Name: Annette L. McGrath
Weight: 164 lbs
Body Fat: 35%
Weight: 130 lbs
Body Fat: 22%
Why I Got Started
Most of us have heard the expression: a picture is worth a thousand words. It was Thanksgiving, 2007 when I asked my mom to take a picture of me with my four children. She took my camera and clicked the picture as we said cheese. I quickly ran over to take a quick peek at the picture to make sure it looked OK.
The kids looked great, but I looked horrible. So, I asked my mom to take another picture and I changed my angle and we all said cheese again. I popped over to the camera and looked at that picture, and it was worse. I asked my mom to take one more picture and you guessed it, that picture looked just like the other two.
Click Image To Enlarge.Annette McGrath's Progress.
I looked horrible in those pictures. My face was fat and my rolls jumped out of my loose-fitting sweater. I really could not believe it was me in that photo. I asked my children if I looked like that picture in person.
My oldest daughter admitted, "Mom, you are looking kind of thick." I pondered her reply. I never really noticed the gradual expansion of my waistline. Loose T-shirts and hospital scrubs covered a multitude of sins.
Click Image To Enlarge.I Made The Pictures My Motivation.
I downloaded the pictures on my computer. My first thought was to delete the pictures, but instead of deleting them, I forced myself to look at them and I made a commitment to myself to lose the weight. I made the pictures my motivation to make it happen.
How I Did It
I decided to start my diet on December 1, 2007. I was finishing my Master's Degree at that time and had been eating at all hours of the night as I worked on my thesis. So I needed to break this habit. I started out with Weight Watchers for the structure of the eating plan and the accountability of the weekly weigh-in.
Despite time constraints with school, work and mom duties, I exercised faithfully. I loved cardio and I still love cardio. I taught a high-energy kickboxing class twice a week and I rode the elliptical machine like a mad woman 3 times per week for 45 minutes. I lost about 12 pounds with the Weight Watchers and cardio plan.
Click Image To Enlarge.I Exercised Faithfully.
However, the catalyst that got me moving in the right direction was this: I noticed a kind of chunky chick that would always walk past me in the cardio room on her way to the weight room. She would do her thing in the weight room then come out and walk 20 minutes on the treadmill.
I watched her for months working out in her hooded sweatshirts and baggy sweatpants. I could tell she was losing weight, but it was hard to tell how much under the clothes. Then it happened. She walked past me as usual on her way to the weight room, but this time she had a pair of shorts and a tank top on and my jaw dropped as I saw the cuts in her arms and the definition in her thighs.
Click Image To Enlarge.I Needed To Break The Habit.
I hopped off my machine and ran down to the women's locker room to take a hard look at myself. I had lost 12 pounds doing Weight Watchers. I looked at my arms, no cuts. I looked at my legs, no cuts. I looked at my abs, pitiful. I looked at myself and realized for the first time that I was just a smaller version of the bigger me. I was soft. I did not look close to that girl.
At that point, I decided I needed more and decided to add strength training to my routine. I did not have the foggiest idea where to start with the weight training, so in March 2008, I decided to hire Brett Cousins, my personal trainer, to teach me how to lift safely and with good form. What a great investment!
Click Image To Enlarge.Annette's Personal Trainer, Brett Cousins.
The first thing Brett had me do was get rid of the scale. He told me I did not need it anymore and not to be hung up with how much I weighed. That was challenging for me. He changed my Weight Watchers Diet to the standard clean-eating diet. That was scary to me because I was eating more food than I was accustomed to eating.
I ate clean six days per week and ate what ever I wanted 1 day per week. We trained 4 days per week and he decreased my cardio to 1-2 days per week. To keep me motivated, I started buying magazines such as Oxygen, Fitness Rx, Muscle and Fitness for Women and Health Magazine.
I found BodySpace in one of those magazines, went on the website, and was flabbergasted by the wealth of information on the site. On BodySpace, I made many friends, learned a lot, and started actively blogging and posting progress pictures to help push me farther. I engaged myself in every aspect of the website.
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1 of 7: Your Profile Page: BodySpace is more than just a MySpace for bodybuilders. It's your best tool for staying motivated over the long term. On BodySpace, you can create a profile with your photos, your body stats, your progress and much more.
I actively blogged, recorded my food intake, and set short-term goals which I posted on my page. An inner circle of friends on BodySpace nurtured my growth and encouraged me to keep training hard. Amysuds encouraged me enter my name in transformation of the week. It is so nice to have positive like-minded people cheering me on.
My ultimate goal is to sustain a lean physique year round, motivate and help others reach their transformation goals. In order to attain that goal, I have to be an example, learn a lot and train hard.
Cardio Interval Workout 35 minutes (I choose one of the following).
- Sprints and stairs at the track
- Elliptical HIT at 70% Max 1 minute, LIT 30% 1 minute
- Treadmill Run 1 minute walk 1 minute
- Cardio 35 minute (Treadmill or Elliptical or bike)
- Cardio 35 minute (Treadmill or elliptical)
Suggestions For Others
- Write your goals down and make sure they are measurable. Write your short-term goals as well as your long-term goals and document your progress.
- Journal/blog your progress several times per week.
- Take progress pictures at least once a month and post them. This will help keep you accountable to yourself.
- Don't be in a hurry and don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Amazing changes are happening on the inside and will eventually be evident on the outside.
- Eat clean, eat clean, eat clean! You really are what you eat. Make sure you are supplying your body with the fuel it needs.
Click Image To Enlarge.Amazing Changes Are
Happening On The Inside.
- If you mess up in any part of your training or nutrition plan, pick yourself up and start back on the right track today, not tomorrow.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Help somebody else reach their goals.
- Don't give up.