Female Transformation Of The Week - Colleen Castaneda.

When Colleen was 14 she saw the Ms. Olympia and instantly fell in love with muscular physiques. Find out how she used discipline, consistency and time to reach her goals.

Before Before:
134 lbs
After After:
105 lbs


Vital Stats

Name: Colleen Castaneda
Email: colleencastaneda@hotmail.com
Age: 37
Height: 5'2.5'

Before July 4
Weight: 134 lbs
Chest: 36 in
Waist: 28 in
Hips: 37 in
Pants size: 8
Bodyfat %: 20%

After Oct 27
Weight: 105 lbs
Chest: 34 in
Waist: 23 in
Hips: 33.75 in
Pant size: 0/2
Bodyfat %: 7%


How I Got Started

When I was 14, I watched Cory Everson and Rachel Mclish in the Ms. Olympia and instantly fell in love with muscular physiques. I joined my first so called gym but really a 'spa' for women only. The heaviest dumbbells were 15 pounds! When I got up to those 15 pounds on biceps, I thought I conquered the world! Now what do I do? That is when I moved up to Gold's gym and have been with them ever since.

That was 20 years ago! I never competed in any competitions until I was 34-years old (2004). I saw a personal trainer at my gym enter a local competition and thought to myself if she could do it, I know I can do it. It was just a matter of controlling the diet aspect of competition for me.

Training was the easier portion. I already worked out somewhat regularly but have always weighed approximately 125-130 pounds normally but have been up to 150 pounds at one point in my 20s. So I did have some weight issues through my life.

After my 2006 season, many personal issues in my life caused me to gain 30 pounds and lost the desire to compete. I lost my job, my cat of 17 years passed in April '05, my father passed in Oct 2005 suddenly of a heart attack, and then my dog of 14 years passed in Oct 06.

Along with other issues, I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I temporarily worked at a topless bar as a waitress to bring in the 'quick' cash so I thought. Not a good choice but do not regret it. I think it brought to where I am at now so it had its purpose for me. I slowly got caught up in that type of lifestyle of drinking and late nights. Even only having 3-4 drinks/night along with cheap steak and fries night, well the weight quickly increased!

My workouts were lacking and this lifestyle was raising havoc on my body. During this time, I did get AFAA Personal Trainer certified (how ironic) but do not currently personal train. I realized I was very unhappy with my lifestyle so I quit that job and got a much better job now in a medical lab. This is a little more challenging for me. Now that my life was getting back on track, I had that itch to compete again and on July 4, I challenged myself to lose 30 pounds by my competition on Sept 14. That was 11 weeks.

I almost did it but only got down to 110 by then and did not place well due to some fat on the buttocks. I was determined to lose those 5 extra pounds by my next competition on Oct 27. I continued my strict diet and training and lost those last pounds which made a huge difference in my physique especially from the back.

After
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Colleen Castaneda.

I did it and received second place losing by only 1 point which is my best placing thus far. I am proud of myself. If I can do it, anyone can do it. It just takes discipline, desire, consistency, and passion to believe in yourself that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to. And that drugs are not needed to reach your dreams ... it just takes a little longer.


How I Did It

In a nutshell it takes discipline, consistency and enough time to realistically reach your goal. I normally just try to lose only one pound per week so as not to drastically shock the body. That is what I prefer to do and have in the past but for this show, I had to lose about 29 pounds in 11 weeks. This was 2-2.5 lbs/wk average.

Wow, not my usual course. Since I have done this before, I knew I did not have room for many cheat days as I have done by losing only 1 lb/wk. I will see the most noticeable change through my diet than my workouts since I train fairly hard most of the time anyway. That in a moment. My philosophy on nutrition is fairly simply. I believe in balance (homeostasis for all you more scientific minds) so I really never completely understood low carb and high protein diets?

After
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Colleen Castaneda.

You may lose weight a littler faster but is it worth it? No energy for workouts? Not for me. Who likes feeling like crap? That is why I say time is important. Basically, I eat 5-6 meals every 2.5-4 hrs depending on what my activities are for the day. Each meal generally consists of 35-40% protein, 40-45% CHO and 15-20% of good fats. Always have all three components in each meal ... very important.

All complement each other during metabolism. My calories for one day are from 1100-1300 cal/day depending how active I am for that day. Each meal then is approx 200-250cal/meal at 5-6 times/day. I try to eat at least with three of my meals, with salad and/or veggies along with 3-4 fruits/day. This is where you get all your vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and wonderful fiber. No colon cancer here!

