One of my biggest fitness goals was to compete as a competitive figure athlete. I attended my first bodybuilding show and as soon as I saw the women on stage in that division I knew that is what I wanted to do. I competed in my very first show in October 2011 and won 1st place. The feeling of being on stage was amazing. It was so gratifying just getting on stage and competing. I entered my second one, the Arkansas State Bodybuilding Show in August of 2012 and won 1st place in open, masters and became overall state champion. It was a humbling experience and it made me so proud to represent my home state. Competing has taught me so many life lessons. One of the biggest is that anything is possible if you have faith and you’re willing to put in the work. I’m excited about the present and look forward to my future. I believe that everyone should.
People often ask me if I played sports in high school or college and are very shocked when I tell them that I didn’t. I walked into a gym for the very first time at 19 years old. I was always big for my age, but never developed a weight problem until college. That’s when I gained the “freshman fifteen” and then someone else’s 15. I became more self conscience of how I looked and the way my clothes looked on me. I really didn’t like the person that I was becoming. I felt sluggish and didn’t feel my age, in fact I felt many years older.
I knew that if I continued doing what I was doing that I would get the same results. That’s when I first became interested in weight loss. Initially, I did what most people do. I would crash diet, see a little success, then go back to my regular eating habits. Or I would exercise like crazy and eat whatever I wanted. My rational was that “hey, I worked out hard… I deserve this pizza”! Needless to say, that didn’t work either. It wasn’t until months later that I discovered that I could not do one particular thing to lose weight. What I needed wasn’t a quick fix, it was a lifestyle change. That’s when I began strength training, cardiovascular exercise and changing my eating habits. Once I started strength training, I was amazed at how my body starting changing. I was in love with the feeling of empowerment after my workouts and the total euphoria and adrenaline rush of lifting weights. I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this years earlier! It’s amazing the sense of accomplishment and pride you feel once you finish. It took me a over a year to reach my weight loss goal, but once I did, it was well worth it. The journey was worth it! It was at that moment that I realized that I was worth it too. Hence, the birth of my new found passion. I love helping other people reach their potential. I thank God everyday that he has blessed me to be a blessing to others.
I became a certified personal trainer in 2000 through IFPA, International Fitness Professionals Association. I have since become certified through ACE, American Council on Exercise and continue to educate myself by taking health courses. I want to learn as much as possible about my profession as it will enable me to help others. I love what I do, in fact personal training is my “dream job”!