Body Transformation: Jen Wade Turned Body Fat Into Hard Muscle!

Jen was fooled by misleading food packaging and steadily added weight for several years. At age 31, she made a stand, lost 11 percent body fat, and competed. You can too!

Why I decided to transform

I've been lifting weights and playing sports since age 15. After years of eating what I thought was healthy food, I was several pounds overweight and determined to get in the best shape of my life.

To combat my weight, I signed up for a bikini competition. I had no idea that it would be the hardest yet most rewarding weeks of my life.

Before my transformation, I ate foods that I thought were healthy, but was actually junk food in disguise. I have many food allergies, so I often turned to pre-packaged, gluten-free products to snack on. I thought they were healthy because I purchased them at the local health food store.

I wanted to learn how to use food as fuel to rev my metabolism. Ultimately, I wanted to use what I learned during competition prep to balance my life and maintain the weight I lost.

Before /// 132 lbs
After /// 116 lbs
AGE 31 / HEIGHT 5'4" / BODY FAT 26%
AGE 31 / HEIGHT 5'4" / BODY FAT 15%
Post To Fitboard

How I accomplished my goals

After summer was over at age 31, I started what I thought would be a solo competition prep, but when no weight or body fat came off, I enlisted the help of coach and NPC competitor, Shaunna Marie Fitness. At that point, I was eight weeks out and terrified to step on stage. By incorporating a combination of weights, cardio, Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and balanced meals, I started to lose weight quickly.

I won't lie and say it was easy. There were days when I didn't feel like going to the gym and wondered why I was doing it. I had an amazing support system, which really helped, but I also used transformation stories as motivation. It was more mentally challenging than anything, but I had to remember how far I came.

My transformation began on September 6, 2013, and lasted until November 2, 2013, the day of my competition. It's now several weeks after my comp and I'm still maintaining at 118 pounds. Most competitors train for 12 weeks before a competition, but I only had 8 weeks. In that short time, I changed my body and mind.

I plan all of my meals through the week and occasionally have a treat. If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to prep your meals.

Supplements that helped me through the journey

Pre-workout
Post-workout
With Meal 2 and 6
  • Sun Warrior Protein Sun Warrior Protein

Diet plan that guided my transformation

Meal 1
  • eggs Egg Whites

    4-5

  • Gluten-free Oats Gluten-free Oats

    1/2 cup

Meal 2
  • Sun Warrior Protein Sun Warrior Protein

    1 1/2 servings

  • almonds Almonds

    12

  • apple Apple

    1

Meal 3
  • White Fish White Fish

    1 serving

  • broccoli Broccoli

    1 serving

  • sweet potato Sweet Potato

    1 serving

Meal 4: Post-workout
  • rice cakes Brown Rice Cakes

    2

  • almond butter Almond Butter

    1 tbsp

  • Sun Warrior Protein Sun Warrior Protein

    1 serving

Meal 5
  • Shrimp Shrimp

    1 serving

  • rice Brown Rice

    1 serving

  • asparagus Asparagus

    1 serving

  • Greens Salad Greens Salad

    1 serving

Meal 6
  • Sun Warrior Protein Sun Warrior Protein

    1 serving

Training regimen that kept me on track

Day 1: Legs/Cardio
  • Leg Press Leg Press Leg Press
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Smith Machine Squat Smith Machine Squat Smith Machine Squat
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions Leg Extensions
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 15 reps
  • Barbell Hip Thrust Barbell Hip Thrust Hip Thrust
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine
    4 sets of 20, 18, 15, and 12 reps
  • Stairmaster Stairmaster Stairmaster
    25 min HIIT
Day 2: Back/Biceps/Abs/Cardio
  • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 10 reps
  • Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 10 reps
  • Preacher Curl Preacher Curl Preacher Curl
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch
    3 sets of 30 reps
  • Air Bike Air Bike Air Bike
    3 sets of 30 reps
  • Russian Twist Russian Twist Russian Twist
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Stairmaster Stairmaster Stairmaster
    25 min HIIT

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: 60 min
Day 3: Chest/Triceps
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Triceps Press Seated Triceps Press Seated Triceps Press
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Cable One Arm Tricep Extension Cable One Arm Tricep Extension Cable One Arm Tricep Extension
    4 sets of 18, 15, 12, and 10 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown
    3 sets of 15 reps
Day 4: Legs/Glutes/Cardio
  • Leg Press Leg Press Leg Press
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge
    3 sets of 20 reps (each leg)
  • One-Legged Cable Kickback One-Legged Cable Kickback One-Legged Cable Kickback
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 15 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Hip Thrust Barbell Hip Thrust Hip Thrust
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Stairmaster Stairmaster Stairmaster
    25 min HIIT

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: 60 min
Day 5: Shoulders/Abs/Cardio
  • Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise
    4 sets of 15, 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Reverse Machine Flyes Reverse Machine Flyes Reverse Machine Flyes
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch
    3 sets of 30 reps
  • Barbell Hip Thrust Barbell Hip Thrust Hip Thrust
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Air Bike Air Bike Air Bike
    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Stairmaster Stairmaster Stairmaster
    25 min HIIT

What aspect challenged me the most

"Trust the process. Your mind plays tricks on you, but you can't listen."

I loved the training aspect of competition prep and thought the diet would be a breeze since I have many allergies already, but I was wrong. It's a mental challenge and I can see how people have an issue sticking to a plan.

I began craving foods that I would otherwise never touch. I had to tell myself repeatedly that I can't eat foods that aren't conducive to my goals.

As my body changed, I didn't mind not having treats. It was worth it.

My future fitness plans

Since earning my SNBF pro card in November, I've taken a few months to make improvements.

I'll step on stage to compete in my first pro show in June 2014.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

Trust the process. Your mind plays tricks on you, but you can't listen. Remember why you're doing this and push yourself. Stay strong and be around likeminded people.

How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals

I purchased a majority of my supplements from Bodybuilding.com. I was shocked when I realized that Bodybuilding.com carries vegan protein and I stocked up immediately. The shipping is insanely quick.

Jen's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Roar" by Katy Perry
  2. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke
  3. "Work Hard, Play Hard" by Wiz Khalifa
  4. "Feds Watching" by 2 Chainz
  5. "Rack City" by Tyga