Against All Odds: Jamie Whinery Shares Transformation Success Story!

After reading Jamie Whinery's story you will no longer have any excuse for not getting into your best possible shape. Read the following interview and prepare to be inspired.

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An Interview With Body Transformation Success Story, Jamie Whinery
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After reading Jamie Whinery's story you will no longer have any excuse for not getting into your best possible shape.

Despite the many obstacles she has faced, including, but not limited to self-doubt, a full-time job, being a solo mother of four children, and having to deal with several family emergencies, Jamie found the strength to reach all of her weight loss targets and tighten her physique so as to come closer to resembling the "perfect" physiques regularly profiled by the company she works for, Bodybuilding.com.

As you will read in the following feature, Jamie credits many factors for her success, not the least being a total will to win and an ability to have never taken her eyes off her goals.

During her 12 week body transformation process, Jamie encountered setbacks that would dissuade the average person, proving that she has the mentality needed to succeed in what is for most the hardest task of all: sticking with a well structured diet, training and supplementation program.

But thanks to the help of good friends Kris and Marika, along with valuable advice gleaned from the archives of the world's No. 1 bodybuilding and fitness resource, Bodybuilding.com, and of course her indomitable ability to mentally "tough it out" Jamie has succeeded and now serves as inspiration to countless others who wish to achieve their own transformation objectives.

But Jamie's story doesn't end there. Due to violence inflicted upon her in her first marriage, Jamie suffered an injury that would rear its ugly head in 2007, eventually prompting her to seek treatment for the ongoing and increasingly intense pain it was causing.

After sustaining, at the hands of her first husband, damage to her right rib cage, one rib had healed at an 80-degree angle into her abdomen and liver, causing excessive scarring and pain, which eventually prompted her to seek treatment.

After recent bleeding to her injury site caused her to seek treatment, and after being denied help by all of the "medical professionals" she approached, Jamie discussed her situation on a Doctor Phil show message board in the hopes that someone would address her plight, not knowing at the time that this would lead to an appearance on his show, "The Doctors" - yet to be filmed.

To complete a body transformation under the conditions Jamie did takes considerable courage and a remarkable winning attitude. Seeing the merit in getting into shape, which was reinforced daily by those who supported her on her quest, Jamie proved the power of positive thought and the changing of attitude that comes as one's body image improves.

Jamie Whinery Jamie Whinery Jamie Whinery
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Jamie Proved The Power Of Positive Thought.

Read the following interview and prepare to be inspired.

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[ Q ] Please give me some background on yourself Jamie. How did you get started in training and fitness and why?
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    I'd always been in athletics since junior high. Once I graduated high school I definitely put on the freshman 15 pounds, plus some. Having regularly been around 125, I got up to 183 pounds the following year. It was one of the most depressing times in my early life.

    In 1997 I met my first husband. The relationship was filled with abuse and my self-esteem and anxiety skyrocketed and I went down to 135 (lost through stress, not because of a healthy lifestyle).

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    I had my first child in 1998 and during the pregnancy I had an illness that made the pregnancy miserable all the way through; I was fed intravenously with a portable IV bag. I went down to 112 pounds my first trimester, then slowly gained a little weight (17 pounds for the entire pregnancy).

    My daughter was 8 pounds, so most of that weight gain was baby. My body just naturally stayed around 130 after the pregnancy. Two years later, my second daughter was on the way and the same medical situation presented itself.

    By this time I had been married and was on my way to becoming divorced. My life was filled with major lows and little thought or time for my health; the stress brought me down to 110 pounds. I would go though spurts of Tae-Bo and video workouts but never stayed with them for longer than a few weeks. I thought maintaining my weight was healthy, and I wasn't overweight so I just thought I was fine.

Jamie Whinery
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Jamie Whinery Is An Employee At Bodybuilding.com.

    The feeling of low spirits stemming from an abusive husband had taken me to the depths of despair. Alcohol and coffee became my regular diet. It helped me through the day. When one of my daughters told me she wanted mama "not sick anymore," I knew I had to snap out of it. I did ...

    I maintained a functional life and poured myself into being a good mother. Nothing else: just a mother. I never really knew who I was, having children at 20 and going through the drama of my life I completely lost myself. My baby girls were all that kept me going.

    I stopped the drinking but kept the coffee and fast food. Too busy for real meals. I met my current husband and fell instantly in love. We were married in three weeks! 2004. A few months later we were pregnant and I had my twin boys. Life couldn't be busier.

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    I had always been successful in my work and worked in data analytics since sixteen. I was tired of the corporate blah of crunching numbers. Then an opportunity was mentioned: a position at Bodybuilding.com. I wanted to get my foot in the door and interviewed for accounting and HR positions.

    They knew that wasn't the fit for me and told me to keep trying. I waited six months. Then an analytics position came up. I got the job and a ticket to an environment that would change my life. Not knowing the true depth and benefits of fitness and health, I was learning more than I could imagine at work.

    Soon after I started, Kris (Gethin) did. We sit next to each other and I wanted to learn from him. His dedication to the lifestyle was inspiring. When the 12-week transformation was presented I thought it would be fun just to win a trip to the Olympia: nothing more than that.

