Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a 24 year old army wife & mother of one from Pennsylvania. I’m also an ISSA certified personal trainer, certified sports nutrition specialist, and nationally qualified bikini competitor. I’ve competed in 6 shows total since 2013.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy being able to challenge myself each day, push myself to improve, and I love that I’m able to inspire others and motivate them to change their lives and evolve into their best selves.
How long have you been into fitness?
I started getting into fitness in 2010. I’ve been personal training and competing for 4 years, but I’ve been lifting for 7.
How did you get into fitness?
Growing up, I was never athletic. I was a cheerleader and that was about the extent of my activity. I was never overweight, but I was never tiny either. I was always bigger than the other girls my age. When I got to middle school, I started severely restricting my caloric intake because that was the only way my younger self knew how to lose weight. At my lowest, in the 8th grade, I was skin and bones, only 88 lbs. 3 years later after having gained some weight & recovering, I met my husband. He introduced me to weight lifting, set me up on a good routine, taught me about macros, and I fell in love and never looked back. It made me feel strong and it gave me a confidence I’d never had.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
I started taking training seriously when I realized I was actually good at it. I was never really good at anything growing up. Like I said, I was never athletic, but when I realized I had potential, that it made me a better person both mentally and physically, that’s when I really began to take it seriously.
How has fitness impacted your life?
Fitness has changed my life. It’s my stress reliever, my passion, my hobby, & my career. I have anxiety and it eases that. I had the worst bout of depression when I was pregnant last year and without training, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it. It was an outlet. Fitness has made me a confident, mentally strong, & more positive woman. I have fitness to thank for the person I am today.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
Just start! There are so many resources out there that have the information or free programs that you need. Find a coach if you can afford one, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know it can be intimidating to step foot in the gym. Maybe you feel you don’t know what you’re doing; maybe you fear you look stupid, maybe you fear others are judging you. I promise they’re not. Just focus on why you want to start and remember that everyone starts somewhere. We were all beginners once.
Owner of Determined Physiques