Name: Risa Stein
Weight: 170 lbs
Body Fat: 32%
Pants Size: 14/16
Weight: 125 lbs
Body Fat: 9%
Pants Size: 2/4
Why I Got Started
Turning 40 was a critical point for me given a very serious family history of heart disease. I also have an 11-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter who need their mother to have energy to keep up with them.
The final breaking point, however, was reached when my family returned from a Hawaiian vacation we had been looking forward to for quite some time. For a number of reasons including my discomfort, both physically and emotionally in a bathing suit in addition to chronic lower back pain, that trip was a disaster.
However, upon our return, when I was developing the trip photos, I realized there were no photographs of me and the ones we did have in the house repulsed and disgusted me. If I died that day, my family would have precious few decent pictorial memories of me. So, I decided to quit being the "fat mom," the "heart attack waiting to happen", and consistently down on myself and decided to promote a change.
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How Did You Do It
I signed up with a personal trainer who had been an acquaintance of mine and she helped tailor a workout routine for me. She kept me to my appointments and made certain I pushed myself as hard as I could to reach my potential. She also told me about the "Body For Life" program.
The structured diet really helped me establish healthy eating habits and portion control for the first few months. As the time drew nearer for my competition, I began a more structured and rigid diet protocol and increased my cardio gradually.
I began training and dieting seriously on March 6th, 2006. After following the "Body For Life" diet for several months I made terrific progress. By Thanksgiving last year, a personal trainer friend had convinced me to take the next step and to compete. In January 2007, my diet became pretty strict. By April 7, 2007 (13 months and 1 day after starting this journey), I stepped on stage.
I have surprised even myself over the past year by accomplishing something I never would have thought possible. At age 41, I competed in my first bodybuilding competition.
I also lost approximately 30 inches overall. In the Missouri Natural Physique open class, I took second. In the Southern States Classic open women's and sub master's divisions, I placed third. I was thrilled with the results of my hard work and the competition.
I try to use only high quality whey protein isolate powders.
Sample Off Season Diet
I now eat every 2.5-3 hours throughout the day. I never use a plate larger than a salad plate and always have food with me so I avoid getting too hungry. I try to keep my starchy carbs early in the day as I am very carb sensitive and quickly regain weight if I eat too many. I cook with Enova or olive oil and drink 1-1.5 gallons of water each day.
- Meal 1: 4 egg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tsp. flax seed oil
- Meal 2: 6 oz. of fish, 3 oz. green veggie, 1/2 cup of rice
- Meal 3: 4 oz. chicken breast, 4 oz. sweet potato, 3 oz. green veggie
- Meal 4: 4 oz. very lean ground beef meatloaf, small salad with fat free dressing
- Meal 5: 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 oz. green veggie
- Meal 6: protein shake
I try to maintain a 5-day split as follows:
I do one warm-up set for my first of 1-2 compound exercises and 2 isolation exercises. I lift as heavy as I can while retaining good form for 8-10 reps. I also do 30-35 minutes (including a brief warm-up and cool-down) of cardio, 5 days per week on either the treadmill or the step mill.
Suggestions For Others
I had never been athletic in the 40 years prior to this journey. My suggestion for other middle-aged women intimidated by or concerned that lifting weights might not be for them, is to just give it a try. There is no better feeling than being strong. Plus, lifting weights and building muscles really kicked my lagging metabolism into high gear!
My other recommendation would be to take measurements and photos every 4 weeks. Particularly as muscle is added, the scale might not accurately reflect change. Photos and measurements provide a much clearer picture of personal gains and losses.