Sharon Wigger had an eating disorder as a teen, but two successive pregnancies after high school left her overweight, not underweight, and feeling depressed. As a 21-year-old, her 5-foot-3-inch frame was carrying around 200 pounds at 48 percent body fat.
Nothing happens overnight, but the turning point came in 2015, when she entered a Bodybuilding.com transformation contest. Eventually, at age 26, she got down to 113 pounds and 11-percent body fat.
If you're reading this, you might be looking for a turning point yourself. Wigger's personal tips, techniques, and inspiring anecdotes might be just the guidance you need to transform in 2018.
Why did you decide to transform?
In high school, I was very fit. Before that, in junior high, I even played on the boys' football and basketball teams. Then, I got away from sports and into a battle with an eating disorder. I developed this mindset that any pant size above a 6 was unacceptable to me. I'd do just about anything to stay slim.
A year and a half after I graduated, I had my first son and my weight skyrocketed to 200 pounds. I was a single teenage mother with no friends and a bad case of postpartum depression. I simply didn't care about my health or my weight anymore.
At that time, I was working the overnight shift as a patient access representative at a local hospital. One night, I went to Taco Bell and bought about $20 worth of food and snacked on it all night long. I was getting ready to eat yet another burrito when I overheard a couple of nurses laughing and joking about the way I looked.
At first, I was really hurt, but deep down I knew I needed to change. I had been using food to comfort myself during my pregnancy, and it had gotten out of hand. A moment later, I surprised and inspired myself by thinking, "Sharon, you can do this. You know what you're doing is wrong—and you know you can change it. Put the food down and let's do this." So, I started my journey.
What did your path to transformation look like?
At first, I thought I could get there just by getting a tummy tuck, but the doctor told me I'd have to lose at least 30 pounds just to be eligible for the surgery. I began researching diets and seemed to follow every fad that came long. Over the course of two years, my weight bounced between 140 and 160 pounds.
In November 2012, I came across a picture of Dana Linn Bailey on Bodybuilding.com and thought to myself, "That's it! I want to look like her!" I started working out and watching my diet and lost a lot of weight—until I got pregnant with my second child and my weight shot back up to 140-145 pounds.
Then, two things happened that made it possible for me to change everything. First, I heard about the Bodybuilding.com Transformation Challenge. Second, I was smart enough to reach out and ask for help. Chandler Camden, a 2015 Dymatize $200K Transformation Challenge winner, went to the same gym I did, so I approached him about training me. He agreed, but made two rules. I had to promise to do the best I could, and I had to promise to learn the entire process so I could continue it on my own. By the end of the 12-week transformation, I was down to 113 pounds and 11-percent body fat.
How were you able to stay on course?
I follow Dana Linn Bailey and Ashley Horner on social media. They're such inspirations to me, especially DLB. Seeing her physique and her work ethic helps keep me at the top of my game. Her lifestyle encourages me to give my best every day—in and out of the gym.
Of course, there are still days when I want to quit. Four weeks before the end of the transformation challenge, my father passed away. As someone who tends to eat for comfort, I wanted nothing more than to run away with cake and a gallon of ice cream, lock myself in a room, and cry. But I knew my dad would have been so disappointed if I gave up after coming this far. I kept with it not only prove to myself I could, but to make him proud.
What aspect of your transformation challenged you the most?
It was mostly the diet. At first, I was constantly looking at my plate and thinking, "Wow, this isn't much food." That really messed with my mind. Once I started thinking of food not as something to entertain and comfort me but to fuel my body, it became much easier.
Now, when I go to social gatherings like birthday parties or baseball games—any place where there's an abundance of food—I ask myself, "How badly do you want success? Do you want that food more than your success? Which is going to taste better at the end of the day?"
What are your fitness plans for the future?
My goal is to become a trainer, specifically for moms. Being a mother of two, I know the changes the body goes through and the insecurity women feel because of things like stretch marks and loose skin.
Confidence plays such a huge part in being happy. I want women to feel comfortable and confident in their bodies, and to know that "abs after children" really is possible! Eventually I want to compete, to step onstage with others who have worked as hard as I have. I'm looking forward to meeting and learning from women whose goals are similar to mine.
What are your suggestions for aspiring transformers?
Never give up! It's a process! Success in anything takes work and dedication.
The local newspaper ran a story about my weight loss for the challenge and almost immediately people started asking me to help them achieve the same thing. The first thing I ask them is whether they want a temporary or permanent fix. I tell them that making a transformation like this is not about following a diet—it's about changing your entire lifestyle.
You have to want the change—not just inside the gym, but in the world. I remind them that all those sweets and fast foods that sabotage their progress will always be out there. You can't make them go away, but you can't give in to them. You have to stay on track and, when you do, success will follow.
How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
Bodybuilding.com played a major part in me reaching my goals, and it still does. Setting a goal on BodySpace, knowing that my goal is out there for everyone to see—along with my ability to stay on track—helps keep me accountable. I love the articles and recipes, too. It's always exciting to find new foods, especially sweet treats, that fit my macros.
I also enjoy reading articles by Ashley Horner. She is such an inspiration to me because she has children too, and still finds ways to stay in incredible shape. She really keeps me motivated.
The fact that Bodybuildling.com is always coming out with new motivational and educational articles keeps me up to date on the new research and trends—and it keeps me coming back for more!
What supplements helped you through your journey?
- Super B complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D-3
- Glucosamine sulfate
- Prenatal/multivitamin with folic acid
- Green tea extract