100 1 25 25 bodybuilding.com
Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:

Body Transformation: Preparing To Sail

Alaina lost 86 pounds and 32 percent body fat in one year while battling injury, medical conditions, and a cruise line wedding party. She resisted regression and stood firm on her fitness pledge!
Name: Alaina Burger
Email: Alaina.burger@hotmail.com

Alaina Burger Alaina Burger
AGE 26
HEIGHT
5'4 1/2"
WEIGHT
206 lbs
BODY FAT
44%
AGE 27
HEIGHT
5'4 1/2"
WEIGHT
120 lbs
BODY FAT
12%

Why I Decided to Transform

I played sports growing up and struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I went through super healthy periods with extreme motivation followed by periods of junk food and partying. I always seemed to sabotage myself and can't remember a time when I was comfortable with my body.

I hit my rock bottom after suffering two herniated discs during hockey while I was in college studying to be a personal trainer. I wanted to be fit and healthy for good and surround myself with fitness and positivity. Bedridden and in extreme pain from my injury, I relied on my roommate, who wasn't health conscious, for meals. I quickly went from 175 to a whopping 206 pounds in no time. I was devastated, depressed, and had no idea what to do.

I was given a great opportunity to become a personal trainer despite my appearance by a fitness manager who was extremely supportive. For the next year, I rehabbed my back injury and slowly got back into exercising and eating healthy, but the weight just wouldn't come off. I loved being a trainer and my clients were fantastic, but I felt like a failure because they got better results than their trainer. I was losing hope, motivation, and becoming depressed. I did everything right, but saw no results.

My fitness manager suggested I see my family doctor. After consulting with my doctor, she sent me to a hormone specialist who diagnosed me with hypothyroidism.

How I Accomplished My Goals

After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I had new hope. Maybe I was doing everything right. I continued eating clean and exercising and the body fat finally started coming off. After four months of hard work, I dropped 35 pounds before I hit a plateau. I ran into an old friend at the gym and my jaw dropped. She was training with an IFBB pro for a figure competition and looked amazing. Something clicked inside me and I decided to compete. I got her trainer's information and called that night.

My life changed the day I met with IFBB figure pro Kim Tilden-McPhail. With her knowledge, support, motivation, and dedication toward my goal, I hit the road running. All I needed was someone who believed in me and held me accountable. Kim was completely honest with me every step of the way, which is exactly what I needed.

Kim changed my workouts and meal plans while I worked my butt off in the gym—literally. She put me through amazing workouts at her club (Are You Game Conditioning Club), which gave me an edge against the competition. Kim provided tips for food prep, supplementation, and helped me plan meals and workouts around my work schedule. Despite my background in personal training, I learned many valuable lessons from her.

Shortly after starting my 12-week show prep, I threw my lower back out again and saw my dreams of stepping onstage slowly disappear. Kim recommended I see an osteopath, who got me back in the game after only two weeks. Kim worked with my osteopath to change my workouts and keep me on schedule for my show. That wasn't the only obstacle I faced during show prep. Nine weeks out from the show, a friend was getting married on a cruise. I was going to be away from home on a cruise ship surrounded by alcohol and food for nine days. I was able to sit down with Kim and make a plan of action.

Half of my suitcase was filled with supplements, protein powder, canned tuna, and exercise gear. I made a quick run to the grocery store before boarding the ship to grab staples like peanut butter, oatmeal, and rice cakes. The cruise ship had a decent gym onboard, so I woke up early to get my hour of cardio in before breakfast. In the evening, I snuck off while everyone was at the bar to lift for an hour before dinner. I managed to hit the gym twice per day and stick to my meal plan on the cruise. I had my eye on the prize and didn't want to let myself down or ruin all the hard work I put in.

I weighed 167 pounds when I started training with Kim, and 11 months later I stepped onstage at 120 pounds for my first figure competition. I remember telling myself before the show that no matter my placing, I already won. Beyond my wildest dreams, I won first place and qualified for provincials. I was so nervous, but I was hooked the moment I stepped onstage. Two weeks later, I competed at provincials and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I now believe in myself and know I can do anything I put my mind to.

Supplements That Helped Me Through the Journey
With Meal 1
With Meal 2
With Meal 3
Pre-workout
Intra-workout
Post-workout
Before Bed
Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation

This was my meal plan during my major weight loss. Kim changed my foods based on the changes my body made roughly every 4-5 weeks. You have to find the foods and macronutrient combinations that work best for you.

It might take time, but that's why food journals come in handy. I drink 4-5 liters of water and 1 medium coffee black per day.

Meal 1
Meal 3
Pre-workout
Post-workout
Meal 4
Meal 5
Training Regimen That Kept Me on Track

I stick to a five-day full-body split with one leg conditioning day and one rest day. Kim changed my workouts up every 4-5 weeks based on how I looked and the changes in my body.

Day 1: Legs/cardio/abs
Day 2: Back/cardio/abs
Day 3: Shoulders
Day 4: Chest/cardio
Day 5: Arms/cardio/abs
Day 6: Leg Conditioning

Done at Are You Game Conditioning Club. It's always different and pushes me past my limits.

Days 7 & 8: Rest

What Aspect Challenged Me the Most

At first, the hardest part was trying to eat all the food in my meal plan. I always felt full. As I grew used to eating my meals, the biggest challenge became food prep. I don't like to cook or do dishes, so I found it easier to pick two days per week and spend 1-2 hours cooking and doing dishes.

It was a constant battle to break my habits of late-night snacking and chocolate cravings. I used motivational pictures to keep my goal in focus at all times.

