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Chapter 3 – Officially “BEFORE”

Welcome back!  My decision was made.  I owed it to myself and my pups to give this thing called a healthy lifestyle a try.  My friends Terry and Cara Davis, and Vinson Smith had recently opened their own gym and personal training studio.  These are incredible people I have known for years in the bodybuilding and fitness world, and I was so scared because they really hadn’t seen me at my worst. Vinson has an amazing success story himself and I knew that I could feel safe working with these folks, so with my heard POUNDING, I made that first call to set up an appointment.  I was still in denial at how far off the path I had wandered until I walked through the door that first time and had to talk about where I was and where I wanted to go.

Terry talked to me hard core – real talk – about what it was going to take to get to where I hoped to be.  I could tell this wasn’t going to be a place for excuses because everyone here works HARD – no matter their shape, size or fitness level, everyone is all about WORK. This is what I needed – real talk, no bull.  I will never forget hearing this: “Let’s give it one year of everything you’ve got – no excuses, just work.  Can you give me one year to see how far we can go?”  I didn’t need to be coddled, I needed to be pushed harder than I ever thought I could be, and I needed for all of my excuses to be challenged.

This is me, at my worst, after my first workout in my new gym home. At my worst, but also at the beginning of being my very best because I had taken that first crucial step – I believed I was worth it, so I walked through the door and got to work.  Key takeaway: YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH IT! When you get there, nothing in the world is going to stop you.


  1. Cara Davis Cara Davis

    It’s all about that first step. Thank you for being open and real on your blogs. Proud of you for stepping out your comfort zone to take that first step.

    • bennep01 bennep01

      Thanks Cara! People have asked me to tell my story and I only know one way to do it and that’s being vulnerable and honest. It was tough to put a lot of this out there but if even one person is inspired then it’s worth it.

  2. Sandeen Sandeen

    You are so inspiring Pam. You came open and honest with yourself and you are human. It’s a big leap to do so. I am so proud of you 🙂

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