    I could work out a few days per week. No biggie. It would be easy. It wasn't. I couldn't walk after my first training session at the gym. I literally couldn't walk. I would have rather given birth than go through that again. But when the pain went away, I wanted more.

    I wanted to feel my body changing; I wanted to know that working out was working. I kept on (going). Kris and Marika gave me tips and workouts to make real changes in my body. Three days a week wasn't going to cut it. I never really thought my diet was a big deal, but my energy sucked during my initial transformation. I was wiped out.

    I learned the hard way about eating healthy. I started the blood type diet and making my meals, no more fast food. My energy went up and my weight dropped. It was awesome and I lost 12 pounds and went down to 4 percent body fat.

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    I never felt more energetic in my life. If I missed a day at the gym, I felt lazy and lethargic. I could play with my kids after a long day at work and keep up with them. IT WAS LIFE CHANGING. I found myself again, I had my self-esteem back and I found my passion.

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[ Q ] Tell me more about your 12-week body transformation. You succeeded in getting into your best shape, while many people fail in this kind of endeavour. How did you stay on task to complete the transformation?
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    Honestly it was Kris and Marika and my commitment to follow trough. I knew I couldn't quit with them encouraging me. I remembered that I made time for negative things in my life and if I could do that then I could make time for the gym.

    I had the 12-week deadline and I followed it. I had specifics outlined and I didn't deter from that path. Everyone knew I had entered the contest and I wasn't going to quit. My co-workers (they are my family, not co-workers) would have never let up on reminding me of it!

Jamie Whinery
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Kris Gethin And Jamie Whinery.
Everyone Knew I Had Entered The Contest And I Wasn't Going To Quit.

    Many of my family members told me that it wasn't healthy, I was losing too much weight and I should stop. I don't know if this was part of jealousy, negativity or they truly cared for my wellbeing. I listened to their concerns but I researched everything I was doing.

    I learned so much through the site that I fully trusted my regimen and diet. I had never felt better. Social pressure/education levels of others could have kicked me off course but I knew I had educated myself in the healthy way to transform myself (this is why we try to educate everyone in the benefits of bodybuilding).

    People may presume it was easier for me because I work at Bodybuilding.com, but the truth is, life was very difficult for me throughout the transformation.

    My husband and I separated for a few months so I was a single mother of four. I fought through family emergencies with my father falling off a power pole at work. My grandmother had a defibrillator stop working and had to be life flighted to Boise from Nevada for fear she might die. My littlest sister was suffering through serious mental problems after she had her youngest daughter so I cared for her two baby girls (a 1-year-old and a newborn).

    ... all the while I worked full time as a single mother looking after six kids, while putting in extended hours and evenings and weekends at work.

    Many people would've cracked under pressure (especially women because we are naturally more hormonal, thus emotional) and caved but I didn't take my eye off my goal. I had to stay focused. I had a taste of what the benefits of working out were.

    I had more energy with the kids, my stress was lowered, I slept better, I was more productive at work and I was more peaceful in working through the relationship problems with my hubby.

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[ Q ] What did you learn about yourself in the process of your transformation?
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    I learned that self-doubt was a thing of the past. I could go as far as I could imagine. I had always given up when I didn't see success. If an obstacle got in the way of my goals, I gave up. I placed a lot of my aspirations in the hands of others.

    Fitness is inner success. You are your only obstacle. I learned that if I plan and set my goal as being a success I would fulfil it. I set specific goal for body fat loss and I made it. I set my pounds to 125 and I hit that goal. I didn't know I had it in me, but I found it and plan to hold onto it for life.

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[ Q ] What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goal and how did you overcome them?
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    I am surrounded by hard-bodies at work. The website is filled with women's success and rock-in bods, I was completely intimidated and knew I could never achieve what they had.

    1. First, I didn't have time.
    2. Second, it cost a lot to eat healthy and maintain my supplement intake.
    3. Third- I HAD NEVER BEEN THAT SUCCESSFUL IN MY PERSONAL LIFE - life wasn't what I called a success (laughs).

    Well, I made the time. I bought smart and it was cheaper and easier than I expected. I just had to educate myself on the body and what I wanted it to achieve. Food was fuel, not comfort.

    I learned how it was processed and it's purpose. What (complex) carbs did, what protein did, what simple sugars did. The education from the site and Kris and Marika and their knowledge changed my entire outlook on dieting. I thought dieting was starving when it is just the opposite. The more regular my meals were the more I lost.

Jamie Whinery
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Jamie, Marika And Kris.

    I had to push aside my comparison to others and only compare myself to myself. If I thought I couldn't be like them, I was right. I had to be me, the best me I could be. So I wiped other women out of my mind and focused on me. I focused on competing with the weights. They were my competition and I would beat them. It took a lot of self-meditation.

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[ Q ] There are many women out there with young children who would say they simply do not have the time to exercise and adhere to a clean diet. You clearly proved that you are not one of them. How were you able to do this in spite of your busy life?
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    Planning and commitment, but I used that same excuse too. When I made my mind up, I just did what it takes to make time. I dropped the kids off a half hour earlier to day-care and hurried to the gym before work. I prepared my meals on Sundays for the week.

