My story started February 2012, I was at a dance for our county 4-H and they took pictures; I saw myself in the picture and was disgusted with myself. That’s when I said, enough was enough. I was in a strength and conditioning class my senior year of high school and I started watching what I ate, counting calories like it was my job and I would run on my mom’s treadmill before school every morning. I was 220 pounds when I started. By the time I graduated, I weighed 170 pounds and I had dropped 7 pant sizes and 2 shirt sizes.
Through college, it was yo-yo dieting and trying every kind of exercise there was just to try and lose more weight. In 2014 I decided to join Anytime Fitness and hire a personal trainer where I learned more about strength training and started watching what I ate more closely; eating cleaner. In 2015 I decided that I wanted to do my first bodybuilding contest. I hired a coach and I thought it was normal for a prep to be miserable with super low calories, insane amounts of cardio and feeling tired and drained constantly.
After that contest experience I fired my coach and hired a new one that I thought would work better for me. I started a crazy long contest prep again fall of 2016 and by early 2017 I decided to call the prep off because I was consuming little to no carbs, doing 60 minutes of cardio 7 days a week and I was getting hurt. I was miserable and I decided then and there that I was never going to step on stage again.
In the fall of 2017, I ballooned back up to 170 pounds. I was not happy. I remember meeting Nicole Goodno, my current coach. She helped me create a healthy relationship with food by giving me just a set amount of macros. I finally learned how to properly count macros and I was able to fit the foods I truly enjoyed while not feeling guilty. While counting macros, I was doing CrossFit 5 times a week and feeling fantastic. December 31st, 2018, I pulled the trigger and decided to do another contest prep! I felt healthy, happy, I now have a great, healthy relationship with food.
My relationship with my fiance couldn’t be any healthier. I was eating halo top ice cream with cereal, French-toast, lasagna, tacos, burgers, and plenty of other great foods; proving that eating during a contest prep doesn’t have to be boring….same for those looking to lose pounds and inches. I switched from doing CrossFit to more conventional bodybuilding lifts and still doing little to no cardio, which makes me happy!
93 pounds down but it’s not just about the weight and before and after pictures. I have a fantastic relationship with food, I am happy with my body, I am confident, and my mindset has changed a whole 360 degrees. I am learning how to take my favorite recipes that are more comfort food with a healthy spin on them. Once my fiance and I decide to have children, it will be easy for us to teach them how to be mindful when it comes to food. Our kids will know that eating fun foods is ok but that eating healthy like mom and dad is a good thing as well!
I am able to make this health and fitness journey not just into a hobby but a lifestyle that I will be able to maintain long-term. As a dairy farmer, I learned that it is important to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. In life, I have learned that you only live once so you need to live life to the fullest and that you should keep an open mind in everything you do.
I love the lifestyle of “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) because it gives me the freedom to have “fun foods” while also balancing with healthy whole foods. I would have never been open to trying IIFYM 3 years ago when I did my first contest prep. Back then I had no freedom to eat whatever I wanted. Throughout these last 3 years, I have learned how amazing IIFYM can be and how I can make a lifestyle out of this.
Today, my relationships have gotten so much stronger. I feel so much more confident and my self-esteem has been boosted. I feel like I am able to be myself around people now and I am so much happier since I finally found myself through fitness.
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