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Body Transformation: Forever Young!

Don’t give Sandi the age-old excuse that your body deteriorates with time. She woke up, smelled the roses, and embarked on a decade-long transformation. Now she’s 55 and ripped!
Name: Sandi Holder
Email: sandiholder@gmail.com
BodySpace: sandih2

Sandi Holder Sandi Holder
AGE 46
HEIGHT
5'0"
WEIGHT
198 lbs
BODY FAT
36%
AGE 55
HEIGHT
5'0"
WEIGHT
115 lbs
BODY FAT
12%

Post To Fitboard
Why I Decided to Transform

My journey started nine years ago after the sudden loss of my 49-year-old brother. I was age 46 at the time and knew my time could come quick if I didn't make some lifestyle changes. My story is unique because I sustained a significant weight loss for a long period of time, and my determination to continue is just as strong as it was nine years ago, if not stronger.

I feared the gym. I was bullied about my weight as a teen and the memory carried into adulthood and held a powerful mental presence in my head. I had no idea where to start, but knew I had to figure it out quickly. I didn't want my children to lose their mother and feared I may never see my grandchildren grow up. My brother, who I know is with me, and my family, are my motivation.

How I Accomplished My Goals

I started at a local gym under the direction of trainer Mike Bustillos and did plyometric high-volume training for seven years. Over time, I found myself hungry for more, read about CrossFit, and decided to give it a try.

I was 53 years old and scared when I took the first step into CrossFit One World (it's literally two driveways down from my office, so I knew there would be no excuses). I ventured out of my comfort zone, but this wasn't the last time I entered unchartered territories. It was time to challenge myself, so I fully embraced CrossFit and signed up for the Nike Women's Marathon that same year and raised more than $6,000 for Team in Training.

The following year, I signed up for the Nike Marathon again and raised $4,000 for Team in Training. I felt an amazing sense of pride to know I raised more than $10,000 to benefit those suffering from leukemia and lymphoma. Running has always been hard due to my self-conscious problems with weight and the memories I carried from being bullied. It was scary, but with more than 20,000 people in the marathon, I felt surrounded by others on a similar journey that made me feel empowered. It was time to kill the running goal and CrossFit training helped me tackle the brutal hills in San Francisco and finish strong.

I continue to train hard every day and am surrounded by amazing coaches who constantly push and encourage me. I also work with my personal trainer, Christopher Robinson, who takes me to places in fitness I never imagined possible. Not only does he train me to be strong, he instills strength and youth in me.

I hope my story inspires those who are scared to try something new, or those who don't have a clue where to begin. Age is just a number. It's never too late to make the first step, and after you do, don't look back. I have three children and six grandkids. There are almost nine years between the two photos and the thrill of waking up every morning and going strong makes me strive to stay young. My youngest daughter is also an avid CrossFitter and does an amazing job. Running an event and crossing the finish line with her, hand in hand, is on my bucket list.

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Supplements that Helped Me Through the Journey
With Meal 1
With Meal 4
With Meal 6
Diet Plan that Guided My Transformation

I'm on a paleo diet, eat every two and a half hours, and consume one gallon of water per day. I eat small portions to keep my metabolism running consistently. My trainer and I constantly take time to figure out what my body responds to by varying my workout and nutrition regimen. While I fully realize paleo isn't for everyone, try it, and after a few weeks you might be amazed how well you feel inside and out.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6
Training Regimen that Kept Me On Track

I train upper body with moderately heavy weight (10-12 reps). My ultimate goal is to gain solid lean muscle, burn fat, and increase joint mobility. For lower body, I do plyometric high-volume training focused on jump squats, lunges, box jumps, and jumping lunges. My cardio session ranges between 45-60 minutes of running in the morning. I train two days per week with my trainer, Christopher Robinson, and at One World CrossFit three days per week.

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Back/Arms
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Chest/Shoulders
Day 5: Legs/Abs
Day 6: Cardio
Day 7: Rest

What Aspect Challenged Me the Most

My focus is stronger today than ever before. My investment in fitness and nutrition has paid off. People on this same journey need to remember that you're with a trainer one hour per day; the other 23 hours are on you. Make each day count. If you have a bad day, look to tomorrow as a new day to start fresh. Learn to prepare your meals for the week. Lack of preparation can attribute to failure in your eating choices.

This is not a lifestyle change or a diet; this is a life-changing commitment. I have to work hard daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it doesn't come easy. The biggest challenge is not being able to share my experience with those who deserve the same opportunity extended to me. I hope to continue helping others and paying it forward.

Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers

Planning is the key to success. If you're going out and know the food choices will be difficult, have a light meal at home prior and try and be creative and find something healthy at your event. Be creative and think outside the box. I always keep a snack-size baggie of nuts and a water bottle in my car. Nuts are an easy item that you can keep in your glove compartment as a go-to in emergencies.

Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they seem. There is no reason you can't make your dream a reality. My dream is to have the ability to reach out and help as many people as possible. People are my inspiration, especially those in need of help.

