How long did it take you to lose 100 pounds?
Well, I lost the first 100 pounds in 2000/2001. It took me about 1.5 years. I did 3 official 12 week Body for Life transformation challenges which helped guide me. (with breaks in between) The one thing I was lacking though was the mental clarity on what it takes to sustain the fat loss in the long term. I operated in “deprivation mode” when I was really losing and when I stopped, the weight piled on, discouragement set in, old eating habits returned, etc… I wound up being at 255 pounds in 2010 with a back injury that kept me out of the gym. I decided to “live a healthy life with balance”. I ended up just changing things gradually and keeping the foods I love worked into my menu plan. I knew if I wanted to keep the fat off, I needed to take it off slowly and for GOOD! In 2 years I dropped about 50 pounds, then got excited about the bodybuilding.com 12 week challenges and entered in 2012. This helped me dial in a disciplined approach and shed the second 50 pounds in only 4 months! The added benefit of this was that I decided to get back into the sport I love; natural bodybuilding and competed at the beginning of May for the INBA Colorado State title. I was THRILLED to come out on top at my first competition after 10 years! I’ve been competing ever since!
My problem area is my abdominal area. How do I get rid of the fat in this area?
Unfortunately there is no such thing as “spot reducing”. You can’t target an area for the fat to drop off. I like to say that “abs are made in the kitchen” meaning you get lean enough to see sculpted abs by being disciplined in your nutrition plan. Sure, you can work your abdominal muscles all day long, but you won’t see the defined abs until you remove the layer of bodyfat from covering up your muscles. Nutrition is key, drinking enough water to flush the fat is also helpful as well as getting enough cardiovascular training to put you in a calorie deficit so that your body is forced to burn fat as fuel.
I’ve lost my mojo; how do I get it back?
Most of us have gone through this. The biggest problem with all this is that there is not easy answer. There is no way for *me* to be able to give you what you need to get your mojo back. But, I can ask a few questions that might make you think about why you WANT this.
Have you asked yourself *why* you want this? If so, ask the why under the why. For example, if you answered and said, “I want to look good!” Then ask yourself why you want to look good. “to look good to the opposite sex.” Then ask yourself why you want that. Is it for a better sex life, is it because you love the attention, is it because you feel more confident? Even after you ask yourself why several times, keep asking it until you get to the core. If the core doesn’t match your core values, you may have trouble keeping your motivation long term. You have to come to a place where your reasons are in line with your values. Maybe it is related to a potential health issue, maybe it’s to set an example for someone important in your life. You have to determine this.
Let me ask you this. Do you want the life that you lead to be easy and mediocre or difficult yet OUTSTANDING?! Just remember than anything worth having takes effort. But you feel “at your best” when you are striving for something HUGE! Do you want to look back on your life and *wish* that you had done that one thing? If you had all the energy, money, and support you needed… What would be the one thing you would do? So why not strive to do that one thing?
Most people have a story that needs to be heard. Just think, there are others out there just like you who could benefit from your story. Seize the opportunity and make a difference, not only for yourself but all those like you!
What is your most important fitness tip?
Do what works for you and be consistent. The best way to make long-term changes is to use a long-term strategy that involves consistency and lifetime sustainability. When I tried to get fit too fast, I regained the fat and lost motivation. This time I made changes to fit my lifestyle with short-term goals for bodybuilding competitions.
What motivated you to change?
In the past, I tried to lose weight to look better for my husband or to surprise my parents, but I finally did it for me. People like Cory Everson and Monica Brant portrayed the type of physique I could potentially have, but ultimately it was up to me to change. The book Body for Life was an eye opener for me. Bill Phillips taught me that even I could make simple changes and get long term results. Thank you Bill Phillips!
How do you deal with stress?
Dealing with stress is a tough one. You really have to allow yourself to *feel* what you need to feel and to take a few minutes of timeout for YOU. Take a quick walk in the fresh air… even if it is only 3-5 minutes. It helps to clear your head. So many times we automatically want comfort from food. So we run down to the vending machine or local deli to buy a quick snack. If we would invest that time and money into ourselves… renewing ourselves, taking pleasure in little things (nature, the sight of a small child, sounds, smells) we would be so much more refreshed and so much less stressed. It’s easier said than done. I have to work at enjoying the little things as well. It is too easy to get wrapped up in things that shouldn’t matter all that much.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I pour through the transformation pictures on bodybuilding.com and other sites. The normal everyday people inspire me to change. I didn’t see pictures of someone like me, a female, who had lots of body fat to lose and wanted to become a bodybuilder. Throughout my transformation, I used different BodyGroups on bodybuilding.com and BodySpace to communicate with like-minded people.
How did you deal with loose skin after losing all that bodyfat?
Here’s where brutal honesty is necessary. When you lose over 100 pounds, typically the skin in your largest areas doesn’t always bounce back all the way. Yes I have seen major improvements and tightening when I never thought it would, but I was left with an “apron” so to speak in the lower abdominal area. What I did to make it presentable was I taped and glued it in my bodybuilding suits.
Here’s where it gets interesting. I had consulted doctors about skin removal surgery years ago, but could never afford it. I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to eventually get that done. No amount of exercise would take off the droopy skin.
Not anticipating going under the knife anytime soon, I entered the 2014 Dymatize 100K Challenge. I then proceeded to push myself in my workouts. One day on leg press I was attempting 810 pounds and ripped out an old abdominal hernia injury. It was like my abdomen was a zipper! 4 inches of midline abdominal hernia was poking out of my abdomen. That did not feel good. I knew I had to get it fixed. What I did next was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I decided to see if the plastic surgeon I had consulted years ago could do the abdominal hernia repair while removing the excess skin. Get it done all in one procedure. I was in luck! So that is what I had done on January 22nd of 2014. This is a major surgery (although the hernia portion is the most painful in my opinion.)
I am so happy with the results! I will no longer have to glue and tape my skin together or worry about bending over to get a medal around my neck and having my loose skin hang in front of the audience and judges.
How much water should I drink?
I would suggest drinking at least a gallon of water per day, especially on the days you are exercising. I drink between 1 and 2 gallons per day. I know that it is important to transport all of the fat waste out of my body. It helps with all anabolic and metabolic processes. It is your transportation mechanism for any changes that happen in the body whether it’s building muscle or losing fat. Here’s a silly analogy I think about: Let’s say that you wanted to clean your floors. You spent a great deal of time sweeping and sweeping up all of the dirt and grime and put it in a pile. Then you realized you didn’t have a dust pan to get it into the trash and out of your house. The pile of dirt just sat there and eventually dispersed itself on your floor again. I think of fat in the same way, you do a great deal of this exercise to get rid of the fat and you dislodge it from the cells of your body, but it keeps circulating until it has a “dust pan” (transportation mechanism) to take it out of your body. That dust pan is the water you drink.
This is just a start of the questions I will put on this FAQ page. Please feel free to post a comment with a question you would like answered and I will do my best to put it on the FAQ page for everyone to see.