Nobody in Allie Ruby's life ever said she had a weight or lifestyle problem. The daughter of a "meat and potatoes" family from Des Moines, Iowa, she hung out with people exactly like her. In college, suffering from stress and anxiety about school and her future, she used food and alcohol as an emotional crutch. Just like at home, the crowd she hung out with in college had the same habits.

But slowly, her weight got the best of her, and she found herself avoiding going out with friends and family because of it. She knew a change was necessary, and she's embraced it with incredible determination ever since.

This is Allie's story.

Allie Ruby Transformation: Before

Age: 24, Height: 5'6", Weight: 225 lbs., Body Fat: 38%

Allie Ruby Transformation: After

Age: 27, Height: 5'6", Weight: 155 lbs., Body Fat: 18%

Why did you decide to transform?

In 2013, I came home to visit, and my mom put a picture of me on Facebook. The moment I saw that photo was the first time I felt really disgusted and ashamed of myself. I knew that I was the one responsible for the shape I was in, and I would have to be the one responsible for changing. Nobody deserves to spend years avoiding social situations because they're ashamed of themselves physically.

A post shared by Allie Ruby (@ididitformyself) on

How did you accomplish your goals?

I had a vision of who I wanted to be, physically: muscular, strong, a badass. Inside, I wanted similar things, to be confident, altruistic, empathetic—and also a badass! I wrote this all down and posted it around the house, then started making small changes in my daily routine. I started running, then I started eating better, then I started doing Bodybuilding.com workouts at home, and eventually took those workouts with me to the gym.

We live in a time where people are super connected, so I took advantage of social media and made my goals public: to lose body fat, put on muscle, and also inspire others to change their lives and become their best selves. Every day that I felt like giving up or throwing in the towel, I thought about the people I hadn't met or those who hadn't come across my story, who would need me as an example.

I thought about what a shame it would be if I wasn't doing what I set out to do. That responsibility, and public accountability, kept me going.

Allie Ruby Transformation

How has your transformation changed your life?

Within three months, I turned my daily habits around 180 degrees. Now, my life is completely different. I don't drink alcohol, I eat healthier foods, and fitness takes up all of my free time!

Along with leaving bad habits behind, I left people who weren't contributing to my life, and I left jobs that were no longer fulfilling.

I have the most supportive and loving people in my life now. I have found so many inspiring people through social media, as well. My relationship with my family is always a work in progress (as are all relationships), but we are very happy!

I feel amazing, and now I'm on a personal mission to inspire the world.

What are your future fitness plans?

The first time I was featured on Bodybuilding.com, I was training to pass the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC). In 2016, I did that! I am now a kettlebell enthusiast and trainer!

Additionally, I've realized that I can't focus just on weight loss anymore, so I hired a coach and trained for my first natural figure show in May, here in Des Moines!

I have also created a blog to get my butt back into the kitchen. I'm on a mission to create healthy baked treats that everyone can share with their friends and family!

What diet plan guided your transformation?

Meal 1: Pre-Workout
Oatmeal
1 package
Protein Powder (EVL Nutrition Birthday Cake Stacked Protein)
1 scoop
Meal 2
Cereal (Chocolate Oat Clusters)
1 cup
Protein Powder (EVL Nutrition Chocolate Decadence Stacked Protein)
1 scoop
Meal 3
Turkey (lean)
4 oz.
Apple (medium)
1
Meal 4
Chicken
4.3 oz.
Vegetables (stir-fried)
85 g
Meal 5
Chicken
4.3 oz.
Vegetables (stir-fried)
85 g
Meal 6
Eggs (sunny-side up)
5
Toast (Sarah Lee 45-calorie)
2 slices

What Supplements Helped You Transform?

What training regimen kept you on track?

Here is an example of what I did summer through fall, until I started training for the show with my coach. Don't worry, I still do kettlebells!