How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals

I constantly feed my hunger to learn as much as possible. I'm a fan of Jamie Eason (Middleton) and love her LiveFit program and amazing protein bars. Bodybuilding.com has a wealth of information on everything fitness. I enjoy seeing Jamie at the fitness expos and love hearing new ideas.

Thanks

I want to give a big thank you to CrossFit One World in Union City, California, under the direction of Brad Medeiros and Freddy Camacho. They provide an amazing coaching staff and I want to thank them for making their home my second home. A big thanks to my trainer, Chris, for believing in me and always pushing me to new heights.

Shout out to Tom Gaughan for capturing such amazing shots in my photo shoot. To my family and friends, who have stood by me through this incredible journey and supported all my levels of craziness as I find new and exciting ways to live fit.

Sandi's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence And The Machine
  2. "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People
  3. "Not Afraid" by Eminem
  4. "Love On Top" by Beyonce
  5. "Young Forever" by Jay-Z

Start Your Own Transformation Today


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Have you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle of by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?

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Comments

Showing 1 - 25 of 31 Comments

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gainmuscle1961

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gainmuscle1961

You look really great and nowhere near 55! I am also trying to transform my body (at 52) and after reading this and seeing that it is possible to get in good shape, and stay in shape after 50, it gives me renewed hope.

Jun 13, 2013 5:18pm | report
 
sandih2

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sandih2

There is absolutely NO reason you can't and you already show drive and determination, so keep going!

Jun 14, 2013 5:41pm | report
sandih2

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sandih2

TY to my friends here on BB for being so supportive! One side note on my diet plan, the quiona was an error (it should read caluiflower-rice). Enjoy the story

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Jun 13, 2013 5:46pm | report
 
Samsdaddy0525

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Samsdaddy0525

Great job Sandi! You are proof vigorous exercise, especially weight training, is the true fountain of youth!

Jun 14, 2013 6:25am | report
 
krithi

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krithi

Wow truly inspiring!! Congrats!!

Jun 14, 2013 7:33am | report
 
levar01

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levar01

amazing job! cougar indeed.

Jun 14, 2013 7:36am | report
 
flyover40

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flyover40

Great article. Congrats on all your success!

Jun 14, 2013 7:56am | report
 
ChileanPT

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ChileanPT

55 years old, are you sure?. Congratulations. A big kiss from Chile. Keep going!

Jun 14, 2013 10:05am | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 209.22 lbs
  • bf: 30.0%
DiLiz7

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DiLiz7

:d INSPIRATIONAL, HOPE TO TRANSFOR THE SAME MYSELF.. HAVE A TON OF QUESTIONS IF YOU EVER HAVE THE TIME TO CHAT. I WAS 250LBS MY SELF AND AM DOWN TO 183LBS

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Jun 14, 2013 10:10am | report
 
sandih2

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sandih2

Way to go and keep up the good work DiLiz7 :)

Jun 14, 2013 5:42pm | report
markjhouse

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markjhouse

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!! There is NO WAY you're 55. Holy %$#...you made an amazing transformation and should be very proud of yourself. Bury those "voices in your head" from the days you bullied deep in the ground now young lady! You are HOT!!!! Way to go and such an inspiration! Keep going forward and living the healthy lifestyle.

Jun 14, 2013 10:18am | report
 
sandih2

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sandih2

Thank you Mark for the post :)

Jun 14, 2013 5:42pm | report
Nasu

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Nasu

Great decision to change your life the way you did! congrats for the hard work you've put into it! If only half the teens nowadays would look and feel as great as you do, the world would be a tad bit of a better place :)
Keep on doing what you're doing!

Jun 14, 2013 10:26am | report
 
Alicia1986

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Alicia1986

Great job, Sandi! You look awesome!!!!

Jun 14, 2013 11:24am | report
 
sandih2

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sandih2

Thanks Alicia you look pretty amazing yourself!

Jun 14, 2013 5:43pm | report
Mr.Tj

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Mr.Tj

very well done...

Jun 14, 2013 12:01pm | report
 
iVika

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iVika

You are really fantastic! Thank you for your story

Jun 14, 2013 1:27pm | report
 
sandih2

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sandih2

You are welcome and glad you enjoyed it

Jun 14, 2013 5:43pm | report
mmiltonp

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mmiltonp

great Job and incredible determination!!! you deserve the praise!

Jun 14, 2013 1:46pm | report
 
sandih2

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sandih2

Thank you very much!

Jun 14, 2013 5:43pm | report
sassyonyx

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sassyonyx

It is wonderful to see women my age committed to themselves and to fitness. Very inspirational!

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Jun 16, 2013 1:25pm | report
 
lilkk

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lilkk

Awesome! Very inspiring Sandi! Thanks for your story!

Jun 16, 2013 8:28pm | report
 
mkk666

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mkk666

Wow women....What an inspiration. I am going to post my story soon..yeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Its so doable and you are a living proof of that

Jun 20, 2013 3:27am | report
 
mkk666

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mkk666

Oh and you are beautiful and radiant.keep it up

Jun 20, 2013 3:28am | report
 
001DMC

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001DMC

Great job. And I see you work your legs a lot. Very good to see. Take care.

Jul 15, 2013 3:18am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 31 Comments

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