Transformations Take Serious Commitment…And Are Worth It!
By Chandra Lynn
I was raised by a very petite mom and, although I’m small too, I always felt bigger as in thicker or, dare I say, fatter. Although I’ve never been grossly overweight, I carried around the belief that made me refer to myself as the “10 pound overweight girl.” Being the perfect weight and size always seemed just out of reach despite going to the gym and trying different diets that seemed to work for my friends. After having a baby, negative self-talk increased and turned into serious frustration with my body, as if it was separate from me and working against me.
I felt doughy and full, a quality that a macrobiotic counselor said was from eating dairy. Legitimately, I had eaten a lot of dairy in my life because I was raised vegetarian and it became the substitute for meat. When served vegetarian food, it was always a combination of carbs and dairy (i.e. cheese lasagna, cheese enchiladas, cheese sandwich, etc.). So I cut out all dairy for eight years, got rid of my microwave, and learned how to cook with whole foods and no dairy.
In truth, I saw some improvement and the puffy quality died down. But, I still felt like I had a higher percentage of body fat than I wanted so I decided to get even more serious and turned to weight training. In the past, I would do yoga and force myself to do cardio, but it just seemed like enough to maintain, not transform. I decided in myself that it was no longer acceptable to despise my body and turn against myself by allowing a negative inner critic to let loose. It just wasn’t working and would trigger depressive episodes of self-loathing. Honestly, I couldn’t understand what was going on with me because it didn’t seem right to do this to myself when I knew men were attracted to me and I was beautiful…not like a model but pretty in my own unique way.
Enough was enough and I decided to open myself up to working out much more vigorously. I made the scary trek over to the free weights area of the gym and started talking to people that were all much nicer and more helpful than I could have imagined.
I realized that I really needed a program to follow and didn’t want to spend more money on a trainer because my gym membership is fairly pricey. So I turned to bodybuilding.com and signed up for a free account on their social platform Bodyspace (find me: GlowChandra) which gave me access to some amazing programs put together by fitness models, athletes, champion bodybuilders, and expert trainers.
On Bodyspace, I saw a lot of average people achieving amazing results. If they could do, so can I. I started with Jamie Eason’s Livefit Trainer, a 12-week program which is great for beginners. Jamie is a petite fitness model who is the same height as me so it seemed like a good match. And it was. After completing that successfully, I realized that consistency is the key and that I will spend the rest of my life on a program of one kind or another.
I went on to do Dr. Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred a few times and now I’m doing Dymatize Transformed. In addition to these programs, I have continued doing yoga and they are perfectly complementary. I’ve also added H.I.I.T. (High-Intensity Interval) Training. I’ve also added back some dairy for protein, so I eat eggs, whey, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I eat some cheeses on occasion but try to stick with low-fat ones like parmesan and manchego.
There are endless topics to explore related to health, fitness and nutrition so you can read more about this in future posts. For guidance on what to eat while training, read my post to help you figure out your calorie intake and macros. You can also read about how transformative my yoga practice has been for me.
What I will leave you with is a general understanding of what all this effort has done for me. I have changed my body a lot. I’ve sculpted it to have more muscle definition and less body fat. And through this emotional process that involves mental and physical exercises, I have come away with a strengthened self-esteem and diminished self-talk. I look more youthful and rarely get sick. I catch a glimpse in the mirror and still wish I had less cellulite, a higher, rounder booty, and longer limbs, but I am really proud of myself and think I look the best I have in my entire life. I am no longer the 10-pound overweight girl. I’m a workout warrior that is motivated to keep transforming myself to glow inside and out.