WEIGHT 145 lbs
BODY FAT 22.4%
WEIGHT 135 lbs
BODY FAT 15.7%
Why I Decided To Transform
I finally decided to stop wasting the best years of my life wishing I looked like someone else. In the past I was relatively active, but it always came and went in cycles.
I always flopped between being motivated and self-loathing. I had a toxic all-or-nothing attitude. Deep down I think I have always been afraid to become my very best self. I've been afraid to truly try and end up falling short.
I was sick and tired of getting into just good enough shape so I felt okay and then living off the results for six months or until I was fed up with myself again.
Being a wife, mother to two small boys, and a busy chef was not an excuse to let my physical health fall by the wayside. I needed off the hamster wheel to change what I was telling myself in my mind and what I was communicating to my body with food. I needed a plan.
I've been a long time reader of Oxygen magazine, and Jamie Eason has always been one of my biggest fitness inspirations.
I liked picking up lifting tips and recipes, but mostly I just admired the amazingly fit women who graced the pages of the magazine. Maybe I thought if I wished or wanted it hard enough, it might just happen to me.
For some reason on April 1, 2012, I was sitting on the couch paging through new fitness magazines and something just clicked in my brain: It was within my power to achieve the physique of my dreams. I was the only person stopping me. I just had to go out there and make it happen. It was that simple, and that daunting, which made it kind of exciting.
So, I chose to make myself, and stop all the wishing and the wanting. It was learning Jamie's personal story. Seeing that she wasn't born looking like she does now made me realize that we all have our own journey, and I could begin my own.
I never knew the challenges and hurdles she had in her life, and how she had the courage and the strength to move through them. I prepared my mind for the change and knew if I visualized it I could make it happen.
How I Accomplished My Goals
Looking to learn more about what Jamie Eason had to offer, I discovered her LiveFit 12-Week Trainer was offered for free through Bodybuilding.com and I started right away. I decided to give it a real 100 percent honest shot. I wasn't going to modify anything, cheat on the food, skip workouts, or any of that. I ordered her supplement pack, went grocery shopping, hit the gym, followed it to a tee, and never looked back.
To save on time and make it easier on myself to make good choices, I decided to set aside one day a week where I could prep all my food. Usually, this only took about two hours to complete everything. I boiled or steamed chicken and portioned and bagged it in grab and go Ziploc baggies.
I baked all of my protein bars for the week and bagged them according to serving size on the plan. My absolute favorite bar is Jamie's Lemon Protein bar recipe. I couldn't live without them. They're a true staple for me in the fridge. I like to bake them using MRM 100% All Natural Whey, Rich Vanilla.
I washed and cut veggies, and basically broke down all of the food into easily useable forms. I used an old four-compartment baby formula dispenser and repurposed it into my supplement caddy. I was able to load my whey, BCAAs, and vitamins for the day into this handy little gem. I like to set it up at night to avoid morning rush madness.
My husband has been amazingly supportive of my fitness goals. We have found fun ways as a family to incorporate my training time into family time. On days where I might have spent an hour lifting, but still needed to do cardio, we hit the trails or a park together. I picked up a bike trailer at a garage sale for the boys (ages 3 and 5) and my husband rides his bike, kids in tow, and we hit the trails while I run.
Don't get me wrong, this journey wasn't all smiles and flowers. It was flat-out hard work, sweat, and determination. I feel that the strongest muscle in my body, besides my mind, is my will. It is amazing what we have deep inside of ourselves when we simply decide we aren't worth giving up on. I wanted this change so badly, and I was going to prove to myself that I was worth it with every single workout.
There were days I fondly remember renaming Jamie's daily workouts, such as, "Can't touch my face Tuesday" and "two-day onset ab soreness Saturday," but that pain was physical evidence of change. It was tangible proof that I was doing this and that pain became a source of pride.
Everyone has days when fatigue creeps into the body and mind. I do things to keep myself motivated and accountable. I like to weigh and measure myself once a week, and take a progress picture. This keeps me in check, on track, and makes me aware of where I'm at.
