I don’t have a story about how I was always overweight or an unhealthy child. I was actually a very active kid and had a crazy metabolism that allowed me to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, all the time. And I LOVED it!
I was a competitive figure skater from the age of 8 until I was 18. I was lucky enough that my parents business was down the street from the rink, so it seemed like I was there almost every day for something, group sessions, personal sessions, or team practice. I also did a season of T ball when I was little… those who know me probably laugh when they see that. I am not a “sports” person. I was more interested in doing cartwheels in the outfield so that didn’t last long. I then went through a phase where I was on the summer swim league. In Jr High I was on the cheerleading squad and then the dance team in high school. I was still skating during all of this as well. I was always so busy that I never had any issues with “working out” or eating right. I was just involved in so many activities that it never caught up with me.
Then comes college. All the activities stopped. I joined a sorority and made friends and had a social life which involved a lot of pizza, McDonalds, and Qdoba. Oh Qdoba…. Throughout college I was slowly gaining weight, and I knew it, but I didn’t really know what to do. I had never joined a gym, I hated running, I hated working out, mainly because I didn’t like sweating. So I would cut my calories, eat diet, sugar free, fat free everything. This is what most girls do.
My breaking point was when I went to Las Vegas for the first time with my cousin for her 21st birthday. When I got home I printed out the pictures and I was shocked. That is the photo on the right side. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, how did I let myself get to this point?! So I stepped on a scale for probably the first time in years and I was 170 lbs. I joined Weight Watchers that day.
Weight Watchers taught me how to eat healthy. They taught me what portion sizes were and how to make healthy choices. It worked really well for me while I was in school on a limited budget. I stuck to it, started going to the campus gym, walking on the treadmill, and I was able to lose 15 lbs.
When I graduated I was working downtown Indianapolis. While most of my friends were still in the area, none of them were close. So I had a lot of time to work extra and make extra money. I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. This is when I actually started to like working out. Having a trainer FORCED me to go to the gym because I knew she would be there waiting for me. I worked night shift at the time, 7 pm-7 am and I would go after work. I would get off at 7 am, go to the gym and workout, get home by 9 am, eat, shower and go to bed. Get up at 5:30 pm and do it all again. I would do this 5 days a week and then road trip to see my friends on the weekends.
During all of this my trainer gave me a calorie range to stay in, not necessarily macro-nutrients. We all know we can eat a lot of crap with zero nutrients just because it says fat free or sugar free. While I was working with this trainer I lost another 10 lbs or so and I was down to 140 lbs. She had me doing some machines and light weights, but mostly cardio.
Over the next few years I moved and had different trainers who may or may not have had me on different meal plans but no one had ever explained to me what to eat or why, just stay under 1400 calories. My weight would fluctuate but I never really saw the results that I wanted.
I then started working in a Level 1 trauma center, the busiest and largest in Indiana, and I made some new friends who were also into fitness. This is when I tried Paleo. I was intrigued that I no longer had to count calories or eat sugar free and fat free foods. I could eat REAL food. I LOVED it! I was eating eggs, bacon, steak all the time! I was also introduced to Crossfit… but I am not going to lie… I was SCARED. I was looking at the workouts, which involved running and sprinting, and I was not about to go there and die. My gym had a weight lifting class, Les Mills Body Pump, which is an hour long weight lifting class that hits each muscle group. I was hooked. I worked my way up to going to this class 5 days a week. I finally was starting to see results and get the definition that I wanted.
I was following a girl that I went to high school with and watched her journey to become a bikini competitor and she looked incredible! I didn’t think that I had what it took to do that. That is when my interest for Bikini Competitions started. So I kept doing my Body Pump and going to the gym but it seemed that my progress stalled. Now don’t judge, but I started watching the WWE Total Divas show, and I wanted their bodies. They were all defined, but feminine and strong. What is it that is programmed in every woman’s brain that lifting weight will make you look like a man?! I thought the same thing too.
January 2015 I made a New Year’s resolution that I would compete in a NPC Bikini Competition. I started going to the gym every day, literally every day, with my husband. I would do his workout split with him. It was amazing. I could see and feel myself getting stronger every day. I would make my goal secretly to lift half the amount that he could on lower body exercises. I followed fitness people on YouTube watching their journeys to the NPC stage and I was so inspired. I knew I needed a coach.
That is when I stumbled upon on YouTube and I found an online trainer. When I started with her I was 157lbs and 23% body fat. When I competed I was down to 136lbs and about 14% body fat. She was the first trainer who EXPLAINED what macros were and why they were so much more important than calories. She gave me workouts to follow and I finally got the body that I wanted. I competed in my first show in June 2015. I placed 5th in my class and I became a Nationally Qualified Bikini Competitor.
Since then I have competed in have completed in multiple shows over the years, pictures to follow, and I have a new trainer Travis Robinson, Team Terminator. My goal is to beat my previous stage package every time and I have done that! While I currently have no immediate plans of competing again, I still train 5-6 days a week in the gym. I have managed to incorportate fitness and training into my busy lifestyle, and it really does keep me sane!