This week,we’re focusing on a strong and inspiring lady lifter, MyNameIs! If you’d like to nominate someone for the Weekly Member Spotlight, you can always send an email to fitocracymemberspotlight@
Username and level
Level: AWESOME. I mean… 40
How did you get started in fitness and training Do you have any pics to share?
At 107 lbs
I actually started lifting my senior year of high school. (Now that you know this… I realize my lifts just became much less impressive… *Sob*) My dad has lifted almost every morning since he enlisted in the army at 17. His story is much more impressive than mine, as he weighed in at 105lbs when my grandpa took him to enlist. He was 3 lbs under the requirement. The enlistment officer told him to go drink milkshakes, eat bananas, and come back. He did. He made required weight… barely. He left the army 3 years later much bulkier. He says he weighed over 140 by the end of the first year. Since then he has been a devoted lifter. So, I had a good teacher, and he taught me the basics. I went to college. I became obsessed with lifting and feeling strong. I am still obsessed… 8 years later. In the beginning, I used lifting mostly for the psychological benefits, as I was diagnosed with panic disorder my junior year of high school. (Basically, for those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a very common anxiety disorder that involves intense episodes of high anxiety which lead to a number of unpleasant feelings, the worst of which is the feeling of having a heart attack. There are many triggers to it, but routine and exercise greatly decrease those triggers, at least for me.) However, I have never lifted “light”. Ever since I was young, I was very competitive and wanted to outdo all of the boys. This carried over to lifting. My goal has always been to be the strongest woman I can be, while maintaining a relatively low percentage of body fat. This year has been a stressful one for me, so I am currently at the heaviest weight I have ever been (I am an emotional eater); however, I hope to be able to see my abs appearing again soon.
How did you find the site? How has it changed your work outs?
I found Fitocracy through Fittit. Although I knew how to lift before encountering Fitocracy, and considered myself quite knowledgeable, Fitocracy has helped me to diversify my routines and make changes to my diet and workouts. The people on Fitocracy are mostly hilarious, and I love all of you! It is a great way to connect with people with similar goals, and it drives me to lift more and more. I always loved lifting, but it’s even better now that I have people to compete with and have awesome achievements and badges to earn!
What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about
Well, for the most part, I’ve taught myself all of the major, compound lifts. This involved trial and error. Obviously. This has been a process, but I am quite proud of my form (for the most part). I have learned that for me (NOT for everyone), bulking is so much easier than cutting. I have little self-control when it comes to food, and anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I can out eat them. Gender does not factor in. I have learned that I NEED lifting and a busy, active lifestyle to maintain sanity and happiness. I am intrigued by IF, currently, and although I have read a lot about it, there is always more to learn. I would also like to learn to do the Olympic lifts with better, more consistent form.
Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
Biggest weakness is a very physical one. My knees. They should have their own attachment to this page, but it would be a novel, and no one would read it. So the TLDR version is: frequent dislocations since childhood, 3 surgeries = no bueno, arthritis, less than 25% of cartilage left, daily excruciating pain, stairs are a problem, ignore the pain and do things that are bad for them anyways (read: capoeira, snowboarding), need more surgery but it won’t correct the pain so the jury’s still out on that one, etc., etc.
Excel at ignoring pain (ha!) and pushing myself. I am not afraid of trying pretty much anything, and I have a strong desire to be the best at everything… this is also a weakness…. I am also a fairly confident person. I trust my strength and I feel like I know my body well.
What motivates you?
I want to be the strongest woman that I can be. Every time I enter the gym, I feel like I am making myself better. I want to outdo my previous lifts. My job also motivates me, as often I need a physical outlet to overcome the emotional battles of the day. (I am a teacher of students with disabilities.)
Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
I am a somewhat lax follower of Leangains… would like to make that change more permanent. I take a multivitamin, vitamin D, calcium, and fish oil at the moment.
If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
You are stronger than you think. The biggest mistake people make, especially women, is starting so low in weight that they cannot build the confidence necessary to take on more. Throw cardio out the window unless you are planning on running a marathon, do a triathlon, or like it. Do the big lifts. Leave the machines behind. Make sure you are using proper form; have someone who is knowledgeable (and I don’t mean in broscience) check your form occasionally. Don’t be afraid to fail every once in a while, it means you are pushing yourself. That is good. Don’t use the word “tone” when talking about goals. Ever. Don’t do curls in the squat rack or I may just beat you with a barbell.
What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
Secret weapon = dem gunz, but they don’t stay secret very long in short-sleeves…. My edge is my experience. I have been lifting a long time for my young age. ha!
What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
It has added to my circle of friends, it has given me something to do when I’m bored, it is a great replacement for Facebook, and it has made me lift more.
One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
There is no reason you shouldn’t be lifting heavy.