Earliest Before: May 1999
Weight: 85 lbs
Recent Before: January 2007
Weight: 105 lbs
Body Fat: 17.5%
Lean Body Mass: ~86.5 lbs
Weight: 125 lbs
Body Fat: 13.0%
Lean Body Mass: ~108.75 lbs
Why I Got Started
I started lifting weights as a last ditch effort to save my own life. Back in 1995, the start of my Sophomore year in high school, I surrendered to my fears of failure and shamefully turned my talents into an obsession that was to consume the next 12 years of my life and lead me into a dark, lonely and wasteful existence.
Looking back on the years spent with anorexia is tough. It's hard for me to remember those days, because I'd become so malnourished, I literally started to lose my mind. I hated getting up in the morning, feared being around people, and loathed everything about myself.
I was listless, often not having the energy to stand up in the shower for long. My brain didn't work like it used to, and I'd lost all sense of creativity and humor. When I looked into the future, I saw nothing; my body was shutting down.
In response to social pressures in college, I was successful in abandoning my anorexic lifestyle. Unfortunately rather than eat for myself, I found myself eating to please others, and that's when I picked up bulimia. There began a life fueled by lies and deceit.
Spending hundreds of dollars on junk food each month eventually manifested itself into a daily habit, culminating in grotesque binges as often as 5 times per day, each followed by violent, life-threatening purges.
Every bit of energy I had, was devoted to choices that led to deeper isolation and an overwhelming sense of failure as a person. Looking ahead, I knew I could not sustain this kind of lifestyle for long.
After only a few years of binging and purging, the lowest point I reached - both physically and emotionally - was when my teeth started to fall out. That's when I knew the charade I was playing couldn't be carried on any longer, because the smile I was wearing - the costume on my face - was rotting away.
Medical bills were through the roof, and my self worth was at an all time low. Not only was I wasting my own life away, but I was ruining the lives of those around me. I was lost. I knew I needed to find myself. My life as an anorexic, turned bulimic, turned party girl was spiraling out of control.
Joining the gym perplexed people at first. They'd look at me in wonder and remind me of how thin I was. Even the Personal Training Manager who signed me up for my orientation at the gym made a comment as to how I didn't seem to need to be there - I was already so thin!
I knew what everyone was referring to; I saw a thin reflection in the mirror, but it was a thin image of failure and dissatisfaction- it wasn't me.
How I Did It
I began slowly. First, I changed my diet. I hopped on the clean eating bandwagon, which involved consuming foods in their most natural state. I stopped buying packaged products, turning in my Diet Cokes, pretzels and gummy bears in for water, green tea and almonds.
After sustaining healthy eating habits, I found my energy levels to be through the roof! I'd been going to the gym for a while, but it wasn't until I nailed my diet down that I actually felt like I could do something productive in the gym. Gaining the stamina to workout was great, but I still lacked the knowledge of what to do.
In my quest for reliable advice on weight training, I stumbled upon Bodybuilding.com. There I immersed myself in information. I read articles, reviewed profiles of others on BodySpace, visited the forums where questions were being asked and answered and watched videos of others performing lifts I wanted to learn.
After a few months of eating right and lifting light weights, I knew I was heading for a lifestyle that would sustain a long, happy, healthy life. As I became more aware of the muscles on my body and their interactive relationships with each other, I became increasingly confident with my ability to make them do what I wanted.
It was fun and it gave me a great sense of satisfaction. Too fearful of failure at the start, I couldn't immediately set long-term goals for myself, but I did set mini goals. With each mini-goal achievement, my confidence grew. My greatest achievements in muscle gain and fat loss began when I challenged myself to push heavier weights.
I'm currently implementing nutrition and training programs designed by SciVation. My training routine changes every 3-4 weeks - either in intensity, volume or frequency. Not only is this technique great fun, but it keeps my body from getting used to any one training style.
Through the course of my transformation I have gained a new sense of pride in how I lead my life and I'm no longer afraid to set long term goals. I can now look in the future and smile.
- 8 Egg Whites sweetened w/ Stevia to taste
- ½ Banana, sliced
- 20 g Almond Butter
- ¼ Cup Oats
- Cinnamon to taste
- 4 oz Tuna (packed in water)
- 1 oz Avocado
- ¼ Cup diced green onion and bell pepper
- 2 Cups Spinach
- 1 tsp Flax (for dressing the Spinach)
- ½ Grapefruit
7:30 PM (Post-Workout Meal)
Monday: Back & Traps
Wednesday: Chest & Shoulders
Saturday: Arms & Calves
I always aim for at least 6 reps and no more than 10. If I can do more than 10 reps I raise the weight.
Suggestions For Others
The best advice I can give to others is to:
- Don't compare yourself to others. At first I was discouraged and intimidated by others at the gym, but I kept in mind that everyone has to start somewhere.
- Never skip a workout. There were plenty of times when I wanted to drive right past the gym and "make up" my workout at a later date. I kept in mind, that every workout I accomplished brought me one step closer to my goals.
- Be patient. Results come with time. When I ceased looking for immediate results on a daily basis and accepted weight training as a lifestyle, the results came gradually, but still sooner than I ever anticipated.
- Eat properly. Diet truly is 80% of the equation. It wasn't until I nailed my diet that I was able to obtain the results from my work in the gym.
- Never be afraid to ask others for advice or help. I've found that most people are more than willing to offer their 2 cents when it comes to training. I love it when people ask me for help - it's a great pat on the back and it motivates me to continue down this path to happiness and well being!
- In effort to make a transformation, don't think of it as a project with a deadline. Instead, think of it as a lifestyle. Sit back and enjoy the new lifestyle. Not only will you see the results, but you'll feel them too, and before you know it people will be coming up to you to ask, "How'd you do it?"