Devon Stelwagen


Weight: Starting -224.2lbs – Final -202.5lbs
Measurements : Starting Waist: 40”, Hip: N/A – Final Waist: 35”, Hip: N/A

Total Weight – 21.7lbs

Total Hips – N/A

Total Waist – 5”


I honestly don’t even know how or where to start writing this testimonial, talking/writing about myself has never been a strong area for me, but here goes. My weight has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember, it first became an issue in grade 5 (22 years ago) and throughout high school it got increasingly worse. I was always the fat kid, the kid that couldn’t run around the track at gym, didn’t make the cut in sports, and the kid that didn’t quite fit in. What was my solution? Food! Thus, starting my unhealthy relationship with food. It became a cycle, try to eat healthy – get made fun of – go home and eat bad. It was how I coped then, and how I tried to cope long into my adult life. I thought I was just meant to be fat, that I was stuck like this forever. I never liked looking in the mirror, because wow, that’s just gross. I never felt comfortable in my own skin, and never really felt like I fit.

Many times, in my life I have tried and successfully lost weight, for like a minute. I would basically just start starving myself, just eat a little bit to get by. Obviously, this was unhealthy. But when you are uneducated and have an unhealthy relationship with food, you think you just shouldn’t have food, because how can I eat and lose weight. When I was 20 I found weight watchers, I successfully lost 75lbs in just over a year! Yes, this was excellent. In hindsight, what have I realized is that I only had to be honest about the number on the scale, not what went into my body. It just made me successful because I didn’t learn how to eat right for me, I learned to eat less, which I was already excellent at when I wanted to be. I also didn’t have to really exercise to lose the weight, so…awesome, right? Wrong! Now I was skinny fat, or as some of us like to call it, skatty! As a result of this and regardless of losing all the weight I would look in the mirror, and the fat kid would be looking back at me. I still didn’t like what I saw. I still didn’t appreciate the weight loss.

During my time of up and down weight loss I also started a really unhealthy relationship with our friend the scale! Those numbers, they are what matter right? Well clearly, I learned, wrong! I would weigh myself in the morning, after I went to the bathroom, before I ate, after I ate, and basically anytime something happened in my life. Not healthy. I finally realized that the scale has got to be gone from my life and into the garbage it went, and I did not own a scale for a very long time.

Over the years, I put the weight back on because, well hello CHIPS, and beer and other bad foods. I started LPN school, and man was it fun, how fun? I was officially the largest weight I had ever been at the end of those 2 years, that’s how fun it was! Working as a nurse for those 12 shifts a month, left a lot of room for fun and partying with my friends. What else did this mean? A summer of chips is really good for putting on even more weight! What I learned by the end of all of this “fun”, was that I was really unhappy. You see, the lifestyle of being fat is a lot of fun, but the results of that lifestyle are far less then fun and leads to a little bit of depression. This summer of chips, lead to me fitting into 1 pair of “ugly shorts” for basically the whole summer… Me refusing to buy anything new because “I’m going to lose weight before I buy new clothes”, riiiight, one complete summer and same shorts. Time to make a change, but wait season change, I have other fat clothes, so I am good to go.

In March of 2016, I decided I needed to make a change, so I started cycling. For the first time, I found an exercise that I actually enjoyed. I made the decision that if I can exercise I should start changing my lifestyle completely. I started attempting to count my macros on my own, and was successful for a little bit, I lost some weight and started feeling good. I went to the gym (and hated it) and continued to spin. As always after I got to a place where I felt good, I fell off the wagon, and started eating how and what I wanted, just like before.

Fast forward a couple of months, and I have gained back about half of the weight I had lost, but uh oh, RN school is starting. The last time I went to school was my demise, so I decided I needed to take charge of my life. My roommate had been successful with Neil at Trench Fitness, and I have some friends that utilize Trench. I thought that this might be the plan for me. I will have support, people that get it and know me, and the atmosphere of a gym that makes me think of a community. I put my money where my mouth was, and one night just signed up! Here goes nothing.

I met with Neil, and the first thing that struck me that this was going to be different was how he talked about the long-term results. It wasn’t about the here and the now, and just about the contest. He talked about the future, and being able to be successful in my change. Then we had to take those gross before pictures (remember, mirror = gross), but I did it, as it is part of the process, and I am putting my trust in Neil. Wait, what? You are going to actually measure my gut? Oh perfect! So, I have to stand on a scale in front of you? Oh, I have to weigh myself every morning? Yikes the last time I weighed myself regularly something bad happened, BUT I trust Neil so OK.

Well I listened to Neil, and the last 12 weeks are history. I was successful. I got down to my goal weight on the very last day of my challenge and even if I am not the winner, that is a win for me. Why was this program successful for me? What did I learn over the last 12 weeks? I believe I was successful, and I am not going to lie this challenge was not easy, and some days I really got stressed out with having to weigh everything all the time. At first it seemed like it was such an inconvenience with everything else going on in my life. I am busy; I have RN school fulltime, I work as an LPN part time, I needed to incorporate 3 days of weight training and 3 days of cardio training into my life, I have my family, and new baby nieces and nephews in my life that I wanted to make time for, then I realized that everyone is busy. I was just making excuses. In the 12 weeks, I never missed a weight training day, and only one week did I miss a cardio day, which I made up for the next week. I have always wanted to be a runner, and about 1/3 the way through, I have been successful in that! I learned that you make time for what is important, and my health is important. When I looked in the mirror every day and start seeing changes in your body, you realize it is worth it. When I grabbed some clothes from my archives that never fit, and pulled them on and they are too big, I realized the time constraints were worth it. As I took my progression photos, I first thought that there were no changes because I am very hard on myself. Neil taught me that I have to realize my accomplishments and not be so negative. I was able to lose over 20lbs, and 5 inches on my waist. When I actually took the time to look at my progression photos I could definitely see the differences. I may not have the abs, and tight areas, but I lost a lot of fat weight, and gained a lot of muscle. The biggest reason I believe that I have been successful in this program, is that for the first time in over 20 years I am able to take my shirt off in public.

For me this challenge wasn’t just this last 12 weeks, my challenge will be for the rest of my life. Thankfully I have learned some key things that will benefit me, with diet and exercise, I have signed up for another 12 weeks, and I have a huge support system. Neil and Trench have definitely aided me in becoming successful, and I am happy to put my weight loss journey in their hands.

P.S. my friends still make fun of my “ugly shorts” but now I have more than one pair to choose from!