You may know me as The Get In Shape Girl, but I haven’t always been a fitness goddess. I went through a life-changing transformation after an unhealthy start in my early twenties. I had gone off to college, where my social life and partying took precedence over health and learning to cook. I lived on Hamburger Helper (with soy meat””I was a vegetarian for animal rights purposes), tacos, cheese pizza, mac and cheese, cookies, chips, beer and cheap wine. I was very inactive. Just the thought of sweating, to me, was gross.
Uncomfortable physically and mentally, I was barely able to squeeze into my jeans. I felt terrible about myself, but I was in denial. I remember getting out the backseat of a friend’s car and the inseam of my pants ripped. This eventually became a normal occurrence, because even though I needed a bigger size, I refused to believe it. I kept patching my pants.
One summer-break day at my parents’ house, I took a break from the pool and walked inside to get a snack. When the towel hiding my belly fat slipped from my waist, my dad jokingly poked at me and asked what “that” was. He was kidding, but something had needed to be said. All 160 pounds of me returned back to college, still in denial, but starting to wake up. After noticing cellulite forming on my body, I finally realized I needed to take control.
My mom became my go-to fitness guru. I had seen her transform over the years, going from a size 10/12 to a size 2/4. She schooled me on the “calories out vs. calories in” concept, and her loving support was always just a phone call away. But it was a bumpy beginning. I dropped 20 pounds within six months, but looking back, my approach was unhealthy. I started eating differently, but my meals were mostly packaged frozen foods, fruit cups and portion-controlled cookies and crackers. The elliptical was my best friend at the gym, because I was intimidated by machines, free weights and even classes.
Nearly a decade later, my life really began to change. All those years I had become complacent, still unhappy with my body, yet unsure of what to do. I had even hired a personal trainer, but nothing seemed to work. After my boyfriend found a gym he liked, I signed up for a trial month. Under the direction of a strength and conditioning coach, I began strength training, doing high intensity cardio, circuit training, speed work, plyometrics and more. I had never trained like that before, and because of it my body changed significantly.
The workouts alone were challenging, but I also could not have gotten to where I am today without Tosca Reno. I had read about her online and in magazines, so when I came across a copy of her Eat Clean Diet book, I decided to pick it up. Her philosophies made perfect sense to me. Inspired, I slowly began changing my diet to make it healthier, figuring out a macronutrient ratio that worked for me.
I felt like I learned a secret I needed to share with the world. My success with circuit training and clean eating became my new healthy obsession. I felt so passionate about fitness, I became a personal trainer so I could spread the word and help others gain the confidence I did. Thus, the Get In Shape Girl was born. Today, I’m actively involved as a crossfit competitor, I run races regularly, and I’ve competed in several bikini competitions. I am a NASM-certified personal trainer and weight loss specialist, and I’ve created two e-cookbooks and two online workout program e-books.
Here on the Vitacost blog, I’ll be sharing exclusive clean eating recipes to help you get on track to a healthier, happier life. Please get in touch with requests or to share your story!
The Get in Shape Girl