Name: CC Johnson
Location: Austin, Texas
Why I decided to transform
I've struggled with my weight since childhood and became an emotional eater after my parents divorced and created a lifelong struggle that continued through high school and into college. I yoyo dieted for several years with different pills, injections, miracle foods, crash diets, and more.
I took pills without knowing what was in them. The pills later led to a benign growth on my thyroid which was resolved by undergoing a partial thyroidectomy. I tried Atkins, Dukan, South Beach, low-carb, no-carb, juicing, and cleansing diets.
Looking back, I see how silly my decisions were. I never learned how to feed my body or how to care for it. I know now that it's all about nutrition. I could spend hours at the gym, but if I don't fuel my body properly, it's a waste of time.
After unsustainable ups and downs, I came across an inspiring transformation story on Bodybuilding.com in 2012 about a woman named Kelsey Byers. I was amazed by how she changed her body, lifestyle, and future. Her transformation story started everything and I finally understood what it meant to eat clean.
How I accomplished my goals
I didn't take the plunge right away; it took me nearly two years to go all in. I was deathly afraid of carbs and held onto old ideas about how lifting makes women bulky. I feel silly admitting that now. I started researching and tried methods to convert my lifestyle like the Labrada for Her Challenge put on by Kelsey Byers, but I didn't complete it.
Bodybuilding.com was my go-to for research. Lee Labrada's 12-Week Lean Body and Jamie Eason's LiveFit introduced me to lifting. By summer 2013, I got more into lifting and cannonballed into fitness. I found Terica Messmer and Michelle Davis on Instagram and thought their transformations were incredible. At that point, there was no stopping.
In August 2013, I signed up for an NPC bikini competition at the Texas Shredder Classic in Austin, Texas, which was in April 2014. I was nowhere near competition form, but I forced myself to tell my friends and family who were extremely supportive. There were doubters, but the people I truly care for backed me completely.
When CC isn't training for bikini competitions, she runs
half marathons, 5 ks, and Spartan races!
My first step was to get a trainer through FitSteady.com. I'm a teacher with a tight budget and FitSteady had great prices that worked for me. I was matched with Jared Munday who helped me lay the foundation for the right mindset.
I tried making meal plans on my own and saw minimal results, but, thankfully, a friend shared her nutritionist, Janelle Green, with me and my progress grew exponentially. I put myself in Janelle's hands and didn't look back. She's my dear friend now and a huge part of my journey. I'm forever grateful that our paths crossed. Because of her, I can control myself and don't allow cheat meals to become cheat days or weeks.
There were hard moments, but I harvested motivation from several sources and kept at it for nobody but myself. I walked onto the competition stage after eight months of prep and it was the best moment of my life. I set a goal and blew it through the roof!
What aspect challenged me the most
Changing my lifestyle was difficult. I used to go out on weekends and have drinks and a late-night meal, but I never went back after I committed to compete.
My determination made everything less challenging. I still have to talk myself out of buying chocolate and chips occasionally.
My future fitness plans
I have big plans and dreams. I didn't place in my first competition, but that wasn't my initial goal because I will win next time. I plan to compete again in November 2014. The wheels are in motion and Operation Pro Card has commenced.
I want to make fitness my profession and am looking to become a certified personal trainer and possibly get a nutrition certification. I'm determined to reach every one of my goals!
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
- Get off the scale and take progress pictures to measure your success.
- Good carbs are not the enemy.
- Don't be hard on yourself when you falter.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
- Start a social media fitness account and join the supportive online fitness community.
- Believe in yourself and don't let negativity overtake your mind!
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com was the catalyst for my journey and the place where I discovered Kelsey Byers. Bodybuiling.com became my fitness Bible.
CC's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
- "Turn Down For What" by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
- "Arabella" by Arctic Monkeys
- "Oh No" by Girl Talk
- "Over Your Head" by The Hood Internet