My journey began in April of 2006. I still remember the turning point for me was the day I got two diet mailers, on the same day, asking me to “come back” to their program. I knew at that point I had tried too many fad diets and I had to make a permanent change. I weighed 181 lbs on the day I got my lap-band.
What I didn’t know…. I didn’t know the band was really just ‘a tool’ when I first got it. I abused my tool by constantly asking for tight fills and literally puking my guts out to the point that I couldn’t even hold down water. I’d get to the point that my chest hurt so badly it felt like an elephant was sitting on top of it. My acid reflux became so horrible that it turned into a chronic cough, which later became asthma. My band slipped and remained slipped for many months before I finally saw Dr. Essien and he explained my life was at stake if I didn’t either repair it or remove it. Unfortunately, my stomach had sustained too much damage and needed to heal, so mine had to be removed. Luckily, I weighed 105 lbs at my surgery removal date. I had successfully lost weight once I started eating right and exercising regularly. I can honestly say the initial 50% of my weight loss came from the band assisting me during the first few years I had it.
I can also honestly say I would not have had the confidence before I was banded and lost my first 20 lbs to join the gym.I agree that it was very challenging to become a predominantly plant-based bodybuilder; not because a plant-based diet is deficient in any way, but because both the food and fitness industries are tailored to omnivores (i.e. whey is the most prevalent protein powder). I can’t just grab a low-carb protein bar if I’m on the run, as most of these contain whey. I have to be aware and watch out for animal ingredients in supplements and often shop at several different stores to ensure that I have my meals ready for that week. But I found my path with the help of companies like Ground-Based Nutrition that are helping plant-based athletes thrive and perform by providing quality dairy-free protein products. From over 180lbs at 5’1, I maintain a weight of 120lbs in the off season, can throw around some serious weight in the gym for someone my size, compete at 106 lbs and have more and more people asking me for my secrets.
What I learned, along the way… I made a decision that it was, ultimately, up to me to change my behavior! I had to realize that there is no magic; I’d have to work for it! I changed my diet and began eating extremely clean. I completely cut out fast food and limited alcohol (in fact, I don’t drink alcohol at all when I am prepping for a show). After joining the gym, I met some amazing people that encouraged me to consider competing in NPC competitions. I had never dreamed it was possible to achieve my goal weight, let alone compete! I competed on Nov 3, 2012 and won 4th place at the NPC SAC Championships in Sacramento, CA. I joined world famous bikini competition team, Team EDGE with expert Coaches Ingrid Romero & Joe Discuillo in April 2013. My next competition is August 17th at the Pacific USA in San Diego, Ca.
Regarding Superfood by Ground-Based Nutrition…Since switching from Whey Protein to Superfood Protein by Ground-Based Nutrition, I am finding I have more energy and my stomach digests Superfood Protein better than Whey. I was also able to save money eliminating other supplements I was taking in pill form because it’s all included in my Superfood Protein!
Ground-Based Nutrition never uses artificial sweeteners, colors, dye, additives, or other synthetic chemicals. Superfood Protein Smoothie is vegan friendly, gluten free, soy free, whey free and dairy free.