In September 1996, at the age of 41, Sherrie Wilson saw a picture of a woman taken at a BCABBA body building competition. "I wanted to know from her then if she thought I had the genetics to do such a thing at a future point in my life."
Wanting to reshape, tone and tighten her 5-foot-7" frame, Sherrie started at the beginning. "I was 245 pounds and wearing a very tight 24 clothing size. My bust size was a 44DD, my waist was approximately 48 inches and my hips probably measured around 60 inches."
Competing wasn't even a consideration. "When I first started weight training, I never once imagined I would ever compete in bodybuilding. I was actually suicidal because of my appearance and low self-esteem. I believe, in hindsight, that I was also entering mid-life crisis and suffering from the 'empty nest syndrome.'"
Twelve months later, Sherrie gained control of her body, losing 105 pounds! With the advice from that personal trainer she met in the picture, she permanently changed her eating habits, and exercised regularly. She didn't wait for another New Year's resolution to come around, only to be broken like the rest. Sherrie took control and has never looked back.
Having three sons, ages 26, 25 and 22, has been an exciting journey. What do they think of their NEW MOM? "Particularly my youngest son ... is so proud he hardly stops showing my pictures to his friends. He constantly monitors my progress and tells me how proud of me he is. He brags about how much younger I look now than before, and often tells young girls his own age that they have no excuse for not being in shape - if his mom can do it at her age, they can, too!"
Approximately three years after Sherrie reprogrammed her appetite for food and exercise, she inspired us all from stage in her first bodybuilding contest. Here is "mom's" impressive resume.
Sherrie's Competition History:
Western Canadian Natural Bodybuilding Championships, Surrey, BC. Third Place, Women's Heavyweights (Open Division). Drug-tested contest.
B.C.A.B.B.A. Muscle Mania, Vancouver, BC. First place, Women's Heavyweights; first place, Women's Masters.
August 12, 2000:
B.C.A.B.B.A. British Columbia Provincials, Vancouver, BC. First place, Women's Heavyweights.
September 2, 2000:
I.F.B.B. Canadian National Bodybuilding Championships, Calgary, AB. Third place, Women's Masters (out of 7 competitors).
With all Sherrie learned, she has something to share with women who think they are too old to get into shape and blame their age and body type for their appearance.
"Women have been misled to believe such inaccurate information. I believe no one enjoys eating more than I do, and if I can achieve the excessive/obsessive goals I have at my age, then anyone else can achieve even 25 percent of what I have done, which would be of tremendous benefit to the balance of their lives, both physically and emotionally from a perspective of self-esteem!"
Even through "negative" experiences in the course of training, Sherrie feels extremely fortunate and has managed to progress through those experiences and take something positive away.
"I have learned through a couple of trainers what never to say to a client in the course of personal training. Psychology comes seriously into play when we receive or give personal training, and can either set us (or our clients if we are personal trainers) up for an emotional set back in their training."
Knowing that she wasn't completely satisfied, Sherrie moved on and found the right program, surpassing the original goals she set for herself.
If Sherrie had not pursued bodybuilding as a hobby, she would still be working out to stay in shape, and working in the legal field for about 60 hours per week at a desk. Talk about being a hard worker!
Sherrie's favorite exercises include the Arnold Presses (for delts) and leg press (in various foot positions). As for food, her favorite protein-based food in the off-season includes shrimp and lobster, but when it comes to leaning out and sticking with "the program," pre-competition protein is turkey breast. Her favorite vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli and yams.
A woman's palate (and a man's, because they're only human too) is never 100 percent satisfied without dessert, and Sherri loves key lime pie, closely followed by carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting.
Even though New Years has just flown by and people are making the ever-popular decision to join a gym, Sherrie is thrilled beyond her wildest imagination. Attempting - and achieving - improvement and change is always one of her goals during the course of each year. With shows like Oprah, and magazines such as Oxygen, Shape, MuscleMag and Flex, Sherrie would like to be seen as an inspiration to others. Oprah, are you listening?
"This is my goal for the balance of my life. I have found my passion and my life purpose, and if I live to be 100 years of age - that is precisely what I intend to do with the remainder of my years!"
With such dedication to fitness, Sherrie may be flexing on stage for all of us in ten years. "If my body, mind and soul permits me to do so, I will continue to compete on stage, because it is so exhilarating, rewarding and such fun!"
"When preparing for my last two competitions, I was extremely, 100 percent strict the entire 12 weeks. In the future, I will continue being extremely 100 percent strict for the 12-week pre-contest diet. If my fitness goals are on track or ahead of schedule, I would permit myself a cheat day, but likely no more than twice over a 12-week period. To receive that reward, I would definitely have to be within my goal structure for the time from 12 weeks to the contest date."
Sherrie's Message To You:
"Fitness is a lifestyle and there's no such thing as a diet. Diets are 4-letter words and they only fail. Eating properly 5-6 times per day is a lifestyle and is what produces success, especially when combined with weight-resistance training and cardiovascular training. Eating properly does not mean you never have your favorite desserts and foods."
Anyone who would like to reach Sherrie can email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org.