This week we profile a woman whose grit and determination can teach us all a thing or two. It’s ohletamyleta! Who from Fitocracy inspires you? Send us an email at fitocracymemberspotlight@
Username and level
How did you get started in fitness and training Do you have any pics to share?
I’ve been on and off the weight loss wagon since I was about 12 – I’ve been obese pretty much my entire life. I have a long history of depression and addiction, and food was where I hid my feelings. I spent a large part of my life in a cycle of negative behaviors and bad relationships, and didn’t feel like I had much to live for. After a lot of insanity, I finally got clean in 2005, with the support of my family. I was still in really bad physical shape, but I could never find the motivation to really make changes that would stick long term. Then in September of 2009, I lost my dad to cancer. He was only 65. It was a huge wakeup call for me – but I spent about a year and a half doing all the wrong things. Silly workout videos, starvation dieting… I lost about 40 pounds by stupidity over the course of a year. Then, I tore cartilage in my left knee and had to have surgery. I gained some of the weight back, but I decided to get myself together and really try to make some permanent changes.
In April of 2011, I got cleared for activity, and I haven’t stopped since. Has not been perfect, mistakes have been made – but since finding fitocracy, it’s been better every day. Overall, in the last 3 1/2 years, I’ve lost 203 pounds, dropped 7 pants sizes, and I’m still changing daily.
Full progress album http://imgur.com/a/
How did you find the site? How has it changed your workouts?
My brother in law (Roryn) posted a blog from a lady lifter about women and weight training. He was trying to get my sister (miss_dana) to read it – and he got me instead. There was an invite link at the end (site was still in beta), and I clicked. The rest is history in the making.
Fitocracy has changed everything about my workouts. I actually learned about lifting heavy weights, and barbells, and form, and programming. I’ve been able to define my goals, and have worked with two amazing coaches (djkreger & BlackoutTrainer) who have given me the tools to achieve them. I’ve discovered all kinds of things I never would have tried on my own. Like tire flips. And pushing my own car for HIIT.
Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
My ego would like a 3 plate deadlift to match my 1 plate OHP…j/k. Kinda. Right now, reshaping the body and maintaining the strong I already have is priority number one. I have specific goals for my lifts in mind, and I would love to meet my abs some day in the not too distant future. But mostly just keep improving, and strive ever closer to epic badassery.
What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
I’ve learned that my pride is the quickest way to get injured. Some days, the bar wins. And always, always listen to my coach. That one I’ve learned the hard way.
Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
Weaknesses? I want to do ALL OF THE THINGS all of the time. I have to remember I am only human, and no matter how much coffee…erm, energy I have, I need to take care of myself and let my body recover.
Excel? I’m funny. 95% of the time, I have a great attitude, even when my legs are so sore from a heavy day I can barely walk. And I love to give support and love to the people around me. Having the amazing support system I have, especially my fito family (and IRL family) makes a huge difference in what I can accomplish.
What motivates you?
I spent my teens and twenties battling depression, obesity, addiction and negativity. There is no logical reason I know of that I should be alive today. So, for me, every day is a gift and a blessing, and I need to use it to the fullest. Wake up, be better than yesterday, set an example, spread the love, and don’t ever go to bed with regrets.
Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
Currently lots of lean (and some not so lean) proteins, fruits and veggies – I’m running on an IIFYM style plan, so I eat within my ranges and I’m good. I also make it a point to eat things I love, like sushi, bacon, frozen yogurt – deprivation is bad news for someone who used to binge and medicate with food. This is healthy for me. I do take fish oil, and protein powder fills in the gaps on my training days most excellently well.
If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
IT WILL TAKE TIME. I’m three plus years in, and still have a lot of work to do. Some people lose faster than others. But it’s not like you go to bed and wake up awesome. You have to put in the time and effort to change things, and stick with it. It will NOT be easy. It will NOT always be fun. It will ALWAYS be worth it.
What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
My people. Not only do I have real family here, I’ve got a group of people I’ve met through fitocracy that are closer than blood to me (CassLee, ClimbingRhino, PrimalDanny – this means you.) Their support and motivation and the inspiration we all trade back and forth – that is what makes it work.
What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
I started a business because some of my favorite fitocrats liked the bacon I make. (And it’s succeeding!) I’m even closer to my sister and her husband (which I didn’t think was possible). I’m stronger, I’m more open, I’m more confident, and I feel like my life is making a difference. The question really is, how has Fitocracy NOT changed my life?
One thing I want people to take away from my story is..
You can do this. If you don’t believe in yourself, find someone else who believes in you, and let them show you how. And no matter what anyone says, YOU ARE WORTH IT. <3