Instead of being frustrated by not losing any weight one week, I can see that I lost one-and-a-half inches off my waist instead. It's not all about the scale, and it's good to keep track of your successes beyond your weight. As a chef, I wear drawstring pants all day. How my clothes fit is not a good enough way to keep on track. I also keep a motivational photo or "fitspo" on my phone to remind me throughout the day where I'm going to be.
I find that a structured routine really helps me stay on track. I pack my lunches, my gym clothes, and my supplements no matter what. I eat like clockwork every three hours, even at work. After work, I hit the gym, no excuses. As a chef, it can be challenging, but I make it work.
Sometimes letting people know what your goals are helps people understand why you do the things you do. Sometimes it even inspires people to make healthy changes of their own. If I'm going to be somewhere for an extended period of time, I pack snacks. You have to plan for your own success. No one else is going to do it for you.
I am astonished at how ready my body was to change and how much I was able to change in just 12 weeks. I truly believe clean eating is life changing. I appreciate my body way more in my 30s than I ever did in my 20s. I'm going to make it the best years of my life.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
The biggest challenge for me was mentally wrapping my head around the fact that this was a lifestyle change. There was no failing or giving up. This was going to be a process of consistently moving forward in a positive healthy way.
Like I said before, I used to have a very toxic all-or-nothing attitude. If I gave in to a craving in the past, it would turn into a day of bad choices and then a period of days where I felt like I ruined everything.
I heard an analogy one time that was to the effect of "If you dropped your phone on the ground, do you stomp on it and smash it into a million pieces?" No. And you shouldn't treat yourself that way, either. That has been my biggest challenge so far.
I'm basically retraining my brain to learn that this is a lifelong journey, not a diet, or a fad. I'm a work in progress, and one that isn't worth giving up on.
My Future Fitness Plans
I always love having a challenge in front of me. It pushes me. Having a clearly defined goal allows you to tangibly mark your progress. I'm an analytical person, so this process is highly motivational for me.
I'm in the stages of defining some new goals for myself right now. I'd definitely like a full ironman or a bikini or figure competition on my bucket list!
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
A few things I've learned along the way that could be helpful to others in the stages of their fitness goals are:
Don't build a cheat day into your regimen. It sets you up for a planned, and literally scheduled, cycle of bad habits and decisions.
If you get to a point where you absolutely crave something, choose carefully, modestly, and infrequently.
Most of us could not live the rest of our lives without having birthday cake or your favorite cocktail again, so it's not realistic to plan this way. Just realize you are changing your lifestyle and you need to ask if you really want it.
You might surprise yourself. Most of the time, it's never as good as you thought it'd be. This is a process of growing and learning. Don't smash your hard work into a million little pieces.
Plan for your own success. Pack snacks, small meals, or whatever it is you need to succeed. The easier you make this process on yourself, the easier it is to succeed.
The pain and hard work is far less than the pain of regret. Decide deep down that you are worth it. I sincerely believe if you can visualize your own success, you can make it happen. You just need to love yourself enough to know that you are worth it and you aren't worth giving up on.
When I first set my goals, I had no idea what my ideal weight even looked like. I just picked a slender-seeming weight. Currently, I'm about eight pounds heavier that my goal weight and I look far better than I could have imagined myself. It's not about the scale.
Get a flexible tape measure and check your stats every week or two. I frequently had phases of no weight loss every couple weeks, but that's where I lost a lot of inches. Little did I know that a muscular 135 beat what I thought I'd look like at 125. Think beyond the scale!
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
I don't even know where to start. Bodybuilding.com introduced me to the Jamie Eason LiveFit trainer, which has completely changed my life and body forever. The website, forums, articles, and BodySpace members have been an unbelievable source of knowledge, support, and inspiration.
I think of Bodybuilding.com as a community more than a store or website. It's a total one-stop-shop for everything you need to improve your life, from the mental to the physical and everything in between. I have never been a part of such an amazing group of people who are so willing to welcome with open arms.
Honestly, getting to know several BodySpace members with absolutely outstanding physiques has made me realize that we are just people on our own journeys. These people, even the professionals, are not unapproachable people with unattainable bodies. They're real people willing to help you any way they can.
That makes the process of getting fit not only less intimidating, but truly inspiring. I also buy all of my supplements from Bodybuilding.com, which totally beats the prices at the local health stores. By far!