WEIGHT 174 lbs
BODY FAT 30%
WEIGHT 138 lbs
BODY FAT 13%
Why I Decided To Transform
In March of 2011, I found myself at 40 years old, weighing the most I've ever weighed in my life (174lbs). I also needed surgery on my neck at the time to replace two bulged discs and required the C5 plated to C6 and C6 to C7. Turning 40 in October 2010 was hard enough; the surgery the following March was icing on the cake.
Something needed to change. I was constantly depressed (even though I was taking anti-depressants), had no self-esteem, no energy, and no self worth. I had surgery on March 16, 2011. After all restrictions were lifted post-surgery, I decided I was going to start eating right and working out. However, I was not going to set myself up for failure. I needed someone to answer to. So I started looking online for personal trainers.
My husband has always been into keeping fit and working out, therefore, we have a ton of gym equipment in our basement. Because I had the equipment, I wanted to find someway to train at home. I came across HitchFit on Facebook, which led me to the HitchFit website. Hmmm…#1 Online Personal Training System.
I started looking at the programs and all of the transformations that were posted. I started looking into the background of Micah LaCerte and Diana Chaloux-LaCerte. Well, this was a no brainer. These were the people that I needed to contact. So I did.
I did my first online 12-week Hitch Fit program, 'Lose Weight Feel Great,' starting in late June of 2011 and went until mid-September of 2011. I had great results! I started at 174 pounds and 30 percent body fat and got down to 148 pounds and 20 percent body fat. I soon knew that I wanted to do the 'Look Like A Fitness Model' program, but I wanted to give myself some maintenance time.
I kept my diet pretty clean and kept up with my weight training and cardio. I started the 'Look Like A Fitness Model Program' on February 13, 2012 and loved it! It was hard, I'm not going to lie. My first program was cake compared to this one, but I was ready to put all I had into it.
As the weeks progressed and I continued to read the buzz on Facebook about the upcoming WBFF show in May, I was starting to wonder if it was something I would be capable of doing. If all of these other beautiful ladies could do it, be it ladies that had gone thru their own transformations or not, why couldn't I? I had posted a few progress pictures on Facebook that got some very encouraging responses…specifically Micah telling me that I needed to step on stage. I was at the point that I wanted to, but I was also very scared. Could I do this?
I became very good friends with a beautiful lady that was already registered and planned on competing, Brenda Harrison. She encouraged me to believe that I could do it. She was my biggest fan. So, I emailed Diana and she sent me back a very eye-opening email. Her words hit me deep inside.
She said, "I know it's scary, but it's also completely empowering, and once you do it, you're not scared of it anymore! I've got so many girls competing in this show who are all terrified just as much as you!! But they are going for it, to prove to themselves they can do it, to inspire their families and the people around them, and in general just to be a part of something so exciting and fun! Competing isn't about being perfect either, it's just about being the best that you can be. The only way to overcome that fear is just to do it!!"
And with those words, at the halfway point of my 'Look Like A Fitness Model Program,' I switched over to a 'Competition Prep' program with Diana to prepare to compete in the WBFF Central US Championships in the Diva Fitness 35+ category.
I was still scared, yet excited at the same time. I had to turn that anxiety into a driving energy. Diana gave me the new setup that I would follow for the weeks to come leading up to the competition. I followed her direction to the T. The only way I would succeed at this is to do whatever she says…no excuses. Obviously, it was a much tougher program with an intense amount of cardio and very clean eating…no room for cheats. This would most definitely be a test of my will power and self-discipline.
The weeks progressed and I worked hard. On top of the getting my body to the best shape possible, I also had to get my butt in gear and get suits ordered, jewelry bought, posing shoes, theme wear outfits, etc…you name it, I was on it. And posing…T-walks and posing for the stage…how on earth was I going to tackle that? I had a lot ahead of me since I was coming into this late in the game.
And of course, the nervous ninny in me caused me to over think things and question myself more than once as to whether or not I was truly capable of this. There was a Facebook page for the 'Competition Ladies of KC' that I would go to for support. That helped immensely! I found that there were many ladies out there experiencing the same anxiety I was. Not feeling alone in this helped beyond words!
As the weeks progressed, I had good days and bad days. Preparing for a competition consumes you like nothing else. I lived, breathed and did everything around preparing for May 12, 2012. There were days I would have a knot in my stomach all day long. But I would talk to Diana and she would help calm me, as did my daily phone calls with my friend, Brenda.
I continued to work very hard over the weeks to come and started to see incredible changes taking place with my body. That was a big fueling force. I knew my muscle definition was coming out, I was leaning down and I started to finally believe in myself. I was, however, still worried about my T-walks and posing.
