Weight: 110 lbs
Body Fat: 23%
Weight: 102 lbs
Body Fat: 8%
Why I Got Started
What got me started was my desire to be above average, to go beyond what I thought was even possible both physically and mentally, and to transform my body into a lean and muscular "clean" piece of art - from the inside out!
In the summer of 2008 I was 25-years old, about to turn 26, and something hit me - I'm not a kid anymore, my body is not going to snap back so easily, and I was beginning to see the physical effects of my "Hollywood" party lifestyle. The first major change was to clean out my body - detoxify my life.
I quit smoking (which was a disgusting and horrible habit), I quit staying out at wee hours of the night, I quit the lifestyle that ran me down for all those years, and I decided to quit drinking. For me it was more of a "let's see how long I can do this" or "am I even capable of doing this" challenge!
At the beginning of 2009, what started as a New Year's resolution grew into something much larger. But what began for me as a simple challenge to myself turned into a spiritual journey. Something happens to you when you begin to detoxify and clean out your body.
Your mind becomes clearer and focused, your energy levels and motivation and determination increases, and each step of the way and with every new physical and emotional change comes more confidence and a greater understanding of who you are. I was finding myself through this spiritual journey of the mind, body and soul. I was transforming myself.
After training myself for 4 months and lowering my body fat I started seeing my body in a new light - I was much more capable of achieving a higher level of fitness than I ever thought possible. It was around this time that someone told me about an amateur bodybuilding competition that would take place May 23, 2009 in Culver City, California.
It was the NPC California State Bodybuilding Championship. Up until this time I had thought about possibly competing one day but to me it was only a passing dream - I also thought there were only a few levels to compete in - all of which I knew I wasn't conditioned enough for.
That's when I discovered a new level of competitive bodybuilding which had premiered at the Arnold early this year - the Bikini division. I decided this could be the beginning of something great and 6 weeks until the big day I decided to go for it - I was going to compete!
A week before competition I hadn't drank in 6 months and I was at 8% body fat and about 101 pounds with a 6 pack of abs! I competed in the NPC Cal State a week ago - Bikini Class A and took 2nd place! I couldn't have asked for anything more! I had the time of my life and felt so accomplished and right when I came off the stage I couldn't wait to compete again!
The fire was lit inside of me and I definitely found my calling. Now I'm preparing to compete in the USA's coming up in July which will be held in Las Vegas. I will be competing in Bikini and I'm aiming to get my Pro Card there. Later on down the line I may even get into figure.
I have such a greater appreciation and respect for bodybuilding competitors and the sacrifices it takes to get to the next level. I could have never done this without the help and support of my trainer, my family, and my friends encouraging me and supporting me through the whole process. And most of all I have God to thank being my rock and light through it all!
How I Did It
January 1st, 2009 was the beginning of the last day of the "old" Michele! I woke up bright and early and threw on my gym clothes - I was at 23% body fat weighing in at about 110 pounds. Being a personal trainer I knew how to work out to maintain a healthy lifestyle but I knew I had to change my eating habits as well if I was going to see any real results.
I began doing my own research of proper nutrition. One of the first books I discovered that changed my diet forever was the "Eat Clean Diet" and "Butt Book" by Tosca Reno. I began by cleaning out my diet of all the processed foods and bad fats and replaced them with lean protein and plenty of veggies.
Click Image To Enlarge.
I Knew I Had To Change My Eating Habits As
Well If I Was Going To See Any Real Results.
About mid-January I discovered a website that changed my life, gave me the support I needed, and was the go-to resource website for all my questions and concerns; it was Bodybuilding.com! Through this website I found my new home and social network for other like-minded fitness enthusiast - it was my own lil' community where I felt accepted!
The next book that changed my life was "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women" by James Villepigue and Hugo Rivera. This book took my training to the next level. I began building muscle and my diet got even sharper - I was on a roll and my body was leaning out and changing.
I hit a plateau with my own training in April of 2009 - I had dropped to 17% body fat and was about 106 pounds but I just couldn't get to that next level on my own. I found my mentor, my friend and my trainer Kim Oddo who would take me to the next level. He helped with perfecting my diet and training techniques.
Every week I saw results and that really kept me motivated. I must say training like this I was isolated from my friends and family - I was immersed in my training and diet and the more results I saw, the more accomplished I felt, and the more desire I gained to keep moving forward.
It took me 4 months to physically change my body but it took me 26 years to finally make up my mind that enough was enough and I deserved to live and be the best I could be - it was so worth it!
Suggestions For Others
Stay positive and focused on the big picture. The first 14 days may be the toughest but once you condition your body and mind it will become a way of life so stick with it! It helps to take progress pictures throughout your entire transformation.
I saw the most major changes within the 1st month and that's what kept me going! Be consistent with your diet - Just because you miss a day at the gym or cheat a little with food don't pig out the rest of the day, just pick up and continue where you left off.
Also, surround yourself with positive and like-minded people. It really is essential to have an uplifting support system in place during those times you're feeling discouraged or just need to hear some friendly words! I used Bodybuilding.com as my support system when I had questions or needed guidance.