First, above all, I’d like to thank The Alaska Club for providing me with the wonderful opportunity, to not only reach my fitness goals, but the opportunity to win such an awesome prize. Two years ago I joined Alaska Club because I knew that I would soon be getting trained in a bulldozer at my job at Fort Knox. Currently there aren’t any female bulldozer operators and there hasn’t been for some time. I knew I needed to get in shape so I wouldn’t suffer an injury, causing me and any women in the future, to miss out on the privilege of running support and loading equipment. That’s when I hired Tara as my personal trainer, and it was the best money I ever spent. She immediately started working on my balance, which I had no idea how little I had not to mention helping me develop a strong core. I truly believe I wouldn’t have continued at the gym and would have very well passed up running the dozer if it had not been for her encouragement and awesome work out plans.
After my contract was up with Tara, I kept at the gym, but wasn’t quite where I wanted to be fitness wise. I never quite liked how I looked in pictures, or how my clothes fit. My boyfriend and I had returned from seeing the McGregor/Khabib fight, where I OVER indulged, and I hadn’t been to the gym in two weeks, when Tara contacted me and asked if I wanted to participate in this contest. It was perfect timing. It all comes back to two things: diet and exercise.
Tara had recently competed in the bikini body building competition so I asked her to send me her diet she used while training, which is the 12 week bikini competition diet. To put mildly, it’s bland. I ate portion controlled meals five times a day - meal prepping drove me crazy! Once I had it down though, it was easier because I always had my prepped food with me. I also had a plan on where I could purchase acceptable foods on the run. If I didn’t plan ahead I knew I was setting myself up for hunger or failure. If my girlfriends wanted to go to lunch, I made sure it was a place that had a “lighter side” option, and I mentally prepared myself for Thanksgiving and parties where I knew there’d be temptation.
As far as exercise goes, I stuck with building muscle to burn fat. No matter where you build muscle the fat comes off everywhere. I started lifting free weights with two male friends from work, one who is very knowledgeable in body building and fitness. I quickly realized I was seeing the best and fastest results in my upper body, so I made that my primary focus. I would end each session by doing a burn out with planks, side planks, planks, side planks, planks, planks, planks – you get it! I’ve always avoided planks like the plague, now, I love them! The easier they got-the more I increased my plank time. If you hate the exercise-then that’s the one you should be doing.
Whatever you’re doing concentrate on:
1. Your technique instead of heavier weight.
2. ALWAYS finish the reps, even if you drop down to 5lb weights, then 3lb weights… then let your muscles rest one minute between sets.
When I felt fed up, I would think of Tara. I’m still in awe of how this woman has five children, one of which is special needs, and a husband who would be training and deploying with the military nonstop. She did this diet for FOUR months while training for a body building competition. She will never know how much strength I drew from her. She inspired me to put aside my excuses and believe in myself. I have been making big financial plans for years, I now know 2019 is the year it’s going to take off. This experience has showed me I can dig deeper than I ever imagined and have more discipline and self-control then I ever thought possible. I won’t lie, it was very mentally and emotionally difficult at times. I received support where I never expected, but I also was hurt and ridiculed by people I thought I could lean on. I’m going to continue with my training and keep this new relationship I have with food. My mind is clearer, I’m sharper, and I’m in control of my actions and emotions.
At age 44 I can say I really like myself and I’m proud of myself. I’m excited for my future and am eternally grateful to my parents for teaching me the importance of a strong work ethic, and most importantly to my father for never letting me be a quitter. Set your goal, get an achievable game plan together, and stick to it! You WILL succeed.
The Alaska Club Fairbanks South Member