After giving birth to her second child, Teegan Rose (TeeganRose on BodySpace) decided she needed to make a change. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, this former pageant competitor weighed 268 pounds and was beginning to worry she was losing her strength and compromising her health.
She did what any natural-born competitor would do: trained hard and changed her diet. After dropping to less than half her starting weight, she took to the stage once again. Only this time, she was competing as a physique athlete in the figure division.
Snapshot: Teegan Rose Brown (Melanson)
- Age: 27
- Height: 5' 6"
- Weight: 135 lbs.
- Occupation: Counselor; nail technician
- Location: New Brunswick, Canada
- Contest Highlights: 2018 Flex Lewis Canadian Classic (Figure division)
- Social Media Links: Instagram, BodySpace
What prompted you to start your fitness transformation?
I have two boys ages 4 and 2. After I gave birth to my second son, my weight ballooned to 268 pounds. I decided I needed to lose weight and change my life.
My life had gotten to the point where I was so miserable and my knees were always hurting. I remember one day just walking up the stairs at home and becoming so out of breath. I thought "How am I going to keep up with these two little boys I have?"
I purchased a membership at my local gym and hired a personal trainer, Eva Dunbar. She showed me how to train and eat properly. I lost the first 100 pounds within six months of having my baby.
Were there unique challenges to starting out with so much weight to lose?
It was a struggle to start. In the beginning, I would strap the baby into the baby carrier and push my other child in the stroller for my daily cardio.
But my trainer motivated and pushed me. She believed that I could overcome my challenges. I owe her a lot for all the things she helped me with.
I won't lie by saying it was easy. Losing 100 pounds was extremely challenging. I was going through a lot at that time in my life—realizing that my life needed a whole flip for the positive. I turned to the gym and exercise as my therapy. And with the help of my trainer, I've lost more than 135 pounds, to date.
How did others react to your transformation?
Once I hit the 100-pounds-down mark, I felt great, but I also felt very judged. My body had finally started to change, and while there was a lot of positivity, along with that came the negative comments as well. People who knew me before my transformation started telling me things like, "You're too skinny," and, "You look sick," or "You looked better bigger."
I had to realize that what I thought of myself and my own happiness was the most important thing, and that people who say hurtful things are only hurting themselves. I was doing this for all the right reasons—to be healthy and fit for my children and to finally feel happy in my skin.
What made you decide to enter a competition?
When I first started in the gym and with my weight loss, my trainer asked me what my goals were. I wanted to think further ahead than just losing weight, so I chose competing as one of my bigger goals to help motivate me. I had competed in pageants and done a lot of singing when I was younger, and I always loved being onstage.
My trainer has trained for and won both bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions, and I always looked up to her for her drive and determination. I thought the way she looked was absolutely beautiful. I couldn't wait to put on some muscle and see what I could do.
In the end, I chose figure because that is where I feel like my body fits in at the moment. I feel like the women in that division all look so beautiful, and that is where I wanted to start my bodybuilding journey. I would love to do physique in the future, but I need to put on some more muscle mass for that to happen.
How was training for a competition different from your initial weight-loss efforts?
The first challenge was finding the time to go to the gym to lift every day. Getting a workout in can be really hard when you have two small children. I usually work out in the morning before they wake up, or late at night after I put them to sleep.
Some days I have to involve the babies in my workouts out of necessity, so we go for hikes or long walks to the park. It's funny to admit this, but I have even done exercises on the monkey bars just to sneak in a workout!
I also do plyometric exercises and cardio at home when I have the energy. I work a demanding full-time job with 12-14-hour shifts, so I need to make time to work out and schedule competition training into my busy life.
But at the end of the day, I just try to always have a positive outlook as I face life's stresses and everyday struggles.
This was your first competition prep. What did you learn?
I gained a better understanding of myself, my worth, and what I'm capable of. I have actually been able to deal with major stresses in my life a lot easier than I once did.
I now know I am capable of a whole lot more when I put my mind to it with a positive outlook. I'm very blessed to add this journey to my own life experiences.
Training for and competing in a physique show was amazing, and I think I have found a new love for the art of competitive bodybuilding. I met so many amazing and inspiring people along the way, and I have made memories that will last a lifetime.
I felt confident and beautiful up on that stage—and I think I rocked it! I'm very excited to do this again in the future.
What advice would you like to share with someone just starting out?
Decide that you are doing this for you. Along the way, you will come across negative people who will want to judge you. But that does not matter, because at the end of the day, it's your life and you deserve to be healthy and happy.
I worked very hard and changed my life. I found my passion for bodybuilding and the fitness industry and hope that someday it will be my full-time job to help and inspire others like myself. Going through all the changes of losing weight and training for a competition helped me become stronger, not only physically but also mentally.
You just need to find what motivates you and stay focused and driven. I worked very hard to be where I am today, and I want to tell anyone out there just starting out that I know they can do it, too.
I wholeheartedly believe that.
What meal plan did you follow?
My coach put me on a varied diet for my weight loss and for contest prep, so here's an example of what a typical day might look like:
Do you have a daily supplement routine?
What does your weekly workout routine look like?
I like to jump rope between sets, and sometimes I finish my workouts with a plyo circuit of burpees, push-ups, and jumping rope. I also vary my workouts and splits from time to time. Here is an example of what my weekly workouts might look like: