Smallest waist 27 1/2
Waist (belly button) 30
Leg 22 1/2
Calf L 14 3/4 R 15
Upper arm (flexed) 12 ¼
Body fat %: 26
Chest 35 (-1)
Hips 37 1/2 (-1/2)
Smallest waist 27 1/4 (-1/4)
Waist (belly button) 30
Leg 22 1/4 (-1/4)
Calf L 14 1/4 R 14 3/4
Upper arm (flexed) 12 (-1/4)
Body fat %: 24.5 (-1.5)
I am finally sitting down to write my essay after finishing the 8th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest on July 25th. I was very happy with my results, again! This is my second transformation contest of 2010. I was a finalist in the 7th contest, losing 10 lbs of fat, but I lost (rightfully so) to women who had amazing transformations too. I was a bit disappointed not to win the money and the platinum membership, but I felt as though I’d really already won so many prizes-sanity, athleticism, patience, and health!
On Day 84 of the 7th contest, I was already looking forward to the 8th because I knew I wasn’t done yet. I wasn’t idle between these two contests either-I lost an additional 5 lbs of body fat in the weeks between contests 7 and 8 to start at 155 lbs. I finished the contest at 147 lbs-the lightest I have been since before my daughter’s birth in 2004.
Mid-way through that pregnancy, my wedding ring had stopped fitting, though I was still able to wear my larger engagement ring. I refused to have the wedding ring resized-I was determined that someday I would re-size myself and wear it again. During this contest, it finally happened-I put my wedding ring on! At first it was tight and I couldn’t wear it for long, but eventually it became looser and looser, and now I never take it off.
In addition to that symbolic victory, I am fitting comfortably into clothes that I haven’t worn since graduate school 10 years ago. Needless to say, I have had to buy quite a few new clothes for work since grad school chic doesn’t really fly in the corporate world...In fact, one of my proudest moments in recent memory was stepping on stage to speak in front of my whole division in a new outfit and knowing that I looked and felt amazing. So many people approached me after that talk to ask what I was doing! I was glad to share that I was lifting weights and doing interval training and following the Turbulence Training programs.
That story brings me to why this contest has felt so different than the first one. I did contest #7 on my own. Strangers read my success story on the web but my closest friends didn’t see it. I barely told anyone I was doing the contest, except for my husband. He even started weight training again while he supported me in my daily efforts. He read my essay, took my pictures, and noticed the changes. I told one or two people at work about the contest towards the end, and I was happy to share when asked, but I mostly kept my efforts to myself.
After spring arrived, my co-workers started to take notice that I was walking or heading up to the gym for interval workouts at lunch, wearing short sleeved shirts, and looked both stronger and quite a bit smaller. Then the questions started-What are you doing-are you running? (That was my favorite. I hate to run!) What are you eating? Are you working out?
Then an interesting thing started to happen. People began dropping by my office or stopping me in the mail room to talk to me about their own current (or intended) fitness and nutrition efforts. They talked about their challenges and triumphs, and I shared my experiences. I started to hear the phrase, “You’re my inspiration,” and not just from one person. I heard this from at least eight co-workers, my mother and even my dear husband of 10 years. He has loved me through thick and thin (literally!) since we met over 17 years ago. I was a powerlifting track and field thrower way back when we met, and a super-fit grad student before we married, but no matter what my size, he has always supported me and my fitness efforts.
I had seen some couples in the last contest, and had tried to get Brian to look at the TT workouts. At first, he thought they looked WAY too sweat-inducing. When he finally came around to the idea of participating with me in the 8th contest, I was thrilled! Later he admitted that seeing me get so much stronger had inspired him to start TT…he just couldn’t let me get tougher than him! I had to laugh at that one.
I am extremely proud that Brian not only finished this contest with me, but gained 6 lbs of solid muscle over the 12 week period. He’s one of the lucky few with a fast metabolism and a good body, but like most lean guys he lifts weights to put on muscle. Craig’s Meatheads-style workouts, along with lots of extra quality calories certainly did the trick for him, allowing him to add inches to his lats, chest and legs while shrinking the little belly and hip fat that he had. Most importantly, we have made this contest a team effort by encouraging each other to get up early to get our workouts done, and being flexible with schedules when we need to, so one of us can work out while the other gets our 5 year old daughter up and going in the morning.
So at the start of the contest, I thought I was doing this transformation just for me, but as it went on, I realized that what I was doing was positively affecting my entire social network, including people on the TT forums who have drawn inspiration from my successes. My results mean something special to the people who are following my efforts. If it’s possible for me to get back the body that I once had…If it’s possible for me, a 35 year old woman, to do her first set of 6 real pull-ups in 10 years, and to feel and look like a fit athlete again, then there is no reason they can’t set and reach their own goals.
I named my TT forum thread “The Transformation Continues!” And for me, it has definitely continued. But as I have gotten closer to my ideal body, I have had to find new measures of transformation. The scale and body circumference measurements just aren’t reliable indicators of progress for me anymore. My measurements are not changing drastically anymore since I just don’t have as much body fat to lose as I once did.
Instead, I have taken satisfaction from seeing new definition around my hip bones and in my abs, back and chest. At the end of the contest, I started doing the TT Addiction challenge on Sundays, and have continued to use it after the contest, improving my score weekly. This month, I am using the barbell bench press for the first time since starting TT and I am now pressing 105 lbs for 3 sets of 6. These are the kinds of measures that I will use for motivation as I transition from focusing on fat loss to maintenance, while still building my strength. I am extremely grateful to Craig and his TT programs for providing the solid framework that I depend on to continue the transformation!