Body Transformation: Heather Gets Hotter

You could say that fitness feel into her lap. After years of low self-esteem and instability, Heather befriended Brandan Fokken, a athlete, and forged a life of strength!

Name: Heather Wielenga
BodySpace: wielenga1987

Heather Wielenga Heather Wielenga
AGE 24
153 lbs
AGE 25
130 lbs

Why I Decided To Transform

I started my transformation and decided to change my body because it was causing me to not love who I was as a person. I didn't have respect for myself and knew I was unable to get respect from others until I loved myself first.

I have been into health and fitness for many years, but always struggled with my body image because I constantly compared my body to others wanting to look like them. I had low self-esteem no matter how much I got compliments from others on how pretty I was or how good I looked. I decided to set a goal. I have always had a dream of becoming a fitness model, to be in magazines or on the cover.

In February of 2012, I visited with my friend, Brandan Fokken, for advice and help. After meeting with him, I decided to hire him on as my trainer and compete in my first bikini bodybuilding competition. He told me it will be a long journey, but will be worth it and change my life. Doing these shows will get me in those magazines like I dream of, if I do the work and believe in myself.

On June 9, 2012, I competed in my first competition, The 2012 Minnesota State Championships in Minneapolis, MN. Even though I did not place, I have gained more from that show than I could have ever dreamed of thus far: respect for myself.

Ever since I started dieting and training, my life has turned around. I now love who I am as a person, how I look and know I will only just keep improving from here. I have also gained respect for myself and have gotten respect from others. I now live a healthier lifestyle of much less drinking, which was what caused me to gain weight over time and have low self-esteem.

I am excited to use this to inspire others, which I know it already has. I posted my transformation photo to Facebook and the responses I got literally brought tears to my eyes.

On my way to the competition, I was sitting in the car thinking of the past 16 weeks and how my life has changed since I started, how much my friends said I inspire them, and to hear from my family how proud they are of me that I got emotional. I had my sunglasses on to hide, but started tearing up and know those were happy tears. Everything in my life feels like it is falling into place now and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I started my transformation on February 19, 2012 and reached my goal on June 8, 2012. My transformation took me a total of 111 days.

She doesn't struggle with her body image anymore!
She doesn't struggle with her body image anymore!

How I Accomplished My Goals

In September 2009, my best friend, her boyfriend and I decided to move from Sioux Falls, SD to Scottsdale, AZ. We had visited there and loved it, realized nothing was holding us in South Dakota, and decided to make the move. When I lived there, I was a full-time waitress living paycheck to paycheck.

I was always struggling, which caused me to get very homesick. My dad would fly me back to visit Iowa, where my family lived, almost monthly. I made some great friends out in Arizona, but felt alone. I got to the point where I decided I wasn't happy, drinking and going out too much. I eventually moved back to the Midwest.

In September of 2010, I moved back to Iowa to live with my parents and work at my previous place of employment prior to my move. When I moved back I weighed between 130-135. I was thin because when I lived in Arizona I felt I needed to look good for others to like me or fit in, not because I wanted to look good for me. I believe that was another reason why I was not happy when I lived there. I didn't love myself for who I was. I was trying to look like everyone else there and be someone I wasn't.

Over the next one-and-a-half years, I slowly began gaining weight. I was going out every weekend, I ate things that I normally wouldn't and didn't care. I became depressed and used food as my comfort. I went to the doctor because of it and my doctor prescribed me medication. I took the medication and it helped me enjoy life more and started doing things I loved again like working out.

Each year my extended family has a calendar made. It has a collage of photos for each month with members of the family. At family Christmas in 2011, I got the calendar and started looking through it. As I was flipping, I came to a page where I was in a bikini and couldn't believe that, for one, that photo was put in there without me knowing, and two, that I looked as large as I did.

I had to leave the party because I was extremely upset and crying. Seeing that picture made me realize how much I let myself go since moving home from Arizona and I was the only one to blame for it. I was the only one who could change it.

Competition stages will see this beauty in the future!
Competition stages will see this beauty in the future!

When I started competition prep in February, the first few weeks seemed pretty simple. I incorporated Crossfit workouts three times a week on top of the workouts my trainer had written up for me to do for the week. So in total, I was doing three Crossfit days, six days of cardio and five days of strength training a week.

I checked my weight weekly. I took progress photos and wrote my stuff down in a journal to stay organized. Every couple of weeks throughout the prep, my diet would change and I also had more/longer workouts incorporated into my plan.

The biggest obstacle for me was to not let my weight not changing bring me down. I had days where I was so run down and tired that when my weight wasn't down like I had hoped, I wanted to give up. I just had to keep reminding myself that the photos show different and I had improved so much that I could do it. That scale didn't define me.

My inspiration came from friends, family and even people I don't even know. Pinterest, Facebook, and other social websites have so many inspirational stories. If I ever needed motivation I just hopped on my phone or computer.

Also, I never really had a boyfriend or had been in a relationship prior to this transformation. On February I met my boyfriend, Bryan Metz, right at the start of my competition prep. It was that first weekend to be exact.

Since then, he has been there for me through good days and bad days. He loves me for who I am and respects me more than I ever thought a guy could respect a girl. If I was ever feeling down or didn't feel like doing my workout when I needed to, he would remind me why I should and even most times did it with me.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be where I am today if that wasn't true.

What Aspect Challenged Me The Most

A combination of the diet and training changed me the most. I really had to motivate myself sometimes to do my workouts, but always reminded myself that my body is stronger than my mind says it is.

The diet was pretty easy for me because I never kept anything in the house that wasn't allowed, but the hard part about the diet was making sure no matter what that I ate on time.

I don't live a scheduled work lifestyle. I make my own hours, so I never know what the day will be like. I always had to be prepared, even if that meant I had to eat my food cold.

My Future Fitness Plans

I want to continue to improve every day, whether in the gym, on stage, in friendships, relationships and just at life in general. I want to continue to be happy.

I am already doing something I have always wanted to do: compete and be a personal trainer. I will make my dream come true and be on the cover of a fitness magazine.

Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers

  • Make a goal and tell everyone. It will hold you accountable. If you set a realistic goal to achieve and in your heart truly believe in yourself that you can do it.
  • Don't watch the scale. Take pictures every few weeks of your progress because they speak louder than numbers on a scale of how hard you are working.
  • Look at the positive people in your life and ignore the ones who will bring you down or keep you from your goal. You decide who you want in your life or not-not them.
  • Realize that it's now or never.
  • Figure out your "why" for transforming and use that as your drive to succeed.
  • If you are transforming and get in a rut, don't give up and make changes. You can do it!

How Helped Me Reach My Goals helped me reach my goals because it was always my go-to for articles, supplement questions, inspiration, and to look up workouts if I was unsure of proper form.

I truly believe that this site is a tool everyone should use if looking to get fit, compete, or transform their body. It has all the information you need!

Special Thanks

I want to say thank you to:

My sponsors, Rainn Salon and Spa of Sioux Falls, HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehabilitation for the support and help with making it possible for me to go to the show, look, and perform my best.

My trainer and friend, Brandan Fokken. I couldn't have asked for a better trainer. He never doubted me and knew I had the drive, focus and motivation to do this. His knowledge of what I needed to do from nutrition to supplements to training is incredible and helped me transform my body in a very short period of time.

My friends for their kind words throughout the transformation and for being so supportive. Also, the friends who came to support me at the show definitely meant so much to me.

My family for supporting me from the beginning, helping with costs of the show and coming to my show to cheer me on.

Kate Warkenthien for her services from my photo shoot to the day of the show to helping me look absolutely amazing with my hair, makeup and tan. She also made the green suit in my after picture. I wore that suit on stage for my first show. It was handmade and was an honor to wear.