I do not take any supplements except 2 cups coffee in the morning and a vitamin/mineral and flax seed and omega oils if not getting through my diet. I do not adjust sodium and water levels too much. I shoot for 200-250 mg/meal totally 1200 mg/day. Remember balance. If I have a high sodium meal then I will drink more fluids to compensate. Ever heard of the Na/K pump in muscles? Sodium is a good thing when not abused.


Diet

Sample day and very typical because I like simplicity:

  • Meal 1: 2-3 egg whites with one yolk. Verde sauce on top. Half cup oatmeal with 1 tbsp dark chocolate and one packet splenda. May have a handful of blueberries or strawberries to oatmeal. Yummy!

  • Meal 2: A large salad with your favorite veggies with 4-5 oz protein with 20-25 grams of a high fiber CHO. Can be fruit, sweet potato, whole grain pasta or bread.

  • Meal 3: Same as 2 because I am usually working and it is easier to eat same meal.

  • Meal 4: Now I am getting off work and to the gym so I like a Protein shake with 40/40/20 breakdown or if have the craving, protein bar but be careful with the sugar content on some. You could be better off with a Hershey bar! I like the low glycemic Balance bars Mint chocolate. Yummy! Or the Kashi bars.

  • Meal 5: The carb content may be higher 45-50% due to after a workout. Veggies and or salad. Note: I usually don't count these carbs in my total. If you are still hungry, eat more veggies/salad until full.

  • Meal 6: At this time I start craving sweets so I get creative in satisfying my craving still being nutritious. Some samples: A whole wheat flax seed waffle (100cal) with sugar-free syrup (20cal) ... you can eat 2! Or tbsp peanut butter. Or sugar free jelly, etc. I will sometimes make sweet potatoes, sugar free cool whip and almonds.

Eat enough to equal your needs for that day. This is basically what I do everyday and just do it. I usually eat at the same time everyday also. Remember, consistency. Drink at least 2 gallons of fluid a day.

After
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Colleen Castaneda.


Training

I work each bodypart once/week. Generally the typical back/bis, chest/tris, shoulders only, and split legs or do every 5 days. My weakness is legs so I will focus a little more time on them now. I perform the classic and basic exercises used by bodybuilders. I try to listen to my body and how I feel that day will depend on what I choose to do that day. I don't keep a strict log because I have learned life changes daily so be ready to modify.

Generally I will do heavy weights doing 5 sets/8-12 reps of 3-5 exercises depending on which bodypart. I will do more for back vs. biceps since back is a larger muscle and biceps are already being stimulated via back exercises. After a month, I like to change it so I will do the Body Pump classes at Gold's for 2-3 weeks and before competition day.

This is a very high repetition/low weight workout. It is basically one song track 3-5 min of each bodypart with 2 leg tracks and lots of reps say 100 or so. I use this as my aerobic portion as well as strength training workout. All in one hour. I love it. I do it 3 times/wk.

-> Aerobic:

    I do not do as much as you think. I focus on the stepper with a mod intensity for 30-45 min/once or twice if lucky/week. If it is a nice day, then I love to walk for at least an hour with a good pace. I broke my foot in 2002 and in a cast for 3 months so my foot is not the same.

    I do baby it so I choose not to do any high impact or bouncing/jumping movements since I am prone to injury. I did do more aerobics this time around to 3 times/week for 45 min/session. I focus on weightlifting since I am not a naturally thickly muscled individual and probably never will be without some potent supplements!

    I choose not to run or do hours of aerobic activity so as to retain the muscle mass that I do have. I do keep myself busy and in movement through the day that I burn many calories just through the course of my day.

    Never forget to get enough sleep and reduce unnecessary stress in your life. Simplicity is definitely better sometimes. That is what I try to do whether it is the company you keep or the meal you eat. Quality over quantity.

After
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Colleen Castaneda.


Supplements

Generic vitamin/mineral and fish oils but only when not eating enough through my diet. Also protein powder when needed. If you eat the right foods, you do not need supplements so buy fresh fruit, veggies and high quality protein instead of a bottle of pills. Trust me. I also like the challenge to see how far I can take my body without too much supplementation.


Suggestions

I can tell you what to eat and I can tell you what exercises to do but it is your own will and power to make the choice to do it. Stresses in life can cause you to make some self-destructing choices which can snowball if not careful. Try to surround yourself with people who encourage and respect your choices and decisions that you make.

Always find time to be with yourself to wind down and relax. And always listen to your body. If you are feeling too tired to workout then don't. If you are hungry at 4 am, then eat. It's okay.

If you stay within your limits for the day then it will not turn into fat just because you eat then go straight to sleep. Basically balance your life and sit back sometimes and enjoy the moment. Life is short ... don't procrastinate. Lastly, love yourself.

After
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Colleen Castaneda.



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