I so wanted to go to one of the posing clinics that Diana and Micah held, but financially it wasn't an option to fly out to Kansas City for a day. But then I got an email from a very kind, generous friend that said she could help me get to the last posing clinic. I couldn't believe someone was willing to do something so nice for me. But she did, and I made it to the last posing clinic thanks to the amazing Sara Sutherland. I will be forever thankful to her.
Going to the clinic and meeting so many of these great people that I've talked to through Facebook, yet never had the chance to meet, and being able to get first hand instruction from Diana and the other ladies on doing the T-walk and posing was a life saver. Again, thank you Sara. You are an amazing person!
Before I knew it, we were on the 10-day countdown to the show. Those 10 days went so fast! Next thing I knew, my husband and I were on the plane that Thursday, May 10 2012, headed for Kansas City, MO. I'm going to do this…I'm going to compete in a WBFF show! We arrived in Kansas City and quickly got checked into our room and headed to the Hitch Fit Gym to do a little photo shoot with Diana and all of the girls working under her preparing for the competition. What a fun day that was! This is where it started to become a very surreal feeling.
We did some fun photo shoots with the great David Bickley and had the chance to practice our T-walks and posing with Diana. Then, before the day ended, she took our body fat percentages. I was at nine percent. Nine percent! I couldn't believe it. I was so proud of myself and how far I had come. Not even a year ago, I was 174 lbs and 30% body fat. Here I am now; right around 125 pounds and 9 percent body fat. Look at me now!
Friday night was the athletes meeting and I got to meet so many more beautiful, kind, inspiring ladies and men that I had been talking to online for so long. It was so much fun taking pictures and enjoying everyone's company. What a wonderful group of athletes!
Saturday was showtime and it went so fast. It started early with tans and makeup, then before you know it, off to the Midland Theatre we went. Backstage was a blast! Again, what an amazing group of athletes to share such and electrifying event with. Then, in a flash, it was time to do that T-walk. What a rush! It was a feeling like no other. It was so much fun.
The morning pre-judge show came and went in the blink of an eye and before I knew it, the evening show was about to start. Again, what a rush! When all of us athletes walked out on stage for the opening of the show I felt so proud of not just me, but everyone involved. Everyone had put so much hard work into preparing for this one day and it was finally here.
The evening show went great. The entire day went great…the energy was out of this world. It was time for my class, Diva Fitness 35+ to take the stage for the awards. I can honestly say that I didn't really care at the time where I placed. To me, I had won! I did it. And what fun it was! But the added bonus was that I was fortunate enough to take home second place.
I still can't believe it! I actually placed second. You did this, Heather! Your hard work and dedication paid off. It was the most exciting and happiest day of my life! It was like no other.
How I Accomplished My Goals
It just hit me one day, I didn't want to feel like that anymore…ever again. So, I decided it was time to change. And I did, just like that, and I never looked back. I can honestly say there wasn't a day that I felt like quitting. Quitting was NOT an option.
There were days that I felt sluggish and didn't feel like hitting the gym or doing my cardio session, but I pushed myself because I knew that the feeling of regret was going to be worse than the feeling of not wanting to do it that day. And you really never regret a good workout.
The changes I started to see happening to my body over the weeks was my driving force. I would feel my clothes getting looser, my face and body getting thinner and my smile getting bigger. I could feel my energy increasing by the day. And I finally was starting to feel some confidence.
It's as if I was coming out of this shell that I had myself strapped in for years. It was a very invigorating feeling.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
The cardio and leg training days challenged me the most because I have bone spurs in my knees and I suffer a lot of knee pain. I do my best to overcome the pain with the use of knee braces while doing cardio and weight training.
I also use cold gel packs after my workouts and daily doses of glucosamine chondroitin.
My Future Fitness Plans
I will continue to maintain my current weight and body fat percentage. My ultimate goal is to get certified and become a personal trainer so that someday I can help change the lives of others the way Diana Chaloux-LaCerte and HitchFit changed mine.
Additionally, I want to build more muscle and challenge myself out of my comfort zone. My glutes are a huge focal point for me. With all of that said, I would like to step on stage again at the WBFF US Central Championship 2013 and see if I can take first place this time!
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
With hard work, dedication, and determination, you can do anything. Write your goals down and look at them everyday. Take progress pictures along the way.
Being able to look back at a picture and see where you've started and how far you've come is a driving force. And most importantly, stay focused and surround yourself with positive people that have similar goals and interests.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com is the most recognized fitness website out there. It's a one-stop shop. I buy my supplements there and I follow so many aspiring athletes (again, surround yourself with others that have the same goals and interests). I'm constantly learning from the articles; new ways to switch things up in the gym to challenge myself. And I'm forever inspired by the transformation features.
I'm new to the use of BodySpace because I was always under my trainer's guidance. But now that I'm doing things on my own and changing my workouts and everything according to what I've learned, it is a wonderful tool that I will continue to use. It's an excellent way to connect with others and share your own personal journey of building a better you! Bodybuilding.com rocks!