WEIGHT 185 lbs
BODY FAT 37%
WEIGHT 130 lbs
BODY FAT 18%
I didn't wake up one morning and decide to change my life. There wasn't one specific event, a recurring image from my past, or negative thoughts that made me completely transform. For me, it was a process that took place over many months and even years that finally led me to where I am today.
I've been active for most of my life in soccer and cheerleading, but poor eating habits and laziness outside of practice left me at an unhealthy weight for my age. After breaking my ankle during a soccer game my junior year of high school, my weight ballooned with inactivity and an "all you can eat" mentality.
I left for college weighing around 170 pounds, but wasn't concerned with my weight or appearance. I was totally occupied with starting a new chapter in my life, moving across the country to Arizona, and enjoying my freshman year of college. When I came home for Christmas my freshman year, I stepped on the scale to see 185 pounds starring back at me. All of the drinking and late night fast food took its toll on my body, but as shocked as I was to see the number on the scale, I did nothing about it.
During the next few years of college, my weight stayed roughly the same. The drinking and late night snacks slowed down, but I was still eating garbage and considered my half-mile walk to class intense exercise. A few months before I was set to graduate, I went through some emotional struggles, and had a hard time keeping food down. I lost close to 10 pounds in one week.
When I started feeling better, I noticed the slight change in my body. I liked what I saw, and from that point on I decided to take my weight loss further. I had no expectations and no plan, but knew I felt better about myself after losing a little weight. I wanted that feeling to continue. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my body would transform into what it is today.
I knew exactly what I should've been doing with my nutrition and workouts (I have a Bachelor's degree is in Kinesiology), but I pushed my knowledge aside and convinced myself that the only way to continue losing weight was by not eating. I started recording every bite of food and limited myself to 1000 calories per day.
I ate processed junk like frozen diet meals and 100-calorie snack packs. I was only concerned with calorie counts, not nutritional value. I saw progress, but the weight came off very slowly and eventually stopped. I was starving myself by taking in minimal calories and fake food. I was hungry all the time and had enough energy to roll myself out of bed at noon if I was lucky.
After graduation in May 2010, I decided to put my books and knowledge to use. I already knew I should've been eating more calories, but it became more apparent after re-reading research and books from school. I was hesitant to increase my calories because I thought more calories equaled more weight gain. After getting over my fear of eating, I slowly increased my calories. To my surprise, I started losing more and more weight. Even with the increased weight loss, my body wasn't looking the way I wanted it to. I felt flabby, weak, and knew it was time to hit the gym.
I became a cardio queen. I spent hours on the elliptical and treadmill, which went against everything I learned in school. I thought it was the only way to burn calories and lose weight. If I lifted weights, I thought I'd end up looking like a guy. A friend, who's a personal trainer, suggested I add weight training to my routine. I rolled my eyes, knowing he was right. In school, I learned exactly how to design a weight training program, so that's what I did. I started slow, using machines only a couple days a week and found that I liked weight training more than cardio.
I loved seeing the transformation my body went though. Flab started to disappear and muscles that I never saw before started to form. After getting up the courage to travel to "the guys side of the gym," I started advancing my routine and lifting heavy weights (thanks to Bodybuilding.com forums). I was hooked.
I overhauled my eating habits to see maximum results, which meant no more processed junk. I only ate whole foods, made everything from scratch, and started eating close to 2000 calories a day. Everything just clicked. I found a training regimen that worked for me, a nutrition plan to fuel it, and the rest is history.
The hardest part of the journey was finding the right training, diet, and supplement combination. Everyone has their opinion on what works and what doesn't. Listening to suggestions from others, I tried literally every supplement, training regimen, and diet you can think of. It wasn't until I started listening to my own body that I saw the results I was looking for. There's no "cookie cutter" or "one size fits all" program.
My future in fitness is just beginning. I have many things I want to achieve. My next goal is to compete in figure. I have so much respect for the women who compete and would love to take my shot onstage. Another dream I have is to get into fitness modeling. I know the road to reach these goals won't be easy, but neither is losing 55 pounds.
During this journey, I discovered a love for nutrition. I'm planning to go back to school for a master's of nutrition and become a registered dietician. When I achieve that, I want to expand my personal and group training into my own fitness and nutrition consulting business. I want to help people achieve their goals. I absolutely love what I do and can't imagine a career in anything else. The possibilities are endless.
The most important advice is to not give up. It took me two years to get from Point A to Point B and I wouldn't change a thing. Magic doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. Just remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Dieting is so crucial to reach your goals for fat loss or muscle gain. Make sure your diet is 99 percent spot-on—we all have little slip-ups here and there. No matter how hard you try, you can't out train a bad diet.
What hasn't Bodybuilding.com helped me with? This site has been a huge part of my transformation. Not only does it have the cheapest prices on the best supplements, it also has the largest database of exercises I've ever seen. If I get bored with an exercise, I hop on the website and find 30 new exercises to replace it.
I use the Forum the most. You can find an answer to every question about nutrition, training, fat loss, or muscle gain. These are invaluable tools.