Today we are spotlighting one of my favorites…Deb Zecchini. I knew she would have a great story, where many people can relate. She has done some MAJOR improvements in Brandon's Boot Camp and she inspires others as well. She just turned 40 and it's taken her close to 10 years to get on the track (she so desired) and WORKED VERY HARD for it! Well, today when you look at her, her determination and dedication SHOWS, no question! She should be very proud of herself as I know I am.

Here is her personal story…

When I was 29 years old my grandma was dying of heart disease (my only living grandparent) and watching this process made me take a look at my life.  Here I was a single parent of a 9 year girl, a pack a day smoker and I weighed 205 pounds (close to what I weighed at 9 months pregnant).  I wasn’t exercising at all and I was eating everything and anything I wanted.  I started to wonder who would take care of Nicole if I were to die at a young age……MY WAKE UP CALL!

I decided I needed to be a role model for my very impressionable daughter.  I quit smoking after 15 years of having the bad habit; I started to look at what I was eating and what I was feeding my child.  Things didn’t change overnight but they did change.  I started to exercise and got outside to play with Nicole more; I had a ton more energy.  When I hit my 1 year anniversary of not smoking; I celebrated by starting to run.  This was amazing….the pounds started falling off me!  Over the next 6 months I dropped 45 pounds and felt so great. 

Over the last 10 years I have been able to keep the 45 pounds off by running 3-4 times a week and watching what I eat.  Last year when I turned 39 years old I set a goal of wanting to run a ½ marathon before I turned 40.  I knew I needed some help to build my core so I joined a gym and started working with a personal trainer.  This was very expensive so I could only go twice a week.  I went for a few months and saw very little improvement in my running & fitness levels so I stopped going and decided to try things on my own again.  I’ve purchased exercise balls, DVD’s & every fitness magazine there is….but I was lacking the drive to do this on my own.  Right before the holidays I saw a Groupon for a month of Boot Camp in Brandon for an amazing price.  I decided this was a great Christmas present for Nicole and something we could do together.  I was so excited but now I had to wait until Christmas to give this to her.

The week before we went to our first Boot Camp class I was diagnosed with tendonitis/bursitis in my right shoulder.  The doctor told me it was part of getting old and that I needed to build-up the surrounding muscles to feel any relief of pain.  He said it was possible that it may never get better and I’ll have to have surgery.  I was also told not to do any pushing exercising with my shoulders….I could do all the pulling exercises I wanted but NO PUSHING!  I wasn’t sure what to expect in the class but decided I was going no matter what the doctor said.  On January 17, 2011 Nicole & I attended our 1st Get a Grip Total Fitness Boot Camp class with Carrie.  It was a tough class and Nicole and I both left there tired & sore but very pumped up……. I was hooked.  I knew that day I would join once my month was up.  My shoulder continued to hurt for the first few weeks and then slowly it got stronger and now the pain is completely gone.  I also used to experience waking with lower back pain each morning and now that my back is stronger I no longer have any pain there either. 

I turned 40 in May and did not complete my goal of running a ½ marathon but I did run the Gasparilla 15k this year and I’m signed up to run the Women’s ½ Marathon in St. Pete in November…so wish me luck!  Thank you Carrie for all your motivation and support; I love your classes.  Thank you to all the other members who get up for boot camp at the crack of dawn to exercise with me….you are all such an inspiration and you encourage me by your determination and drive.


Here is her before and after:



Deb Now: