Name: Jennifer O' Conner
Weight: 230 lbs
Weight: 115 lbs
Body Fat: 12%
Why I Got Started
I wasn't always overweight but in high school my weight slowly crept up. By the time I graduated from high school in 2004 I weighed about 180 pounds.
Then the stress that college brought with it left me depressed and eating for comfort. In May 2006 I topped the scale at 230 pounds. I barely had energy to get out of bed, and was out of breath just from walking to my classes.
Then my boyfriend who had always wanted to be a bodybuilder decided to get into shape and possibly compete. This was what first pushed me to change my body.
I did not want to be the fat girlfriend; if he was going to be rock hard, so was I! I began by just doing cardio, and by February 2007 I was down to about 180 pounds again, and then I found figure.
I remember seeing a picture of IFBB figure pro Jelena Abbou and thinking "wow, I want to look like that!" This was my new motivation, to be a figure competitor. And with my boyfriend training me I stepped on stage for the first time in November 2007 at 115 pounds and 12% body fat.
How I Did It
I started by just doing cardio. And trust me, a 230-pound girl can't do a whole lot! Most days I just went for a walk. Eventually I began going the gym on my college campus, usually using the elliptical. I also began to keep track of what I was eating more closely.
I began to use the weight machines and was dedicated to doing an hour of cardio before breakfast each morning. This wasn't easy while I was still in college. I gave up a lot of late night parties to get sleep and be at the gym by 6am.
And I lived in student housing, so if my car got blocked in (which it usually did) I had to walk the 1/2 mile to the gym, in upstate New York, in the middle of the winter, but I still did it because the results I was seeing were totally worth it.
Then in April, with my boyfriend guiding and supporting me I began lifting heavier, using free weights and the programs that he wrote for me. I lifted 5 days per week, and did cardio 6 days.
It became apparent fairly quickly that I had great genetics to put on muscle and lose fat, so the figure competitor inside me was born.
I tightened up my diet and began training like a figure competitor does; some days doing as much as two hours of cardio, and the fat began to melt off. By August I knew it was time to start my final prep to compete, and by November I was on stage!
Now while cutting I use Hot Rox Extreme, BCAA's, Biotest's Se7en, and ZMA. I also like to drink a spike shooter sometimes before I work out; it really gives me an energy boost! I have also used storm and shock therapy from Universal Nutrition and really liked them.
Now that I compete, my diet is very strict when I am in season. I carb cycle; 2 days per week are low carb, 4 days per week with moderate carbs, and one high carb day.
Here is an example of a moderate carb day:
- 1 scoop whey
- 1 scoop whey
I end up eating about every 2-3 hours. In the off season I also add in fruits, dairy, and a wider variety of carbs, as well as increase my calories.
Moday: Arms & Abs
Thursday: Delts & Abs
Saturday: Chest & Abs
Suggestions For Others
Not missing your old life will enable you to create a new one. One with health choices and a fabulous new body! Also remember why you are doing this, everything is easier when you can envision your goal.