Make A Change
When my weight peaked at 277 pounds, I decided it was time to lose the extra weight. I’d considered joining Farrell’s for a few years, but I always had an excuse as to why I shouldn't. I was too busy. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t want to spend the money. But in the summer of 2018, my family gifted me a Farrell’s 10-Week Challenge membership for my birthday.
At first, the workouts were hard. I could not understand why people worked out for fun! I dreaded the cardio kickboxing workouts but looked forward to the slower-pace resistance band days. But after a few weeks, I started to make it through the workouts more easily! Within five weeks, I lost 27 pounds and running one-mile in just over 11 minutes – a big difference from my first one-mile run, which took me 18 minutes! By the end of my 10-Week Challenge, I was shocked by the results. I had lost a total of 45 pounds and ran a 9:23 minute mile. I won the $1,000 10-Week Challenge prize and signed up for the National Challenge!
From Setback to VICTORY
Summer turned to fall, then winter, and I continued to work out every day. My workouts were going great! But after a December scan, my doctor discovered my cancer had returned. I had two new spots on my intestines and one in my colon. I was discouraged because I finally started getting healthy, and my cancer came back. I almost quit Farrell’s. I felt defeated. After all, what good did it do me to get healthy?
But I got out of my head and decided that I needed to become a Farrell’s coach. Helping others would help me stay motivated. Coaching was what I needed to stay the course. I think that to be a good coach; you must practice what you preach. I always chat and joke around with my fellow Farrell’s members because I want to make them comfortable. I understand first-hand that change can be very hard and terrifying. Now, every day I look forward to coming to Farrell’s, giving it my all, and having fun while doing it. The crazy part is that if I miss one class, my whole week is off!
A Bright Future Ahead
I am trying to celebrate all of the victories, both inside the gym and outside. I am finally able to play baseball and basketball with my kids. This summer we went to the beach and I took off my shirt – this was a huge victory for me! On the scale, I also just hit a huge milestone and reached my 100 pounds lost mark.
Moving forward, my goal is to stay fit and follow healthy nutrition. I participate in all of the challenges at my local Farrell’s gym, and was just named the 2019 8-Week Elite FIT Champion for the Central Illinois locations!
I also just coached my third 10-Week Challenge, but I am ready to get out of my comfort zone again. I plan on becoming a Farrell’s instructor and overcoming my apprehension of talking in front of a group of people. In my mind, by doing this and coaching, I stay accountable.
I cannot thank my family, friends, and my Farrell’s family for all of the support and motivation throughout this past year. I would never have accomplished what I did without all of your encouragement and motivating me to achieve my Level 10 every day!