My Fitness Journey and the Road to Flexible Dieting

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It seems that some people are born with natural athletic ability.

I, however, am not one of those people.

Everything I’ve achieved has been earned through dedication, persistence, and sometimes sheer stubbornness. I’ve succeeded, I’ve failed, and  I’ve learned the hard way on many occasions

Starting Out

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Go Fast, Turn Left!

I never excelled at school sports. If there was a ball involved, I was a complete klutz. However, in the seventh grade I discovered the “speed club at the local roller skating rink.

I was hooked.

Inline skating (“Rollerblades”) had just come onto the scene and I finally found something I liked to do.

I liked to go fast and turn left.

  I became a middle distance specialist( the 1000 meter was my best race).  In 1994 at age 15 I won the regional championships at that distance and went on to place 5th that year at the Junior Olympic National Championships. I also qualified for the 2 and 4-lady relay.

It was at that event that I decided that I wanted to spend my life involved with fitness and athletics, helping others succeed. I was fortunate to find my calling at an early age. 

I continued skating until my sophomore year of high school when I “retired” to pursue what I called a “normal high school life.” I became a varsity cheerleader, sang in the choir, played in the band, served on the student council. After graduating I attended Colorado State University to study health and exercise science. I earned my bachelor’s degree in 2001 and set out to begin my career as a personal trainer.

Gracing the Stage

It was around that time I discovered the world of bodybuilding.

I’d seen the Fitness America pageants on ESPN and always admired the grace and athleticism of the athletes. I wanted to give it a try but there was just one problem: I had absolutely no gymnastics background whatsoever.

Fortunately, in 2002 I learned of the new figure division by reading popular fitness magazines. This new category offered all of the grace, strength and muscle of the fitness competition without the routine round.

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NPC USAs 2007, 7th place

A local trainer invited me to check out a  show, and the rest as they say is history. I signed up with a local coach the next day and competed for the first time in November of 2002 ( I placed 6th).

Once again, I was hooked.

Between 2002 and 2008 I participated in 10 shows, winning my class at the Natural Colorado in 2004 and finishing 7th at the national level on three occasions.

I was on a mission for my “pro card”. It was all I wanted. I thought it was my ticket to success, the end all be all that would make or break my entire fitness career. 

Little did I know my journey was about to take a sharp turn.

Hitting the Metabolic Wall

Beginning it 2007 it became harder and harder to lose weight and get competition lean.

I dieted for 8 months that year and did three shows.

I was exhausted, and the extreme calorie restriction and training was beginning to take its toll.

After the final competition, I rapidly gained weight, about 15 pounds in as little as four weeks.

Of course my solution was to train for another show. That was how I could get lean again.

Or so I thought.

As I began training for the 2008 season, the scale wouldn’t budge.

Try as I might, my body resisted. I was exhausted, anxious, hormonally unbalanced ( I didn’t have a period for seven months), and yet I persisted because I was so determined to reach my goal. I’m fairly certain I wasn’t a very pleasant person to be around at this point! I was a zombie.

My final competition was in September of 2008.

I looked terrible onstage. I was a puffy, watery mess.

I finished in the dreaded “tied for 16th” place (basically dead last) and felt devastated.

This time, more weight came back on and faster, 20 pounds in the blink of an eye.

I was embarrassed and ashamed, I no longer looked like I even worked out, let alone competed. I abandoned the idea of competing anytime in the near future, if ever again.

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At the height of my metabolic damage, nearly 30 pounds over contest weight.

  The Road to Recovery

Around this time I started reading about the concept of “metabolic damage” a fairly new term that was popping up on popular competitor websites and forums.

Apparently what I was experiencing was fairly common among female competitors, although it was not something that was typically discussed openly. Kevin Myles published an article on Bodysport.com about a hypothetical competitor named “Susy” who was experiencing symptoms of metabolic damage.

That article changed everything for me. I was Susy!

  I contacted him shortly thereafter and he began helping me to get my health and my body back. (Note: I recorded a video about my experience and to date it’s the most popular video on my YouTube channel. You can view it here. )

Progress was slow. Annoyingly slow. Painfully slow ( thank God Coach Kevin was so patient!).

It took a full year to lose the first 12 pounds.

Eventually over the course of the next four years I was able to return to a healthy body weight and fat percentage with a reasonable diet and fitness plan.

I finally felt good about myself again, and I’d learned so much along the way.

I was determined NOT to let this happen to any of my clients, or anyone else willing to listen. This was the reason I created the Flexible Dieting Mastery Course, to help others on their journey to reasonable and sustainable weight loss. 

*Birthday Sale! Enroll in the Flexible Dieting Mastery course for 50% off* 

Back In The Saddle

It took six years before I was healthy enough, physically but especially mentally, to compete again.

I was terrified of going through it all again. However, through flexible dieting and an extended preparation period, I was able to return to contest shape without the extreme measures I’d been instructed to use before. I returned to the stage for the first time in six years in April of 2014 and placed 2nd in my class.

2014 Northern Colorado, 2nd place

2014 Northern Colorado, 2nd place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an emotional day. I was so happy to be back, and be healthy and actually ENJOY the process without being miserable the whole time.

And the best part? No rebound.

To date I’m 10 pounds over contest weight, very manageable and respectable. I can manipulate my diet and training and my body responds as it should.

The Journey Continues

My personal journey has entirely re-shaped the way I approach training, weight loss, for myself and my clients.

No quick fixes.

No extreme dieting

An emphasis on weight training FIRST, with cardiovascular exercise simply used as an additional tool depending on the goal.

And the best part? No more food guilt.

I no longer feel the sense of urgency and scarcity around food that I did when I was competing.

I used to completely gobble my food up, as if I was afraid that someone was going to come along and snatch the food right off my plate.

I also felt like my time to enjoy my favorite foods was limited, because inevitably it would be time for contest diet again and I would be back to the world of plain chicken breasts and boiled asparagus.

I no longer ” eat according to the clock” like many competitors do.

( Bodybuilders typically eat 5-7 small meals each day, every 2-4 hours, like clockwork. It’s like a full time job).

Prioritizing health above all else

A sustainable approach that can be FUN and enjoyable.

Because that’s what Jacquifit.com is all about:

Happy, Healthy, and Positively Fit  

Ready to start your own fitness journey? Click here to learn more about the Flexible Dieting Mastery Course  *Birthday Sale! Save 50% the Flexible dieting mastery course through June 13th.*

Flexible Dieting Mastery

Flexible Dieting Mastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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