Body Transformation: Emily Dumped Her Quitter Mindset

Emily succeeded by changing her mindset from a wisher to a doer.

Why I decided to transform

I'd tried many sports, but I wouldn't consider myself "sporty." I waited until my last year of high school to take the one required physical education class. My disdain for anything physical became a running joke (ha!) between myself and my classmates. While my friends were off on sport trips and working hard in gym class, I hid out in the locker room or hung around at home.

At university, I met the most amazing person. and we both fell head over heels for each other. He was an avid gym-goer, and had been active all of his life. When I first met him, I would often tease him about how often he went to the gym and how he wouldn't eat "this" or wouldn't eat "that." A few times, he encouraged me to come, and I would reluctantly go. I usually just did cardio while he lifted weights.

I didn't even notice when the weight began creeping up on me. I remember the moment, however, that I bought a shirt (the usual size 6 I had worn forever) and it fit way more tightly around me than I remembered. That night, I went home, laid in bed, ate a package of crackers and cheese, and felt sorry for myself. This was enough of a wake-up call.

In March 2013, I asked my boyfriend for help. I wanted to start lifting weights. Something about it had always fascinated me. We started off right on his living room floor. He set up a few sets of exercises with some dumbbells and a chair, and he helped me through a circuit workout. I did that a few times until I found an at-home workout from a fitness magazine, and I did that routine four times a week for several months.

Before /// 148 lbs
After /// 116 lbs
AGE 20 / HEIGHT 5'5" / BODY FAT 24%
AGE 21 / HEIGHT 5'5" / BODY FAT 12%

I also began to "eat clean." I utilized a lot of great recipes, especially for baked goods! I lost about 10 pounds doing this, which was great, but I wanted more! I loved the results I was getting. That summer, I continued to work out at a local gym. There was a poster of a bikini model that inspired me. That's when I contacted coach Amber Dawn Orton.

In September 2013, I began doing a building program with her, lifting five times a week while away at university. I dreamed of doing a bikini competition, and would spend hours watching YouTube videos and searching for pictures and articles online. In February, I told Amber that I was ready.

I did a 16-week prep, worked out six times a week, cleaned up my diet significantly, and followed everything perfectly. She was an amazing coach who truly believed in me, and it made me only want to work harder. While other girls dropped out all around me, I persevered. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, but I made it to the end. It was the most amazing feeling.

I went from being a girl who never succeeded at anything physical, to placing seventh out of 37 girls at my first competition. I became that girl I had idolized on my gym wall for so long. I feel like I have taken control of my life again. I feel so much more confident in myself, and I love that people see me as an athlete and an inspiration!

How I accomplished my goals

I felt like I needed a goal and someone to hold me accountable, so signing up for a competition and enlisting the help of a trainer worked great! My coach, Amber, built programs for me that utilized a variety of lifting techniques and HIIT cardio. She was amazing—her workouts were hard, but gave me the results I needed.

"I became that girl I had idolized on my gym wall for so long."

There were definitely days I wanted to quit. Everyone around me would eat pizza and make negative comments about my commitment and dedication to my goal. However, those who stuck by my side (like my boyfriend, my trainer, and my gym friend) were amazing.

I remember I saw a quote that really kept me going throughout. It read, "'Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." I posted it on my wall and repeated it in my head when I needed a reminder.

What aspect challenged me the most

"The key to success is to just keep going, as this will ensure you eventually get to the finish line."

I think the most challenging aspect was dieting. I loved being in the gym, but changing my eating habits was difficult. My diet was fairly flexible, but being around people who were eating cake, pizza, and chocolates was always tough.

I took it a day at a time and looked at each day as a new opportunity to succeed! The key to success is to just keep going, as this will ensure you eventually get to the finish line.

My future fitness plans

I am currently training for my second competition in October. I have also completed a 10K for the first time! I love fitness and what it does for me both physically and mentally. I plan to continue pursuing weight training and having fun in the kitchen (that's my favorite part!)

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

I would say start by making small changes. I started off with a small circuit-style workout in my home. The other thing is to meal prep! Seriously, preparing meals in advance is one of the most important pillars of success.

Finally, everyone makes mistakes, but don't see mistakes as failure.

How helped me reach my goals

A big thanks to for having awesome articles, a variety of delicious recipes that satisfy the sweet tooth, and the awesome deals on Cellucor products. I loved that the information was free and made available to everyone. Plus, prices cannot be beaten.