How did your fitness
Growing up, I always enjoyed the challenges of learning new things like horseback riding, dancing, roller-skating, martial arts, skiing, snowboarding, and now building a better physique. When I lost my son in 2001, I lost the will to take care of myself. I dove whole-heartedly into taking care of my family and placed myself at the lowest priority. As a result of that, I gained 40 pounds after my last son was born, which tipped me over 175 pounds. I knew I was in a rut and didn't quite know what to do to get myself out of it.
I started out running, having run my first 5K in 2010. In 2012, I read about the amazing transformation story of my friend, Chrissy Clausen, right here on Bodybuilding.com! I really admired Chrissy for what she accomplished and wanted to start taking steps towards making some major changes in my life as well. This was when Chrissy referred me to my current coach Sandy Wiedmeyer , who coaches at Iron Diva Fitness.
After personally contacting Sandy, I was excited to learn her fees were within my budget. I joined my nearest workout facility and, with Sandy's help, started my own transformation journey. It wasn't long after that I started to realize this fitness journey was not only changing my physique, but changing my mind and spirit as well. I was becoming a more patient mother to my children.
After about a year of training, Sandy asked me if I would consider competing in a natural bodybuilding show. I was honored yet skeptical. I'd have to wear a bikini, and I don't even like being on a beach in a bikini—let alone on stage in front of so many judging eyes! But it was a way to gain self confidence and courage so I dove in. Once I did, there was really no turning back.
How did your passion for fitness emerge?
In 2010, I ran my first 5K and loved the energetic and highly contagious positive attitude all the runners had. I soon caught on to wanting to surround myself with like-minded healthy and fit individuals. I wanted my kids to similarly experience living a healthy fit lifestyle. So I invited each of them to run a 5K with me! I'm happy to say we all share the annual tradition of running 5Ks together. This past year, my son and I competed in the 2013 Warrior Dash, and my daughters and I ran both the Color Run and Fire Fly 5Ks. I always encourage them to "run their best race."
What drives you to
It's funny how much more motivated you get once you get better at something. I started to really enjoy hitting the gym more and more once the exercises I had initially struggled with become easier and easier. The positive side effect was that I saw myself getting stronger, too! The progress felt so empowering that I really developed a fiery passion for working out - I wanted more!
I'm slowly getting over the guilty feeling of allowing myself time at the gym. My children are getting older now, and I'm better able to carve out some "me" time. At first this didn't feel comfortable for me. However, I've come to believe that we all need our "me" time. I feel like I've become a better mom because I learn to prioritize my own health. As well, I've taught my kids how to eat healthy, keep their bodies in good working shape, and sharpen their minds as well. Recently, my son wrote a paper about how I am an inspiration to him, and that made my heart sing. I always had low self-esteem. Weight training injected me with both internal and external strength. It's truly an amazing and life-changing experience for me!
What aspects about the sport fascinate you?
I feel as if bodybuilding nurtures a sense of camaraderie with all the athletes. Everyone seems to have a great deal of courage, respect, dedication, and determination for competing. I truly have great admiration for all the competitors in this sport. Being around all these athletes, hearing how they came to be here, and learning how they have come in their own transformation have all been inspiring. It's also fascinating to me that I may be an inspiration to others. To be able to inspire someone else is an indescribable feeling.
The gym is my home away from home, where I'm surrounded by equally passionate and similarly health-focused individuals. Growing up, I had always been a tomboy and enjoyed hanging out with the boys more than the girls. Now that I think about it my boyish habits are probably why I enjoy bodybuilding so much. The sport shows that women can be both strong and feminine at the same time. These are traits I would like to instill in my daughters.
What or who motivated you?
Boy, this is a long list of individuals! My best motivators are my three kids. After all, I started working out because my son happened to be playing with the loose skin hanging at my triceps. Now whenever I work out that part of my body I think of him. It's nice to be around supportive friends, too, especially when they give me nice compliments. As I am slowly approaching the half a century mark, I certainly appreciate all the kind words about my body!
On the other hand, what motivates me is being able to feel and look healthy. It amazes me how much more energy I have now (I need it to keep up with my kids). It's also important to me to be a good role model for my kids. We all have stresses in our lives; the stresses of juggling full-time work, being a mom, keeping the house clean, and making sure the family dynamics are all taken care of. I enjoy releasing some of that stress in the gym at the end of the day. It's my "me" time.
