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Body Transformation: Muscle Beats Skinny Fat Every Time!

Anna wasn’t classified as anorexic, but she was borderline. It took a complete change of thinking for her to survey the damage, grab some iron, and revamp her physique!
Name: Anna Reed
Email: annareed07@gmail.com
BodySpace: annareed07

Anna Reed Anna Reed
AGE 19
HEIGHT
5'8"
WEIGHT
150 lbs
BODY FAT
30%
AGE 27
HEIGHT
5'8"
WEIGHT
128 lbs
BODY FAT
12%

Post To Fitboard
Why I Decided to Transform

I struggled with being underweight and too skinny. Until a few of years ago, I was stuck in a "skinny trap" and thought the definition of health consisted of a number on the scale, eating salads, running, and having skinny legs. I was thin. It wasn't to the point of anorexia, but I teetered on the edge. I was constantly exhausted and saw weightlifting as something only for men and women who wanted to be massive like men. I wanted nothing to do with it.

I struggled to gain weight in my teens due to sad circumstances and saw myself as the ugliest person imaginable. When I went to college in August 2003, I weighed less than 100 pounds. Because of my work and class schedule, the only cafeteria I had time to eat at served fried chicken, pizza, and burgers, so I gained nearly 50 pounds by the end of my first semester.

I struggled to get my weight under control for the next three years. During the first semester of my senior year, I took a physical education class called Physical Fitness where I ran and lifted weights to pass the class. I also enrolled in a kayaking course and got in decent shape. I kept my weight at a reasonable number until graduation, but didn't maintain my muscle mass after the classes ended.

I got married a few months after graduating college and was pregnant not long after. Throughout my first pregnancy, I ate normal and went on walks sparingly, but that was the extent of my physical activity. By the time I delivered, I gained 35 pounds, which was an acceptable amount. The weight came off within a few months, but I went right back into my "skinny" process until I weighed 110-115 pounds, which at 5-foot-8 was far from ideal.

Again, I was skinny and had no energy. I joined the local volunteer fire department where I stayed until we transferred to Indiana in 2010. The department training was good and I figured that was enough to stay in shape. When we moved to Indiana, I got a membership at the gym where I worked and begrudgingly decided to try weightlifting. I kept with low weights and high reps so I didn't bulk up. It was intimidating to say the least.

Shortly after moving, I got pregnant for the second time, but was determined to stick with my workouts. I listened to my body and doctor throughout. I worked out 5-6 days per week throughout the pregnancy, including the day I went into labor. I cannot describe how vast the difference was between pregnancies. I gained the same amount of weight both times, but had far more muscle when the baby weight came off nine weeks after the second delivery. I had energy to spare despite having two kids to care for and other responsibilities.

Helping people has always been second nature to me and I desperately wanted others to experience the same success, so I tested and received my NFPT personal training certification. Health cannot be measured in pounds. It's calculated through energy and progress. There's always room for improvement. You are only limited by how much you believe in yourself and the ability to achieve your goals. It's all or nothing.

How I Accomplished My Goals

I started lifting so I could learn the moves and worked with some cardio. I cleaned up my diet and consumed 2,300 calories per day to compensate for the calories I burned while training. Every morning, I rolled out of bed barely able to move from sore muscles. I wanted to quit. I hated being watched at the gym and wanted to hide. I hated "big boy weights" (free weights) and felt out of place, but with the help of great friends, I learned to shove my headphones in, buckle down, and go no matter who stared at me.

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Bodybuilding.com honors people across all transformation categories for their hard work and dedication. Learn how our featured transformers overcame obstacles and hit their goals!
Supplements that Helped Me Through the Journey
Pre and Intra-workout
With Meal 6
Diet Plan that Guided My Transformation
Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 6
Training Regimen that Kept Me on Track

I perform the same warm-up circuit for 12-consecutive minutes before every workout that consists of:

Warm-up Circuit
Day 1: Legs/Abs/Cardio
Day 2: Chest/Triceps/Abs/Cardio
Day 3: Cardio
Day 4: Back/Biceps/Abs/Cardio
Day 5: Legs/Shoulders/Abs/Cardio
Day 6: Chest/Triceps/Abs/Cardio
Day 7: Back/Biceps/Abs/Cardio

What Aspect Challenged Me the Most

Cleaning up my diet was the most difficult part because I have a huge sweet tooth.

My Future Fitness Plans

I became a personal trainer in 2012 and a spokesmodel for a protein company. I also became the face of activelife Guide magazine and look forward to working more with Adidas after recent shoots with them. I want to connect with more people through Facebook and other social media outlets so they can see my workouts, recipes, and fitness/health tips.

Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers
  • Start small. Make your goals reasonable, but push yourself.
  • Be positive. If you believe it, you can do it.
  • Take pictures to compare down the road.
  • Don't compare yourself to others. Progress at your own pace.
  • Find a buddy to keep you accountable.
  • Hang your goals in giant print on the pantry or fridge.
  • Get a marker and write yourself positive "love notes."
  • Check yourself out. Don't be afraid to flex in the mirror.
  • Don't get comfortable. Keep moving and don't look back.
  • Scales lie.
  • Throw yourself into your goals and aspirations.
  • Four letter words are unacceptable: can't, won't, quit, etc.
  • Never quit.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals

I love recipes and workouts from Jamie Eason and Jennifer Nicole Lee. Those women are inspiring and make me push myself to be in better shape. I love following transformation stories. I read articles on supplements and diets constantly. Bodybuilding.com has always been my go-to for new exercises and routines, even ones "for guys." Someone has to show the guys up.

Anna's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Blow Me Away" by Breaking Benjamin
  2. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
  3. "Stronger" by Kanye West
  4. "This Is How A Heart Breaks" by Rob Thomas
  5. "Sugar, We're Going Down" by Fallout Boy

Start Your Own Transformation Today


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About The Author

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

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TheFitMouse

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TheFitMouse

Looking good! Great job!

May 19, 2013 8:22am | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you so much!

May 20, 2013 5:16pm | report
gotabebig

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gotabebig

some good suggestion at the end....good work done

May 20, 2013 12:24pm | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you!

May 20, 2013 5:15pm | report
Diab0lic

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Diab0lic

**** she look fine now. Also below me, dat a$$....

May 20, 2013 5:32pm | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 209.44 lbs
  • bf: 10.0%
KingJayms

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KingJayms

Great results.. Thanks for sharing your transformation, these really inspire me to continue on my transformation.. Keep up the great work. Thank you once again. =)

May 20, 2013 5:55pm | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 208.34 lbs
  • bf: 25.2%
sdarby2000

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sdarby2000

Solid work out :) What do you think about using HIIT instead of the low intensity cardio?

May 20, 2013 9:38pm | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you! HIIT is a good thing to throw in occasionally if you don't have time for a longer cardio session and have a considerable amount of fat to burn. The point of low intensity cardio is to keep your heart rate in you fat burning range which varies based on your age and is typically 70% of your maximum heart rate. A good range to stay in without figuring the exact HR number is 130-150bpm. A sustained HR higher than 150bpm depletes glycogen stores in the body and begins breaking down muscle tissue to maintain that high intensity.

May 21, 2013 9:03am | report
pirats

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pirats

You look gorgeous in every single picture here. Keep going the way you go - that's the right direction.

Article Rated:
May 21, 2013 1:42am | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you so much!

May 21, 2013 9:03am | report
Big Cat

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Big Cat

We need more stories like this !

May 21, 2013 2:49am | report
 
MichelleAntonia

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MichelleAntonia

Wonderful transformation! Congrats on all your success. Also, great choice of gym tracks. #2-5 are on my ipod as well, I will check out #1 seeing as we have similar taste :)

May 21, 2013 3:21am | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you! My music is what helps me focus. :)

May 21, 2013 9:04am | report
ramos88

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ramos88

5 sets of 20 reps of wide grip pull-ups !!!!!
Amazing job

May 21, 2013 5:44am | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you! :)

May 21, 2013 9:04am | report
ebmnurse

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ebmnurse

These workouts look tough! How long do they typically take you? And why do you do so many reps? Are you maxing out your weight at the end of each set?
Thanks for being an inspiration and stay strong! :)

May 24, 2013 12:47pm | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

They are moderately difficult. Higher reps brings your muscles to hypertrophy and develops different muscle fibers. You always adjust your weights to fit in the rep range specified so if you can't do the right number, the weight is too much. I adjust it so that my muscles are screaming from lack of oxygen by the last rep so I know the weight is just right. Thank you for the kind words. :)

May 31, 2013 3:31pm | report
chloelusher

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chloelusher

I have been skinny fat before, it is almost better to just be fat lol
This time around I will follow your advice!

Jun 6, 2013 11:24am | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Good for you. Find that healthy medium and stick with it. Even when competing, I don't go to extremes to build or lose. Hang with it!

Jun 13, 2013 11:57am | report
Transform7

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Transform7

You are a total knockout! I HATE anorexia and its evil twin bulimia! I am glad that you overcame this evil monster and looking hot while doing it.

Jun 9, 2013 8:12pm | report
 
annareed07

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annareed07

Thank you

Jun 13, 2013 11:57am | report
cheffaking

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cheffaking

My goodness. wow! Fit definitely is the new sexy. You look wonderful!

Jul 10, 2013 7:47pm | report
 
PalmettoDad

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PalmettoDad

Great transformation - excellent work! :)

Feb 3, 2014 4:45pm | report
 
polevaulterfun

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polevaulterfun

thank you so much for writing this, I've been struggling with getting my weight up and this really helped.

May 3, 2014 6:58am | report
 
tatianasha

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tatianasha

Anna you look amazing! What a transformation. Hopefully I will be able to achieve similar success with my skinny fat body. Did you go through cutting after the stage of building muscles? Did you do splits while gaining muscles?

Jun 22, 2014 3:28am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 25 Comments

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