I became a competitive cheerleader in the fourth grade and remained one for nine years. Competitive cheerleading is a huge athletic world like bodybuilding. It was very costly, but my grandparents supported me. Like most sports, cheerleading came with athletic injuries. I was lucky to only have stiff joints when cheerleading ended. I have a loose shoulder and stiff knees, but in comparison to others I'm doing great.
When I quit competitive cheer, I hit the gym more often because I was used to conditioning my body and being disciplined. In high school, going to the gym was routine. At first, I saw results and really liked it, but gradually my body reached a plateau. I reached a point in life where I gave into the notion that women "have to" do certain cardio exercises. I did lots of cardio but had a bad diet. I tried almost everything to become healthy, but I was very uneducated at the time.
Currently, I research training, nutrition, and supplementation daily. It doesn't take much time. Bodybuilding.com helped me become more educated about fitness. I'm currently a sophomore in college under stress. When I got to college, I went to the gym to let stress out and find my equilibrium. I researched new techniques and put time and effort into my fitness regime. I found supplements that fit my goals and created a routine that suited my body. What I didn't learn from Bodybuilding.com, I learned by trial and error. Trial and error helped tremendously because I know what suits my body best and can maximize my results.
I learned to love the gym. It's where I push myself physically and mentally. I overcame obstacles in the gym. It's mentally challenging to go into a gym and see 50 women on the cardio machines and I'm the only one lifting weights. The reactions of my female and male peers are interesting. It pushes me because I feel like I'm eliminating a double standard for women in the gym.
My fitness journey is far from over. I learn something new every day. The gym tremendously improved my life socially, physically, and mentally. I enjoy working out and look forward to the gym every day. I'm very committed. People question my motives, but the bottom line is that it's my passion. A teacher once told me, "If you go through life without a passion, you will ride passenger seat in your own life and live a meaningless life." This intrigued and frightened me because I'm very decisive, but for the first time in my life I had no idea what my passion was. Like I always do, I made it complex when the answer was right in front of me: the gym. I never thought you could turn a passion like the gym into a career. I'm 20 years old and finally figured out what makes me tick and pushes my boundaries.
Generally, I don't plan my cheat meal day. I try to maintain my diet and if the occasion arises, I'm not going to miss out on an opportunity with friends and family because I'm on a diet. I still watch what I eat when the opportunity presents itself. I try to eat 7-8 meals per day depending when I wake up. In college, it's hard to precook food, so I pick and choose from the cafeteria.
Everything about fitness fascinates me, especially supplementation. The gym is a good outlet for destressing from college. The gym makes me feel empowered and creates mental toughness that carries over into my everyday life. Whenever I have a bad day, feel overwhelmed, or am ready to throw in the towel, I head to the gym and it brings me back to reality.
Living a healthy lifestyle is still difficult. I have to push myself to eat better every day. Motivation comes from many places, but the biggest motivator is seeing results and being the best version of myself. Thankfully, I'm blessed with an amazing family and friends to help motivate me to reach my goals.
I used to experience hopelessness when my body hit a plateau. I didn't feel like the gym paid off and I was always drained from school. Then I was introduced to Bodybuilding.com, which gave me motivation to better myself. I saw women with stories similar to mine, which gave me motivation to change my fitness regimen. I've always had an innate drive to accomplish things I have a passion for. I believe my journey to become a fitness professional will be no different.
My fitness plans are to continually improve and inspire others. I generally set long and short-term goals. My short-term goal is to compete in figure this year at an NPC competition. In the long term, I want to obtain a pro card. My dream is to become a sponsored athlete and fitness model. I would love to grace the cover of Oxygen someday.
Keep striving for the best version of you. Fitness is like everything else in life, if you want to see results you have to work at it. You can't cheat on your diet and expect results. Fitness takes discipline and research. Before you buy a product that claims to work, research it. There is no fast track to results, no magic pill. Although fitness seems invested, it's worth it. I full-heartedly believe that everything worthy in life isn't easy. If your passion isn't the gym, you can still exercise as a hobby to promote better health.
I have two favorite fitness competitors, Dana Linn Bailey and Jamie Eason. I want a body that's a mix of the two. Dana is awesome because she works really hard in the gym and has a tough attitude. I watched almost all her YouTube videos and am in love with her lifestyle. She is very inspiring. Jamie Eason is very knowledgeable about fitness. When I first started shaping up, I looked at her LiveFit plan to reference my plan. Both of these women are extraordinary and successful. I hope to be as inspiring someday.
Bodybuilding.com has a way of reaching its viewers that's unique compared to other websites. They reach viewers from newbies to professionals. About two years ago, I thought I knew everything about fitness, and then I started researching on Bodybuilding.com and learned there was much I didn't know. Now, I do daily research on nutrition, supplementation, and training. Bodybuilding.com answers all your questions quickly and accurately. Their supplements are very affordable, which is good for a college student. I love that Bodybuilding.com has connections to premier brands. It gives great exposure to those who get into bodybuilding.
- "Nine Fifteen" by Diamond Eyes
- "Serial Killer" by Lana Del Rey
- "Never Settle" by Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard
- "Silhouettes" by Avicii
- "Sweet Nothing" by Calvin Harris (feat. Florence Welch)
Photography Credits: The Progressive Image, Marty McBride (the beach picture)
Makeup Artists Credits: Kana Brown and Maria Coleman