In the past few years, I’ve developed a new love for my life, my body and myself. This primarily has been through a slow and steady process of creating a better life for my family and me. In 2007, I married the most amazing man. Our wedding was gorgeous and looking back I wish I would not be able to classify myself as skinny fat. I never worked out, ate poorly and sporadically and prepared for my wedding in a not so healthy manner. At that time of my life, I just wanted to be skinny. I didn’t understand what a tremendous difference there is between skinny and fit. I didn’t care about toning or muscles, all I knew is that there was a very tiny wedding dress for me to fit into! I think on our wedding day I weighed about 115 with ZERO muscle definition.
After our wedding, the weight slowly crept on. I loved processed and fast foods. The taste of greasy and fried foods always made me feel so good! Oh and don’t forget all the sodium laden foods we ate all the time like frozen meals and fast food. Several nights a week, we ate Bertolli frozen pasta meals with cheesy Texas toast!!
In the fall of 2008, I weighed around 150 pounds and found myself devastated when NONE of my pants would button one night when my husband and I planned to see a movie and go out to dinner. After a complete meltdown, cry fest and pity party, I took matters into my own hands and started going to the YMCA. I’ve NEVER weighed this much! How did I get here??
I didn’t know what I was doing but figured I could just take some classes and do cardio and the weight would start coming off. I subscribed to Oxygen Magazine and had a plan (or so I thought). After reading in Oxygen magazine that you should journal your progress by taking pictures, I was mortified that what I looked like in a bathing suit. Why hadn’t anyone told me that I looked like this??? I felt so frustrated and defeated because I never really had to work at being thin when I was younger, so why was my body changing?
At first I lost a few pounds, maybe 6-8 and then the weight loss stopped again. Despite my cardiovascular improvements, I still wasn’t seeing my body making any changes. I didn’t understand. I went to the gym at least 5 days a week and was running several miles at a time but I only lost a couple of pounds. Extremely frustrated, I made a post on Facebook and one of my old co-workers responded that she found a great trainer and would love if I came and checked our her work outs. I took her up on her offer and met them at a local park for our first workout. It was very challenging and I felt very weak but I knew I needed a trainer to get things going for me. I signed up that day!!
It was wonderful to have a small group of supportive people to hold me accountable on those days when I didn’t feel like going to the park or gym to work out. If I was tired or didn’t feel like going there, they always pushed me to do it anyway and I ended up going and loving every minute instead of going home and watching television. Little did I know my workout partner was going to turn into one of my best friends and biggest supporters!
My progress was slow at first but my diet was terrible. It wasn’t until I realized how much diet affects your muscles, body and weight loss that I started seeing dramatic results. The first phase of South beach Diet enabled me to curb my sugar and carb cravings. After we completed that diet, I found the Eating Clean books by Tosca Reno. That’s when I realized that healthy eating isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle and I needed to change my life in order to be successful!
My goal was to compete in a bikini competition by fall of 2009.
With my sights set on a show in September 2009, I started my journey! I started to lose some more weight but hit a plateau and didn’t know how to bust through it. At my first competition, I thought I looked great! When I got backstage, I realized I didn’t really know what I was getting into and although in the public’s eyes I looked fantastic, in the eyes of the judges I really needed to build more lean muscle and diet down some more. I was confused and so was my trainer.
My first Competition September 2009 I decided to change to a different trainer with experience in coaching girls for figure competitions, hoping that he would help me transform my body after I decided I was going to compete at the Arnold Classic 2010. He helped me a lot with identifying my problem areas and really working on them specifically while we were training. I got my “competition diet” under control and really was able to produce an amazing body for the competition. There were 98 girls in my class but I had a fantastic time. One of the females that competed next to me has become a great support and gym buddy of mine now! The amazing thing about all of these competitions if the camaraderie and relationships that are built out of the divisions!
Arnold Classic Bikini 2010 When I was working towards my own personal goal, I started helping others at work with their own transformations. I taught free group fitness classes in our basement and workout at lunch with several of my coworkers to help them start the process of living a healthy life. Let me tell you, it took A LONG time for them to come around. I ate primarily clean foods during the week and initially got a lot of grief and comments from people telling me I should “enjoy life” or I was getting “too skinny.” Luckily these comments came after I really got the hang of what I needed to be doing to get my body to exactly where I wanted to be. I think if they made comments like that at first, I might have stopped my transformation due to feeling so self conscious about what I was doing.
I really feel that you have to get to an amazing place in your life to not care what other people think about you. When you are happy with yourself, your choices and YOU, all of the snide comments are secondary. Not only did I go on a weight loss journey, I went on a life cleanse and got rid of all the toxic factors that were affecting me on a daily basis. At some point, you get tired of the drama and the poison in your life and when you do, you will know because the decision to change things is so much easier.
When I started getting into fitness more regularly, I realized how complicated it was to navigate through the enormous amount of information provided in magazines, books and the Internet. I started this company to help women end the excuses that prevent them from being in the best shape of their lives. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose 5 or 500 pounds I am here to help! It’s all in our minds. Until you can develop a strong, healthy mind, your body will never get there. It takes sheer will power and determination to achieve goals, which all start in your head.