WEIGHT 160 lbs
BODY FAT 29%
WEIGHT 115 lbs
BODY FAT 13%
As a registered dietitian, I consult with food and nutrition companies. My life literally revolves around food. I'm constantly in the kitchen testing and developing recipes and eating at restaurants for new ideas.
Even though I know about health and nutrition, I didn't always apply my knowledge. I had an unhealthy relationship with food and went from one extreme to another. I used to work out so I could eat whatever I wanted. Eventually, I got too busy and tired and it caught up to me. I gained weight and was unhappy with how I looked, so I worked out like crazy (sometimes 2-3 hours per day) to lose weight.
Every 2-3 years, my weight fluctuated from 105-135 pounds. After having two children, injuring my knee, and suffering from severe migraines, the years of yo-yo dieting caught up to me. I reached my heaviest weight at 160 pounds.
I lost interest in activities I enjoyed after gaining so much weight. I had my blood work done and my fasting glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol and blood pressure were elevated. I had a hard time walking up stairs without shortness of breath and didn't have energy to play with my kids. This was a huge wake-up call for me. My doctor said I needed to start taking medications to keep my levels normal, but I didn't want to start taking them at a young age and had to do something about it.
I joined Lifetime Fitness at the end of January 2012. Shortly after, they held a 90-day fitness challenge. I signed up as motivation to lose weight and hired personal trainer, Rob Bill, who helped me get comfortable with weights and did weight training and cardio every day.
I wanted to lose 10 percent of my body weight, but lost 15 percent and won the challenge at the local level. I had a few more pounds to lose, so I signed up for the challenge again. This time, I trained with AJ Paolella, who challenged me to diet harder. He helped me realize that eating clean is more important when you work out. I cut down on eating out, eliminated a majority of processed food, and ate small, frequent meals with more vegetables.
AJ challenged me to lift heavier and I lost another 13 percent of my body weight and won the challenge again. I lost 42 pounds in 24 weeks. AJ encouraged me to create new goals so I didn't get bored and gain the weight back. I fell in love with fitness and got my certification as a personal trainer through NASM in March 2013.
While working out at Lifetime Fitness, I saw a poster board of IFBB bikini pro and Bodybuilding.com sponsored athlete, Nicole Moneer. It was a picture of her and her clients who were training to compete in the bikini division. I was surprised by her age and how great she looked (we were similar in age). I dreamed to compete, but never thought I'd be in great shape. I made it a goal to train and compete.
I trained with Nicole in January 2013 for my first show on March 30, 2013. She helped me sculpt my body and coached me on posing and competing. She kept me motivated and inspired during my transformation, especially when I doubted myself.
During our first session, I told Nicole I was unhappy with my abs and thought about getting laser treatment/surgery to flatten and smooth my abs. She advised against it and said to work out and change my diet instead. Ten weeks later, she was right. After having two children, I have flat abs and am in the best shape of my life. I worked out smarter and spent fewer hours in the gym. I have a healthy relationship with food and practice what I preach.
In March, I competed in my first show. Even though I didn't place in the top, I was proud of how far I came. I inspired many people, which was nice to see. I competed again in May at the Illinois State, placed second in bikini medium, and qualified for a national show. I competed at Jr. Nationals in Chicago, Illinois in June.
I lost 45 pounds, fell in love with fitness, became a personal trainer, and accomplished my dream. I'm more fit than ever and my lab numbers are normal, so I don't need medication. I still train with Nicole and work hard for my upcoming shows. It's important to make your health a priority and set a good example for your family. During my transformation journey, my husband lost 30 pounds with eating clean and weight training.
The most challenging part was balancing my career, family, and finding time to work out. I made health a priority and made time to exercise. I managed my time efficiently and multitasked. When I watch my favorite TV episode, I work out in my bedroom with bodyweight, resistance bands, or dumbbells.
When I cook, I sneak in squats and push-ups against my counter. When I take my son to soccer and basketball, I run outside the field or on the track as he plays. I maximize every minute of my day.
My goal is to qualify for nationals, become nationally ranked, and get sponsored. I know it's going to be hard at age 40 when most women start in their 20s and 30s, but I'm driven and determined, so I plan to work extra hard to reach my goal.
My long-term goal is to earn my pro card and be a nutrition/fitness contributor for fitness magazines and websites.
One of the quotes that inspired me most during my transformation was "Dream, believe and achieve." Transforming is about believing in yourself. It's a battle of willpower that's more mental than physical. You have to change the way you think. Instead of saying 'I can't,' say 'I believe.'
People too often think about what they must give up during their transformation rather than the positive things they can gain. It's about making small lifestyle changes to improve your health. You have to train your mind and attitude to be more positive and optimistic.
I love Bodybuilding.com for exercise, dieting tips, and supplements. It's one of the best sites for comprehensive info on exercise, nutrition, recipes, motivation, forums, and supplements. I subscribe to it on Facebook for motivation and love reading the transformation stories. It's nice to go to one site for everything I need.
Find Me on Facebook: Msfoodnut Fitness
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