A bit of a history of my journey with pictures from different points in my journey. It has not been overnight (as you can see) and I wanted to compile a journey through pictures with the various highs and lows :) 

High school runner, aiming to run on a college scholarship but was injured my junior year. This lead me to find weight lifting, but to also have a lot of ups and downs with food. My relationship with food struggled during this time: I thought that the lighter I was during my track days, the better. As a result, I found myself constantly trying to see the scale go down as opposed to fueling my body and running and my eating issues initially started. I did not have any sort of disordered eating until this time. 

 Early 2011, freshman year of college, after gaining 20lbs. I struggled with my identity being solely found in running. When I was not running, I felt like my identity was gone. During this time, I was trying to eat clean, restricting myself to low calories and high amounts of cardio, giving up... Gaining the weight back again and again. A very low time in my life and frustrating. I did not know what to do.

Early 2011, freshman year of college, after gaining 20lbs. I struggled with my identity being solely found in running. When I was not running, I felt like my identity was gone. During this time, I was trying to eat clean, restricting myself to low calories and high amounts of cardio, giving up... Gaining the weight back again and again. A very low time in my life and frustrating. I did not know what to do.

 I was able to lose about 25lbs by late 2011 through double cardio sessions each day and low calories. I was anticipating starting my prep at this time, but I was given a meal plan that was less than 1000 calories. This threw me into a tailspin. 

I was able to lose about 25lbs by late 2011 through double cardio sessions each day and low calories. I was anticipating starting my prep at this time, but I was given a meal plan that was less than 1000 calories. This threw me into a tailspin. 

 March 2012. I do not have pictures from January of 2012 when I regained all of the weight lost in 2011 and more. I successfully lost another 15 pounds through excessive cardio and low calories but was struggling a ton with consistency. Binging one week, starving myself the next. 

March 2012. I do not have pictures from January of 2012 when I regained all of the weight lost in 2011 and more. I successfully lost another 15 pounds through excessive cardio and low calories but was struggling a ton with consistency. Binging one week, starving myself the next. 

 2013: Around the time that I discovered flexible dieting and slowly transitioned into CONSISTENT eating patterns along with a solid weight lifting program that emphasized heavy compound lifts such as squat and deadlift. Before this time, I never lifted heavy for the fear of "bulking up" and was told my legs would not look good from squatting heavy ;) I reverse dieted from May of 2013 until April of 2014.

2013: Around the time that I discovered flexible dieting and slowly transitioned into CONSISTENT eating patterns along with a solid weight lifting program that emphasized heavy compound lifts such as squat and deadlift. Before this time, I never lifted heavy for the fear of "bulking up" and was told my legs would not look good from squatting heavy ;) I reverse dieted from May of 2013 until April of 2014.

Beginning of my prep for my first show in 2014. I weighed about 162lbs here and started prepping with Layne Norton. I followed a Power / Hypertrophy program until June of 2014, when I started Daily Undulating Periodization powerlifting training to train for my first meet in November of 2014.

 August 2014 - Mid-Prep and about 150lbs.

August 2014 - Mid-Prep and about 150lbs.

 My First Show: NPC Kentucky Muscle in November 2014 where I won class F. 142lbs.

My First Show: NPC Kentucky Muscle in November 2014 where I won class F. 142lbs.

I was a wittle crazy ;) and decided to do my first USAPL powerlifting meet the following weekend after my first show. This meet was in Florida. Ended up winning my class with a 320 squat, 165 bench, 352 deadlift, and 402 wilks. Who says strength and aesthetics are mutually exclusive? :) 

 Winning my IFPA Natural Figure Pro card the following weekend in DeKalb, Illinois. [Told you I was crazy doing three events in three weekends ;)] Winning the overall title, tall class title, and novice category. 140lbs.

Winning my IFPA Natural Figure Pro card the following weekend in DeKalb, Illinois. [Told you I was crazy doing three events in three weekends ;)] Winning the overall title, tall class title, and novice category. 140lbs.

My first ever photo shoot that winter. 

 Spring 2015. Slowly reverse dieting and maintaining stage leanness. 

Spring 2015. Slowly reverse dieting and maintaining stage leanness. 

 April 2015. Second meet ever. 347lb squat, 165lb bench, 363lb deadlift. Still maintaining 142lbs. 

April 2015. Second meet ever. 347lb squat, 165lb bench, 363lb deadlift. Still maintaining 142lbs. 

 May 2015. Decided to compete again in figure but did not have to diet down much due to maintaining leanness so close to stage weight. In hindsight, not a good move to stay at below 10 percent body fat for an extended period of time, as I lost my period for over a year and was experiencing hormonal effects. 

May 2015. Decided to compete again in figure but did not have to diet down much due to maintaining leanness so close to stage weight. In hindsight, not a good move to stay at below 10 percent body fat for an extended period of time, as I lost my period for over a year and was experiencing hormonal effects. 

2015 National NPC Shows. I competed two times and placed in the top 6 in my class, but knew that I needed some time off from competing after Team Universe. 

 August 2015. 138lbs when I cut down to 63kg in order to qualify for nationals in that weight class. This ended up being a very bad decision and unwise as my weight class was under my stage weight (LOL WAT). I injured my back at this meet and it took me over a month to recover. I recovered just in time for Raw Nationals but it was a push to the finish line.  

August 2015. 138lbs when I cut down to 63kg in order to qualify for nationals in that weight class. This ended up being a very bad decision and unwise as my weight class was under my stage weight (LOL WAT). I injured my back at this meet and it took me over a month to recover. I recovered just in time for Raw Nationals but it was a push to the finish line.  

 Raw Nationals 2015, where I decided to NEVER compete 63kg again LOL. I miraculously healed form my injury and was able to win the junior title at 72kg. Hit a 347 squat, 170 bench, and 375 deadlift in my last meet as a junior. 

Raw Nationals 2015, where I decided to NEVER compete 63kg again LOL. I miraculously healed form my injury and was able to win the junior title at 72kg. Hit a 347 squat, 170 bench, and 375 deadlift in my last meet as a junior. 

GAINZ TIME

By January 2016, I was up to 150lbs, got my period back, lifts exploded, and I was focusing on being HEALTHY first and foremost with my sights set on the Arnold 2016 and that 400lb squat ;) For the first time in my lifting career, I was focused on powerlifting solely and not dieting for a bodybuilding show at all. 

 Arnold 2016 coached by Jacob Ormes. I hit a 374 squat, 170 bench, and 408 deadlift. 

Arnold 2016 coached by Jacob Ormes. I hit a 374 squat, 170 bench, and 408 deadlift. 

2016: The year of gains and travel :) 

 Nationals 2015: 5th Place with a 396 squat, 182 bench, and 413 deadlift.  Photo Credit: Brandon Lee Wells.

Nationals 2015: 5th Place with a 396 squat, 182 bench, and 413 deadlift.

Photo Credit: Brandon Lee Wells.

2017 has been an amazing year and where I have come to in my journey... Focusing on both powerlifting and bodybuilding. But more importantly, having a life NOT centered around my looks and my body, but rather the person I want to be and the impact I want to make.

I have maintained a body weight of approximately 158-162lbs since mid 2016. I most recently competed at the Arnold in March, where I hit an all time PR of 1003lbs with a 396 squat, 182 bench, and 424 deadlift. 

This has been my journey. I hope you learned, enjoyed, and feel a bit more hope if you are lost and want to make progress. One day at a time. But remember, you already have worth in the form you are TODAY. No end point will bring you happiness. Seek satisfaction in the PROCESS > PRODUCT :) 

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