I've been thin my entire life and never gave much thought to what I ate. I hit the gym once every few months and only used the elliptical. One day, a friend and I went to the gym when they were doing free body fat tests. I thought I'd have a stellar number, but realized it was much higher than I anticipated. I had never heard the term "skinny fat" before, but that's what I was. A few months later, I tried on a pair of shorts and looked terrible. The next day, I started running, and a few weeks later I got a gym membership.
When I initially started lifting, I only trained abs and did a few sets of leg press occasionally. I didn't want to get bulky. Looking back, that makes me laugh. After a while, I met people at the gym and picked up bits of information. I wasn't seeing results, so I did my own research, shaped up my diet, cut out alcohol, cut back on ab workouts, and finally saw results.
I started using the machines and did full-body workouts, and later alternated between upper and lower-body exercises. Then I met my boyfriend who introduced me to the world of heavy lifting. I started my fitness journey at 112 pounds and weighed 118 pounds after a year. I lost fat and gained muscle. By May 2013, I stepped on stage at 109 pounds and 9 percent body fat. Fitness helped my physical and mental health. I suffer from depression, and fitness was the best medicine.
My passion for fitness emerged when I saw my body change and noticed changes in my mood and attitude. I started a competition with myself to lift heavier than the week before. It became fun instead of a chore. Now I look forward to it. Stepping on stage and showing off your hard work is an amazing feeling that's beyond worth it.
I get motivation from my friends, family, and people at the gym. It's inspiring to watch people change. I love the feeling I get from working out and eating healthy. It keeps me motivated to stay on track. I want to break the stereotype that girls aren't strong. Strong is beautiful! My boyfriend keeps me motivated. He gives me a push in the right direction and is a positive influence.
I started "liking" all the fitness pages I could find on Facebook. I searched through pages of motivating pictures and quotes which pushed me to stay on track.
I plan to compete in more shows. I'm trying out fitness competitions with bikini and figure. I love fitness because I used to be a gymnast and thought those days were over. Fitness routines pump up the crowd and the women are strong and motivating. Ultimately, I would love to obtain an IFBB pro card.
It gets difficult, and you'll want to give up, but don't! The payoff in the end is beyond anything I can describe. The second I walked off stage, I felt like I could do anything. Compete only for yourself, no one else.
Andreia Brazier. She's strong and absolutely beautiful. I strive to be like her.
Bodybuilding.com is where I go for answers. I browse the site every day and go there for clothes, supplements, diet tips, exercises, motivation, and anything else you can think of.
- "Hungry" by Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard
- "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
- "Pet" by A Perfect Circle
- "Savior" by Rise Against
- "Prodigy: Omen" by Mt. Eden