Body Transformation: Valerie Pappas Busted Weight-Loss Barriers

Valerie Pappas wanted a bikini body but lacked the tools to make her dream a reality. See how the iron helped her lose 19 percent body fat and build sexy curves!

Why I decided to transform

I always admired women with muscle, read fitness magazines, and wanted a fitness model body. I dieted in my 20s and occasionally hit the gym but felt uncomfortable in the weight room, so I settled for cardio machines which never delivered the results I wanted.

As my 30s approached, I became more consistent with my diet and health but fell short of any real changes due to weekend eating and drinking binges with friends.

How I accomplished my goals

Coming off a stress-filled year, I decided to redirect my stress toward something positive and get serious about fitness. In August 2012, I was introduced to nutrition and fitness coach Joan Dandeneau, a figure competitor with experience helping people transform.

I decided to chase my dreams and compete in a bikini competition. I started slow and focused on making small changes to my diet. I also started full-body circuits to get active. I stayed at a healthy pace with good work/life balance and ate one cheat meal per week. I removed the emotion associated with comfort food and learned to view food as fuel. This approach helped me sail through the holidays and maintain a 10-pound weight loss.

Before /// 148 lbs
After /// 121 lbs
AGE 34 / HEIGHT 5'3" / BODY FAT 34%
AGE 35 / HEIGHT 5'3" / BODY FAT 15%
Post To Fitboard

As the holidays passed and the show approached, I got serious with my workouts and increased the intensity. I ate 5-6 small meals per day and stayed focused on the goal and changes to my body. I spent nine months working hard in the gym to clean up my diet.

In May 2013, I competed at the Emerald Cup and had a great experience. The show was icing on the cake. The real competition was the journey leading up to the show. The preparation in the kitchen and the sacrifices in my personal life were worth it.

There were moments of doubt, but the feeling of accomplishment made every moment of doubt worth it. It was an incredible journey that I plan to repeat in 2014.

Apply Here To Be A Transformation Of The Week!

Apply Here To Be A Transformation
Of The Week! 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

Diet plan that guided my transformation

Meal 1
Meal 2: Pre-workout
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5

Training regimen that kept me on track

I do 60-90 minutes of cardio six days per week.

Day 1: Chest/Arms/Glutes
Day 2: Glutes/Hams/60 min. Cardio (Intervals)
Day 3: Full Body
Day 4: Shoulders/Back/Glutes
Day 5: Back/Glutes
Day 6: Legs
Day 7: Rest

What aspect challenged me the most

"Let go of fear that holds you back. Be consistent and create small habits each day."

The moments when the scale didn't move caused mental blocks to pop into my mind that make me feel deprived, but it was worth it. I worked through every challenge that came at me with patience.

My future fitness plans

I'm not sure where this journey will take me. I'm open to possibilities and would love to be part of the fitness world to share my story and tips. I'm training for the 2014 Emerald Cup and hope to inspire others to go after their wildest fitness dreams.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

Let go of fear that holds you back. Be consistent and create small habits each day. Track your progress, successes, and setbacks, and one day you'll look back and smile. Most importantly, trust the process. There will be ups and downs, but trust in the end goal.

How helped me reach my goals

I cannot stress the power of enough to reach your fitness goals. I've used BodySpace for several years for motivation.

I always got answers from It's my one-stop shop for all of my fitness needs.

Valerie's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Started From The Bottom" by Drake
  2. "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys
  3. "Work Out" by J Cole
  4. "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
  5. "Just A Little Bit" by 50 Cent

Recommended For You

Body Transformation: Kylie Burnside Took A Blow Torch To Body Fat!

When half marathons and steady-state cardio failed to deliver results, Kylie turned to weightlifting and competitions. See how her fitness transition torched unwanted body fat!

Body Transformation: Jen Wade Turned Body Fat Into Hard Muscle!

Jen was fooled by misleading food packaging and steadily added weight for several years. At age 31, she made a stand, lost 11 percent body fat, and competed. You can too!

Body Transformation: Melody Decena Wyatt Went From Baby Body To Hard Body!

Melody discovered the effectiveness of heavy lifting after giving birth to her daughter. See how she torched her baby fat and dominated her first competition in a ripped body!