Body Transformation: From Meh To Mega Ripped

Laura was tired of her life's goals taking a backseat to her body image so she did something about it. Check out Laura's fitness plan!

Vital Stats

Name: Laura Zalud
Email: ZLifePT@gmail.com
Bodyspace: LAZ3052

Laura Zalud Laura Zalud

Before:

Age:
19
Height:
5'5"
Weight:
215 lbs
Body Fat:
58%

After:

Age:
24
Height:
5'5"
Weight:
148 lbs
Body Fat:
20%

Why I Got Started

I was 19-years old and had no idea what it was to love myself. There was not ever a day that passed by that I wasn't uncomfortable in my own skin. I grew up in an Italian family where food is huge part of the culture - we ate for every occasion and who knew what a portion of anything was? Who really cared? Food was for celebration and comfort and boredom. But I just got to a point where I was done.

I went to my second choice college for a few reasons, one of which was my weight. How was I supposed to go to my first choice school in Miami looking the way I did? Then it clicked mid-year, I was making decisions for my life based on the fact that I was fat and knew I wouldn't be comfortable or accepted.

I realized that year that my body was the one thing in life I had total control over and had the power and ability to manipulate on a daily basis. I decided I didn't want to live my life that way, I wanted to be comfortable, I wanted to love myself and live my life on my terms.

The following summer when I arrived home from school, I just started moving 150 mph towards being the person I knew I could. I started attending the gym with my brother and learning things he would tell me, I started reading everything and anything I could get my hands on, and I drastically changed my diet from one day to the next. The rest is pretty much history …

How I Did It

One of the most important factors in going through a lifestyle change and transformation like I did was the support of others who I was surrounded with on a daily basis - my family and friends. My brother was always athletic, although overweight himself, and he was the first and best supporter I had.

I told him that I wanted to change and from that day forward he was in the gym with me teaching me exercises and proper form. He attended the gym with me for a few weeks until I got the swing of things and then I had my own routine that I continued to work with that summer where I lost 60 pounds in three months.

My family and friends were absolutely the best support I could have asked for. My friends even understood what I was trying to do and worked with me in terms of putting me in situations that would deviate me from my goals for example in terms of restaurants we would eat at and even the choices they chose.

Aside from my external support, I needed to find the internal strength and motivation to suit up and show up every day. I found bodies I admired or clothes I liked but would never wear unless I lost the weight, I found motivational books and quotes, whatever worked. I pulled motivation from everywhere.

I decided as with life, the journey of changing your lifestyle is a battle, but it is a battle between who you want and know you can be, and yourself - so the decision you need to make, as I did, was who you are going to let win?

The journey of changing your lifestyle is a battle, but it is a battle between who you want and know you can be.

Supplements

When I first started to get into this I honestly didn't take many supplements, I didn't know much about them. However, I did take a couple things.

Morning:
Twice Daily (various times):

Today, my supplementation is different, as I know a bit more about it all.

Morning & Afternoon:
Evening:

Diet

When I first started this process again, I was unaware of what was 100% right, but I knew what I was doing before was 100% wrong and anything at this point was better than what I was doing.

I started reading everything and buying books and trying to figure it out because I knew eating right was the only way I would lose the weight I wanted successfully without having loose, unhealthy skin. I knew I needed proteins and grains and fruits and veggies.

I took out red meat except maybe once a week, no soda, no candy, no heavy carbohydrates late at night. I also made it a point to eat half of what I used to. I brought in more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like chicken, tuna, and turkey, and way way way more water!

Unfortunately a lot of what I went through then was not written down. I was just aiming for a goal, not really detailing how I was getting there!

As far as today goes, again, knowledge is power so I know a lot more about what I am doing. I play around with my diet a lot to see how my body responds to various changes I make. Today I try to keep a pretty simple diet - clean, and too most boring!

Here is an example of what one of my days might look like:

Meal 1:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6: Before Bed

I drink at least a gallon to a gallon and a half of water a day. Obviously my diet is not the same EVERYDAY but I try to stick with this general meal plan or use it as my base.

My second and fourth meals sometimes vary with things like Greek yogurt and granola or say an apple with a handful of almonds.

Training

As I mentioned before a lot of what I used to do I did not detail. I did neglect certain areas when I first started training such as my core and chest.

I did not realize the importance until I started to incur many back injuries. My training today has changed a lot.

Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Tris/Abs

Warm Up:

Working Sets:

Cardio:

Day 2: Back/Core

Warm Up:

Working Sets:

Cardio:

Day 3: Abs/Cardio

Cardio:

Day 4: Biceps/Triceps/Abs

Warm Up:

Working Sets:

Cardio:

Day 5: Legs/Core

Warm Up:

Working Sets:

Cardio:

Day 6: Abs/Cardio

Same as Wednesday

Day 7: Rest

Sometime I use this day as a touch-up and 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.

Everyday I make it a point to stretch after my workouts. I stretch additionally at night after my shower.

Suggestions for Others

Do not give up! I found out along the way how important motivation is - find it wherever you can! Ask questions, they are never dumb or stupid! Seek out knowledge through people or reading or on the internet. And ways to hold yourself accountable such as writing in a food log and keeping a workout journal.

If you are unsure how to do something ASK - it is not worth an injury! Listen to your body! Work smarter - not harder! Overall, find what works for you. What works for me will not work for everyone else.

Drink a lot of water! Do not get discouraged because you do not reach your goals as quickly as you may like or because you encounter a few speed bumps - it all makes us stronger. Push through the last reps, even though they suck those are the ones that count the most! Always think 5 more! Push beyond your comfort thresholds, be uncomfortable - it always has a way of making us grow.

Most of all, even if no one else does - Believe in yourself!

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