WEIGHT 220 lbs
BODY FAT 30%
WEIGHT 126 lbs
BODY FAT 14%
Why I Decided To Transform
I think it started when I left college and came home. I got a job at a car dealership and fell into a slump. I wasn't happy where I was going and felt like I had no control over my life. I partied a lot and ate a drive thru meal sometimes 2-3 times per day.
When I met my husband it was a whirlwind romance. We were married in 10 weeks after meeting each other. Life was good. We signed up for a gym membership and I started working out. I was about 155 pounds at this point. Not huge, but not where I wanted to be.
Four weeks to the day after we were married, I found out I was pregnant and we were so excited. I celebrated with food, lots more food, and candy. I didn't know any better. I didn't know how to eat, what to eat, or when to eat. So I just ate all the time. I gained about 90 pounds during my pregnancy.
When I finally delivered, I went on the scale three days later and watched it tip 200 pounds. I was devastated. I knew I was big, but I wasn't expecting this. For some reason, in my mind I thought when the baby came out the weight would shortly follow. Boy was I wrong. I picked up a copy of Oxygen Magazine, taped a picture of Jamie Eason on my refrigerator and set my goals. I was determined to have the body of my dreams.
Five weeks after my daughter was born, my husband left to Fort Hood, Texas, and later Afghanistan. He was an infantryman and was set for a 12-month deployment. I was devastated. I decided I was going to be sexy for him when he came home. I started small by going to the local park and running a mile each day. I was a runner in high school, but had never run with 80 extra pounds. You can't take a breath, you are sweating like a pig and it's just hard to pick your legs up to create a decent stride.
I didn't give up; I wouldn't give up. If my husband could fight a war and make it home, I could run a damn mile. After three weeks, I upped it to two miles, then three, and then mile intervals. After three months, I was down to 168 pounds and felt sexy. I joined a local gym and incorporated weights into my training from the articles in Oxygen Magazine.
Tosca Reno was older than I, but inspired me with stories of determination and self worth. I drank up every sentence and every tip. After buying the Eat Clean Diet series (every book Reno wrote) I could whip up a clean meal in no time. Her advice and teachings gave me the knowledge to feed myself properly, to reach my goals, and to live my life the way I always wanted, being the best version of myself.
Now, I eat six meals per day on a daily basis. I always have a cooler and a shaker filled with water. I like to go to the gym at least five days per week, even with two small children, a full-time marketing job, and a part-time college load. I find time to workout because it provides stability, and relaxation, which I deserve.
I'm a better mother because I take care of myself and teach my children healthy habits and how to live a clean lifestyle. I'm going to continue my journey and see where it will take me. I feel like a winner because I feel confident in the healthy body I gave myself.
How I Accomplished My Goals
I had to stay motivated to succeed. It took me 11 months and three weeks to reach my goal of 126 pounds. I did it without hiring a nutritionist or a trainer because I didn't have the money. I love inspirational people like Michael-David Riley. He puts inspiration into his words and helps you believe in yourself.
I ate six small, high protein, low carb meals a day following the Eat Clean Diet principals described in Tosca's book and I still eat with those books today. A week doesn't go by without opening one of her cook books and finding a way to change it up and keep me on track.
When I decided to compete, I went online and followed Amanda Latona's workouts. When I was searching for a meal plan, I came across Jaime Baird and followed her meal plan with a few tweaks of my own. To get from 200-plus pounds to my current weight, it took determination, motivation, and consistency. You have to believe in yourself and surround yourself with like-minded people.
Bodybuilding.com is a great tool to help with motivation. The Bodybuilding.com community encourages people to make changes and better themselves. It's awesome to see the difference a healthy lifestyle makes in people's lives, especially my own. When I was training to lose the initial weight, I kept food journals and workout journals.
During my fitness journey, I kept a separate journal to my husband, writing him every day and praying for him to come home. The idea of the situation he was in kept me motivated because no matter how hard I thought my life was his was 10-times crazier. I wasn't going to give up because I knew he wasn't going to give up. I keep that mindset to this day to keep striving toward my goals and hopefully inspiring others to make the best of what they have.
My trainer and friend, Val Birkner, keeps me motivated with her training knowledge and constant motivation. Her belief in me helps me believe more in myself. I don't know what I would do without her.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
Finding time. I have two children, a full-time demanding job, and six college hours per semester. The diet helps me maintain structure. When I have a cheat craving, I plan cheat meals and enjoy one almost every week.
Even if I only make it to gym to run for 20 minutes, I take it. Sometimes I just do mountain climbers, jumping jacks, abs, and lunges on my living room floor. You have to be creative and stay on track. After a while, it becomes habit.
My Future Fitness Plans
I would love to share my story with all the moms out there who don't feel sexy. I want to show everyone that you can choose your lifestyle. Decide to make changes and follow your dreams.
It's all in your hands, but you have to believe in yourself and find what motivates you. I would love to be a published fitness model and an inspiration to moms and women who want something more for themselves.
Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers
- Surround yourself with positive people who have similar goals and interests.
- Ignore negative people. Some tear you down to make themselves feel better. It's hard for people to accept change.
- Focus and write your goals down. Journal everything! When you're down, go back and read where you came from and you'll remember where you're going.
- Take pictures regularly.
- Stay off the scale and listen to your body. Do things that make you feel good inside and out. Fitness is a journey, not a race. Enjoy the ride, take in the view, and reveal the new you.
- Everybody can change!
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com helped me connect with people who had the same goals. I found tips on competing, diets, and training. I love the atmosphere on Bodybuilding.com.
Every time I turn on my computer and open the site, I'm inspired by someone's journey. Bodybuilding.com made this type of connection possible. Not to mention the great supplement store.