WEIGHT 336 lbs
BODY FAT 51%
WEIGHT 133 lbs
BODY FAT 14%
From the minute I was born, I was in for a battle of a lifetime with my body. My genes were doomed with more fat cells than most kids and I was always hungry. My parents were semi-active. My mom went to the gym and my dad was a powerlifter in New York. They always encouraged me to be active.
At an early age, I became a cheerleader. I was a fat cheerleader, but I was good. I placed in many competitions on Long Island and eventually became a coach. I was the heavy cheerleader at the base of the pyramid who was shy and stuttered when the "cool" kids talked to me. I was bullied every day in the hallways of middle school because of my girth. Being a cheerleader in a short skirt made things even worse. However, I never took the abuse from anyone and had continuous fights at school to defend myself.
Eventually, I was alone, outside of school, and was surprise-attacked by a gang of bullies in eighth grade. They pushed me from behind, dislocated my left shoulder, and instantly ruined my cheerleading activities.
I rarely went to the gym anymore and was often forced to wear a sling for my reoccurring dislocated shoulder. Without the activity, I continued to gain weight until I hit 210 pounds before high school graduation. I was sick of feeling sorry for myself, and opted to have shoulder surgery that stabilized my shoulder joint by wrapping it with a crosshatch of muscles to keep my arm in its socket for the rest of my life. I missed every graduation party to have surgery and went through long stints of rehab.
When my injury healed and college began, I got serious about losing weight. I went on a ridiculous crash diet at age 19 and nearly stopped eating entirely. I constantly passed out and took non-stop water, diet, and caffeine pills—whatever killed my appetite. I became addicted to starving, weight loss pills, and scales. I quickly fell to 150 pounds by hardly eating.
My diet consisted of pretzels with mustard, applesauce, and alcohol on weekends. I rarely had lean protein or healthy fats because they had too many calories. At age 21, I was ready to party legally with this new body. I met my future husband at a bar, partied my ass off for three years, and gained back the weight I lost plus more.
I weighed 240 pounds when I returned from my honeymoon. I became depressed and freaked out over the honeymoon photos, so I went to the Quick Weight Loss Center and paid $750 for one week. I was a food addict who loved sugar and ate for happy, sad, and stressful times. I became pregnant soon after the failed diet attempt and gained more weight.
At age 30, I topped the scale out at 336 pounds. I couldn't fit into booths at restaurants, or seats on airplanes, so I didn't fly. Exercising on my treadmill was a hazard because the limit was 250 pounds. I started experiencing heart flutters because of my weight. The doctor said my heart could give up on me as early as age 40. I was already diagnosed with SVT, fatty infiltrate of the liver, sleep apnea, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I sneaked a peek at and the doctor's chart and it clearly stated "morbidly obese."
That hit me hard. I left the doctor's office and was told to start taking medicine for the rest of my life due to these ailments. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I decided to fix the cause of the problems to raise my beautiful kids. Death didn't fit with my plans at all.
I became super-motivated to live. I fought to get healthy with every tool I could. I started a drastic cut in food portions and calories. I wanted to know how much sugar, protein, calories, and fat I was eating every day, so I started journaling everything.
I tried controlling my sugar portion sizes and keeping an eye on everything that went into my mouth. Even with that, I was still eating too much for the amount of weight I needed to lose, so I cut out all sugars, lots of carb-filled items like pasta, bread, cereal, and dessert.
My kids were small. I worked a corporate job but had a supportive family. As a department head, I was able to bring my own food and eat at my desk. I had nurses around to support my health issues like fatigue, low blood sugar, and weigh-ins.
Asking for help and tattling on myself was the key to my success. I let everyone know what my weight-loss goals were and wrote them down weekly.
The most important part about journaling was the time frames I put on my goal so I would be realistic. It helped in the long run to stay focused and informed of my weight loss. I couldn't fail this time. My life and kids depended on me.
I was 50 pounds down before I felt healthy enough to exercise again. I started spin classes because it was dark and I could sit in the back where no one could watch or make fun me. Then I started more classes like kickboxing and strength training. Lifting weights kept my metabolism highly revved and way more efficient.
I was able to eat more and keep the weight off. That was the beginning of the end for my sugar addiction and crazy diets. I loved feeling good, looking better, and exercising.
I love challenges. When someone says I can't do something, it motivates me. The biggest challenges are plateaus. I would lose my patience and go overboard trying to figure it out. I learned to quit overthinking and added little tweaks.
My diet went through different phases, but the key was to listen to my body and locate the root problem. I relied on my inner needs more than extrinsic signs.
Preparation and organization are vital. Anticipate the week ahead and know there will always be new challenges to learn from.
My future is so exciting. Since my transformation, I'm full of life, energy, and health. I still train and do speaking engagements for people interested in health. I want to do some modeling and share the word of fitness through writing and my supplements.
Competing in fitness would be an incredible feat. I like to dream big, and if I fail, oh well. Most people refuse to put themselves out there, but I'm here for a purpose. As long as I'm helping someone to smile more and feel better, then failure isn't an issue.
Listen to everyone and no one. I spent a large portion of my life listening to opinions and thinking their way instead of what worked for me. Let everyone say what they're going to say, think what they're going to think, and truly listen and evaluate.
Use the information and research to find out what works and helps you (environment, genes, motivation). The confidence you gain with a plan that works for you spills into all aspects of your life because you're not living to please others. Be the best you.
I came to Bodybuilding.com because I didn't get enough consistency with my training and nutrition in the gym atmosphere. I pride myself on form, safety, new research, and nutrition. I needed to get more motivation and new routines with simple plans that are easy to remember and teach.
Bodybuilding.com provided more like-minded and excited individuals to help me become a better teacher for my clients. The articles and transformations leave me wanting more and make my goals feel more attainable. The videos are helpful for many exercises I use.