Why I decided to transform
My journey into fitness began with a car accident. Driving home one night after work in December of 2011, a car cut me off on the expressway. I slammed on the brakes, slid, and almost spun off a bridge. The windows were smashed completely out, my airbags deployed, and my family van was totaled.
Fortunately, I was able to walk away from the accident without serious injuries, only bruises and scrapes. Powerful thoughts of my health ran over and over through my head. I wasn't happy with my appearance or conditioning. I was an overweight Hispanic woman, weighing 201 pounds at only 5-foot-4. I kept thinking: "Am I going to be able to get up and walk away from this? Will my weight be the reason I am unable to survive this crash?"
Later that evening I sat down and had a serious discussion with my husband, Nova. Nova has always been into fitness and often tried to get me to workout with him, but I was never motivated. The accident put things into perspective. I knew what I had to do. My husband and I put together a fitness plan to get me to my first goal: to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. My future sacrifices were for the greater good. I was doing it for my family and myself.
How I accomplished my goals
I started hitting the gym with Nova whenever we could manage. Our gym had no daycare and my parents were unable to watch our children, Kayla and Kara. Nova and I couldn't properly train together when I first started. After work, we would pick the kids up, come home, and Nova would watch them while I worked out. The guys at the gym were always willing to lend me a spot, but without my husband there to push me I had to push myself. I started feeling better about myself, I had more energy, and I felt sexier than ever before.
Most women I saw at the gym did cardio and aerobics classes, but I never saw any dramatic changes in their body composition. I wanted noticeable changes! Nova introduced me to weightlifting and bodybuilding. I learned about metabolism, that the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn! Eating a clean diet meant no more fast food, pizza and late night ice cream. I went from 201 to 150 pounds.
I was excited! I was wearing smaller clothes and receiving praise for my hard work, but it wasn't enough for me. I knew I was still overweight and wanted to have 6-pack abs. My husband said if I wanted 6-pack abs than I needed to get a professional trainer who can do diet calculations and prepare me for a fitness show.
My friend from the gym introduced me to her brother-in-law who competed in a bodybuilding show and placed well. He introduced me to his bodybuilding coach Ralph DellaRocco. Ralph was supportive of my goals. His brutal honesty and training assistance took me from 150 to 114 pounds! I stepped on stage at the 2013 INBF Natural USA bodybuilding show promoted by the Iatomasi family and took second place in women's Ms. Fit Body and second place in women's Figure.
I fell in love with the sport and was determined to keep going. Because of the dramatic weight loss (100 pounds), I was left with loose, sagging skin. I knew surgery would fix the problem, but we didn't have the finances for cosmetic surgery at the time. As luck would have it though, I actually prefer the harder, athletic physique to the softer bikini model look, so Ralph had a plan, he said let's take a year off to bulk up with more muscle to fill the loose skin out.
I was excited but was afraid to take a year off from competing. I didn't want to go back to the weight I used to be. My relatives and family were supportive of me through that first competition, but when it was over, everyone kept throwing food in my face and telling me the competition was over and I accomplished what I needed to do. They told me to eat junk food again! Out of my entire family, my mom was the least happy with my toned physique. She preferred the soft bikini look. It was difficult for her to understand that when a person loses 83 pounds of fat, the skin needs to be filled out with something. I did it with muscle.
After the success of that first show I gave in and fell victim to pressure. My relatives and family say: "You've completed your task, now you need to go back to the way you were and focus more on your kids." It was destructive to a person struggling with motivation to overcome obstacles and achieve lofty goals. Constant pressure from loved ones to give up became too much. I put on 45 pounds, to 160 again. Who loses weight and then goes back to being overweight again? My self-esteem took a beating.
I mustered the strength and called Ralph. This time my husband would compete too. Again, with no babysitters, we took shifts at the gym and trained our butts off. We followed Ralph's every command. My weight was even harder to lose the second time. Prepping for the second show was harder and more expensive because were both competing, but we did it. My children sacrificed their weekends and came to the gym with us. I even took a part-time job at the gym so I could get a free membership and was able to watch the kids while my husband and I trained together.
Hard work and determination paid off. I took first place in women's physique at the Rochester NPC Bodybuilding Championships. I weighed in at 120 and felt and looked the best in my life!
The competition is over, but it is not over for me. This time, I'm making sure I stay fit, to teach my children to follow in my footsteps. The obstacles I've overcome give me more confidence.
What aspect challenged me the most
The aspect that challenged me the most was the lack of day care at my gym. No training partner because my husband had to watch the kids while I trained. The diet was also a challenge. I overcame this by focusing on my goal of taking first place at the competition I was preparing for.
My future fitness plans
My plans for the future are to compete in 2015 at a bigger show take first place then go to nationals and win my pro card and hopefully compete at a professional level. My goal is to become Ms. Olympia in women's physique
A local gym owner and radio DJ from Fitness Edge Radio was inspired by Kimberly's story and started a fundraiser to raise money for
skin tightening surgery for her lower abdomen area so she can
one day compete for Ms. Olympia.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Anything is possible through hard work and determination. It doesn't matter what the obstacle is if you want it bad enough you will find a way to make it happen. Don't give up on your dreams.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com helped me through informational articles and videos, and also I purchased my supplements from the site.