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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Feminine Force!

She didn't have a healthy upbringing and was oblivious to overtraining. But that didn't stop Colleen. She put the past behind her and created a future full of happiness and health!

Name: Colleen Van Dam
E-Mail: colleen.vandam@gmail.com
BodySpace: musclemum1965
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Age: 47  Height: 5'9"  Weight: 152 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 2

Q
How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

My life started with a ton of adversity. My father died on my eighth birthday and my mother died the following year on Mother's Day. To say the least, my upbringing was far from "normal." The kids of the family's I lived with were always active, but my extracurricular activities were never a priority as I was the "extra" kid.

In high school, I managed to motivate myself with no support from parents to make sports teams. I became hooked on physical fitness at age 18 I actually over trained. A typical day would consist of riding my bike to the gym, training, attending physical education classes at University, and teaching aerobics at night.

I took pride in portraying the "jock" image, but most of all, what inspired me was my gym's atmosphere. It was very hardcore there. Mr. Canada owned the gym. NHL and NFL athletes trained there, and even a few WWE wrestlers. There were very few women training there in the early 80s and I felt privileged.

What Workout Regimen Delivered The Best Results?
Day 1: Chest


Day 2: Shoulders/Cardio


Day 3: Back/Cardio


Day 4: Legs/Cardio


Day 5: Cardio/Abs


Day 6: Biceps/Triceps


Day 7: Cardio/Abs

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?

I drink a minimum of three liters of water per day.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4: Pre-Workout
Meal 5: Post-Workout
Meal 6
Meal 7

Notes: Add in limited quantities for taste: stevia, mustard, Braggs low sodium soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Mrs. Dash, or other no salt spices like cinnamon and vanilla extract.

To most people, this looks like it would be boring, but I love my meals. They make me strong and healthy, and most importantly, my stomach is never upset or bloated. It was amazing to discover how many foods I used to eat that made me feel ill and sluggish. I'll never go back to eating processed, high fat, high carb foods.

I used to rarely eat vegetables, consume too many carbs and didn't eat often enough. Even though I was into fitness, my body didn't look like I worked out. I was fit, but fat. I weighed 170 pounds and had 27 percent body fat. Now, I hover at 152 pounds and about 15 percent body fat. It brought me down about 4-6 dress sizes.

I recall the day when I was shopping for jeans post-transformation and there was only one left of the style I wanted and it was on the mannequin. The girl offered to take it off the mannequin so I could try them on. I said, "I don't think I'll fit into those." She insisted, and to my surprise they fit. I haven't worn pants this small since high school.

What Supplement Schedule Gave You The Greatest Gains?
Meal 1
Meal 3
Pre-Workout
Post-Workout

How Did Your Passion For Fitness Emerge?

At 47, I'm in the best shape of my life. I often think back to my early 20's and remember how I hard I trained with few results. There were so many things I did wrong in regards to training and eating.

First, I over-trained. Physical education classes at University, weight training, and teaching aerobics class in one day was foolish. The body needs time to repair and build. I rarely took a day off to rest and was prone to injury. When I did strain or pull something, I kept training through the pain instead of changing my exercises to take the strain off my muscles. Daily stretching was something I failed to do. I regretted it as I grew older.

I failed to prepare proper meals for myself. I knew that fast food wasn't an option, and would go hours without eating anything but a piece of fruit here and there. Because I starved my body, it quickly learned to hang on to all the fat it could. When I finally arrived home after my physically demanding day, I would binge eat. The depression from eating so much at night made me think I should eat less the next day, and so on.

I created a vicious circle for myself. All these fitness "faux pas" from my youth helped me in many ways. However, I have ton of advice for those want to transform for the first time. We need to create a lifelong routine of clean, sensible eating, and daily exercise to feel confident in the body God gave us. I challenge anyone to stick to it for 90 days and they'll be hooked.

What/Who Motivated You?

My sister, who lives in another city, started competing. She helped me make slow changes to my diet. I remember asking her how she cooked chicken and she said, "With heat!"

Within a few months of clean eating and weight training, a trainer approached me and said, "So when are you competing?" "I'm not," I replied. She said, "Oh, yes you are, and I'm going to help you get there!"

