Body Transformation: Mhariel McDonald Cut 86 Pounds!

Mhariel relied on fad diets to battle obesity, but the weight eventually won. See how she revamped her plan of fat attack and lost 86 pounds and 21 percent body fat!

Why I decided to transform

I struggled with weight problems most of my life, but always managed to lose it with the latest fad diet. I decided to make a change because I was tired of feeling miserable in my own skin, and depressed and angry for letting myself get to this point. I was constantly tired, unhappy, and started to withdraw socially because of the way I looked.

I started having health-related issues that affected my sleep and hormonal balance due to obesity. During a routine doctor visit, I learned I was pre-diabetic and it was a major wakeup call. Diabetes runs in my family and I knew that my weight would only make it worse.

After the transformation, I have a new zest for life. I'm capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to and understand that boundaries are only limitations created within myself. I'm happy that my transformation also inspired my husband to eat clean and start a workout routine.

My life is completely different now because I actually live it instead of sitting around letting it pass me by.

Before /// 210 lbs
After /// 124 lbs
AGE 29 / HEIGHT 5'4" / BODY FAT 35%
AGE 33 / HEIGHT 5'4" / BODY FAT 14%

How I accomplished my goals

I started dieting and was able to lose weight, but wasn't satisfied. In 2011, a friend introduced me to and created a workout plan for me to follow. I went back to the gym, read fitness articles, and haven't looked back since. I became an active BodySpace user and joined some challenges on the site while following Kris Gethin's Body By Design.

After seeing good results, the idea to compete became a real possibility. In January 2013, I joined Scientific Exercise Training Team to prep for my first figure show. With the help of my coaches, teammates, and the overwhelming support of my husband, I accomplished my goal. I measured my progress, tracked my weight and body fat percentage, and took lots of photos to compare my progress on BodySpace.

There were days when I thought about quitting on the diet and workouts, but I came too far to give up. I found inspiration in my coaches, teammates, BodySpace members, and competitors. We all have bad days, but you have to stick with it to see results. Side-by-side photo comparisons helped me see changes in my body that I couldn't see on the scale or in the mirror, which helped me stay on track.

What aspect challenged me the most

"Surround yourself with positive people to lean on."

The diet was the most challenging and time consuming. I wasn't used to eating a balanced diet, so I had to learn to incorporate macronutrients. I overcame the challenge by seeking advice from my coach and by reading several nutrition articles on

My future fitness plans

I will continue to compete in figure and improve my physique for an upcoming show in September 2013. I would also like to become a trainer and help others with their weight-loss journey.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

  • Stop making excuses.
  • Take pictures so you can track progress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people to lean on.
  • Find people who hold you accountable.
  • Don't quit.
  • Be active on BodySpace.

How helped me reach my goals

I couldn't have accomplished my goal without I'm constantly on BodySpace connecting with people who have similar goals and struggles. I get lots of feedback and pep talks from my BodySpace friends. I purchase my supplements from and love reading the articles.

Mhariel's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "It's My Life" by Jon Bon Jovi
  2. "Diamonds" by Rihanna
  3. "Under And Over it" by Five Finger Death Punch
  4. "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys
  5. "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia