WEIGHT 184 lbs
BODY FAT 30%
WEIGHT 130 lbs
BODY FAT 18-20%
Until my 30s, I never struggled with my weight. When I started a home renovation and property management company with my ex-husband everything changed. The long hours left no time for healthy eating and I ate junk food and didn't exercise regularly—something I previously enjoyed very much.
By the time I was 39, I was a mess mentally and physically. My life revolved around taking care of everyone else in my life and putting my needs and wants last. I was depressed, severely overweight, and not at all comfortable in my own skin. I went through the motions every day feeling like I was practically invisible. My weight went up to 184 pounds and I lost all the muscle tone I previously had.
I was 40 when I finally took back control of my life. Working out in my own living room using inexpensive and easily available tools like dumbbells, resistance bands, and a few old exercise DVDs resulted in a steady rate of weight loss.
In addition to weight loss, exercise greatly helped me through the depression of divorce. My mind was cluttered with anger and pain, and exercising seemed to clear it away and let me focus on my body.
I was excited with my progress, so I read up on different healthy-eating plans and overhauled my diet. I avoided the drive-through completely and started eating five to six small meals a day. If I did go out to eat, I ordered lighter dishes like grilled tilapia instead of fried coconut shrimp.
After three months, I was down 25 pounds and ready to take my workouts to the next level. I was too self-conscious to go to the gym before, but I finally felt comfortable enough to join one and fell madly in love with strength training.
The addition of heavy resistance training reshaped my body from pear-shaped to an hour glass. I got my small waist back and my hips and butt shrunk dramatically. But the changes in my physical appearance were only the beginning. Taking care of myself changed me, giving me confidence, energy, and focus beyond anything I had ever experienced.
As a result, I decided to change careers. I'm currently a certified personal trainer with my own studio in Norwood, Massachusetts. I take great pleasure in helping others reach their health and fitness goals.
In January of 2012, I decided to push myself to another level and commit to entering the INBF Northeast Classic in the bikini masters category in June 2012. I did a ton of research, cleaned up my diet even more, and increased the intensity and focus of my training. I was amazed with the changes that occurred in my body and now I'm totally hooked.
I competed again in November 2012 in the INBF Monster Mash and made great progress from my first competition in muscle definition and overall confidence. I don't compete to place, but rather to give myself a set deadline and purpose.
The diet was the biggest challenge. Going from a mostly fast-food/drive-through diet to what I eat today did not happen overnight. I focused on portion and calorie control, then I changed over to a clean diet, and finally incorporated macronutrient control and timing.
I plan to come in leaner and meaner in the spring of 2013. I love showing people my before and after photos so they can see that it is possible to get in the best shape of their life regardless of age or weight. All it takes is planning, commitment, and consistency.
- I always tell my clients to avoid an "all or nothing" attitude because it never works. If you fall off your diet plan or miss a workout just get right back to work. In the long haul your overall consistency is what counts, not what happens in a single day.
- Having a written diet and training plan is key. Although it seems like a time-consuming task, it will ultimately save you time, effort, and money. If you can't plan it out a week in advance, take 15 minutes at the end of each day to plan tomorrow's meals and workout.
- My workouts and diet evolved over time. If you're a beginner, don't think you have to invest as much time or effort as I do now to see meaningful results. I started out with a couple of workout DVD's and a set of 3, 5, and 8-pound dumbbells.
- Stop watching reality shows and go create the reality you want for yourself. Limit TV time to no more than an hour a day and you will have all the time you need to work out, plan, and cook meals.
- Don't ever doubt you can do it. It isn't going to be the easiest thing you will ever do, but it won't be the hardest either. Just keep plugging away, believing in yourself, and you will reach your goals.
Bodybuilding.com's supplement prices are far less than anything you can find at the local supplement shops. The independent reviews from other people who have used the products are so helpful.
I have learned so much from the great articles and training videos by industry leaders such as Mike O'Hearn and Jamie Eason. Also, the advice and encouragement from other BodySpace members is invaluable.