One Decision Made All The Difference...

I remember the day Debbie Larson timidly walked through the glass doors at Training For Warriors-South Metro.  Physically, she was somebody who I immediately knew we needed to help at any cost.  Her life was on the line.  Mentally, you could tell there was no confidence or sense of purpose.  Her soul was on the line.  

Like most of you reading this, Debbie was searching for answers.  Debbie was so tired of being stuck in somebody else's body, mind, and spirit - that despite all the warning signals to turn back and go the other way, the REAL Debbie came through and walked through those doors.  Life was getting the best of her.  Life didn't seem fair or logical.  How could I let myself get this way?  What about all of those things I wanted to do with my life?  Where did it all go?

That one decision to take a chance on herself.  That "nudge" to do something WAY out of her comfort zone has made all of the difference and completely transformed an already amazing person into an even more caring, confident, strong, humble, funny, and selfless human being. 

This is Debbie's story


I have had issues with my weight my entire life.

I believe you are the average of the people whom with you spend the most time. Since both of my parents were overweight, I developed their habits and unfortunately their weight problems too. As far back as I can remember my mom was always on a diet and so was I. Despite the occasional attempt to lose weight, my family continued to use food for everything. Food was how we celebrated and grieved. We had a food as the centerpiece for every holiday. And I mean every holiday! For instance, we had cherry pie for Washington’s Birthday. I mean really? Who celebrates Washington’s Birthday? Well my family did. And the weight issues were a natural result.

Right out of high school I got married and pregnant.

With my first child I was active, but as a young working mom I found myself following bad eating habits. We ate out a lot and I was always rushed for time. That kept putting weight on me and then came baby two and baby three. My husband started his own business and I became a stay-at-home mom. He was working long hours and we struggled to make ends meet. Processed foods were the quick and cheap remedy to our cash issues, but continued to add problems to our health issues.

I became less active, ate poorly and started becoming a spectator in my family’s life. 

As the kids got older, I would take them to their sport events, but could only watch because my knees were starting to hurt. I walked with a waddle and eventually realized I could barely get off the ground. Point blank, I could no longer keep up with my active children. This fact left me feeling powerless and depressed.

By the time my kids were in high school I had reached my highest weight of 348.

Over the years, I had tried every diet. Nothing ever worked for long, but I never tried to complement the eating changes with exercise. Since I had never exercised before, I didn’t think I could because I wasn’t athletic.

My husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol and type-2 diabetes.

After the diagnosis, we realized we had to do something for our health. We started going to a gym to help him, but it helped me too. I began going every day for 2 hours. I decided I was going to get control of my weight, so I started to eat less. A lot less! The weight came off. I actually got down to 199lbs. Even though I had lost weight, I wasn’t healthy.

I got sick and had to be hospitalized.

I found myself in the hospital with what turned into pneumonia and my heart went into A fibrillation. This setback took me out of the gym. With no support system in place, I never went back. And the weight came right back on. I gained back 80lbs and went back to the poor eating habits and despair.

My friend shared a place called Training for Warriors where she was working out.

I filled out FB ad questionnaire and it sat on my computer for two weeks before I hit the submit button. I began hoping no one would call me because I just really thought I would not be able to do it. But Coach Reid from TFW South Metro did. He asked me to come the very next day and check the place out. I did and got teary eyed as I told him my story. At the end of the tour when he asked if I wanted to think about it I said I was signing up because I knew if I left I would never come back. It was a huge leap of faith… but it was only 8 weeks right?

I went to my first workout scared to death. 

It was a hurricane day and because I was totally out of shape, I was exhausted after the warm up. I ran half the sprints everyone else did, but a fellow warrior who had already finished her work out came over and finished it with me. I felt so proud that I had, with her help, finished a tough workout. More importantly I felt great to have people in the TFW Familia support me. I was hooked.

I found the road to real results.

I finished the 8-week program after Christmas and was feeling stronger, but I wanted more weight loss. I asked Coach Eric to help me start working towards that goal. The one thing I said was that I don’t do vegetables. He suggested I watch my processed sugars, add color to my salads and take pictures of everything I ate. I followed the advice and the finally weight started coming off.

The journey was not always smooth.

There have been days I have been tired and sore. I have had a muscle pull and in the past, maybe I would have given up. But the coaches at TFW modified every workout so I could always get a great workout in. I realize now that one of the secrets of fitness is to never miss a beat. Add to that a consistent focus on your food. With that consistency, I kept getting stronger and the weight kept coming off. Even though the road has been tough, it has been truly amazing.

I am not the same person I once was.

When I started TFW almost 20 months ago I could never have imagining where I am today. I have discovered a new passion for fitness and especially weight lifting. My diet is full of vegetables and food I would have never dreamed of eating. And maybe the hardest thing to believe is that I love it! I now have a bucket list full of activities that I would never have been possible (like 2017 is going to be the year of Debbie’s first chin up ever!) I am a sassier, happier and more confident person who wants to take the world by storm. Do I still have moments of insecurity? Of course! But I know that my TFW Familia will always be there to help me. Thank you TFW South Metro you are truly my happy place.


1. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!

2. A little upon a little makes a lot! (small changes add up!)

3. You can eat anything you want, just decide how bad you want it – I have control over food it doesn’t have control over me!

4. Give yourself permission!! – It’s ok to be unapologetically selfish with time for training, nutrition planning and things that make you happy!


Debbie has lost just over 120lbs since joining Training For Warriors-South Metro's 8 Week Challenge just about 20 months ago.  She has lost over 50 inches off her frame and has went from a size 26/28 pants size to a size 8!  Her body fat percentage is now in the healthy range and she is off all blood pressure medications.  She can now do things she never thought she'd want to do or be able to do, like the Warrior Dash and 5K's, something that her amazing new sense of confidence and strength have allowed her to do.  

Just like Debbie, your life is ONE DECISION away to making all the difference.  Just like Debbie, you can get started on your journey with TFW's upcoming 8 Week Warrior Challenge starting on September 18th, 2017.  You can do this!

Eric Parent2 Comments