My life changed March 8, 2003. That was the day I decided to achieve the body I’d dreamed. In a minute I’ll tell you the details, but first let me tell you a little about myself. I was pretty much a slug growing up when it came to sports or exercise. As a result, I graduated from high school weighing 170 pouds at 5′2″. I attended college at the University of Cincinnati. Here my weight fluctuated with my mood. I’d get motivated; diet and it comes down. Then I’d backslide, and it’d go back up.
I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree in 1999. Late that same year two friends talked me into joining a gym. I was sure I’d be wasting my money but reluctantly agreed. So what do you think? Did I start a course of proper exercise and diet? Not really. Oh, I lost weight all right. Actually, I got hooked on dieting. There were many days that I’d barely eat at all. And I thought the gym was primarily for cardio. In fact, I’d do cardio for hours and barely touch a weight. My weight dropped (at one point all the way to 110), but I had zero muscle tone.
It all changed last March when one of the gym members who was training for Beverly’s Northern Classic, came in the gym to show us her posing suit. I was blown away by the incredible "look" she had achieved. I could tell she was proud of her accomplishment and I was proud for her. No matter how little I ate or how long I ran, my body sure didn’t even come close to hers. As I admired her strong, shapely physique, Ramona, one of the trainers at the gym, looked at me and said, "You know, you could do that." That’s the day my life changed.
My reticular activating system went into high gear (that’s the part of your brain that helps you hone in on your goals). I noticed a poster (that had been hanging in the gym for weeks) for the first time. It was for a competition in November. I told Ramona that if she would help me, I would do it. Her first advice to me was to get in touch with BI (two women at my gym had both worked with Beverly and they both won first place in their class in bodybuilding). I had 16 weeks until the show and I had never even bench pressed before. The high protein, moderate carb diet Beverly staff suggested was the total opposite of what I had been eating. This nutrition plan was definitely a change for the better. I was eating every three hours. I was never hungry. My cardio time had to be cut back so that I could build muscle.
I started training one body part each day four days a week; doing 4 sets of 8 reps using at least four different exercises per body part. See my training schedule for my exact program below.
In six weeks my body composition was doing a radical makeover. Even though I was eating more, I was losing fat faster than I ever had. Most important of all, I was finally gaining lean muscle. I really think the Beverly supplements played a huge part in my makeover. I took Lean Out, Mass and Ultra 40 with each meal, but my favorite is Muscle Synergy. I could actually feel when my Muscle Synergy kicked in during my training.
My net positive body composition change during these four months was 16 lbs. I gained 4 pounds of lean, hard muscle mass while losing 12 pounds of fat.
With eight weeks to go, I scheduled another consultation with Mark at Beverly. He adjusted my diet by taking out a few carbs while adding the carb loading meals. He also added Energy Reserve and Muscularity to my supplement program. The consensus of the staff at Beverly was that I should compete in the figure division. (Up to that point I was undecided whether to compete in bodybuilding or figure. All I knew was that I wanted to gain lean muscle and lose fat.) I had no experience, so I trusted their judgment.
But, a problem came up. Ramona, who had become not only my trainer, but my friend and source of inspiration, became very ill. She was admitted to the hospital and was not released until three weeks later. I was on my own now, and very nervous. I’d e-mail Mark, freaking out. He must have thought I’d lost it, but no matter how often I sent an e-mail, he would always respond promptly and reassuringly. When Ramona got out of the hospital, she’d still come down to the gym to watch me lift, even though she was unable to spot me.
It’s amazing how training takes over your life. I was working out 4-5 times a week, twice a day sometimes, even going to the gym for an hour after working a twelve hour shift at the hospital. The low carbs and intense training can make you a little grouchy towards the end. I never could have done it without the support of my husband, Ramona, and people at the gym. They were my driving force.
The plan Mark provided for the final week was spot on. The diet, supplements, and water loss put me right where I needed to be. How’d the show turn out? Pretty great! I won first place in my class. I couldn’t believe it. Then, I was absolutely shocked when I also won the overall, qualifying me to compete nationally.
Not only did I develop the "look" I was looking for and win the first contest I ever attended, I have never been so healthy in my life or so proud of my accomplishment. I plan to do more shows in the future and with Landon, Ramona and BI behind me I know I can do it.
How’d the show turn out?
Pretty great! I won first place.
My diet and supplements:
2 egg whites and 1 whole egg
4 oz. lean meat (chicken or turkey breast or very lean beef)