I started my journey in 2008 after having my daughter and falling into the worst shape of my life. Before I was a mother, I lived an unhealthy lifestyle. At the time, I didn't realize how bad it was, but I was nearly 30 pounds overweight before pregnancy. During my pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds, which made me 200 pounds. I was miserable; a shell of a person with no idea who I was. After having my daughter, I started going to the gym with my boyfriend, Steve, but my diet was still way off. I lost most of the baby weight, but my progress stalled and I slacked off.
Within a year, I joined BodySpace and finally found the motivation needed to reach my initial goal to drop the baby weight and tone up. I set my sights on competing, but the fear of failure always held me back. I wanted to compete, but I refused to step onstage without looking my best. I'm my worst critic, but I have a rare ability to look at myself objectively, which I needed to compete in figure.
I took my time, followed my plan from Fitness Poynters to a T, and watched my body take shape. In the summer of 2012, Steve and I decided to enter our first competition together. It was brutal, but I made it through and took my physique to a level I never thought possible. I won first place in my class and Steve took fourth in his. Both of us brought home a trophy.
My passion emerged when I started seeing results. I love fitness because it gave me a life I never dreamed I would have. I never had the confidence to think I could do something great or help people change their lives. Now I do that every day. My daughter is learning at a young age what it means to be healthy so she won't have the same struggles I did growing up. My family and friends have benefited from my knowledge and I plan to continue sharing my wisdom with as many people as I can.
What motivates me is seeing the changes I continue to make. I've lived this lifestyle for more than four years and I'm still just as motivated today as when I first started. I gain motivation from Team Poynter members and when I see before and after pictures of others who transform. I'm also motivated by figure competitors, both professional and amateur.
I went to BodySpace and checked out the awesome members who post daily about workouts and transformations. Steve always inspires me because he works hard and never falters in his commitment to this lifestyle. I also talk to fellow competitors and follow their progress.
I initially plan to learn how to maintain a lean physique year round so I can keep my muscle mass. I want to start my prep 10-12 weeks before show time from now on (I started 13 weeks out last time) and do more local shows to get comfortable onstage. I want to earn my pro card, compete in professional shows, and get sponsored by a supplement company.
The most important fitness tip is to stay consistent. Eat clean and work out hard no matter what. But most importantly, you have to do it without faltering. Take it one day at a time.
My favorite fitness competitor is Nicole Wilkins. Following her helped me more than anything. We have similar physiques and listening to her advice helped me learn to listen to my body. She didn't let the glare of the spotlight change her. She's still down to earth and willing to help.
Bodybuilding.com is where I get my supplements, learn about new supplements, and read reviews from BodySpace members on what's best. BodySpace has been a major factor to help me reach my goals. I get so much support from other members who are always there for me. I'm so glad I was introduced to Bodybuilding.com. Being added as an inspiration to many members helps me to continue pushing myself in the gym. Knowing that people look at my transformation is amazing.
Thanks: I would like to thank Fitness Poynters and Steve for the guidance and for providing my meal plans and workouts.
Photo credit: JC Norton