I started like most people usually do, FED UP! I was 35 years old when I first stepped into a gym near my home, and I was ready to make a change. The only agenda I had was to make MYSELF happy and see what I could do for ME. My husband loved me the way I was, and all of my friends were used to “Allie the Party Girl”… Pleasantly plump and the coolest LP (Little Person) you’ve ever met! Which brings me to my first predicament; being born with Achondroplasia Dwarfism – my height comes in at around 3’11”.
The traditional approach was definitely out of the question since my skeletal-muscular system is proportioned and arranged differently than the average person. Not to mention, my genes are such that I’m predisposed to excess body fat and a mild estrogen imbalance. Regardless, I was DETERMINED! Despite my second predicament; knowledge!
I walked into the gym one day after work and had no idea that the guy signing me up for my new membership was the same guy who would completely change my life. Since I knew that I didn’t know anything about working out, I knew I needed to hire someone who did. Fortunately the first trainer I hired was forced to resign and I requested to be transferred to the guy who got me enrolled; Matthew!
From our very first session I knew this was a better fit for me. The workouts that Matthew made up to accommodate my stature and physical limitations, on top of being generally sedentary and out of shape, were extraordinary! Despite being unable to use any of the standard machine equipment, Matthew made sure we did something new and beneficial EVERY time we worked out. He answered ALL of my questions about eating, supplementation, workout planning, etc. He knows every “Who, What, Why, When, Where and HOW” (In my case, especially HOW) that one could come up with in regards to fitness. I was learning, and I was excited!
As time went on, Matthew and I got to a point where we had done most of the plyometric and “functional” style exercises/workouts that are out there. (That I could manage, anyway.) So it was time for us to learn the resistance machines. Now, I could go on for hours about having to modify the equipment to make it “LP-Friendly”, but let’s just say that THANK GOODNESS Matthew is as creative as he is and understands body mechanics to the extent that he does. It made it much easier to use the equipment.
Fast forward about two and a half years and there we were. Making tons of progress and having fun while doing so. I had seen significant fat loss and a healthier, more positive change within myself and I was addicted to it. I was hell-bent on taking my body as absolutely far as I could, so I told Matthew to bump it up to 10! We established exactly what my goals were, and he took the helm on constructing an hour-by-hour meal plan for me to follow to help melt away body fat and put on as much lean mass as possible. It included a supplementation program that was geared towards optimizing my time both inside the gym and when I slept. Lucky me, part of the meal plan included a couple of snacks throughout the day, in which I was introduced to Quest Bars!
After pushing myself to the absolute brink in the gym on a daily basis, I decided just a month or so ago that I was going to compete in a women’s physique competition under the natural bodybuilding federation, INBA. I step on stage in just 71 days from the day that I’m writing this! I never would have thought I would convince myself to do something like this, but after everything I’ve learned, all the friends I’ve made and the constant support and encouragement I receive from everyone around me, I feel like I can do almost anything.
As little people around the country started to notice my transformation, I was getting a lot of inquires on “how did I do it”. Over the summer of 2014, I started a support group on Facebook- H.E.L.P.- Health & Exercise for Little People. This group has sparked lots of inspiration and motivation to show others with dwarfism they can do it too. Our group continues to grow with over 900 members. If you know anyone with a form of dwarfism, please spread the word to join this energetic group.
If you take anything away from this, let it be the tried and true, “You can do anything you put your mind to”. I lost 35lbs, dropped my body fat by 20%, overcame a few obstacles and learnt a lot in this SHORT (see what I did there?) amount of time. I truly feel as though I can do anything.
Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]. Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!