Two weeks from today I will be heading to Albuquerque, NM to support my client, Gina Sproule. Gina will be competing in her very 1st OCB Bikini Competition and I have had the pleasure of being her online coach for the past 9 months. This women has an AMAZING and INSPIRATIONAL Fitness Journey. If you are looking for a dose of inspiration, please take the time to read her transformation journey……..
We are often labeled by others or by ourselves in life. As a former elementary school teacher, I’ve often said, “labels limit”. As a child I was my family’s smart, fat kid. I had a sister who was labeled as the beautiful one. Sadly, the dysfunctional stage for our lives was set.
Fast forward to December 2017 when my husband almost died having a surgery that was meant to save his life and eliminate the three co-morbid factors that were threatening his life. After a stroke he’d been given a life expectancy of 5-8 years left. That was two years ago with no alternate ending in site. Our ‘fat kid’ lifestyle was killing him slowly. I had spent the last 12 years of our marriage engaged in behavior that was killing him and me, slowly. All my overachieving efforts to coordinate doctor visits between his four specialists and his primary care practitioner although valiant and thorough, were ultimately NOT enough. Story of my life was not being ‘enough’.
This shook me to my core. I decided in December 18, 2017 that I would no longer allow my ‘fat kid’ lifestyle to control my life. I weighed 220 pounds on that day. I had never weighed that much, not even in any of my 3 pregnancies with my 8-9 lb babies. I was ashamed and embarrassed. But most of all, I was angry at myself for getting to 220 pounds. What had I done to myself? Why? The why was the hardest of all to confront. As I dug deeper finding my why, I faced some ugly truth about myself that would change my life forever. Those two weeks before the new year in December of 2017 profoundly changed my life. My why for being unhealthy was ugly. Uncovering my ‘why’ for wanting to be healthy bought me hope in those quiet hours all alone. My why for wanting to be healthy showed me a strength inside that I’ve always had. I’d rarely loved myself enough to use that strength to benefit me, but reserved it for others I loved as I showed them love through service my entire life.
In those two weeks, I researched body types, the role genetics play in diet, macronutrients and exercise. January 4, 2018 I started going to the gym regularly and tracking my macronutrients daily. In six months I had gone from 220 to 160 pounds. I felt great with more energy and just felt different in my own skin. Then in June 2018, I jokingly told a nurse practitioner I was going to compete in a body building competition when I turned 50 as we discussed my weight loss and my new found love of weightlifting. I was 46 at the time and it was a far away, half-hearted joke. I was then introduced to an online trainer who was a professional bodybuilder and gave me direction with training and nutrition. Karen Mullarkey, my new virtual coach, asked me to set a goal for a bikini competition in the spring of 2019. I considered that goal and decided to verbally agree to it. That goal seemed as outlandish and as likely to me as climbing Mount Everest.
With guidance from my trainer, I gained confidence in the gym and with my nutrition. I continued to change shape. The changes my body was making were incredible to me. All of a sudden I found myself in very unfamiliar territory with a body that was a different size and shape than anything I had ever experienced. I loved the muscles I saw developing. At the gym, in the early morning hours between 3 and 4 a.m., when the rest of the world is asleep, I was learning about myself. Every day I made lonely choices about what I CHOOSE to put into my mouth, and what I CHOOSE to do to make my muscles grow. As my body has changed, my confidence in myself has grown. I can do hard things because I am able AND I am worth it.
Even meeting with the resistance of ‘fit shaming’ from friends, I’ve been able to fine tune the why for my fitness journey. My why has evolved and changed. My inner strength has grown disproportionately to my muscles and their strength. I love me enough to make choices that are good for me and I have found a passion that excites me.
My fitness journey has uncovered some beautiful truths. TRUTH: I am beautiful on the inside and outside. I always have been, only now I am strong enough to see, believe, and live it. -Gina Sproule
I couldn’t be more proud of this strong ass woman and I am beyond excited to see her show off her hard work on March 16th. She is a walking example that you can make lifestyle changes even with an extremely busy travel schedule. If you would like to make today the beginning of the new you, contact me today for a FREE consultation. I offer group, one-on-one and virtual training and nutrition.
“No Mullarkey” Personal Training
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