| AGE 26
WEIGHT 147 lbs
BODY FAT 22%
| AGE 28
WEIGHT 124 lbs
BODY FAT 9%
I struggled with weight issues growing up and was the "bigger" kid in grade school. In high school, I came into my body, but became self-conscious of my appearance. At age 16, I started abusing diuretics, which eventually lead to anorexia and bulimia. I was in a horrible battle with bulimia for 10 years. My lowest weight was 108 pounds.
I became sick mentally and physically and spent years hiding it. Finally, in the fall of 2010, I informed my fiancé about my eating disorder. With his support, we got help from a therapist and eventually a personal trainer who specialized in competition diets/training and gained 40 pounds. My body wasn't used to digesting food or using food as fuel, so I gained quickly.
In the summer of 2011, I did a 12-week program with my trainer. I learned proper dieting and how to work out correctly. This is when I got the fitness bug. I loved how I looked and felt. For once, I felt in control of my life and body.
Later that year, I decided to diet for the 2012 spring/summer competition season. In 2012, I competed in my first bikini competition and the experience changed my life.
The biggest factor to accomplish my goals was that I finally felt normal. I spent years abusing my body and was scared of food. I had no clue how to eat. Being able to control this was a new experience that made me feel incredible. Another tool that worked well and keeps me on track is progress photos. I take progress photos every four weeks to see where I'm developing and what areas need more focus. It can be difficult to see the changes until they're in front of you.
I always prepare my meals in advance and eat 6-7 meals per day. If I'm going out of town, the meals come too. I couldn't reach my goals without proper preparation. There are times I want to pig out; old habits and thoughts come back. This is the hardest part. When this happens, I take time to look through my progress pictures to see myself at my worse and best. I see the difference and understand what I was going through at that time. Each day that passes is a victory. I fell off many times, but I became stronger.
I shared my story with many people and had the opportunity to help others in the same situation I was in. It's an incredible feeling to know that something so positive can come out of such a dark place.
Diet and proper nutrition has been the most important part of my physical transformation. During the course of my journey, my diet changed depending on how close I am to a show and what my goals are.
I work with an excellent prep coach, John Schaeffer (owner of FTW Training in Nixa, Missouri). He creates my diets and makes necessary changes. Investing in a credible and knowledgeable prep coach is the most valuable thing you can do to better your health.
I eat 6-7 meals per day and prep my food on Sunday so it's easier throughout the week.
In addition to my nutrition, John Schaeffer also designs my workouts. I made huge improvements to my physique by making small changes in how I lift and what areas I focus on.
The most challenging part is finding a good balance between working out, dieting, and having a life outside of competition mode. I stay on track for the most part, but allow myself cheat meals. I still have the old mentality and want to pig out on cheat meals. This is something I learned to concentrate on and control so I don't fall into bad habits again.
I will continue competing in bikini. I want to obtain my pro card and go to school for personal training. I'd like to work with individuals who suffer from eating disorders and help them find a new avenue through fitness.
- It's cliché, but you can do anything you set your mind to.
- Invest in a prep coach with proven results who is willing to invest time in you.
- Take progress photos and post them where you can see them everyday.
- Journal your thoughts, feelings, and successes.
- Surround yourself with inspiring people.
- Share your journey and allow people to support your goals.
Jamie Eason is the first person I think about when I see "Bodybuilding.com." She's the first person I saw and studied who completely inspired me physically and mentally. I started following her BodySpace account and was completely intrigued. I recommend everyone download the app on your phone for instant access to workouts. This helps when I'm in the gym looking for a new workout.
- "Professor Green" by Monster ft. Example
- "Seven Nation Army Remix" by The Glitch Mob
- "Brooklyn Go Hard" by Jay-Z
- "Bad Wings" by The Glitch Mob
- "President Carter" by Lil Wayne