Transformation Of The Week - Marci Purcey!

All of my life I had considered myself to be lean, and tough. I was raised on a working farm and was always in shape. Well that all changed after getting married and having 6 kids. The energy was gone and I did not like it. See how I changed below.
Name: Marci Purcey
Age: 36

In 12 weeks between October 7, 2002 - December 31, 2002, I lost 17 pounds of body fat and gained 7 pounds of lean mass.

Stats Before:
Weight: 119 lbs
Bodyfat %: 26
Bodyfat: approximately 31
Lean mass: approximately 88 lbs
Stats After:
Weight: 109
Bodyfat %: 13
Bodyfat: approximately 14.25
Lean mass: approximately 94.75
119 lbs
109 lbs

Why I Got Started

Honestly, it was a simple thing. I didn't like the way I looked or felt. All of my life I considered myself to be strong, lean and tough. I was raised on a working farm. Working meaning, we did all the work! I stayed physically active in college playing racquetball.

After I got married, I played with weight training a few times between pregnancies. I always enjoyed taking long brisk walks. Somewhere along the line, the time demands of the family exceeded my ability to take any time for myself.

    Find Out How To Stay In Shape While You Are Pregnant Here.

And when I did have some spare time, a nap was definitely the way to go! So at 36-years old, and a stay-at-home mom of 6 children (whom I home schooled), I found myself mentally and physically drained. I felt like I was just getting through the days. I was tired, and didn't have a whole lot of zest for anything.

I didn't have a full length mirror so it was easy to tell myself the scale was probably wrong, and that I was in my mid-30s with 6 kids, so not being able to fit into my clothes was OKAY! Then I went to my mothers, and she did have a full length mirror, the kind that are on folding closet doors, so that you can see yourself from all kinds of nice angles.

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Quite seriously, I convinced myself that those mirrors just made you look chubby and the light in the room just made cellulite look worse than it really was. After several trips to those mirrors, and the ability to take an honest look at myself, I admitted I saw something I was really not happy about.

I was a marshmallow. I didn't see any muscle and everything on me was soft. Instead of seeing a strong, vibrant healthy woman, I saw a frumpy and tired mom. That was not the person I wanted to be and I was ready to do something about it.

How I Did It

I started lifting weights a little bit and walking. I started cutting out late night snacking, but really had no goals or plans. I certainly didn't know anything about nutrition. Then, my father who had become a health and fitness nut (way overboard I thought at the time) sent me some information about a 12-week transformation challenge. My competitive nature was sparked and I decided, "I'm in!"

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I had very little knowledge of nutrition, and just slightly more knowledge about strength training. It was the beginning of October of 2002 and I wanted to finish by the end of the year so I didn't have a lot of time to figure it all out. Before I started my transformation, I spent about 5 days reading everything I could and putting together a plan. Let me make a note here.

My information gathering did not end with those 5 days. Over the course of those 12 weeks, I consumed as much information as I could about health and fitness and proper nutrition. I read books, magazines, and great articles like those found on For accountability and encouragement I found a group of people to communicate with during the process.

One of the most important things I did was to set a goal. I learned what would be an attainable and challenging goal for myself. I bought digital bodyfat calipers, I bought a measuring tape, and kept a notebook.

After I decided on my ending goal, I broke that down into smaller goals to meet throughout the 12 weeks. I took starting measurements. I took them again at 4 weeks, then every 2 weeks until the end.

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To the best of my measuring abilities, I always knew where I was, and what I had to accomplish to meet my small goals that would produce my end goal. Journaling my food intake, especially at the beginning, allowed me to tweak things just enough to help break through different stages.


My first 9 weeks I began eating 5-to-6 small meals per day. I like numbers so I planned to consume 100-125 grams of protein a day and approximately 75 grams of good carbohydrates along with vegetables.

Depending on whether or not I got in 5-or-6 meals I tried to break that down into 15-20 grams of protein per meal and just slightly less for carbohydrates. I didn't worry about my fat intake too much because I quit eating most processed foods so any fat I ate came through natural meat/dairy sources.

I started adding a handful of walnuts mixed with almonds to keep my calories from going to low.

Daily Meals Looked Like This

      Meal 1 - Omelet made with 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, onion, pepper, mushroom, broccoli, smidgen of cheese. One half orange, 1 slice 100% whole wheat bread.

      Meal 2 - Lowfat yogurt and cottage cheese.

