Name: Nadine Gray
Why I Got Started
My journey actually began a long time ago. I was fit, walking, lifting weights and going to the gym. That was back in the year 2000. Since that time my exercise has been sporadic and non-existent at times.
I was working full-time, happily married, cooking, entertaining, gardening and raising two beautiful daughters, two wonderful step-children and living life to the fullest. But, that did not include exercise or gym time in my busy life.
My two daughters who are physically active and follow a healthy diet became concerned. "Mom," they said, "We want you to live a long and healthy life." It wasn't until I looked at photos (I could always fool myself in the mirror) that I finally saw it. Over the years pounds had crept up on my frame. I couldn't even take a hike with my daughter and keep up. I didn't own a scale; I didn't want to know what it said.
Then came the "Bodybuilding.com 12 Week Transformation Challenge," why not? I am at an age that it does not matter who sees my before picture in sports top and shorts, what's the worst that can happen? So, I did it!
The journey has not been easy; the temptations to eat poorly and skip the gym are everywhere. The "friends" that bring you a cupcake or caramel macchiato, oh, I brought you a treat, I would respond, "I'm sure my husband will love this!"
Valentine's Day came, no chocolates I told my husband. But, there was the chocolate cream pie we got for his dessert! He was impressed when he returned from being out of town, opened the refrigerator and noticed only his one piece was missing! Don't get me wrong, he has been a strong supporter, making sure I have the right foods to eat, cooking and eating with me.
Then, there are my two daughters, "Mom, I'm meeting you at the gym at 6," I'm too tired but Jillian is at the gym waiting for me. And my daughter Ashlee in Fairbanks, Alaska, "Mom, I'm here for you and so proud you are taking on your life!" Life's challenges. My sister's death. Life can throw you curve balls.
Did I want to give up - Yes! Would my sister want me to finish and be proud of me - Yes! I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska for her memorial service. I told my family the journey I was on and they supported me wholeheartedly.
My brother-in-law John took me to the grocery store so I could get my special foods and when the family made and brought their favorite dishes I told them it looked delicious but would not be partaking this time. I got up early to work out in my brother-in-law's home gym so I wouldn't miss family time.
My sister watched from above as I continued my journey … and now I can't believe it, my journey is done. I have been so excited anticipating the outcome! Is my journey over, no … I want this to become a lifestyle. I don't want it to ever end! I feel better, look better and have more energy and confidence.
My husband, daughters and family members are so proud. I am proud! And like they say, everything is better when you're fit!
How I Did It
First of all, support of family and friends. And then, diet and exercise. My daughter Jillian helped me pick out protein powders and supplements to take throughout the transformation process.
I also enjoyed seeing Andrew Beck, who was also doing the transformation, stick to his exercise routine, follow his diet plan and get visible results. We would discuss diet tactics and I would get ideas on what I should be eating. Checking out my BodySpace on Bodybuilding.com and reading about other's journeys encouraged me to stay on track.
My daughter Jillian Farmer was a tremendous help by showing me different protein powders to incorporate and even how to prepare them different ways, like the protein pudding, by mixing a small amount of water and creating a pudding consistency - yummy! And she also helped me pick certain supplements for energy.
The trainers at the gym encouraged me and gave me exercise tips; the instructors in the various classes also encouraged and gave support. I also enjoyed before and after pictures on my BodySpace, it encouraged me to stick with it to get the same results.
I also learned from Bodybuilding.com that you can be your best at any age and lifestyle!
- ½ cup oatmeal (cooked) with blueberries
- 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 1 cup black coffee
- 5 raw almonds
- 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
- 1 can water packed albacore tuna
- 1/2 cup steamed green beans
- 1 scoop whey protein isolate
- 1 baked chicken breast
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
- 1 serving sugar free Jell-O
- 1 small jazz apple
- 3-4 egg whites
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 11529
- 1 Worldwide Pure Protein Bar - Chocolate Peanut Butter
- 1 cup coffee with Truvia
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 steamed yam
- 1 glass Crystal Light ice tea
- 1 orange
- 1 filet steamed tilapia
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 1 serving protein pudding
- 5 chopped raw almonds
Condiments used liberally: black pepper, fresh herbs: parsley/basil/cilantro/tarragon/thyme, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic.
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Arms
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Shoulders
Day 5: Back
Day 6: Abs/Group Class
- 1 hour group class of my choice: PowerPump/Body Flow
Day 7: Rest
Suggestions For Others
A workout partner is very important! Mine was my daughter Jillian, they help keep you accountable when you don't think you can make the gym or stick to your diet.
When you're sore, take a break and do light cardio for the day (at least 30 minutes). Don't live at the gym. I found it's good to get in and get out - no more than an hour, we all have busy lives.
Be easy on yourself, if you blow your diet - tomorrow is another day - start fresh. We are only human. Keep active outside the gym. Instead of the gym one day my daughter and I hiked in the hills - it was a beautiful day and we worked different muscles than we would otherwise.
Lead an active lifestyle - it helps avoid getting "burned out" with the same old routine. Have fun and enjoy the results!