My name is Adina, and I am your not-so-average girl-on-the-go. I work as an administrator for a large financial firm, and in my free time I work out ardently and blog about fitness and beauty. I am a girlfriend, dog-mom, working professional, gym rat, and nationally qualified bodybuilding competitor. This is the story about how I turned my life around and found balance, confidence, and my best body yet.
I grew up a competitive dancer (think tap, jazz, ballet, etc), so keeping both my body and my weight in check never really came as a hardship to me. In other words, I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it, and was fortunate enough to just burn it all off. Sure, I did have a few ups and downs; but for the most part I maintained a fairly slim profile. I kept this up through college.
Fast forward to functioning adult, professional me, post-college. A series of very stressful life events made me turn to food for comfort. My love of the carbs, coupled with my newly-found desk job and sedentary lifestyle saw me ballooning out to a weight and body shape that at the end of the day I was far from comfortable with. It crept up on me, as weight gain tends to do, but my wake-up call came hard and fast when I took a good look in the mirror, and at my lifestyle, and realized that I was just not happy with what I saw.
It sounds so cliché, but I was genuinely uncomfortable in my own skin. Furthermore, I cultivated a rather negative image of myself. I did not love me.
The Turning Point
Seeing myself for the first time set in me a true desire to change all of the things that made me unhappy. The first step in all of this was to join a gym, and dedicate myself to working out regularly.
Motivated by my desire to lose weight, I became a cardio bunny who spent at least an hour (usually more) doing steady-state cardio – five days a week – with little to no weight training at all. I did lose ten pounds this way (yay!), but was still very much skinny-fat.
After doing my research, I decided that it was time to step it up, and lift some iron. It wasn’t until I cleaned up my diet and started incorporating daily weight training into my routine that my body really started to change for the better.
I developed a routine where I would do both weight training and cardio, together, five days a week. I eliminated much of the processed carbs and snacks that I turned to for comfort, and instead replaced them with healthy nibbles such as raw vegetables, low fat dairy, and of course, Quest Bars.
In November of 2012, I made the decision to take things to the next level and compete in the NPC, in the category of bikini bodybuilding. I joined a team where my coaches provided me with both meal and workout plans, and with their guidance I shed 25 more pounds. With my eyes on the prize, I was determined to succeed. I wanted to prove both to myself and to the world that I had what it took to win.
I trained six days a week, doing a mixture of weights and cardio. I trained in the traditional bodybuilder style – doing fasted cardio every morning, and focusing on weight training a different group of body parts each day. In terms of food, I would eat six precisely-measured, clean meals a day. The basic foods included brown rice, salmon, grilled chicken, tilapia, asparagus, and other nutritious, clean eats.
In spring of 2013, I stepped onto the stage for the first time, and placed top 5 at my very first show (which was a National Qualifier). I did 4 shows in total this past spring and summer, and went on to place in every show I did, becoming a Nationally-Qualified Bikini Bodybuilder.
Over the course of my journey (which is far from over, I can assure you!), I have not only shed the weight that bogged me down, but also the lack of confidence and perpetual sadness that got me to my worst in the first place. These days, I embrace my newly-found lifestyle. I am lifting heavier, getting stronger, and preparing for the next competitive season, which essential begins spring 2014.
My goal is to earn my IFBB Pro Card, and at this point, nothing is stopping me!
You can find Adina at: