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International Transformation Of The Month: Aussie Builds Body To Soothe The Mind

Learn how Simone beat back depression and anxiety, added muscle to her underweight frame, and found a life that's happier and healthier.
Name: Simone Collins
Email: simi_collins@hotmail.com, BodySpace: SimiMonique
Country: Australia

Simone Collins Simone Collins
AGE 23
HEIGHT
5'7"
WEIGHT
88 lbs
BODY FAT
N/A
AGE 26
HEIGHT
5'7"
WEIGHT
125 lbs
BODY FAT
14%

Post To Fitboard
Why I Got Started

At first, I just wanted to improve my health. I wasn't taking good care of myself: I was stressed, anxious, and depressed. I wasn't eating as much as I should have been. My doctor told me I needed to put on weight, so I decided to get healthy as I gained the necessary weight.

I started training at Doherty's Gym City, where I met my first trainer and mentor, who also happened to own the gym. He trained me once per week and showed me how to use the free weights and machines. I became interested in bodybuilding, especially because I was training at one of Australia's best-known bodybuilding gyms. I went to a few shows, helped out backstage, and decided to give it a shot!

How Training Changed My Life

Training at Doherty's Gym City lit a spark in me—I really loved training and the way it made me feel. I felt like I had finally found my true passion!

I realized the results I was getting in the gym were not only physical, but also mental and emotional. I was getting healthy again. I looked great, but above all else, I felt great. My depression, anxiety and stress levels dissipated. It wasn't just my body that was changing. I also found that training made it much easier for me to eat properly. I learned to trust food again.

I was making positive improvements in the rest of my life as well. I really felt I was growing as a person. I have so much more self-confidence now, and I feel so happy and healthy all the time. I competed in my first figure competition this March and placed fourth! I had such a great time and I definitely want to keep competing and work toward earning a pro card with the IFBB.

If someone told me three years ago what I would be getting on a bodybuilding stage, I would never have believed them. The gym turned my life around—no, it saved my life! I am so thankful to have found my passion in training. I'm eternally grateful to all the staff and members of the gym, who have always been so supportive and encouraging.

Supplements that Helped Me Succeed
Morning
During Workout
After Workout
Evening
The Diet that Made Me Healthier

I have been vegan for about three years now, and vegetarian since I was a 13-year-old. When I started training, many people suggested I would do better eating meat. Regardless of my goals, I didn't want to sacrifice my morals and way of life. So I took it as a challenge to build muscle as a vegan. I did a lot of research and designed my diet to work with my goals.

At times, I felt like I was my own experimental subject! But I'm glad I stayed true to myself. I'm proud of what I've managed to achieve without meat or dairy.

I'm not into counting calories or sticking to a plan, but I generally eat the same way every day: every 2-3 hours, or when I feel hungry.

Meal 1
Meal 2: Snack
Meal 3
  • tempeh

    Tempeh Tofu, Seitan, Lentils, or Nutmeat

    200g

  • Steamed Vegetables

    Steamed Vegetables

    Unlimited

  • Leafy Greens

    Leafy Greens

    Unlimited

  • salsa

    Salsa

    2 tbsp

  • Nutritional Yeast

    Nutritional Yeast

    2 tbsp

  • dulse flakes

    Dulse Flakes

    1 tsp

Meal 4: Snack
Meal 5: Pre-workout
Meal 6: Post-workout
Meal 7
  • tempeh

    Tempeh Tofu, Seitan, Lentils, or Nutmeat

    200g

  • Steamed Vegetables

    Steamed Vegetables

    Unlimited

  • Leafy Greens

    Leafy Greens

    Unlimited

  • salsa

    Salsa

    2 tbsp

  • Nutritional Yeast

    Nutritional Yeast

    2 tbsp

  • dulse flakes

    Dulse Flakes

    1 tsp

Meal 8: Snack
The Training that Made Change Possible

I cycle my training, aiming for 1-2 rest days per week. Workouts often fall on different days of the week. I don't have specific rest days—I just take them as I need them. Typically, I don't do any cardio.

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Shoulders/Abs
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Back
Day 5: Arms
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Repeat Legs

Suggestions for Others

Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they seem. Stay true to yourself and don't let anyone else talk you out of anything.

Whatever you want to accomplish, do it because you love it and because it enriches your life. Don't do it for anyone else. If somebody doubts you, don't listen—prove that person wrong!



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Do you live outside of the United States? Have you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle or losing fat? If so, send in your pics, stats...

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Comments

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cdmagee

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cdmagee

Great Job !

Mar 22, 2013 9:56pm | report
 
sarahwhooty

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sarahwhooty

Vegan and Australian.... Hell yea girl!

Mar 23, 2013 2:04am | report
 
arodriace

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arodriace

Great Job!!!!! You look great and its awesome you remained true to your beliefs of staying on a animal free diet!

Mar 24, 2013 10:42am | report
 
alearea2010

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alearea2010

I am doing this for the same reasons. No more depression! When every doctor has told me I may be on pills forever.
I control me.

Mar 25, 2013 2:27pm | report
 
SimiMonique

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SimiMonique

Where is says 35g of Tempeh Tofu, Seitan, Lentils, or Nutmeat... it SHOULD say "Protein equaling 35g"
This is usually around 200-250g depending on the product of brand... I didn't build up eating only a mouthful of tofu with each meal, lol!

Mar 25, 2013 5:25pm | report
 
VickyTig

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VickyTig

Amazing! You look great! That's awesome how you still remained vegan and proved everyone that you didn't need meat to build muscle. :)

Mar 27, 2013 4:13am | report
 
VickyTig

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VickyTig

Amazing! You look great! That's awesome how you still remained vegan and proved everyone that you didn't need meat to build muscle. :)

Mar 27, 2013 4:13am | report
 
MelJ

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MelJ

I can't believe I found your story!! I am Australian, vegetarian (not quite vegan yet), underweight & struggling with depression & anxiety. What are the odds!! It's been so hard trying to put on weight the healthy way, and I often think to myself am I crazy for trying to achieve what I want when my body is this way? Your story has given me a LOT of hope for the future thank you!!!

Jan 28, 2014 11:23pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 Comments

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