Weight:(before) 164 lbs
Body Fat: (before) 39%
Weight: (after) 137 lbs
Body Fat: (after) 22%
What Got Me Started
Well to be completely honest, I was FAT and TIRED all the time and I didn't like how I looked - my clothes on or OFF - LOL. My age, in terms of my metabolism wasn't helping me any - I needed to jumpstart my body, my life and especially my eating habits to finally realize my goals before it was too late. Once I started, I knew at there was no going back.
As a Registered Nurse - (formally in a very busy Emergency Trauma Department) and at one point in my life an unhealthy one at that - I was working long and grueling hours and eating bad (fast) food. Back in November 2002; at the tender young age of 43 ... I developed chest pain at work, and found myself in the Cardiac Cath. Lab having to undergo a heart catheterization.
| What Is A Heart Catheterization?
A heart catheterization is used to view the heart's chamber and valves. A tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery, usually in the groin. A dye is then put into the artery through the tube. The dye makes its way to the heart to create an image of the heart on X-ray film. The image is photographed and stored for further examination.
Everything was fine (Thank God) however, this was my wake-up call for sure (or at least I thought) I of course immediately went out and purchased a treadmill I used maybe 3 times from November to December, 2002, and I'm sad to say it was collecting dust and was an additional place to hang my (fat) clothes.
In Feb 2003, a coworker, who was in excellent shape himself, told me about the gym he goes to. This gym is owned and operated by a bodybuilder, ex-Marine, Tom Jimenez, (Tom placed 10th, in the Night of Champions held in New York in September 2006. Check out www.musclememory.com).
I didn't really know what I was getting into at that point - I was so out of shape and his Boot Camp classes, I heard, were intense! I truly did not believe I would make it nor did I think I would truly love the sport of bodybuilding as I do now.
Through all of my bone breaking injuries, literally! (I broke my ankle April '03 and my right foot October '03) It seemed as if I was taking 2 steps forward and then 10 steps back only to start all over again. I did manage to stick with it on and off, as best as I could.
Nonetheless, I wasn't getting the results I wanted, because I wasn't putting 100% into it. I was not committed to making that lifestyle change.
I then asked Tom, "What should I do?" - in his usual rough and tough way of talking, he said "Mzzz Marcos! Staying in shape is a job, you have to go everyday - and give it your all, no matter what!" I took his advice and decided to commit myself to this lifestyle change 150%.
I was now on a mission: lose the weight (34 pounds was my goal; I was 164 pounds and 39% body fat, when I started, May 2006 ), build muscle (to become lean and mean), train for "my" upcoming show in May 2007, which would be a tremendous accomplishment.
So here begins my journey. In August 2006, I became serious and I set in motion my transformation, with a strict regimen of cardio utilizing a treadmill. I wanted to get rid of the weight the fastest way (so I thought). I also want to say, I EXTREMELY DISLIKE cardio.
How I Did It
In the beginning I ate clean 5 out of 7 days - as I am nearing my competition, I am eating clean 7 days per week. The road along the way was arduous - lots of detours, stops and starts, for sure - but I managed to stay on track despite what was going on around me. I had a goal and I wanted to stick with it, I will persevere! And most of all FOCUS is the key.
My strategy was to listen to everything Tom said in terms of diet, cardio and weight training - he brought several of the girls in the gym to competition with first place wins which was also a huge personal motivating factor for me.
UGH! The "D" word - the hardest part of all. Tom, gave me this diet to follow and I have named it the "ANGRY DIET" because when I first started, my body was not used to the reduction in carbohydrates ... it was a total shock to my system. I still don't know whether or not I was cranky because of the decrease in food consumption or the carb reduction ... anyway ... it works for me.
My typical diet consists of six small meals per day, and I have been on this diet since August 2006, with some changes along the way.
BSN Syntha 6 chocolate protein shake / mixed with H20 as directed or 1/2 oats mixed with 1/2 scoop of BSN Syntha 6
1 container low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup of cottage cheese
(I usually mix the yogurt and cottage cheese together and add one tablespoon of milled flax seed)
6 ounces of chicken or fish with a salad (I have steak 2x per week, in place of the chicken or fish), 1/2 of veggies (beets, asparagus, or green beans), salad dressing (balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, 1 packet of Splenda and a drop of olive oil, all mixed together).