That was exactly what I needed at that time in my life and I'll always love Kamber Lindenbach for giving me the kick in the glutes. I needed to go to the next level of bodybuilding! Since the age of 18, I dreamed of competing. Now that my kids are growing up and don't rely on mom as much, I can fulfill that ambition.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

The more I saw changes to my figure, the more it fueled my dedication and passion for training. It's hard to not to go to the gym when you have women and men asking you how you stay fit. I realized life's more enjoyable when you feel confident and strong.

I tell people, "Don't ever think about if you're going to the gym. Set your training days and show up no matter what." Feed your body with clean food so your hard work isn't wasted.

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I'm shooting for my pro card. I was close with my second place in May 2012! I want to enter a contest in Vegas someday. I love training at the Gold's Gym down there. It's world renowned and many of the top bodybuilders train and film their workouts there. We met Jay Culter during our last visit.

What Is The Most Important Fitness Tip?

Women must lift to transform their body. Women believe resistance training will make them look manly. In reality, it's the only exercise to add the curves.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder/Fitness Athlete?

6-time Ms. Olympia winner, Cory Everson. She maintained her physique through the years, even after her competitive retirement in 1989. She demonstrated that muscle is beautiful and strong is sexy, especially for older women.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

I've always trained with a journal, and people come up and ask about my book. They want to know what I'm recording. I always tell them to go to Bodybuilding.com for great printable workouts. I love that it shows a video of exactly how to perform each exercise. The Motivation section is another personal favorite.

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Showing 1 - 25 of 35 Comments

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liorelr

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liorelr

Awesome story and superior physique!

Nov 2, 2012 9:42pm | report
 
ameyp97

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ameyp97

great!!! keep it up!

Nov 4, 2012 6:00am | report
 
DMalone

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DMalone

You have a phenomenal physique and your story is very inspirational! With your dedication and discipline, I'm certain you will get your pro card on your next try!

Nov 4, 2012 6:10am | report
 
wahminsc

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wahminsc

You look amazing! Thank you for sharing and the inspiration.

Nov 4, 2012 8:07am | report
 
26pt2

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26pt2

Such an inspiration. Thanks! Keep up the good work.

Nov 4, 2012 8:19am | report
 
kishan322kishan

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kishan322kishan

amazing physique

Nov 5, 2012 1:44am | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

Thank you!

Nov 11, 2012 5:36pm | report
transporter45

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transporter45

Impressive

Nov 5, 2012 5:08am | report
 
kiestonreece

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kiestonreece

2 thumbs up!

Nov 5, 2012 8:15am | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

Thanks.... great job to you as well!

Nov 11, 2012 5:38pm | report
HeatherJay14

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HeatherJay14

Thanks for the inspiration!

Nov 5, 2012 10:22am | report
 
Mazarbul

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Mazarbul

Very inspiring, thank you for sharing your story! Its amazing what we can overcome in childhood. Best of luck, although I do not believe you need it. :)

Nov 5, 2012 2:55pm | report
 
Deb8

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Deb8

Inspirational! Just what i need at this moment in time. Thank you

Nov 10, 2012 2:14am | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

This is the best time of our lives to transform our bodies.... train no matter what and eat clean to insure all your hard work isn't wasted :)

Nov 11, 2012 5:23pm | report
xtinataguba

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xtinataguba

ill try to do this, and recommend to my friends.

Nov 14, 2012 7:59am | report
 
NICO01

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NICO01

your body looks amazing very good for your age very inspired good job

Nov 15, 2012 1:39am | report
 
1fitRN1me

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1fitRN1me

Great article! Very inspirational!

Nov 17, 2012 8:51am | report
 
violexis3

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violexis3

awesome story

Nov 19, 2012 5:16pm | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

Thank you, it's great to be able to share lifes' tribulations to uplift others, isn't it!

Nov 21, 2012 9:36pm | report
choselife

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choselife

Inspiring. I grew up on my own and the only thing that helped me was training. After reading your story i will be gettingup ealy for the gym tomorrow. Thank you.

Nov 20, 2012 2:31pm | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

Great job, all you have to do is show up, the rest is easy, hard work! It's true, adversity can either make or break us.... choose to make yourself a better you!

Nov 21, 2012 9:33pm | report
00Gymrat00

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00Gymrat00

She looks **** good!

Nov 21, 2012 9:01am | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

hahaha, thankyou!

Nov 24, 2012 1:46pm | report
tacdgb

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tacdgb

great story and great changes...nice work.

Nov 23, 2012 5:58pm | report
 
musclemum1965

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musclemum1965

Thank you!

Nov 23, 2012 8:32pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 35 Comments

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