Laura McGraw Fitness 360: Survivor Strong
Laura McGraw is no stranger to hard work. A busy mom with three kids, she's been in a handful of major car accidents that complicate her recovery and training. Even so, Laura followed Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer, pushed it hard in the gym every day, and won the 2012 Optimum Nutrition $100,000 Transformation Challenge.
Follow her plan. You could be the 2013 champion!
Laura McGraw Fitness 360
Watch The Video - 11:22
Laura's Transformation Story
Name: Laura Conway-McGraw
Weight: 128 lbs, 112 lbs contest
Education: Graduate Degree
Occupation: Mediator, Photographer
Contest History: Winner $100,000 Transformation Challenge Optimum Nutrition and Bodybuilding.com 2012
Athletic Background: Collegiate soccer, cycling
Ultimate Goal: There is no finish line.
Super Powers: Determination, will, and hard work.
You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I broke my back in one of a handful of car accidents. Surgeons fused my spine and three weeks later I got in another car accident that broke it again. Between spinal fusions, I built so much muscle in my abs that nurse had to pull my abs back to fuse my spine the second time.
Eight years after the first wreck, after four minor surgeries and two major back surgeries, my back still wasn't right. So, I headed off to the gym to see if I could make it stronger myself.
To understand how I bounced back from the depths of despair to not only start working out but win this contest, you need to understand a little about my background. I grew up in England, watching my father train for football (you call it soccer). He played 10 years for Fulham and two for Manchester City.
His ethics gave me an early appreciation for the power of a good workout. Each morning he'd wake up and head off for a run. He did sit-ups in the living room, too. My father was the kind of athlete who didn't necessarily go to a gym every day, but he worked out every day. I made a mental note of his discipline.
Perhaps influenced by my father, I'd play soccer with the boys. I wasn't a tomboy, though. I loved girly stuff, like putting on a dress on and heels and going out to a nice dinner. But I never lost that side of my personality from my father. I love the gym. I don't mind getting dirty and I love competition. Competitiveness is a family inheritance, you might say.
This mindset served me well after my accidents and back injuries. It's funny. At the time of the wreck, I thought, "What terribly bad luck." Now I think everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be in the gym, working out and lifting weights with such intensity if it hadn't been for those car accidents.
I think the past enabled me to do well in the Challenge. When I finally got everything dialed in, I was taking supplements, watching what I ate, and looking at the content of my meals. When I finally got everything in line, the weight came off. Now, I have the weight off, and I have muscle mass!
I needed something to get me motivated, and there is nothing like a good competition to get me going.
No way! Having a pre-made program made the process so much more manageable. Also, the stack that was offered was perfect for my supplementation needs. I trained a group of 30 people from my community while I was doing my transformation.
This was hugely motivating. I felt I needed to lead by example and show them what they could achieve. Having friends work out with me—and BodySpace members cheer me on—was exactly what I needed to keep myself going!
I also have a special person at home in Tommy Kron. Having someone that close to me who goes to the gym makes it easier; you can't live in a household that isn't living a fit life. One person can't do it without the other.
Change? For sure. Done? Never!
Whatever I want. It's awesome! I still hit the gym almost every day. I teach spin class on Tuesday mornings, which I love, and I believe there is a new Bodybuilding.com challenge coming soon.
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Wow! I don't know you personally...but am also a survivor of accident and broken back...and a mommy of 3...and I am so proud of you, Laura! Great work! I am getting on this Dymatize challenge! Never stop dreaming and achieving!
Thank you for sharing your story!
I ENJOY READING ENCOURAGING ARTICLES. I WORKED OUT BUT I WOULD STOP BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE THAT SOMETHING OR SOMEONE TO PUSH ME TO CONTINUE. JUST READING HER STORY GAVE ME THAT ENCOURAGEMENT.
WOW! What a Transformation! I am motivated to make this change and excited in the next coming weeks.
I don't much about lifting and a complete newbie to Supplements, but heck.....I do love a good learning challenge for sure!!!
Thanks for sharing your story.
Very inspirational for me! Thank you.
Also suffering degenerative discs here...from a car accident.
The doctors told me to stop doing any exercise basically! Here i am, 30 kgs overweight and im taking control of my life and ignoring their recommendations and getting back into the weight training and cardio.
And youve proven to me here that that is the best way :)