Where did you go for inspiration?
I'm always praying for strength. I refer to my long-time best friends for inspiration. They are my anchors in life. It seems that they would support me no matter what I'm doing - and that means so much to me.
As well, I consult my "secret" Facebook group, Team Iron Nation. For me, it's not easy to get through the strictness of prepping for shows, but the support and advice from those who have already walked the walk help greatly. Only fellow bodybuilders can understand and help me through the more difficult "crunch time" prepping days.
What are your future fitness plans?
Maybe I'll try to go pro one day!
Personally, I don't like to think too far into the future and live more in the present moment (i.e., "One Day at a Time!"). My current plans are to compete in Masters at Fox Cities Showdown, and continue exercising and eating healthy. Currently, my short-term goals are to compete once or twice a year. If I'm not competing, I'd enjoy providing support and encouragement for those who do want to compete. It's so rewarding to help someone else succeed and see lives change for the better. Plus, it's awesome to see their attitude and lifestyle change for the better when they eat healthy and work hard to be physically fit.
This sport guided me toward becoming a physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger woman. I love the journey of training and learning all this sport has to offer. Every year I see my body changing for the better, which in turn drives me to work harder.
It's also very heart-warming and inspiring to know my family supports me and that others are inspired by me. I look forward to encouraging and inspiring everyone I meet.
What is the most important fitness tip?
The most important fitness tip I can offer would be to research bodybuilding prior to getting into the sport. It's important for everyone to know that a "stage" weight is not an ideal weight you should be at every day. Sure, it is a great feeling to be able to show off all your hard work on stage, but your healthy weight should typically be at least 10 pounds heavier than your contest-ready body. My goal in this sport is to be healthy and fit through natural means. I don't mean to discredit other people's methods. For myself, I'd like to work toward a permanent lifestyle change, not merely a temporary one.
People should be eating and exercising all-year round, not just during contest season. The glory is great, to be certain, but your own health and happiness are even more glorious! Aim to keep your life well balanced.
Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?
Sandy Wiedmeyer is my girl and my coach, but more importantly, she is my friend. Sandy makes it her business to learn what works for every individual on the team. Through her guidance, I've learned how to balance my need for contest prep and my own happiness. She puts others before herself and truly enjoys helping and watching all her clients transform (in more ways than one).
I also look up to Nicole Wilkins, the 2013 IFBB Figure Olympia Champ. I learn so much valuable information on eating, posing, and exercising from watching her exercise video tips and her Q&A sessions on Facebook. Nicole seems to be a genuine person who wants to help others, a quality I deeply admire.
How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
Bodybuilding.com's transformation stories and forums are a great source of information and inspiration for me. The workout information was extremely helpful towards educating and inspiring me throughout my transformation journey. It's comforting to know there are many others dedicating their time and energy to living a healthy lifestyle.
Angie's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears
- "U + Ur Hand" by Pink
- "Shut up and Drive" by Rihanna
- "Roar" by Katy Perry
- "Madness" by Muse
- October 2013 NPC - Badger State Natural Bodybuilding Show - 2nd place, Masters
- November 2013 NPC - Kevin Noble Muscle Classic, 1st place, Masters
I would like to thank my family for their support and patience as I continue to train and enter future fitness competitions. I'm extremely grateful for my three children: Brandon, Julia and Jillian. To my family, I continue to learn from each of you every day, and I'm grateful for your love and understanding as to how important this sport is to me.
Thanks to my mom and dad for raising me to be the person I have become today. Both of you have helped me be eager to learn new things and to strive to become a Better Version of Myself every day.
Lastly, I would like to thank my trainer Sandy Wiedmeyer for her dedication to helping me transform. She is a "class act" who simply cannot be replaced.
And a big thank you goes out to all my teammates at Team Iron Nation, who are always encouraging and inspirational.
Thanks to Don Bersano, my professional photographer and friend, for the his amazing gift of capturing memories during my transformation and physique-building.
My story, along with many others, just goes to show you that as long as you're willing and able, you're never too old to learn something new and exciting.