Name: Sharon Garrett
Weight: 150 lbs
Weight: 112 lbs
Why I Got Started
My whole life I was overweight. When I was younger it was deemed as cute and just "extra baby fat." But when I got older and was still on the heavier side it was no longer cute. It simply became the catalyst for kids to constantly taunt and tease me. Middle school was the worst.
In a time when someone is trying so desperately to fit in it becomes difficult and sometimes confusing why someone would not be your friend because you had a big butt and hips! High school was better and I rediscovered the performer in me that I squashed over the years from my insecurities.
I took up dance, softball, and tennis. Along the way I picked up on athletic training which led me to apply and then attend Appalachian State University. There I did not gain the freshman fifteen-I dropped it! All that uphill walking everyday was so beneficial and really started something.
I landed a job at the on campus gym and started to lift. I fell in love. But my usual inner demons reared their ugly heads and I soon grew depressed and did not know what to do and that is when I fully developed bulimia. I remember seeking help and just being floored that I had allowed myself to fall into such a trap.
I eventually left App because I was personally no longer happy. But it turned into the next chapter of my life when I transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill. I sorely missed the dance department at App but soon found the gym (the SRC) on campus and my previous discovery of weights started all over again.
I landed a job at the SRC and met some really great people that helped to shape and mold me in ways they aren't even aware of! I found in my last full year though that my demons were coming back and I had a bulimic relapse. I was not too happy with myself about this one. I did seek help once again and slowly started to put things back together.
I then moved back to my hometown of Greensboro, NC, and immediately hit the gym again. But this was different. I had discovered the online world of bodybuilding forums. I started reading page after page of training and diet information and lots and lots of information on competing.
I decided in 2005 that I was going to go for it. And I won my class as a lightweight at the 2005 Mountaineer in Boone, NC. I was so excited! And so the bug had set in; I wanted to compete! Along the way there were many bumps and setbacks and I had to start and stop prep several times. But I competed again as a middleweight in 2006 at the Elite Muscle Classic and won my class again.
So 2007 rolls around and I think, this is my year, this is when I need to shine. So I set out to compete at Junior Nationals in Chicago, IL. I went in with no expectations. I just wanted to look good and do my best. The day before I left NC I cut approximately six inches off my hair.
The girl I stayed with didn't even recognize me when she came to pick me up at the airport! I weighed in and saw people I knew who were absolutely blown away. I knew then, before even stepping onstage, that I had accomplished my goal of a total makeover, inside and out.
It is still my true shining moment and the fact that I took third in my first ever national level show was just the icing on the cake! Or maybe the peanut butter in my shake.
How I Did It
Accomplishing a goal of any kind can be daunting. Changing myself physically meant I would have to change myself mentally. Always the fat girl it was easy to hide behind the layers of fluff. No one looked my way. I was always "the friend." But I was tired of it all.
I wanted to be in the spotlight where I felt I belonged. I will not lie, it was scary. I got more attention. Cuter and more revealing clothes fit and looked good. I felt better, had more energy, and had a sense of control for once in a long while. If I ever wanted to cheat I just looked at the food and thought, "it'll be here when I'm done; this food is going nowhere!"
My coworkers were great and highly supportive. They were truly enjoying the transformation that was taking place before their eyes. And they were equally as thrilled when my pictures came out in the NPC Magazine.
Since 2001, one person has always been there to help me and to understand the ups and downs of self image and that was my former co-worker LeighAnn. We had a few issues in common. She was thrilled to see me compete and helped me with hair and makeup for my first show.
It had an impact on her and the following year the competition bug bit her, too! And I am proud to say her and another great friend went on to place 4th and 1st in fitness at the 2007 Jr USA's! Their success helped to fuel me further and now they help to keep me in check.
But LeighAnn went a step farther. She articulated to me in an email the impact I had made on her and it brought me to tears. If ever I am in need of a reason to stay on track I just whip that email out and read it. My family has always supported me in my endeavors but good friends like this are truly hard to come by. She has helped me to be brave and to overcome my "fat girl" fears.
I have found that keeping carbs low has kept my blood sugar stable instead of fluctuating all over the place. I do have a good re-feed usually weekly but try to limit it to something good for me like brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc, instead of having an actual junky cheat.
- 10 egg whites
Day 1: Back
Day 2: Off/Cardio/Abs
Day 3: Delts
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Off/Cardio/Abs
Day 6: Chest & Triceps
Day 7: Biceps & Abs
Cardio typically consists of lower intensity work for longer amounts of time. I like to walk uphill the most on around a 10% incline. I do have a love/hate relationship with the stepmill but it is truly one of the most affective pieces of cardio equipment I have used!
Suggestions For Others
My biggest piece of advice to anyone is to not be scared! It may seem like the most insurmountable obstacle to overcome. Old habits die hard after all. But the one thing I have consistently found through this whole almost three year venture with competing is that once you have decided to accomplish something, you can do it.
It boils down to desire. If the desire is great and the will is truly there then there is absolutely nothing that can stand in your way. And besides, life is too short to sit on the couch! I say why not achieve something most never have the courage to even try!