Day 1: Full-Body Strength Circuits
1
Warm-Up Circuit: 2-3 rounds
Kettlebell Swing
5 reps
Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up (Squat style)
1 rep per side
2
Slow Circuit: 15 minutes
Bent Over Barbell Row
5 reps
Barbell Deadlift
5 reps
Face Pull
5 reps
3
Slow Circuit: 5 minutes
Double Kettlebell Push Press
5 reps
Dumbbell Rear Lunge
5 reps per leg
Band Pull Apart
8 reps
4
Superset
Lateral Band Walk
3 sets, 15 steps each direction
Suitcase Dumbbell Carry
Perform single-arm.
3 sets, 25 feet per arm
Day 2: Conditioning
1
Complex: repeat 8 times with low weight
Kettlebell Swing
5 reps
Kettlebell Hang Clean
5 reps
Double Kettlebell Push Press
5 reps
Front Barbell Squat
Perform with kettlebell.
5 reps
Kettlebell Swing
5 reps
Day 3: Full-Body Strength Circuits
1
Warm-Up: 2-3 rounds
Dead Bug
15 reps per leg (with band resistance)
Bear Crawl Sled Drags
Perform without sled.
20 feet
2
Slow Circuit: 15 minutes
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Perform with kettlebell.
5 reps per arm
Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
6 reps per leg
Hip Flexion with Band
30 seconds per side
3
Slow Circuit: 15 minutes
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
5 reps
Front Barbell Squat
Perform with kettlebell.
5 reps
Side-Lying Floor Stretch
3 reps per side
4
Superset: 3 sets
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Max reps per leg
Suitcase Dumbbell Carry
Perform single-arm.
25 feet per arm
Day 4: Conditioning
1
Kettlebell Swing
10 sets, 30 seconds (rest 30 seconds)
2
Battling Ropes
10 sets, 30 seconds (rest 30 seconds)
3
Running, Treadmill
Sprints.
10 sets, 30 seconds (rest 30 seconds)

What aspect challenged you the most?

Training and working out is easy. Nutrition is the hard part, especially breaking bad habits. A habit is a cue, plus a response or routine, plus a reward. I learned to keep the cue and reward, but replace the response or routine.

I started slowly, replacing one "response" for one day out of each week, and I kept doing that for a couple weeks. Then I made it twice a week, then three times a week. Finally, it became a daily thing. I suggest reading the book "The Power of Habit—Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business." I was floored when I read this.

I also pulled my lower back and got sciatica about a year and a half into my journey. The reason was a combination of poor form in my kettlebell training—this is what led me to get more serious about my kettlebell training later on—and my body being used to balancing a larger frame.

After getting injured, I was devastated. Something that had made me so happy was stripped away from me for months. Thankfully, I was able to slowly recover. I came back with my mission still on my mind.

Honestly, eating healthy was still difficult when I was with family or my work family. We love our meat and potatoes in the Midwest, so not feeling guilty for eating healthier food was another big hurdle!

It took some work to convince everyone around me that the reason I wasn't eating the same as them was not because I didn't appreciate them, but because I was trying to stay on track with my plan. To balance my own goals with the lifestyle of my family, I changed my routine sometimes, so we could still occasionally indulge together.

In 2016, my biggest accomplishment was going on numerous life-changing trips and overcoming the guilt of not staying on track 100 percent with my nutritional plan while traveling. At first, I beat myself up about it, but after an eight-day cruise in the Caribbean, feeling guilty the whole time, I got home and had a good self-talk session. I don't want anyone who admires me to beat themselves up over vacation eating.

Now, I work harder before traveling, and while on vacation I choose the healthier options, minus one meal. I know that I'll hit the ground running when I get home, literally.

What is your advice for aspiring transformers?

Going to the gym for the first time can be very intimidating, and I used to worry that people were judging me. The thing is, what others are thinking about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Chances are, the negative thoughts you're having are just that: thoughts. On the off chance that people actually are thinking bad things about you, that's on them. They have bigger things to work on than their physique.

A post shared by Allie Ruby (@ididitformyself) on

Remember, you are the one responsible for working toward your goals. It doesn't matter who you hire, what program you're doing, or what food plan you're on; it's your job to keep yourself going, especially when the motivational highs fade away—and they will fade, frequently.

Self-talk is everything. You need to keep reminding yourself why you're doing this. Only you can cheat yourself from success.

How has Bodybuilding.com helped you reach your goals?

I knew that Bodybuilding.com existed, but I had no idea that it offered so much more than just bodybuilding tips and supplements. My third week into this lifestyle change, I decided to learn more about better foods to eat, and Bodybuilding.com was the first hit in my Google search. I was so impressed with the laidback language in the nutrition articles I read that day, that I began exploring more of the site: the motivation and transformation articles, the workout programs, and the supplement information.

I became a member of BodySpace, connected with some pretty inspiring people, and began to use the app to write my own programs. So many of the features keep me excited for my next workout!

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Jason Appelman

Bodybuilding.com's authors include many of the top coaches, nutritionists, and physique athletes in the world today.

View all articles by this author

Transformation