BSN Syntha 6 chocolate protein shake / mixed with H20 as directed
6 ounces of chicken or fish with a salad (I have steak 2x per week, in place of the chicken or fish), 1/2 of veggies ( beets, asparagus, or green beans), salad dressing (balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and 1 packet of Splenda and a drop of olive oil, all mixed together).
*Sometimes I add 1/2 yam to Meal 4
No Cheat Days for the next 12 weeks.
- 1 multivitamin (Centrum Silver LOL)
- Vitamin C 1000 mgs, am and pm
- BSN Syntha 6 (chocolate milk shake )
- Cell Mass (Grape Cooler) post workout and before sleep
- NO Explode (Orange) 30 minutes pre work out
- 3 doses of Cold Milled Ground Premium Flax Seed by Spectrum Essentials
- 3 doses of Prolab Enhanced CLA
- Ripped fuel 2 doses per day ( I'm cycling out of these right now)
- Glutamine 1 dose as directed in 1 shake per day
- 2 liters of H2O per day
I take boot camp classes 6 days per week and a Cardio Boot Camp Class on Sunday.
Cardio consists of 45-60 treadmill, speed 3.4-3.5 at a 6-15 incline. The key to cardio is get yourself an iPod, it worked for me - also don't look at the "time" indicator on the treadmill - I cover mine with a towel!
I don't want to know how much time I have left - its makes cardio seem that much longer. Doing cardio is difficult for me - I don't like it at all, you have to try different tricks to make it as pleasant as possible.
Also interestingly enough this past Christmas my kids bought me a Nintendo Wii - I use this as a cardio session.- One time, I put my heart rate monitor on and boxed for approximately 20 minutes and burned 222 calories WOW! so if I get tired of the dreaded treadmill - I do the Nintendo Wii. I try to hit the heavy bag about 1-2 times per week as a warm up or between my sets when I lift.
In terms of weight training, in the beginning I did not train as hard as I do know.
Now I work out my legs every single day. Leg squats with a 20-pound weight on my feet; alternating with step up and step downs for 1 min each exercise, until failure.
Example Of A Typical Workout Day (Only If I Don't Do Boot Camp class)
- Leg press 100 lbs (superset) reps 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20
- Calves (As above)
- Leg Extension 30 pounds one leg at a time 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20
- Leg Abductor 30lbs 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20
- Leg Adductor 30lbs. 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20
- One arm rows 25 lbs. 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20
- Lat Pull Downs 40lbs 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20 Close Grip
- Lat Pull Downs 40lbs 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20 Wide Grip
- Tricep Pull Downs 40lbs 20-18-16-14-12-12-14-16-18-20
***I don't rest between sets - I do dips or close grip unassisted pull-ups. I can now do 6 (wooooooo-hoooooooo) when I started, I couldn't do any.
Boot Camp Class:
- Monday: Chest and Shoulders (push ups, pulls ups, flyes)
- Tuesday: Back, Abs
- Wednesday: Boxing, Abs
- Thursday: (bone crushing leg day as Tom calls it) Hams, Quads, Calves, Glutes
- Friday: Bi's and Tri's
- Saturday: Boxing, Abs
- Sunday: Cardio / Legs
This has been a long journey with ups and downs - and at times I was ready to throw in the towel "for real"! I devoted the last 7 months of my life to this transformation.
The motivating factor for me first and foremost is my mentor, Tom Jimenez, who guided me along the way and BB.com, BodySpace and its supersite for the informative articles, advice and all the positive feedback I have received. It's important to note that I am still a "work in progress" with approximately 12 weeks left to go.
Wish me luck in May! The goal now is just to "get there" I don't necessarily want to win. I just want to be a part of it all and for someone my age, just getting to that point would be inspirational and motivating to other 40 something year olds who want to take that step and transform!!
And a special note to my girls - "I promise when this is over you won't be eating "leaves" (salad) every single day," as my daughter Jill says.