I am Erin Duffy, 46 years old.
I never thought I would actually tell the truth why I joined the FA, but here it goes.
A few years ago, I ran into a guy in a bar that I knew from high school. After a few minutes of small talk catching up, he said in front of everyone ‘What happened to you, you used to be so hot in high school!’ Then dig after dig started ‘you should call Jenny Craig, have you tried Weight Watchers?. He would laugh and say he is just kidding. More digs would come. His friends would join in. I was able to laugh it off at first but eventually I left and drove home in tears. I knew I had gained weight since high school but didn’t realize/admit how big I actually was. Every day for months I thought about all of his ‘digs’. I was so angry. How could he embarrass me in front of a whole bar of people like that? I stopped going out with friends for awhile. Definitely didn’t go back to where he hung out. I didn’t want people to see me. I became even more self conscious about my weight.
A few months of being so down on myself and miserable, I watched other friends and their success with the Fitness Asylum. I did every Body Challenge since April 2015. I lost around 20-25 lbs and maintained it. I stalked all the Bikini girls – watched them work out, carrying their Gallon of water around, watching them turn into these Sexy Woman! In January 2017, I begged other friends to do it with me. No one was interested. I met Lynn Smeagle (Legor) at a few bootcamps, we joined Hitty Bitty together and we decided to do it!! I carried that check around in my hands for about a week before I turned it in! I was a nervous wreck!
The whole nutrition part of the plan was fantastic! I loved all the food and was never hungry. The workouts were great – I met other bikini babes and made so many friends. We scheduled classes together, walks, supported each other when we needed the extra push and when we needed to vent. These ladies were there for each other 110% of the time. Day or Night. The bonding experience was so unbelievable. You learn so much about yourself when you spend so much time with people that really push you, encourage you, show you support in every thing. True. Honest. Friendship.
Being on stage for that first time for the INBF Novice NE Classic was NERVE WRACKING! I didn’t think I would get on… even standing backstage I was thinking, its not to late to run off. But it felt great! Standing there in 6 inch heels and an itsy bitsy tiny winnie bikini, hearing my family, friends and co-workers yelling my name and number, I felt so proud! I wanted to jump up and down and scream ‘Look at me!’ I can’t believe I just spent 17 weeks training for a goal without 1 Single Cheat. A workout never missed. I couldn’t believe when I was backstage eating a ‘cupcake’ when it was over and I got called to go back on stage because I just made the finals – I remember asking the lady was she sure it was ‘#82’? I thought for sure I heard it wrong..I grabbed my shoes in one hand and stuffed the whole cupcake that was in my hand into my mouth and ran down the hall to the stage! I took 5th place in the Master’s category.
My bucket list item was complete. Or was it? Say what? There is another show in 2 weeks? (2017 INBF Amateur NE Classic & WNBF Pro American) All my friends are doing it? Heck ya, I don’t want to miss out! I felt great. In 2 weeks I even leaned out more. A few more pounds down! I was so confident this time. I knew what to expect… time to have some fun I thought. The 2nd show was so much more fun for me! It was amazing seeing all the Pros out there! So inspiring to us beginners. This show to me meant ‘go have some fun this time, stop being a stressball!’ ‘get the experience, see if this is a sport you will enjoy’ and then… I won again! Placed 5th again in the Master’s category. For skipping gym class during school, never playing a sport in my life, on and off at a gym in the later years… to fully committing 7 days a week for the past couple of years – well, damn! I just amazed myself!
I lost 29 lbs on the Bikini Challenge. I went from a Size 12-14 to a Size 0 overall.
I just can’t thank Bonnie and everyone at The Fitness Asylum enough for helping me get to where I am today. I feel great! For once in my life, I am confident and proud of how far I have come from just a few years ago when I felt completely bullied. Words hurt, they will stay with you forever. Choose them wisely.