      Meal 3 - 3 oz tuna w/ 1tbspn light miracle whip with a big vegetable salad.

      Meal 4 - 3 oz of turkey breast (deli meat) and a small apple.

      Meal 5 - 3-4 oz of lean meat (steak, chicken, fish, pork loin, and turkey), 3oz baked potato or rice, serving of vegetables.

      Meal 6 - If I had something before bed it was 1/2 serving of cottage cheese or small whey protein shake mixed with skim milk.

    I did this 6 days per week and had 1 day per week that I ate whatever I wanted.

    At first I really took advantage of this day. By the 3rd or 4th week, it just wasn't that important anymore and I would just take care of silly cravings like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The best thing this day did for me was to just let me relax and not think about it!

Macronutrient Cycling The Last 3 Weeks

    The last 3 weeks of my transformation period I began cycling low and high carb days. I continued eating 5-6 times per day.

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (or any 3 days):

      I would limit my carbohydrate intake to 20 grams or less and consume protein and vegetables along with nuts, an ounce or 2 of cheese and a teaspoon of EFA oil.

    Thursday (Or Day 4):

      I would stay under 20 grams of carbohydrate until noon. Once noon hit, I limited my protein intake to 20 grams or less and loaded up on carbohydrates. My carbohydrates consisted of mainly starches, pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, oatmeal. The next day, I would resume the low carbohydrate cycle.

    The Other Days:

      I did not take an "off" day on my nutrition during the last 3 weeks. How did I do that over Christmas? I created an "after Christmas stash." As more and more goodies entered the house I deemed as off-limits, I put them up way in the back of a high shelf.

      I told myself I could eat as much as I wanted of it as soon as my transformation was done. It was all mental. As long as I told myself I could have it later, I didn't think too much about it.

      Along with my food, I also supplemented with EAS AdventEdge Bars, Myoplex LowCarb Bars, EAS Precision Protein, EAS MyoPro Whey, and Optimum Whey protein.

      My last 6 weeks I also used Glutamine and Creatine.

      All purchased at of course because they have the best service around! :)

The Workout

The workouts consisted of 3 strength training days per week and 3 days of high intensity interval training for cardio.

On strength training days, initial 4 sets done at progressively heavier weights.

Day Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Monday Pectorals DB Incline Bench Press 4 12,10,8,6
DB Flyes 2 12
Back Wide grip lat pulldowns 4 12,10,8,6
DB Rows 2 12,
Shoulders DB military press 4 12,10,8,6
Side raises 2 12
Triceps Lying Tricep ext. DB 4 12,10,8,6
Kickbacks 2 12
Biceps Standing DB curls 4 12,10,8,6
Bent bar curls 2 12
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday Workout.
Day Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Tuesday high intensity interval training on treadmill 20 minutes, 5 minute cool down
Wednesday Quads Squats 4 12,10,8,6
Leg press 2 12
Hams DB Lunges 4 12,10,8, 6
Lying Leg Curls 2 12
Calves Standing Calf Raises 4 12,10,8,6
Seated Calf Raises 2 12,10,8,6
Abs Crunches 6 15
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday Workout.
Day Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Thursday high intensity interval training on treadmill 20 minutes, 5 minute cool down
Friday Pectorals DB Incline Bench Press 4 12,10,8,6
DB Flyes 2 12
Back Wide grip lat pulldowns 4 12,10,8,6
DB Rows 2 12
Shoulders DB military press 4 12,10,8,6
Side raises 2 12
Triceps Lying Tricep ext. DB 4 12,10,8,6
Kickbacks 2 12
Biceps Standing DB curls 4 12,10,8,6
Bent bar curls 2 12
Saturday high intensity interval training on treadmill 20 minutes, 5 minute cool down
Sunday Off
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday Workout.

After this cycle, I would start the next Monday with lower body. The next week I would start with upper body again. I changed my exercises every 4 weeks. After 6 weeks I also started adding 10 minutes of moderate cardio onto my high intensity interval training.

By the way, I did this all from home, mainly with dumbbells. It was much easier for me and all the kids, for me not to have to run to the gym everyday.

What Am I Up To Now?

Now my kids think I am the one that's nuts and go way overboard! I just turned 39 and have to say, I'm probably healthier and in better shape than I ever have been. I love sharing good information to help others be successful and meet their goals.

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I have been working on (albeit slowly) the ISSA PFT course and hope to pass my certification test October 2005. I think my Dad has me talked into competing next year ... we'll see about that!

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