Two years ago, Diane Derthick was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and carried 246 pounds on her 5'7” frame. The worst part of her day came every evening at 6 pm. “I'd literally crawl up the stairs, so exhausted that I couldn't do anything else. It was so hard and so hurtful. I didn't have any self esteem. I didn't feel good about myself. I would look at myself and say, ‘I'm only 48 years old. I'm going to be in a grave in three or four years if I don't do something now.’” Derthick was tired of being fat, tired of not being able to fit in the booth at a restaurant because her stomach was too big, tired of wearing size 28 clothing and tired of being unable to buckle a seatbelt around her girth. “What was I going to do? Get bigger? Or do something?”
She chose to do something. With the help of the TRX Suspension Trainer, Derthick, 50, has dropped 84 pounds during the past two years. She weighs 162 pounds, fits into a size 10 and feels the best she's ever felt about herself and her body. Forging her new body and mindset wasn't easy, but Derthick felt she simply had no other choice. “It came from so deep inside of me that I didn't want to die. If I didn't want to die, I had to do something for myself and for my family and children. I had to relearn how to eat and adventure up stairs into the gym and figure out things to do.”
The first step came when Derthick enrolled in a weight loss program comprised of physical training and a diet of 1,100 calories a day. “I told every single person I was on a diet, and I asked for everyone's help staying on it.” She worked with a trainer three times per week and the other four days she trained for two to two and a half hours on her own. “I would try to find different ways to change up my exercise because I don't like to do the same things all the time. The gym has all kinds of equipment, but I like to do things outside.” When she saw the TRX Suspension Trainer in an article in Men's Fitness, she was intrigued and visited the TRX Training website to learn more. “It had so many different movements to do that wouldn't harm your joints, and you could take it outside or set it up anywhere.”
Then one day, 11 months ago, she was at her gym when a box arrived with a TRX the gym had ordered. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, let's set it up right now!’ It was amazing, the movements I could do on it without hurting myself while strengthening muscles that I wasn't stimulating with machines.”
She found that the TRX helped her become more flexible and stronger without adding bulk, and she never ran out of new movements to keep her training fresh. “What drew me to the TRX is that it's so simple but so amazing. It was easy to figure out how to make it harder or easier. The exercise guide was easy to figure out. I have horrible balance, and it has really helped improve my balance. Anyone can use the TRX. You can push yourself as far as your body can go. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis, and it has helped me with every joint in my body.”
Now her training facility has TRX classes that she attends two days per week—after she takes a spin class. She trains about two and a half hours the other five days of the week as well, but the TRX remains her favorite part of her training program. “Women have to realize it’s okay to use the TRX. You can do anything the guys can do, and you can modify it to suit your ability level.” She still visits the TRX website frequently to look for new movements and training ideas she shares with instructors at her gym along with her fellow trainees. The TRX has helped her attain other fitness goals too, like getting back into cycling. “I've always had pain in my right shoulder and hadn't been on a road bike in 24 years. Training on the TRX made my shoulder strong enough to ride again.”
Currently, she's training for a 64 mile bike ride and wants to drop 10 more pounds to reach her weight loss goal. Training on the TRX and committing to her goal has transformed her body, her mind and her life. “I feel a lot more positive about myself. People say, ‘Diane, you're always smiling. You're always filled with laughter.’ I never heard that before when I was fat. I was always a very angry person. My anger was fulfilled with food.” The TRX helped her reach her goal, and she hopes that others see her transformation as a testament to the power anyone has to change. “Believe and achieve—you can do anything you want to do.”
How have you used the TRX to meet your weight loss goals? Share your story in the comments.