Name: Cindy Faulk
Why I decided to transform
I have always been an athlete. Beginning at the age of 8, I played baseball with the boys because there was no softball team for girls. I went on to play two sports in college, including running and cross-country. My body fat percentage sat at an impressive 9 percent. That didn't last long after college. I married my high school sweetheart and became pregnant with twins two years later.
During this time, I gained 50 pounds! On my 5'1' frame, 50 pounds looked and felt like 100 pounds on anyone else. When my twins were almost three years old, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I had to take over more responsibility at home. There was no time for working out, and so I became "pudgy."
After my husband was cleared of his cancer, I began to pine for my younger, athletic college body. Initially, I had been able to lose some of the weight, but I'd already lost most of my muscle.
How I accomplished my goals
I joined our local gym and began lifting weights again. I also hit the streets and incorporated some interval training with running. Although I was able to get my weight down and build some muscle, but I wasn't quite where I wanted to be.
The major push in getting back into shape came when my husband decided to leave his job of 27 years to purchase a health and fitness center. Shortly after opening the gym, I became a certified personal trainer. I also purchased an activity tracker that I wear 24/7, as well as a GymBoss timer! I work out 4-5 times a week and regularly log my meals, using an app on my smart phone. I increased my cardio and the intensity of my workouts. I cleaned up my diet to limit my daily intake of calories.
Recently, I completed my first ever grueling 5K mud run. It took us two hours to complete, but I was the only one on my team that had completed all of the obstacles, except for two swimming obstacles. That was one of the most challenging events I had ever undertaken so to be able to complete was so rewarding in itself!
In order to lower my body fat percentage, I began lifting heavy, using my own personal plan and Bodybuilding.com to keep my workouts varied. I teach fitness classes twice a week at our gym. Training others also helps keep me on track.
What aspect challenged me the most
My most challenging aspect of my transformation was my diet. Trying to increase my protein intake while limiting calories was challenging. I started tracking nutritional numbers using the app MyFitnessPal. It kept me on track by helping me to realize how many calories I was taking in daily.
Eating a healthy dinner was also a challenge. I work two jobs: I teach high school chemistry and I am a personal trainer. I usually head to my husband's gym straight from school and teach clients and classes thereafter. Then I have to help clean up and close the gym. That makes for a 14-hour day!
By the end of the night, I am exhausted and fighting the urge to stop for a convenient fast-food meal. I replaced this urge by preparing meals ahead of time and eating dinner at the gym. If I was unable to prepare a dinner, I would just simply have a protein shake for dinner.
My future fitness plans
I am already a certified personal trainer, but I am going to pursue other certifications in specific areas. One area I desire most is in TRX and step aerobics. They will allow me to incorporate those skills into my personal training sessions and into my group fitness classes.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Buy an activity tracker. Seriously. There are several out there, but I love the Jawbone Up! A device like that makes you so much more aware of how much you are moving and sleeping on a daily basis. It gives you milestones and encourages you to reach streaks of consistent cardio and sleep.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
To get the most of my workouts I started using bodybuilding.com to learn about supplements and to obtain new workout ideas. I love the feature that allows you to search for exercises by body part. I began watching the videos. I implemented many of the video tutorials into my workouts.
I received a lot of encouragement and motivation from the transformation articles posted on bodybuilding.com. I hope my story will motivate older ladies to become fit. No matter your age you can workout and become a healthier person.
I just want to thank my wonderful husband for his support and encouragement. He always gives me compliments no matter my size.
Cindy's Top 5 Gym tracks
- "Happy" by Pharrell
- "Work Work" by Britney Spears
- "Turn Down for What" By Lil Jon
- "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo
- "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea