Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Showroom Floored

Charlette wasn't planning to be a physique competitor. She wanted to change her body and just happened to meet a bodybuilder who wanted to train her. Now she competes like it's nothing!

Name: Charlette Brannon
BodySpace: supastar2353
Location: Sacramento, California
Age: 26  Height: 5'3"  Weight: 110 lbs
Years Competing: 1 1/2

How did your fitness journey begin?

I've always been involved in sports and physical activities, but after having two children it was much harder to find time and energy. I did intense kickboxing videos in my living room with my kids when they were babies. I lost most of the pregnancy weight, but my body was different after the children. I held most of my weight in my mid-section.

Pre-pregnancy, I was 112-115 pounds and delivered both children at 163-165 pounds. I went back down to 120-125 pounds after having my children. I was 23-years-old, didn't feel comfortable in a bikini, and was always exhausted. I had to change.

I started working out at 24-Hour Fitness and heard a gentleman in the dry sauna talking to someone about personal training. It spiked my interest and I left with the thought. I kicked myself after for not approaching the man. A week later, I was at the gym with my younger sister and saw the man on the stair machine with a hooded sweatshirt and sweats. This was my opportunity. I approached the man, asked if he was a trainer, how much he charged, and what it entailed. He gave me his card and was shocked when I called the next day to begin.

Initially, I was only interested in toning my body to look and feel better. I started getting interested in competitions shortly after and competed four months later in an INBA show in the bikini division. I placed fourth and was completely intrigued. After building more muscle, I moved to women's figure where I currently just won first place women's novice figure at the INBA in August.

My show weight is 110 pounds and my body fat is between 12-16 percent. My off-season weight is 115, where I train heavier with weights and incorporate healthy fats and other nutrients into my meals. I love the challenge, hard work, and sweat that it takes to compete with myself mentally and physically. I live for the challenge.

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

I continue pushing myself, have a burning drive, and believe anything is achievable. We all have the same opportunity; it's how you approach and attack the situation with strategy and determination. I feel there's nothing I can't accomplish with a desire to achieve. Progressive stages lead to achievement. I love health and fitness. I chose this lifestyle for me, my kids, and my family. I want to be a role model people love and want to be like.

What/Who motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?

Seeing the results and outcomes based on the choices I make feels good. It makes me feel good and look good with a natural source of energy. I don't need to drink soda to feel energized. I make choices that allow me to live a happy and energetic lifestyle. My coach and personal trainer, Peka Bennefield, inspires and motivates me. He lives what he teaches and I admire that. He's self-motivated and driven like me. I look up to him and all he does for people. He helps people to places they never believed they could. It's empowering to be a part of it.

Where did you go for inspiration?

I dug deep. This is something I wanted to do for myself. I view life as endless opportunities, so why not live life to the fullest and happiest possible. The only one who can make that lifestyle for you is you. I live every day and wake up thanking God for another day to share with my kids. It's another day to challenge myself to do something bigger and better. Learning is key to achievement and self-satisfaction. When I have a bad day or need guidance, I go to my coach. He always has an answer that cheers me up or solves a problem. Thank you, Peka.

What are your future fitness plans?

Fitness and health have endless opportunities. I'd love to be a role model to whom kids look up. My kids love fitness and attend boot camps with me. I want to inspire our young generation to make better choices so it can have a bright future. I also want to be a personal trainer. I'm currently CPR & First Aid certified and working on my personal training certificate online.

What is the most important fitness tip?

What you believe is what you can achieve. Our lives are endless opportunities. It's all about approach, strategy, and follow-through. You can do it. Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you'll still be among the stars.

Who is your favorite fitness competitor?

My coach and his wife, Peka and Christen Bennefield. I admire them. They're like super heroes to me.

How did help you reach your goals?

I read many articles on motivation, supplements, and training profiles. It's inspiring to read about others accomplishing their goals. It makes me happy to read about others who succeed. I know their time, hard work, and dedication took energy.