From Overweight to Beating Cancer – My Fitness Success Story

A personal training success story by Charles Armstrong – from overweight to beating cancer and achieving his fitness goals. Charles describes how Transfitnation helped him through the most difficult years of his life. 


From Overweight to Beating Cancer – My Fitness Success Story

Transfitnation helped me achieve my initial goals of losing weight and building muscle and my post-cancer goals of gaining weight, and rebuilding my strength and muscle. Here is how the personal training team helped me and how they can help you too. My story will take you from the moment when I realized that I needed a change, to the first steps I took, and how my personal goals drastically changed after being diagnosed with cancer. I will highlight how the personal trainers accommodated my difficult situation, and how my life improved as a result.

1. Realizing I Needed A Change

In 2019, I was 14 years old and overweight. Because of that, I had low self-esteem and was very shy. I obviously wanted to lose the extra weight but was intimidated by going to the gym. Even if I did go, I wouldn’t have known what to do. I told my parents how I felt, and they signed me up for my first free session at Transfitnation.


2. My First Steps With Transfitnation

During my first session, I met with Steve. I was a little nervous, but we began talking about my goal of losing weight and I started to settle in. Next, we measured my weight, body fat percentage, and muscle mass percentage to get a benchmark of where I was starting from. After that, we did a mobility assessment to see what movements I had trouble with and practiced some stretches that I would do before each session. Finally, we went over a training and nutrition plan to achieve my goals, if I was to continue training. After my first session I felt like I had an actionable plan in front of me to lose the unwanted weight. I trained with Steve for a while and eventually, started a group session with my two friends. I enjoyed it and was steadily losing weight until June 8th, 2020.


3. My U-Turn In Life

In June 2020, we transitioned to training over Skype, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the morning of June 8th, I had a scheduled training session, but I woke up with a migraine, blindspots in my vision, and nausea. I told my father and he insisted that we go to the emergency room to get it checked out because it was probably the 4th time it had happened. We told the doctors and nurses what was going on and they ordered a scan of my brain. As we were going up the elevator to get a CAT scan, my phone started ringing for my virtual training session. I had my father answer and explain because I was too scared and confused. I got my scan and it came back showing a tumor, the size of a ping-pong ball, in my brain. It was cancerous and I needed 2 surgeries, 6 weeks of radiation, and 6 months of chemotherapy, which took me out of training for a year.


4. How Transfitnation Accommodated Me

After returning to training a year later, I was underweight from chemotherapy, had issues with my balance from brain surgery, and most of my strength was gone from being in bed for so long. The trainers started me back up with more balance exercises, had me use nearly half the weight I had used before, and advised me on nutrition to reclaim some of the weight I lost. We did this for a while and slowly worked our way back up to the weights I had used before and achieved a healthy weight again.


5. The Impact On My Life

Eventually, I stopped working with Transfitnation and got a gym membership because it made more sense for me at that point in my life. Leaving was tough for me because I had been there through the most difficult years of my life and befriended all the trainers. Yet, there were no hard feelings. I think the trainers took it as a compliment that they had taught me enough that I could go out on my own and be successful. They taught me how to fish and are feeding me for a lifetime rather than giving me a fish and feeding me for a day. Even when I’m training at the gym by myself, I hear my old trainers in the back of my mind saying “straighten your feet”, “keep your back straight” or “just a few more. You got it!” I’m so much more confident than I have ever been and doing things in life that I never thought would be possible for me. On November 19th, 2022, I completed my first Spartan race with my dad, which consisted of 20 obstacles over 5 kilometers. It was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.


6. Taking A Look Back

Looking back, I am so grateful for the Transfitnation team. They gave me the confidence and competence to pursue my goals myself. Even after leaving, I became interested in writing as a career, specifically in the fitness industry. I reached out to Transfitnation first, and they took me under their wing and are helping me towards my writing goals as well. The trainers at Transfitnation are not only educated professionals but are friends that are personally invested in seeing you achieve your goals.

About The Author:

Charles armstrong author

Charles Armstrong

Contributing Author

Charles Armstrong is a copywriter with a specialization in the fitness industry, and has a track record of success, having worked with Transfitnation over the course of several years. Additionally, he is an author and entrepreneur, using his skills to help others achieve their goals.

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