This week’s Weekly Member Spotlight features The_Doctor, an incredible Canadian lady lifter with some serious numbers to back her up. As always, if you’d like to nominate someone for a Member Spotlight, contact users lexyloowho or xJenYxvx or send an email to email@example.com.
How did you get started in fitness and training?
I used to be really fat. My heaviest weight was around 230 to 250 pounds during my late teens, and I had a lot of emotional problems that were associated with my weight, probably more than I realized at the time. I was never really overweight until my mid-teens, but I never had a good self-image and I never believed that I was attractive or that anyone would have any reason to find me attractive.
I thinned down a bit around age 20, and I guess it was about that age that I actually took the initiative to lose weight. I started a fitness log on an Internet forum and used Starting Strength and C25K to help me lose all the extra weight. I finished “losing” at about 128 pounds, but by that time I was underweight for my height and didn’t have good body composition, and I still didn’t have the self-image or sense of direction that I wanted. So I continued and completed both Starting Strength and C25k with the goal of improving my body composition. I moved on to Bill Starr’s Madcow program for intermediate weight lifters and increased my strength by a lot, I also put on about an extra ten pounds of muscle and reached a weight that’s more reasonable for my height and frame.
Two years ago at about 230lb
How did you find the site? How has it changed your work outs?
I found Fitocracy through the Internet forum that I used initially to do my fitness logging. A lot of people were talking about it and moving over to Fitocracy because of the tracking system, and probably because it allows for a greater sense of community. Fitocracy has increased the consistency of my work-outs hugely. I’ve never been the type to miss a work-out, but Fitocracy’s tracking and points system is extremely encouraging to complete the full work-out every time, especially since you can look back and see what you did last week, or the week before.
Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
My long-term goal is to stay active and dynamic. I recently got access to one of the best equipped Olympic training gyms in Canada, and I am currently training with a coach there. I have always done the standard lifts, bench, squats, deadlift, et cetera, but I’m excited to do the snatch and the clean and jerk. I’m learning a lot already.
What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
The most important thing I’ve learned through trial and error is that you can’t cheat. You should learn to do things correctly the first time or you’re setting yourself up to waste your time or hurt yourself. This goes for lifting form and techniques, and for nutrition and diet as well. You can’t starve yourself to your ideal and you shouldn’t try.
As for what I’d like to learn more about, I just started Olympic lifting so I’m looking forward to learning a lot there. It is a totally different world than powerlifting and I’m already learning weaknesses and working to improve.
Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
I would say that self-image has been a weakness for me, but at the same time it’s also a strength because I am continually working to improve. I excel in determination and consistency. I don’t like to miss workouts and I work hard while I am there.
What motivates you?
Other female weightlifters and athletes are a big inspiration for me. I like to see that there are women of all sizes challenging the ideas of people who have preconceived notions of what defines feminine integrity and value. I think it’s great that there are women on Fitocracy who weigh 200 pounds and lift huge weights, and there are also women who weigh 118 pounds and lift huge weights.
Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
I had to change my diet completely to reach my weight goals. I stopped eating junk food and most if not all processed foods. I don’t count my calories but I do try to reach a goal of about 100-140 grams of protein a day, which I get through eating a lot of meat, eggs, dairy, and protein powder. I cook all of my own food at home unless I’m really stuck in class all day and have to grab something if I haven’t had time to pack a lunch. Other than protein, I don’t take any dietary supplements.
If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Be consistent, don’t miss workouts. Follow a beginners program and make sure that you know exactly what your goals are, otherwise you will never feel you have achieved anything.
What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
I think I will have to reiterate one of my other answers and say my determination. I really have no problem bouncing back. I have experienced a lot and I am well acquainted with failure, so I don’t let anything keep me down.
What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
Fitocracy has had a very positive impact on my life. I’ve always loved video games and the game element of Fitocracy is an extra kick to keep me motivated when I might not otherwise feel up to doing my best. The organization of the tracking system is probably my favourite part of the site, the achievements are also great and helped me reach a lot of personal records.
One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
You should never stop trying. You should always be working towards a new goal, whether the goal is to improve your body composition, lift a new weight, learn a new technique, try a new program, whatever.
Sticking points are there to help you excel and you have the rest of your life to work past them.