Name: Lindsey Bond
Location: Milton, Vermont
Why I decided to transform
I have always been a competitive, athletic person. When I was young I was a sprinter, then in high school I found competitive rock climbing. Rock climbing became my passion and I competed for five years. I was ranked No. 1 in my region for three consecutive years and No. 18 in the nation for two years.
I lost touch with rock climbing when I went away for college. My competitive drive never died but it took many years to find a new fitness outlet I was passionate about. A few years after college, I got married. Young love began to take a toll on my waistline and I reached my heaviest weight in 2012. I weighed 140 pounds and I was extremely uncomfortable in my body. I knew I had to change but I didn't have the knowledge or the mental strength to take control.
I had joined the Air National Guard in 2009, but I didn't start to get fit until 2013 when I was deployed overseas. I decided to make small steps to a better me. It started with the 1-mile walk from my tent on base to the dining facility. I walked that 2-mile round trip three times every day.
Halfway through my deployment I started feeling healthier, so I added running to my daily routine. I even got a small group of runners from my shop together to come with me. When I got home from the deployment, I was amazed how easy it was to run in weather that wasn't 110 dry degrees. I signed up for 5ks and ran a leg of the Burlington City Marathon with my relay team. Running wasn't my passion, but I loved the way it made me feel and I loved being healthy again.
My husband suggested we start weight training together. He had lifted since he was young and is extremely knowledgeable. He was overweight as well and ready to join the weight loss path I had taken. We started slow, with a weight bench in our basement. It wasn't long before I realized that this was my true passion!
We joined a gym based on a referral by a fellow guard member who competes in bikini competitions. I asked her everything I could about how to get into the amazing shape she was in. She was so helpful and happy to inspire others with her knowledge. She told me I should start training with her trainer, Danika Johnson.
Danika is an IFPA Pro bikini competitor and she has shown me everything I could possibly need to know about the world of bikini competitions. She is the shining example and inspiration of how I would want my career in the fitness industry to be.
My first season has been an amazing success and I owe that to Danika's guidance and support and to my own dedication and will.
How I accomplished my goals
I embraced the good times and endured the bad. I never gave up, no matter how difficult it got. The hardest time for me was two weeks out from a show. I was depleted of fuel and I still had to make it to the gym twice and survive a 10-hour work day. It was not only the most physically challenging, but the most mentally challenging thing I have ever been through.
When I wanted to give up, I thought about my husband and my trainer. They were both cheering for me to succeed and I couldn't stand the thought of letting them down. I made my daily weigh-ins a challenge. Every morning I woke up and was excited to see how much I lost. It was a competition to beat myself each day. I knew if I cheated on my diet I wasn't going to be happy with the results on the scale.
My inspiration was always to be better than myself. At first, I thought about the other girls I would compete against but after I won my first show, I only thought about being leaner and stronger than I was at the previous show.
What aspect challenged me the most
The diet has been the most challenging part of my transformation. I was decreasing my carb intake as I got closer to my show and it seemed like I was always hungry. I never had a problem with eating the same thing every day because I knew I was giving my body the best fuel I possibly could. The biggest problem for me was the cravings I had for sweets. I have a really bad sweet tooth and I was constantly thinking about cupcakes and candy.
Walking away from treats in my office at work was really difficult. I skipped a lot of parties and social events but looking back now, I was not missing out. I would never trade my accomplishments for any piece of food. The food will always be there but how many times in a lifetime does a person get to truly live out their dreams?
My future fitness plans
Competing has inspired me to continue my healthy lifestyle and use my example to try to help others get healthy. In the future, I plan to take a year off from competing to work on my physique.
I always made it a point to ask the judges after each show what I could improve on. The general consensus is that I need to tighten my glutes and build stronger legs. I plan on tackling this by continuing to train legs twice a week and sticking to a good mass building diet.
I am hoping to compete again in the spring of 2015. My plan is to take my new and improved physique back to the OCB stage in hopes of a pro card and I would also like to make my debut in the NPC. I hope to build my career in the fitness industry. I am studying to take my personal trainer exam and I would love to own my own gym one day.
I am always anxious to get involved any way I can by attending shows, training with other competitors and doing photo shoots. I would love to find a sponsor and build my name in the bikini world!
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
For anyone who doesn't believe they could achieve fitness greatness, if you change your belief and tell yourself you can, even if you don't believe it at first, eventually you will prove yourself right. It is scary to look at someone's before and after picture and envision yourself making the same journey. The transformation doesn't happen overnight, it might not even happen in a year or two.
Every step you take towards achieving a healthy, fit lifestyle is a gift you are giving your body. One small change is something you can make today and before you know it, you will look in the mirror one morning and say to yourself "I did it". Enjoy the journey, be patient, congratulate the little victories, set micro goals and never tell yourself you can't do anything!
"I have been in the military for 5 years as an F16 Sheet Metal Mechanic.
I am the first female to ever work full time in the sheet metal shop
on my base."
For those that are already transforming; congratulations on putting your health first. You started this journey for a reason, never lose sight of that. It is so easy to focus on the end goal, whether it be a competition or a certain weight. Don't forget to soak in every little goal you achieve on your path. Those little victories will hold you over and keep you motivated until you make it to that big reward.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com has been my go-to source for inspiration, diet advice and lifting plans. I would spend hours going through the athlete profiles in the "fitness 360" section. I love seeing what top competitors do for their training regimen and compare it to what I am doing. Whenever I was getting tired of what I was eating I would log on and get fresh new ideas from the nutrition section of the site.
On days that I was feeling unmotivated I would explore the articles in the motivation section and watch videos on how other people pushed through the tough times to achieve their goals. Bodybuilding.com has been such a big part of my fitness life. I don't know how I could ever have achieved everything I have without the advice and inspiration from the site.
Lindsey's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Guilt" by Nero
- "Hungry" by Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard
- "What I live For" by Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard
- "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears
- "Turn Down For What" by DJ Snake and Lil Jon
- OCB Green Mountain Thaw 2nd Bikini Debut, 1st in Bikini Novice B and first in Bikini Open B.
- OCB Liberty State Natural 1st in Bikini Open C.
- OCB Big East 3rd in Bikini Open C.
I would like to pay credit to my trainer, Danika Johnson. Danika is an IFPA Pro Bikini Competitor and a Personal Trainer. She is my inspiration and has dedicated so much of her time and knowledge to get me where I am today! Without Danika, I would not have had the amazing success I have had competing in my first season!
I would like to thank Marie Agan for my professional photos!