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1. Lisa you battle a muscle condition that led you to change your lifestyle, tell us about that.
Here is a Facebook post that explains how this all came about. I posted this after spending almost 5 months training for a body building competition. Got my stage shots. 😌 🤗 . This is my "Why" Sorry in advance, this is a bit long. I've went back and forth on whether or not to share this, but here goes.
I had a good reason to choose this sport. If I bring awareness to one person it may help, it was worth it. After I ended up in the hospital more than 4 times for the same condition in the past 3 years, I was diagnosed with a condition called, Exercise Induced Rhabdomyolysis. This condition can cause kidney failure if your CK levels are too high and not treated promptly. (A friend of mine coincidentally ended up in the hospital with this same condition several months ago, and she had no idea what was happening to her). My creatine kinase (CK) levels were much too high, a sign of massive muscle damage. They initially thought I had a heart attack, as that is a key indicator, but it wasn't. My high CK levels were not from heart muscle damage, but was from skeletal muscle damage. See link for more info. http://www.joe-cannon.com/rhabdomyolysis-personal-trainers…/ The symptoms were extreme soreness, swelling in my calves and nausea after a good workout. I thought I just worked out too hard. Marathon runners, CrossFit and other athletes suffer from this condition on occasion, but some people can get this even from a light workout. The muscle break down becomes so great, that the kidneys are stressed trying to filter the particles. Long story long, after seeing many specialists for two years, hundreds of blood tests and a muscle biopsy...my neuromuscular specialist advised me I had most likely had a metabolic myopathy. Muscle cells were not functioning properly, so I started to lose muscle- muscle atrophy. Each time I recovered and tried to start working out again, I'd end up back in the hospital. It was a downward spiral that left me weak, fatigued, out of shape, ten pounds heavier and defeated. My doctor told me I'd just have to adjust my lifestyle and learn to live with it. I'm stubborn...so I was determined to find a way to beat it. I thought, what better way to gain "muscle" back than to body build? 🤔 After all, they are pros at building muscle. My friend just so happened to post her contest transformation pictures -Inspiration!-and it was like a big sign that this was what I needed to do. I completed 5 months of training with not one episode of Rhabdo, my doctors were amazed. They had advised me against even trying it because with that level of training, I'd certainly end up in the hospital. I wanted to see if I could actually do it, so my doctor monitored me during my training. We found the key to combat this muscle issue. Most of this was from a combination of supplements, proper protein and drinking almost a gallon of water per day. Now that I have beat this, I decided to go for round two. The first time was an experiment. This time I have a whole lot more work ahead and will be a competitor. Let's see what improvements I can make 💪 ☺️ 🙌
2. As a woman in your 40s did you expect to become a body builder and how has this changed your life?
I never in my wildest dreams thought I could ever be a competitor and take the stage. In my mind, I felt that I could never have that type of discipline to eat and workout like they did. I liked my social time, happy hours with friends and eating out too much. Besides, I worked full time and had kids. I had no time for working out like that. Or so I thought. Two years ago I set a goal to run my first half marathon and I did it, which was another thing I never thought I could do. I started thinking about how I trained for the half marathon and was able to do it, so convinced myself if I followed the “recipe” this too could be accomplished. I had a few friends who were competitors but honestly didn’t know much about it. I was in awe of their physiques and the amount of drive and discipline they had. When I had reached a point where I was so out of shape and felt hopeless, I decided I was either going to keep sinking into this horrible depression or I was going to fight like hell to get back in shape. A friend of mine posted her transformation pictures. Her after picture was of her stage shot at a BB competition. That was it! I saw her before picture and said to myself, if she can do that...I can too! As it turned out, I did have that discipline and commitment, and got into the best shape of my life. I worked out 6-7 days per week for 2-3 hours per day. I ate 5-6 delicious meals per day. Increased my healthy protein to over 100 grams of protein per day. Had no dairy, sugar, bread, cheese or alcohol. I also drank between ¾-1 gallon of water per day. The first 3-4 weeks was the hardest because you see very little change physically and you expect huge changes with all that exercise and clean eating. I knew I felt amazing and had so much energy though. What I didn’t see was all the changes going on inside my body. My metabolism was speeding up and my body fat was starting to decline as my lean muscle mass was growing. After the first month, the changes started coming faster and more dramatic. It was consistency and trusting the process. It really works.
3. What tips can you give women out there to make changes to their bodies? Number one is, do NOT keep telling yourself you can't. You absolutely can. I have personally seen some amazing transformations. People very overweight, health conditions, back surgeries, breast cancer, hypothyroid, etc... They all had a before and after that would blow your mind. No excuses. We have people with crippling diseases that have trained and competed.
Most women never plan to compete, which is fine. You can make huge changes in your physique, and in your life, by eating clean and training in a certain manner. This type of program will get you in the best shape of your life and eating healthier than ever. You would have a modified lifestyle program, which would be a little different than a competitor would have "You won’t be successful at losing weight until you get over the idea of "fast". Stop looking for quick fixes. Stop putting harmful chemicals in your body, stop starving yourself. Eat clean, do cardio, strength train, and have patience. Trust the Process! You'll get there."
4. Do you plan to make a career out of body building?
I have competed three times so far and will compete a couple of times this year again. I do not think I'll make a career out of body building, but I will do it for a few more years. It isn’t healthy to go through these type of rigid competition training preps often. Its very also important to have a coach who is well educated and knows what they are doing. There are some coaches out there who have their athletes on crazy unhealthy competition diets. I eat very healthy and never under 1200 calories per day even when competing.
I've been working on starting my own business as a fitness and nutrition coach. Not for competing, but for those who just want to get in shape and feel healthy. I've had so many people ask me for advice on losing weight or getting in shape. The clients I have coached so far have loved their results, and said they feel so much healthier and energetic. I enjoy helping people realize their potential and getting fit. I think I knew that was my calling years ago. To coach, educate and train people on becoming fit. This affects a person’s mood and inner happiness. It’s the best therapy you can invest in. Think about how good you feel when you are at a healthy weight and feel fit, versus how bad you feel when you gain weight, or can’t fit in your clothes and feel sluggish with no energy. It can be depressing. This goes way beyond looking good in a bathing suit. This affects your health, and we all need to fight the good fight so we have a better quality of life as we grow older.
I grew up playing sports and have always worked out and trained with great mentors. I've learned from some of the best. My first two years in college, I was a Kinesiology/Physical Education major. I enjoyed studying Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Nutrition, etc...
5. Where can we see you appear next and what goals do you have for the New Year?
This year I plan to compete in the NPC Competitions coming up in early summer, and again in the fall. I took the holidays off and will start training again in March. I am hoping to make it to Masters Nationals in PA this summer. No matter what happens, each time I go through a prep, my physique gets stronger and more competitive.