    I was regimented in the evenings so I could put the kids to bed on time and do my abs workout. You just do it. If you plan it, it becomes habit after a while.

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Habits: Your Month-Long Guide To Change.
Here is a 4-week strategy plan I've put together that you can use to pick up or break a habit. It will ease you in and make you feel more comfortable.
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[ Q ] Could you describe the training program and diet you followed throughout your transformation?
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[ Q ] What tips would you give others seeking personal body transformation results?
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    You have to first get mentally ready. Set out your goals and have a purpose or you'll fail before you get to the gym. Believe in yourself. The farther you get into your transformation, the easier it will get, but 75% of the battle is in your head and heart.

BB.com Tattoo: True Commitment!
Tattoo: True Commitment!
Employee Jamie Whinery Loves BB.com!
Photo Courtesy Of Ron Avidan.
Week #110 - 4/29/2008
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[ Q ] How important is having a strong support team/or person when undertaking a major challenge such as a 12-week transformation?
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    I couldn't have done it without them. There were times when I was weak and would grab a snack from the vending machine and Kris would take it out of my hand and throw it away. I needed advice and encouragement from people around me; it wouldn't have worked for me had I done it all on my own.

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[ Q ] I understand you will soon be featured on a TV show, "The Doctors." Tell me of the circumstances that led to this appearance.
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    In 1998 I was beaten severely by my ex husband and at the time I was pregnant with my first daughter, so when I had my ribs damaged during that fight, there was nothing they could do.

    The past year the pain was getting worse and I had gone to physical therapists, family doctors, ob/gynaecologist, and a chiropractor to get my back/ribs feeling better: but nothing eased the pain. I did feel better during the transformation but there was always that dull pain in my right rib cage.

Broken Rib
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Jamie's Broken Rib Appearance.

    Recently I went in for a laparoscopy through my obstetrician and she discovered that my rib had actually healed at an 80-degree angle into my abdomen and liver.

Broken Rib Healing In Abdomen
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Jamie's Broken Rib Healing In Abdomen.

    My liver is white with scar tissue (it should be deep brown). The liver should be flat and smooth. Mine looks like a crater has formed in the center from the liver constantly sticking to the bone.

Healthy Liver Jamie's Liver
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A Healthy Liver Compared With Jamie's Liver.

    We both tried feverishly to find an orthopaedic surgeon to fix my rib. Not one in this valley would help. The common response is "We don't work on ribs." "You've had it this long and you're still functioning, it will be fine." I tried internal medicine clinics, "If your liver is functioning there is nothing we can do."

    I tried family doctors just to see me and point me in the right direction for help and they wouldn't even let me make an appointment ... "There is nothing we can do for broken ribs."

    It was devastating. My recent transformation had caused recent bleeding for where the rib was irritating my liver. I was told I could only do cardio from now on. I couldn't accept that answer and went to the Internet for help.

    I couldn't find anyone who had the same situation, only car accidents that resulted in similar damage and they were immediately surgically fixed. There were not any cases of healed fractures.

    So through my random browsing I saw a message board for the Dr. Phil show that asked, "Have a medical problem from physical abuse?" I started typing away. I wasn't looking for help, but venting just let the words flow out.

    The next morning a producer for a new show produced by Dr. Phil and his son Jay McGraw named the "The Doctors" contacted me. They wanted to help and started the process for planning a show for me.

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[ Q ] What is your main reason for appearing on this show; to impart lessons to others?
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    I want other women to know that no matter how bad it is that they can find themselves again (hopefully through health and fitness!). I have long-term effects from my abusive marriage, but won't accept being scarred any longer and I will fight back to get my life 100% healthy and happy. I also want people to know that fitness gave me my life back, how important taking care of your body is and the difference it can make.

Jamie Whinery
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Crystal And Jamie @ Race for the Cure.

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[ Q ] That sounds great. What will the show focus on?
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    Abuse and its long-term affect health wise and what you can do to change your life.

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[ Q ] Will your recovery process be documented on The Doctors?
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    As no one has helped me yet, there isn't a set-in-stone plan. But I won't give up until the rib is reset or removed so my liver can heal and my constant pain will subside. The show will document this process and my recovery progress.

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[ Q ] What main message would you give to others who must confront tragic events in their life?
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    Life is what you make of it. It is in all of us to persevere but we have to feel it and believe it in our minds, and then our bodies will follow. If I sat around and stayed in pain and didn't get off my derriére and get to the gym, I would still be on that couch feeling sorry for myself. Even if you don't believe it this moment, just say you can succeed everyday - all day - until you believe it.

Jamie Whinery
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Jerome Ferguson And Jamie At The Fit Expo.

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[ Q ] What are your long terms health and fitness goals?
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    My goal is to be down to 14% body fat, 120 lbs and to inspire other women to get in shape. I will workout for the rest of my life. I will continue to eat right and keep my body healthy.

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[ Q ] Thank you for your time Jamie. If you could capture your transformation in one word what would that word be?
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    Two words: LIFE ALTERING.

Jamie Whinery
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I Will Workout For The Rest Of My Life.