My Future Fitness Plans

I'm in my first off-season now and still training with Kim. After dropping 86 pounds in a year, my body fights me after shows. I suffer from adrenal fatigue and high cortisol levels, which resulted in gaining back 30 pounds. I'm a fighter and refuse to give up my dream of going to nationals.

I've been working with Kim and a naturopath to bring my body back into balance and to successfully reduce my cortisol levels so I can start training hard again. I look forward to competing next season and will remain active and eating clean.

I want to be a role model and inspire people who want to change their lives. Being a personal trainer again is an ongoing goal.

Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers
  • Make a plan of action.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who have similar interests.
  • Be prepared for some people to not be supportive. Sometimes you have to leave people behind to move forward.
  • Think positive thoughts.
  • Take progress pictures; they show better progress than the scale.
  • Schedule your workouts and food preparation like meetings.
  • If you don't have the knowledge to do it alone, don't. Hire a trainer and use Bodybuilding.com.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals

Bodybuilding.com is full of amazing articles on supplements, exercise, and nutrition. Bodybuilding.com always posts new articles to keep my fitness knowledge fresh. The convenience of ordering supplements online saves me tons of time and money. I find BodySpace to be motivational, encouraging, and positive.

Thanks
  • To my trainer and great friend, Kim Tilden-McPhail.
  • To my mom, dad, sister, grandma, and best friends.
  • To the supportive people at work.
  • To my gym family, Kim's Krew, and AreYouGame members.

Photo credit:
William Ainsley Photography, Adam Belnap

Stage photos:
Liana Louzon

Start Your Own Transformation Today

You Could Be Our Next Transformation Of The Week


Male
Male Transformations

No longer content to sit on the sidelines of life, these guys have gone from wimp to pimp!
Female
Female Transformations

Done with giving excuses, these ladies have given themselves the bodies they always wanted!

Teen
Teen Transformations

These amazing teenagers have made changes in their lives that most adults only dream about!
Over 40
Over 40 Transformations

Age is no excuse for these over-40 women & men who have decided to feel and look young again!


Bookmark and Share

Related Articles

About The Author

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

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
8.8

Out of 10
Excellent
8 Ratings

44

Comments

Showing 1 - 25 of 44 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
maryjobar

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
maryjobar

Wow! This is one of the most inspirational stories I have ever read. You are amazing!

Feb 1, 2013 5:46pm | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

thank-you! I am humbled that I can inspire people to change their lives!

Feb 6, 2013 5:36pm | report
XTremeSteelX

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
XTremeSteelX

Incredible! Talk about NO EXCUSES! And Holding yourself accountable! I also suffer from the late night cravings and staying on your meal plan! Its really hard when you first start out, but with inspiration from people like Alaina here, i Know i can do it as long as I fight hard! Thank you~ Your hard work and sacrifice motivates the rest of us to go hard~! You have people the very images you aspired too! I Cant wait to be the same way myself~

Article Rated:
Feb 1, 2013 8:06pm | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

keep it up girl and thanks :)

Feb 6, 2013 5:35pm | report
robj841

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
robj841

amazing!!!

Feb 1, 2013 9:08pm | report
GlassMoon

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
GlassMoon

oh heavenly blessed beauty

Feb 2, 2013 8:40am | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

:) thanks

Feb 6, 2013 5:36pm | report
PDeV1

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
PDeV1

Nice job ! really sick !

Feb 2, 2013 11:30am | report
Shifisu

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Shifisu

Amazing transformation!! Well done and good luck with your future plans!

Feb 2, 2013 4:31pm | report
inkedblonde

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
inkedblonde

Amazing. This just proves I can do it x

Article Rated:
Feb 2, 2013 5:37pm | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

yes you can!!! consistency and determination!!! Keep up the hard work and it will pay off

Feb 6, 2013 5:37pm | report
AJizziFoshizzi

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AJizziFoshizzi

oh my goodness! hard work is attractive! so are you

Feb 2, 2013 6:14pm | report
soccerdad5

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
soccerdad5

Incredible transformation! Truly inspirational

Feb 2, 2013 6:25pm | report
chiefgreybeard

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
chiefgreybeard

Wow! Elaina even looks younger. A lot younger!

Feb 2, 2013 7:11pm | report
sw8cheeks67

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
sw8cheeks67

An inspirational story that I can relate to. Thank you for sharing.

Feb 2, 2013 7:58pm | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

thanks and good luck!!

Feb 6, 2013 5:38pm | report
J0anne

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
J0anne

Amazing story...just shows what hard work and determination can do. This story makes me believe i can reach my goal too..Thanks for sharing!!

Feb 3, 2013 2:30am | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

im glad I could help you believe because it is possible just put in the work! keep it up and good luck!

Feb 6, 2013 5:38pm | report
adutchgirl

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
adutchgirl

Gorgeous physique, amazing transformation!

Feb 3, 2013 8:37am | report
dvanbeneden

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
dvanbeneden

This is an amazing transformation!!! Very motivating!!! Your before and after pics are just amazing!!!

Feb 3, 2013 11:49am | report
AraKafafian

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AraKafafian

respect

Feb 3, 2013 2:41pm | report
Steveo5425

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Steveo5425

Wow! 1 year?!?! Awesome job and transformation!

Feb 3, 2013 10:13pm | report
cubstang14

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
cubstang14

Super sexy and fit!! Nothin better

Feb 3, 2013 10:14pm | report
AlainaLee

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
AlainaLee

thanks hun

Feb 6, 2013 5:39pm | report
princessalarlar

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
princessalarlar

Great job! Very inspirational, especially accomplishing that huge of a goal in one year!

Feb 4, 2013 5:13am | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 44 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com