Bright Spot: The DeRosas

Here at the Treehouse we have the privilege to name more than a few “Power Couples” as members of our Community: LeBlancs, Toomeys, Rouisses, Gillespies, Guerrettes, and the DeRosas.

Both Lexy and Neil have made some pretty remarkable transformations both in and out of the gym. I had the opportunity to sit down and speak to them about their experiences over the last 2 years.

Without spoiling the interview, what these two have accomplished in the last 2 years has been nothing short of remarkable and it epitomizes just how focusing on your health and fitness is much more than just what you do at the gym!


TH: When did you join Treehouse?

LD: I joined the gym at the end of April in 2017.
ND: I joined Treehouse at the end of July, 2018

TH: Why did you join? What were you struggling with in your health and fitness?

LD: I joined for a lot of reasons. Mainly, I was extremely unhappy in how I looked and more importantly, how I felt. I have a Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease, which has always been difficult to manage. My medications alone never seemed to work, I always felt fatigued, depressed, and hopeless. In combination with not being healthy, I was in a pretty bad spot. I could never figure out a way to be consistent with fitness and make it a regular, normal part of my life. I would walk into a gym, have no idea what I was actually trying to do or what was “right” to do, so I would just ended up jumping on the treadmill or elliptical machine for an hour and go home. After a few weeks of this I would eventually stop trying which only made me feel like a failure.

I always knew I wanted to be someone with healthy habits, I wanted to be fit and active, but I never knew what that really was or how to even go about being “fit”.

ND: I joined and became aware of Treehouse because of Lexy. She had been coming for about a year before I had the courage to drop in for a class!

I was very intimidated when stopping by to see her before classes were finished or seeing her take part in gym events. The intimidation factor was strong, but I was also really intrigued.

I had a similar relationship to health and fitness as Lexy did. I would join random gyms like Planet Fitness or the YMCA and not really know how to be what I thought was “in shape” outside of endless cardio.

From being a teenager I have yo-yo’ed in weight and came back to the same workout solutions, and the idea that all I could eat was chicken and broccoli three times a day.

What finally did it for me was preparing for an upcoming tour. I play drums in a metal band where the music and lifestyle on tour is demanding. I didn’t have the energy or what I now know is conditioning to get where I needed to be. I felt stuck, slow, and unhappy with what I was feeling and seeing. It was physically and mentally wearing me down.

TH: What has been your greatest accomplishment in health and fitness since starting your training?

LD: My greatest accomplishment has been to complete a Spartan Super race with some fellow gym members (and my husband – Neil) as a true test of my abilities and my personal willpower. I didn’t train specifically for it, I just wanted to participate and try and see what I could do.

Not only was I able to complete most of the obstacles, I did my first rope climb while on the course (what an amazing feeling to ring the bell at the top), and finish with the biggest smile on my face. I was so scared in the beginning because I had never been in anything like that, but it was the perfect day where I felt so proud of how far I have come.

ND: As amazing as it feels to finally see progress in body composition the number one thing that I’ve felt I’ve accomplished is fixing depression and a foggy mental state.

Training consistently and learning how to eat in a way that actually supports you made massive differences in my mood and attitude toward everything in my life.

I was able to run the same 8 mile Spartan Race that Lexy had mentioned above. I didn’t train for it outside of the Treehouse general programming. Much to my surprise I finished it in just over 2 hours with one of my running partners. That was the most I’ve ever run in my life! I enjoyed it so much that I’m now preparing for even longer runs to further test myself.

TH: How has your training helped you outside of the gym?

LD: Outside of the gym has had the biggest changes and impacts for me. I’ve lost over 30 pounds, my depression is practically gone, and my own mindset is completely different than it used to be. My relationship with my husband has actually strengthened because of our journey together in the gym. We are able to share this whole experience together, learn more about each other, and really encourage and push each other to be better. Training together has really deepened our bond together and I’m so happy to be doing this with Neil.

I was also so inspired and motivated by this entire experience that I began my own small business out of my personal transformation. I started an edgier and more alternative gym lifestyle and clothing brand called Blood Sweat Fearless. The motto of my brand is “Train Till Death”, which is a cheeky way to refer to what I’ve come to learn: being the best version of yourself isn’t something you can suddenly become, it’s a lifelong journey and something that adds up every day. Invest in yourself, have fun, and love every minute of it.

ND: It changed everything. After about 4 months I realized I wanted to take part in the industry and become a coach. This was the catalyst for many new challenges and paths in life. It was something that put me way out of my comfort zone but I felt so strongly about it that It didn’t matter. I felt more confident and equipped to do new things. I don’t exactly know how it happened but by doing hard things in the gym I was able to change the narrative that I had about myself to be more positive and supportive.

It has made me a better musician on all ends. In the practice room, on stage, and having to live on tour for sometimes 30 days at a time. I’m filled with more confidence and energy while going through all the different motions and stages of the job.

My relationship with my wife became stronger throughout this journey as well. I got to take part in it with her and we grew into the people we are now together. I feel like I’m able to be a better man and a better husband for her. As I stated earlier looking to be in better shape was one thing, but how I feel about myself, and all the other mental aspects that changed matter the most. I’ve gained the confidence to try new things and take ownership of my life.

It’s now a mission of mine to help others discover this sale feeling and potential anyway I can.

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