How Did You Get Started?
Like so many women out there I wasn't first or even second on my list ...so my weight went up and my fitness fell into the dumps. I had neglected myself and my body after having my daughter and getting divorced. Overwhelmed with working and taking care of my daughter, I was depressed and ate emotionally. It was so bad that when the doorbell rang my little toddler would yell "pizza" - even if it was a neighbor or the mailman!
Truth was I didn't even think about nutrition, my health, or what kind of example I was setting. A few years deeper and heavier, a friend dragged me out to a kickboxing class. It was really the first "exercise class" I had ever done. I was hooked. It felt so good to sweat and to punch that bag! I felt all my life frustrations and disappointment put right on that bag and I let it have it.
It was so freeing. I could let it all out and when class was over I was tired and slept like a baby. My energy levels went up and I started to feel better about everything. I did that for a year or so and lost tons of weight and got my fitness back, but I wasn't satisfied. I wanted more than to just be skinny!
I had lost the weight and got my endurance up, but I just looked thin. When I met my boyfriend and he introduced me to the world of bodybuilding I was fascinated. I was clueless about my diet. I didn't eat nearly enough protein and my caloric intake was way too low. I joined 24 Hour Fitness gym (my first gym membership) in April of 2009 and haven't looked back since. I got my diet on track and started to build muscle!
I joined BodySpace on Bodybuilding.com, made my profile, started using all the tools to educate myself and I have now successfully adopted a bodybuilding lifestyle. It has affected everything in my life including my daughter, who if asked, can tell you what the macronutrients are. At 6 years old I think that is impressive! She is proud of her mom and brags about me to her classmates. She practices poses and uses the treadmill.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I switch up my workouts depending on the time of year and what my current goals are. Right now I alternate between DC and FST7 training. I lift weights Thursday pm, Friday pm, Saturday am and Sunday am. I do cardio in the mornings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. My cardio is between 45 minutes to an hour of low intensity cardio - usually incline walking on my treadmill at home. I do back, legs, shoulders, and finish with arms on Sunday for my weights.
Day 1: Cardio
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
I am doing a carb cycling diet right now. It is timed with my workouts to maximize growth and recovery, while helping to keep me lean during the summer! I enjoy the variety and my energy levels stay high and I am strong for my weight workouts too.
Moderate Carb Day
Low Carb Day
High Carb Day
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
Why Do You Love Fitness?
Nobody can take fitness away from you. It isn't a fancy car or a material possession. It does not cost anything, just your own commitment and dedication. It returns nothing but gains in every aspect of my life. I love learning new things.
Every experience at the gym is an opportunity. Every meal is an opportunity. It fills life with positive opportunities to grow in every way.
I love inspiring others and energizing people to change just by living my life. I don't have to say anything, just by my actions change happens.
It is inspiring and life changing.
What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?
There are so many sources of motivation for me.
My physical changes and my ability in the gym and improvement keep me motivated. I take pictures often that help me to see my progress along the way.
The Bodybuilding.com website and the articles and tips are great. The BodySpace area and all the online support of friends are very motivating as well, especially knowing that I inspire others and am helping to motivate them.
Also, those around me who seem inspired by my commitment to this lifestyle. I have had many get on board asking me for advice. The compliments everywhere, especially at the gym were also very motivating. It seems as my physique progresses the inspiration and motivation is just a flood of positive energy coming in. It's infectious. The healthy, vibrant energy is something I think people can feel a mile away and they want in!
All of the aforementioned are great motivation for me and continue to be now as I continue on my journey, but the most important source of motivation is my family. The love of my life, my partner, has supported me inside and out of the gym. He gave me so much encouragement and saw my potential and beauty before it came to surface. He was the one to take me to the gym for the first time and is still my workout partner.
He believed in me and helped me to do the same for myself. His faith and commitment are very inspiring to me. Also, my daughter, who is always ready to go to the gym with me and loves to practice posing with me. She is learning all about macronutrients and being healthy all at the age of six. Her energy is always inspiring to me.
What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?
An inner drive to be better. That simple.
I realized that life could be better. I could be a better woman, a better mom and better person all together. I also wanted to feel alive and that I was living life like I really wanted to.
It is hard to put into words how amazing I feel today. I am a new person in so many ways. I never imagined I could have confidence that I have now. Energy that I had never felt. Opportunities that I never imagined. A future so exciting I can't wait for it to come! I feel beautiful. Sexy. Alive! I have been born into a new body and found myself in the process. Through the sweat and rigor I blossomed. Bodybuilding has been the most rewarding experience I have ever had. It has changed my life and those all around me for the better.
My photos show my physical transformation, but inside there has been an even bigger change. I believe in myself. I have confidence. When it gets hard, tough - when I'm tired and maybe discouraged... I know I can do it. I have found through this transformation my life. The life I want. I have found me.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
My fitness goal is directly aligned with my life goals - to be happy, healthy, loving, gracious, generous, and most importantly to live my life to its fullest capacity. I want to be in the best shape of my life. I want to compete in figure and to also spread excitement about the sport and living a healthy life.
My "new goal" is to live the rest of my life feeling as awesome as I feel today! To continue on my journey inside this lifestyle. I am excited to discover all the opportunities that the future may hold for me.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?
To be patient, but at the same time don't waste time making your dream come true. Believe in yourself and don't give up. If you get stuck - try something new - mix it up and get on track. If you love what you do - you will be successful. Also to stay positive. I know that when in stressful situations it is easy to become negative - but staying positive opens new doors and delivers change, hope and life.
Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?
My favorite would be hands down Jack LaLanne and his wife Elaine. He has had so many accomplishments and if you get a chance read his books - they are great reads. They both represent to me a unified, loving team that has set an example throughout their entire lives as fitness professionals. They are such an inspiration! A few weeks ago I saw them aired on public TV and at there mature years they were still vibrant and full of life. I hope that will be me one day - at 95 years young and still inspiring people to really live their lives!
What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?
Bodybuilding.com is a site that has grown with me. From changing my past physique to finding solutions to new challenges, the site offers support and knowledge to help make my fitness goals a reality. The site gives me a place to resource all kinds of information, network with professionals as well as offering a social place to stay on track and give and receive support and motivation. From fat loss to muscle growth to living healthy, Bodybuilding.com is always there for me and I love that!