Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Work It Out Wednesday: One Hot Mama

Some of you are aware of a little group (about 500 of us!) I have on CafeMom called Work It Out Sexy Mama. Some of you are even members of this wonderful group of positive ladies. For those of you who do not know what Work It Out Sexy Mama is-it is an online community of Mom's who love (or or are learning to love) working out! The group shares tips, hints, motivation and inspiration. Best of all, we challenge each other and it is a tremendously supportive group-No drama, no B.S. 
This group of gals have been there by my side from Day One of my journey-I don't think I would have accomplished some of the things I did without their support! 
We have every fitness level from beginner to the competitive athlete. We have runners, we have triathletes, we have Mama's the rock the Kettlebells, lifting Mama's, Yoga Mom's...You name it-I bet we got it! The diversity of the group is what makes it SO unique and fun. There is always something new to learn.
We have several ladies in the group who have accomplished amazing things in their lives-from running their first 5k to rock climbing, to losing a tremendous amount of weight or fitting in those "skinny jeans"- Ladies who are living better every day and have transformed their lives through fitness-and today I want to share the story of one of those Sexy Mama's with you.

Say Hello to Melanie-aka Mellie.
Now Mellie does not do any cardio *collective gasp* Yeah, I know! She does not run. She does not bike. She does not pedal away on the elliptical- She lifts, and she lifts heavy! But her results don't lie.



Q: You have gone through an amazing transformation-what triggered your desire to get fit?
I always loved lifting weights. It all started with a phys ed weight training class I had in college. I continued lifting weights on and off after college and while I had my kids. But once I had my 3rd child, my weight really started to sky rocket and as my 3rd child got a little older I was able to find time to start back at the gym.

Q: Tell me about your journey from Day One to now-
In 2007, I was 207 lbs. It took me until December of 2008 to join the gym. At which time I had gotten down to 191 lbs. I never liked cardio and got into the mindset that I wanted to be stronger so I'd weight train instead of doing cardio. I knew the weight loss would come, just more slowly and I accepted that. So I started lifting - heavy. Low reps, high weight. I started with my own basic program and then became friends with the trainer at the gym (heck, I was there so often, haha) and we became workout partners. He pushed me hard and designed my programs and I developed a strong base of muscle. During this time, I cleaned up my eating very slowly. Started off cutting out junky food before bed, then started cutting down on junky food during the day. I managed to get my weight down to about 150 lbs. I stayed there for some time and then hired a competitive bodybuilding trainer. He gave me a very strict nutritional plan and started designing my trainings. I'm now down to 136 lbs and still getting stronger.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced meeting your fitness goals?
My eating. Diet is so important - it's about 70 to 80% of your success in weight loss. I always knew this but didn't embrace it until training with my new trainer. At first I told myself that, "I train because I want to eat whatever I want!" but that idea slowly faded as I started seeing results. I discovered that I didn't want to feed my body a whole bunch of bad food when I was working so hard to improve my health and fitness. I'm glad I did it the way I did, though, because it became a lifestyle - not a 'diet'. And I fully embrace it because I'm ready for it.

Q: What is a typical workout week for you?
I work out 5 days a week now. Each session is about 45 minutes long. My trainings have become non-traditional in the sense that most people look at it and say, "wow, that's weird!" I have muscle parts that I'm not focusing on this training session because they've reached a certain size or shape already and then I have other muscles that I do two days in a row because they need to be improved to make myself more symmetrical. I have supersets and negatives in my training and timed rest periods between sets.

Q: I know you hate cardio-do you ever see yourself attempting anything cardio related??
Nope. Not regularly, that's for sure! Even if I decide to compete my trainer has said I can (and will) do it without cardio. I will get my results from my nutritional plan. I've seen him do this with another client of his and it works. He knows his stuff and I fully trust his judgement. BUT, I do enjoy rollerblading and swimming and like to do those on a recreational basis.

Q: Tell us more about Mr. Trainer-
Hee hee, well, I mentioned him my other responses but basically he's got me on a 5 day split. My programs last 6 weeks. He doesn't come to the gym with me but I go see him at his work and get evaluated and get my new programs and he goes over them with me. We never talk about how much weight I'm lifting because it's of little importance. I lift heavy enough to push myself hard and that's what counts. I tell him that he's the brains and I'm the muscle... but don't let that fool you, he's buff too!

