I want to introduce you to a remarkable young woman. Her story is a testimony to the power and ability to heal medical conditions and transform your mind and body through proper nutrition; effective, regular physical activity; a steadfast spirit; and a phenomenal support system. The FIRM U is not only extraordinarily proud of her, but we are equally as pleased we have entered into a partnership with her to provide our clients and the community with a premium service we are launching on Monday at The FIRMU called Fit N Firm Foods, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals sold onsite at The FIRM U.
“Hi! I’m Kerrie Bikram, 39 yrs. old, born and raised in the Caribbean island of Trinidad n Tobago. Moved to the US when I was 11 yrs. old with my parents and 2 elder sisters. I am a business owner and recently opened my own catering company.
I was never a skinny girl growing up nor was I extremely overweight, I was always somewhere in the middle. Even when I was in my 20s my mom would say it’s just baby fat, (moms, go figure). When I hit my 30s I started gaining weight and no matter how much I exercised or starved myself, the scale kept going up and up and my clothes got bigger and tighter…so tight I ended up being a whopping size 24. At that weight, I was extremely depressed, I suffered from anxiety of being in public meeting new people, and had very low self-esteem. I couldn’t walk for very far distances or even climb stairs because I would be so winded.
It was back in December of 2015 after the holidays had passed, I was suffering from plantar fasciitis and it had gotten so bad that I ended up on crutches. With having plantar fasciitis and having to use crutches to get around, I found it very difficult because I was extremely overweight. It was one day I had just come out of the shower and was looking at myself in the mirror and was very unhappy with what I was seeing. I knew I had a huge problem on my hands, but self-denial can be a very strong thing and I couldn’t believe I had allowed myself to get like this. My skin had become discolored and velvety (the scientific name is Acanthosis Nigricans) especially under my breasts, between my thighs wherever there was a skinfold, it had become discolored (4 shades darker than my normal skin color). I had also noticed my cheeks had become discolored, I remembered thinking “Oh, it might just be age spots,” but that was just me being in denial that something was wrong. I even started bleaching my skin thinking it would go away. WRONG! At that point, I literally felt like my body was decomposing from the inside out.
I started doing some research about Acanthosis Nigricans and after countless hours of reading articles I was faced with the reality that I might be pre-diabetic. I went to the doctor and after doing blood work, guess what? The doctor had his prescription pad out even before I asked what the results were. I was prescribed with medication for high blood pressure and medication to help me in my pre-diabetic state. I refused to take those types of medication, because I knew once I took it I was going to give up and live that way…probably forever or until I died.
So, January 7th 2016 came around…I still remember the date because it was the day I changed my life forever. I began with cutting out all soda, juices, carbs, that “butter” where you so called can’t tell the difference from the real stuff, you know what am talking about. I had done enough research to know that I was going to give the Ketogenic Diet a try. Who doesn’t want to do a diet where you don’t need to exercise to lose weight right. My first 6 months was rough, but I did manage to lose weight. In July 2016, I went on vacation for 1 month which also meant a vacation from my diet. The next day after I returned from vacation, I went hard into Keto and by then I still wasn’t exercising…maybe once a week if I felt like it, but the weight kept coming off. My diet consisted of grass-fed meats; organic, free-range poultry; wild-caught seafood; organic, low carb veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, etc.); lots of green leafy veggies and tons of grass-fed butter; coconut oil and olive oil.
After 6 months passed, guess what? My skin cleared up by 2 shades and the so-called age spots on my face started to disappear. I had begun to like where this was going, so I decided to include exercise. I already had the food part taken care of, now I needed the extra push and help. In December of 2016, I joined The FIRM U. I had no idea what type of gym this was when I joined. All I remembered seeing was that it was a clinical gym and I thought, “shoot, they can help me lose weight,” plus I knew that I didn’t want to be working out at a mega gym and must deal with all that gym intimidation. So, after driving past The FIRM U for more than 100 times, I mustered up the guts to go in. I met with Ray Bessette, the owner of The FIRM U. We spoke about my health and he told me about what services The FIRM U provides there. After seeing the environment, I knew I wanted to give it a try…plus I was sold the minute I saw the picture of Ray with Mr. Olympia himself…Arnold Schwarzenegger! Who doesn’t love Arnold? I also knew I couldn’t do it on my own, I needed a trainer to help push me. Ray introduced me to Deborah Noel, one of the trainers at The FIRM U, and when I shook her hand for the first time and I’ll never forget it, I thought to myself holy s**t she has a hell of a grip; I am in trouble, but that didn’t stop me from joining anyways. I signed up for 3 months and expected to come out of there with abs of steel, killer legs and a slender new body. Boy, was I so very wrong, instead I got way more.
Fast forward it’s September 2017 and I am still at The FIRM U. I absolutely love it there and I still have my wonderful trainer, Deborah, I went from a size 24 to a size 14. I feel great I am much stronger physically and mentally than I have ever been in my life because of my Keto diet, my weight training and the support of my trainer and everyone at The FIRM U. I no longer suffer with my plantar fasciitis, I can run, walk, climb stairs and not get winded like before. My anxiety is gone and I no longer am depressed, or have low self-esteem, but I still must work on my self-image cause face it no matter how much weight we lose we still have that tendency to feel fat, and yes, I still find myself walking towards the plus size section of the department store. I like that am gradually losing the weight and am more than happy with the pace that I am going.
I recently had my blood work redone and I can happily say I am no longer a pre-diabetic or suffer from high blood pressure, except now I was diagnosed with PCOS, which explained why my weight is slowly coming off and am more than okay with that.
I have learned that things don’t just happen overnight it takes time whether you are building muscle, losing weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle or just changing your bad habits. I have moments where I slip and eat something bad, but its ok. I no longer beat myself up about it because and it’s just part of being human and no one is perfect, and yes, my body and mind is still a work in process.
I’m thrilled to partner with The FIRM U to provide Fit N Firm Foods. These are FIRM U-approved meals created specifically for and sold on location at The FIRM U. I will use my personal experience with nutrition research to eliminate certain health conditions and to lose weight to create culinary creations. All meals are prepared with the highest quality ingredients, lean proteins, healthy fats and are low in carbs. I use no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors and all meals are made from scratch every day. They are perfect for those with a busy lifestyle.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story. I hope it will inspire you if you’ve been considering starting your own journey to improve your health. If you don’t know where to begin, any of the professionals at The FIRM U can help you get started.”
Please call (833) FIRMU-Up for more information on Fit N Firm Foods. Kerrie is available to cater your next special event. She would love the opportunity to provide you with healthy, delicious meals that will satisfy your soul and your hunger.
Photos provided by Kerrie illustrate her transformation progress and a few representations of mouthwatering meals she has created, from top to bottom: