When Trina was 22 years old, partying ruled her life, and her body reflected it. She had a sedentary job, ate poorly, and drank to excess on countless occasions. Her mental health was spiraling as her weight ballooned to 200 pounds.

"I started to experience crippling anxiety that controlled my life," she says. "I stayed home, embarrassed of my weight."

The depression and isolation continued for almost a year before she decided to see a doctor. Instead of suggesting a lifestyle change, her physician handed her a prescription for antidepressants. Trina knew this wasn't what she wanted for herself.

"I decided it was time to take my health into my own hands," she says. "That afternoon, I put on my shoes and started to run."

This is Trina's story.

Snapshot: Trina Asselin

  • Height: 5' 3"
  • Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Occupation: Lexus Sales and Leasing Consultant
  • Location: St. Catharines, Ontario

Contest Highlights:

  • 2014 UFE Mayhem Bikini Class
  • 2015 King Kong Wong Natural Championship Bikini Class
  • 2016 Barrie Natural Championship Bikini Class
  • 2017 Ontario Natural Championship Bikini Class

Social Links:

before

Age: 22, Height: 5' 3", Weight: 200 lbs.

after

Age: 29, Height: 5' 3", Weight: 120 lbs. (stage weight), 130-140 lbs. (off-season)

What prompted you to transform your body and your life?

When the doctor gave me an antidepressant instead of telling me to change my lifestyle, I decided to take up running instead. The day I started to run was the first day of the rest of my life. Running turned to weight loss and with each pound I lost, I regained more of my true self. Running helped me become physically and mentally stronger and more motivated. Eventually, I found my true passion in the weight room.

What prompted you to transform your body and your life?

How did this change affect you and those around you?

As the pounds came off, my confidence improved and I smiled more. I found myself excited for the future! Each new day brought new challenges that I welcomed. I saw how the gym and being active made me a more balanced individual.

Those around me took immediate notice of my mood change. I would call my mother, who lives far away from me, and she could hear in the tone of my voice that I was happier. Sadly, I lost a few friends along the way. Not everyone understood the lifestyle change. These were the "friends" I partied with and, in the end, I needed to remove them from my life to move forward.

How is your life different now?

When I look back at the girl I was, I recall daydreaming before bed every night, imagining being fit and healthy. I would dream of happiness. I can say with every bit of my being that I am all of these things now, and more. The fitness world opened up so many new opportunities for me, and I am now a storefront model for Herc's Nutrition, as well as a model for their clothing line and flyers. I've also made what I think will be lifelong friends in the industry. Truth be told, fitness saved my life.

What measures did you take to accomplish your goals?

At first, the lifestyle change was a daily learning experience. After I started running, I joined a local gym and utilized Bodybuilding.com's sample programs and how-to videos as a starting point. I changed up my program every few months to avoid stagnation.

Bodybuilding.com was the main source of inspiration for the first few years. Once Instagram came out, I would look at fitness models and health motivation pages. I also read magazines like Women's Health to learn more. Anything I could read, I would!

What measures did you take to accomplish your goals?

What aspect challenged you the most?

The hardest part was the diet. This took me years to truly understand, through trial and error. I did a lot of research on macronutrients and micronutrients to calculate what my body needed. I fell off the wagon more times than I can count, and it took awhile for me to understand that mistakes are normal. I had to teach myself not to dwell on these errors, to move on and start fresh each day.

What aspect challenged you the most?

What diet plan guided your transformation?

Breakfast
Oats
1/2 cup
Peanut Butter
1 tsp
Protein Powder
1 scoop
Meal 2
Chicken
4 oz
Yams (or 1/2 cup rice)
1
Cucumber
1 cup
Vegetables
2 cups
Grapefruit
1/2
Meal 3
Chicken (or turkey)
4 oz
Vegetables
2 cups
Cucumber
1 cup
Meal 4
Protein Shake
1
Meal 5
Chicken (or white fish)
4 oz
Yams (or 1/2 cup white rice)
2 oz
Asparagus
10
Vegetables
2 cups
Grapefruit
1/2
Before bed
Grapefruit
1/2

What supplements helped you through your journey?

Morning:

Evening:

  • Webbers Natural Magnesium
  • Nature's Bounty Calcium
  • Equate Fish Oil
  • VITAfusion Multivitamin

Were there days when you thought about quitting?

Absolutely. For the first year, quitting crossed my mind daily. To overcome this, I would read motivational quotes or look at transformation stories on Bodybuilding.com. I also kept a journal to document my highs and lows. At my darkest times, this would give me an avenue to express my feelings. I would remind myself that I made a promise to improve my life and, with that, I would push forward.

What suggestions do you have for aspiring transformers?

Going through my personal transformation, I didn't have much of a support system. So, I turned to Bodybuilding.com's forums, chats, and stories to motivate me. In life, with big risk comes big reward. You owe it to yourselves to live the biggest, best life you can dream of. I promise that, if you give it your all, fight every battle thrown at you, and stay grateful and motivated each day, you will achieve great success and find true happiness.

What suggestions do you have for aspiring transformers?

How else did Bodybuilding.com help you to reach your goals?

BodySpace was the first stepping stone in my fitness journey. I still remember the first day I logged in. I was overwhelmed, in a good way, with the amount of content. The community BodySpace offers is amazing. The positive reinforcement, compliments, friendships, and ability to track your own progress truly made my transformation possible. Without it, I don't know where I would be today.

What training regimen kept you on track?

My training varies with the seasons, but this is my go-to routine:

Day 1: Shoulders/Biceps/Abs
1
Side Lateral Raise
2 sets, 15 reps
4 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press
4 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Dumbbell Flyes
5 sets, 15-20 reps
4
Machine Preacher Curls
4 sets, 15 reps
5
Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)
5 sets, 25-30 reps
6
Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl
4 sets, 10-12 reps
Day 2: Legs
1
Lateral Band Walk
5 sets, 10 steps (each way)
2
One-Legged Cable Kickback
5 sets, 15 reps
3
Triset
Leg Press
5 sets, 15 reps
Butt Lift (Bridge)
5 sets, 20 reps
Thigh Abductor
5 sets, 20 reps
4
Lying Leg Curls
5 sets, 10-15 reps (single leg)
5
Standing Calf Raise
4 sets, 15 reps
Day 3: Back/Abs
1
Pullups
4 sets, 8-10 reps (vary grip)
2
Seated Cable Rows
4 sets, 12-15 reps (reverse grip)
3
Superset
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
4 sets, 10 reps
Straight-Arm Pulldown
4 sets, 15 reps
4
Superman
3 sets, 15 reps
5
Crunches
4 sets, 25 reps
6
Plank
3 sets
7
Roman Chair Side Ups
4 sets, 10-15 reps
Day 4: Chest/Triceps/Abs
1
Pushups
4 sets, 10 reps (walk out)
2
Dumbbell Bench Press
4 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Butterfly
4 sets, 15 reps
4
Superset
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
4 sets, 8-10 reps
EZ-Bar Skullcrusher
4 sets, 10-15 reps
5
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
4 sets, 10-12 reps
6
Cable Crunch
4 sets, 20-25 reps
7
Plank
3 sets
Day 5: Hamstrings/Glutes
1
Fire Hydrant
4 sets, 30 reps
2
Lateral Band Walk
4 sets, 15 reps (each side)
3
One-Legged Cable Kickback
4 sets, 15-20 reps
4
Plie Dumbbell Squat
3 sets, 15-20 reps
5
Cable Deadlifts
3 sets, 15-20 reps (perform as squat)
Day 6 and 7: Rest

Where will fitness take you next?

The sky is the limit! I am currently in prep for my fifth bikini competition and this will be my first open category of my fitness career. This year, I plan on traveling more with my sponsors for store openings for Herc's Nutrition, along with the possibility of going to Mr. Olympia in the fall!

Where will fitness take you next?

Any cool or interesting facts that you would like to share?

I speak French, I have two Chihuahuas, and I volunteer for a Chihuahua rescue fund. I have been featured in multiple magazine ads promoting a happy, healthy lifestyle. I also fundraise and volunteer for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and work as a sales consultant for Lexus, where I am one of the top sales representatives. I am currently in the process of writing a book on my personal struggles and accomplishments to help inspire others to chase their dreams and be their best self!

About the Author

Kailan Kalina

Kailan Kalina

Kailan Kalina is a competitive powerlifter and freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and communications from the University of Oregon. Since graduating, she...

View all articles by this author

Transformation