Q: What do you normally eat? What are you eating now with Mr. Trainer on board?
Before my nutritional plan, I was eating 5 to 6 times a day. Usually cereal and yogurt for breakfast. Peanut butter sandwiches and cottage cheese for lunch. Snacks in there. And various stuff for supper. Now my eating is much different! A real bodybuilding nutritional plan now! Egg whites and plain oatmeal for breakfast. Low fat cheese as a snack mid morning. Meat and green veggies for lunch. Shake for my afternoon snack. Meat and green veggies for supper and low fat cottage cheese before bed. Absolutely nothing else. No bread, no milk at all, no butter... It's an insanely tough nutritional plan and I had a rough time the first week... about 3 days into it. Looking back, the shock of the new plan made me physically ill! No joke! Now, though, it's much easier (it's been 3 months). I do get a cheat meal once a week, though! And that is the best time of the week! My friends marvel at how much I can put back for my cheat meal.

Q: What are your goals? Do you want to compete (in bodybuilding/figure competition)?
My goals right now... hum, tough to say for sure! I want to lose all my excess body fat. I want six pack abs (they're coming!)! I want to be really cut (I'm on my way in that department too). Competing might be in my future, but not yet. I don't feel ready. By most standards, I'm still a 'baby' in my training - it's only been 2 years that I've been lifting seriously. And the average age of competitors seems to be a little older than I am right now so I think I have some time to decide. Although, I'm pretty spontaneous and who knows? I might make the decision tomorrow! I'm just like that! I think that when I feel ready, it'll all come together.

Mama's got Muscle!

Q: You are now a single lady-do you find your physique helps or hinders your dating life?
Well, here is what can sum up my dating life: I've turned down dinner dates because it doesn't fit in my nutritional plan! People tell me men are intimidated by me but I don't always believe that. I hang around with a lot of men at the gym who have the same goals as me so they are, finally, accepting and supportive of me. At first none of them would talk to me but once I got to know one or two of them, we all became friendly. Some of them even like to learn from me and ask me training questions! And I've always said that if a man in intimidated by me, well, that's not the type of man I'd want to date anyways! As for my muscular physique - like any feature, some men love it, some men hate it.

Q: What is your biggest fitness achievement or proudest moment?
I was very proud of myself for bench pressing 175 lbs 3 times, when I did that I weighed about 150 lbs. I always loved benching and hitting that number naturally - no drugs or bench shirt, was cool. Doing unassisted dips and chin ups was also nice. And now I can do a couple unassisted wide grip lat pull ups which is also an achievement for me!

Q: What is your best advice to someone new to weight training?
Don't under estimate the importance of weight training. Don't be intimidated. Go as heavy as you can.

While Melanie's path may not be the path you choose to follow, there is no denying that his lady has taken control of her life and her health to become a fitness role model to many. Her sense of humor is always appreciated and I am so glad she is a part of our group!

Do you have a question to ask Melanie?


Unknown said...

WOW, Melanie! Jen is right, results do not lie! I've always liked cardio more than weights but I'm really thinking I need to start incorporating some in my regime now. For beginners looking more to tone, would you recommend lower weight and more reps or more reps and higher weight?

Teamarcia said...

Holy Mellie! Fantastic!

Relentless Forward Commotion said...

Mellie is a ROCK STAR!!!!

Emz said...




Big Daddy Diesel said...

That was so cool to read!!!

The best part, in my opinion was "Diet is so important - it's about 70 to 80% of your success in weight loss." It is so true, we spend mile upon mile of work, we need to eat properly to make sure we lose weight, if that is our goal

Mellie said...

Hi Jen!
This is a tricky one, believe it or not! So I will refer you to an article I like:

... and then you can decide ;)

Unknown said...

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! Congrats on the transformation!!!

Tangy @ A Taste of Tangy said...

I LOVE this post. OF course I do, since it features someone from WIOSM :)

I don't want all this sweet talk to get to her head (hehe) but yeah, she looks pretty amazing!! So tiny now and I remember just a few short months ago when she thought her scale was busted at 150 :)

Rae said...

WOW! She is awesome!

Unknown said...

holy moley!! THat is IMPRESSIVE!! Congrats Melanie on one awesome transformation!! See anyone can do it!!

Melissa Cunningham said...

wow. melli is absolutly amazing!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Mellie! You look phenomenal and are a an inspiration!

Kevin said...

WOW, what a difference!! Great work!!


Mellie said...

Thanks for the lovely comments everyone! It's very nice and means a lot to me!