Growing up, I was always overweight. I was not very active or involved in any sports. I felt very self-conscious about my weight and appearance. At a very young age, I began going on fad diets. I remember doing the weight watchers program while I was only in the seventh grade. I had a calculator and would enter in all the food I was eating and would drink Slim-Fast shakes for lunch. This never helped me lose the weight I was looking to lose.
By the time I reached my junior year of high school, I had tried a handful of strategies including the Zone Diet, Rice Diet, South Beach Diet, and the Atkins diet to name a few. This directed me to be obsessed with my weight and led to an eating disorder. I went from 175 pounds to 135 pounds in a short amount of time.
I felt unhealthy and unhappy by the time I left for college. I ditched the destructive eating habits and gained all the weight I had lost back in only a couple of months. I felt I would never be happy with the way I looked and felt.
After a few years, I lost about 20 pounds slowly just by watching my portion sizes and trying to make better diet decisions. I got a gym membership for the first time, but had no idea what I was doing there. I felt self-conscious and out of place around everyone who was in shape. I mainly stayed on the cardio equipment and bounced around from station to station trying to figure out how everything worked.
A few months later, I met my current boyfriend. He had a long history of being active and fit. He is a Marine, former personal trainer, and once competed in a bodybuilding competition. Needless to say, he was a great help in the gym. He took a lot of time teaching me my way around the gym. Once I developed confidence and strength, we were great workout partners. We complemented each other well by always encouraging each other to push ourselves to the limit and challenging one another.
Over time, I had co-workers and friends who were beginning to compete in figure and bikini competitions. I envied these people. Win or lose, they were determined, beautiful, and strong. I wanted to be more like that.
In October 2011, I had heard that some more people I knew were going to train for their first competition. That was enough! I got online and looked up a local competition that took place in April 2012. I signed up for it and began dieting and training on January 1. I learned a lot about my body and nutrition from all the different types of diets I had been on in the past. With this knowledge and some research, I created my own diet plan and was very successful.
I went from 155 pounds and competed at 124 pounds! I went from 23 percent body fat to about 9 percent body fat. My energy and motivation levels are off the charts and I feel amazing. Doing this competition was the best decision I have ever made. It's not about winning or losing, but seeing how far you can push yourself. I have never felt so unstoppable and I cannot wait to compete again!
I love to challenge myself both mentally and physically. I enjoy pushing myself to the limit and watching the results! I also love inspiring others by giving it my all and encouraging them to do the same.
My boyfriend who helps keep me motivated and always encourages me to push my workouts to the limit and my loving family and friends who have been my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. I am also motivated by the physical and mental transformations I have made and am excited to see what else I am capable of.
My initial motivation was to change the way I look, followed by the results. When I realized what I was capable of doing, which is more than I could have ever imagined, I was completely addicted to making the efforts to reach my goals.
I plan to stay on track with my workout and diet and am looking forward to competing again in the fall. Long-term, I would like to become a sponsored IFBB Figure Pro and have opportunities for fitness modeling. I know this will take some time, but I'm no stranger to hard work and dedication!
- Don't compare yourself to the other women; compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
- Know that everyone on that stage is nervous!
- Practice, practice, practice hitting your poses.
- Ignore everyone else's diet tricks! Make your own plan and ignore the rest.
I use Bodybuilding.com all the time! I use my BodySpace to track my progress and network, I shop for my supplements, and I find the nutrition calculators and recipes to be very helpful. I have also used the competitions like the ON $100,000 Transformation Challenge to help keep me motivated.