Name: Regina LeBlanc
Height: 5'5 1/2
Before Weight: 190 lbs.
After Weight: 118 lbs. contest, 128 lbs. off season
Waist: 25 1/2
Before: Size 14
After: Size 5/6
After Body Fat: 12%
Why I Got Started
Ever since I was in high school I wanted to compete in a fitness competition. I had seen one on TV and wanted to do it. My mom had Cory Everson videos and lots of exercise equipment around the house and I loved the way Cory Everson looked.
When I was 20 years old I got pregnant. By the time I was 2 months along the father and I were no longer together. Knowing I was soon to become a single mother, I stuffed my face with junk for the rest of the pregnancy. It seemed as though all I did was eat, sleep, eat and cry. Even when my doctor told me the baby was the right size but I was getting too big, I still continued to eat and eat and not do much physical activity. I ended up gaining 75 pounds during my pregnancy.
After I had my son I weighed 190 pounds. Shocked when my favorite size 5 pants wouldn't go up past my knees, I realized I had to change something. I started out eating a healthier breakfast and was also back at my job, which meant I was actually moving. By the time my son was 3-months old I had lost 15 pounds. With a newborn I didn't have as much time to eat as much as I had been.
Over the next couple of years I had tried and failed at the Body-for-Life 12-week challenge numerous times. I yo-yo dieted and sporadically worked out for a few weeks at a time. In 2004 my boyfriend, whom I had been dating since my son was 9-months old, took me to the Arnold Classic. We watched the fitness and figure competitions and went to the expo.
I also got the chance to meet and get a picture with my favorite fitness competitor, Adela Garcia. It was so inspiring being there and meeting her after watching her win her first Fitness International title. I was so inspired I went home and finished the Body-for-Life challenge for the first time. I was so excited I had finally won the battle with my weight. I was down to 130 pounds, only 5 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight.
Over the next couple of years I would gain a little weight and lose it again. My boyfriend had joined the United States Navy and after he graduated boot camp we married. I couldn't move with him to where he stationed right away and we were apart most of our first year of marriage.
When we did see each other we worked on having another child. Unfortunately, I had two miscarriages in one year. I had gained back 25 pounds during those hard times. Finally, my son and I moved to Virginia with my husband. Once we had moved I had the chance to be a stay at home mom and I started working out and eating healthy again.
How I Did It
I started out slowly eating healthier and exercising. I didn't get really serious until 2006. This year I started eating every 2.5 hours. My meals consisted of lean protein such as egg whites, chicken, lean beef, turkey or fish. I would also eat a low glycemic carbohydrate such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal or brown rice.
I ate 5-7 times per day. My workouts changed a lot. Sometimes I would do one body part per day 5 days per week with 3-5 different exercises, 4 sets and between 12-20 reps. At other times I would do upper body twice per week and lower body twice per week with 6-8 different exercises and 3-4 sets with reps between 12-25.
What I Ate
- Meal One: Oatmeal and egg whites
- Meal Two: Lean protein, carbs, veggies
- Meal Three: Grilled chicken salad w/fat free dressing
- Meal Four: Lean protein, veggies
- Meal Five: Protein shake
- Meal Six: Protein
- Monday: Upper body
- Tuesday: Lower body
- Wednesday: Cardio
- Thursday: Upper body
- Friday: Lower body
- Saturday: Cardio
- Sunday: off
I knew I had to constantly keep my body guessing so it would keep changing and improving. I kept track of my measurements, weight and what I ate.
This year I decided to go for it and compete in my first competition. I decided to enter a figure contest since I was not strong enough to do the mandatory moves for fitness. I started out at 12 weeks out doing everything on my own, but it was hard to figure out. I was on bodybuilding.com looking for help and a trainer found me asking questions and said he could help me.
He trained me from 7 weeks out and whipped me into the best shape of my life. I entered my first competition on July 8th, the Monica Brant BodyRock Figure Classic. It was a wonderful experience! No, I didn't win, but it wasn't about winning. I made it, I crossed the finish line! I finally competed! I even got to meet my favorite competitor, Adela, again.
Now I plan to continue training to gain more muscle in my upper body and continue eating healthy. I plan on competing more and I hope to inspire other women, especially mothers to get in shape and get the body they want.
Advice For Others
I would suggest getting a trainer/nutritionist because they make things easier and take the guess work out of dieting and training.
Keep at it, be consistent! If you pig out one day or cheat a little it's okay. Start over the next day. One day will not ruin it all.
If you wish to compete, Go For It! I would suggest getting a posing video or a session with an experienced competitor to teach you how to pose, it really helps. Be proud of what you have accomplished, its not all about winning the contest. Have fun and enjoy yourself.
Have a lot of people supporting you, my husband was behind me the whole way and he helped me through the times I wanted to give up. I couldn't have done it without him. Your friends and family may not always understand why you want to live the bodybuilding lifestyle but they will support you in the end. Your trainer/nutritionist will also support you.
One of my favorite quotes is,
there is always another chance for you.
What we call failure is not the
falling down but the staying down."
I fell down plenty of times during those 5 years but I kept getting back up. So, no matter how many times you fall, get up, dust yourself off and try again and again if you have to. I still plan on trying for another child and if it doesn't work out again I'll keep dusting myself off and getting back up and trying again.