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Female Transformation Of The Week - Carlene Steenekamp!

Carlene had gained some extra weight after her third pregnancy, but she refused to let her body go. So just nine days after giving birth to her third child, she was back in the gym. Read on to learn how she lost 24% body fat and 43 pounds!

Before Before:
175 lbs
After After:
132 lbs

Vital Stats

Name: Carlene Steenekamp
Age: 31
BodySpace: Mommysbody
Height: 5'5"

Weight: 175 lbs
Body Fat: 30%

Weight: 132 lbs
Body Fat: 6%

Why I Got Started

I have always been a physically active person. After my first child, I got back into shape relatively quickly. Everyone told me it was because I was so young. Seven years later, I had my second baby, then my third came 18 months after that. I felt so out of control, watching my body expand and swell with each pregnancy.

I had gotten my head so full of the everyday expectation that "once you have kids, say goodbye to your body" and I was mortified. I was not ready to resign myself to complacency or just accept that I would never feel good about my body again.

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I Was Not Ready To Accept That I Would
Never Feel Good About My Body Again.

I got so tired of hearing "oh, you look great to have had 3 kids." I know friends meant well, but that was a back-handed compliment. I wanted to just look good (and feel good) period - with no "qualifier" at the end.

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I Wanted To Look And Feel Good.

How I Did It

Nine days after my third C-section (with my doctor's approval), I walked back into the gym with my husband and started my journey of gaining control back over my body. Of course I started out slow on the treadmill, and I learned my limits with my post-surgery body.

Although physically I wasn't doing much, emotionally it was just the boost I needed (along with my doctor's care) to help ease me through a difficult post-partum period. As my body healed and I got stronger, I started pushing myself. I set small goals for myself initially, such as "By this date, I want to have lost 3 pounds" or "By that date, I want to be able to run 3 miles".

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I Set Small Goals For Myself.

As time went on, I started having people in the gym ask me what I was getting ready for. Then more and more, strangers would ask me if I was competitive. Me? I am just a mom of 3, trying to get back into shape! As I started to shake the negative mentality that plagues so many mothers - I started to think that maybe I could compete.

I started toying with the idea - long enough to get nauseous - then dismissed it, thinking I would never get my husband's support to "parade around" on stage in a teeny-tiny bikini. Little by little, I warmed up to the idea, and then brought it up to him one night in bed. I knew he would have to digest it for a moment, but once he did, he became my biggest supporter.

He got very involved in my training and preparation and without his continuous support, I would never have managed. We were already fairly knowledgeable about diet and exercise, but we started doing a lot of reading and research to figure out different ways to approach my training.

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I Started To Think That
Maybe I Could Compete.

Since this wasn't just about looking good, it was also about getting stronger and cardiovascularly fit, so we decided it was worth it to invest in some strength and conditioning coaching once a week at D1 (where my trainer, Dunstan, was instrumental in my preparation).

Since I was already 30, and it had been such grueling work, we also decided that if I was actually going to go through with this, we wanted to do it right and leave nothing to chance. Five weeks out from show time, I consulted with IFBB Pro Mandy Polk for some contest prep/nutrition help and IFBB Pro Jessica Paxson-Putnam (and hubby Peter) for some posing coaching.

I didn't take any single approach, but rather took the bits and pieces from each that I could see were working for my body and my training needs.




Suggestions For Others

Learn your own body! No other one person's plan will work exactly the same for you. Make your own health and fitness a priority, when you are happy with you first, the other people in your life will be happy for you.

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Learn Your Own Body.

Involve your spouse and your children in your training. Bring your children up in an environment where they see physical activity is a normal and expected part of each and every day. Believe in yourself and don't make excuses.

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