Body Transformation: Michaella Campbell Body Transformation
Lifestyle Prior To Change
I’ve always admired people with a strong, lean physique and aspired to be the same way. It seemed like a secret on how they had gotten their hard bodies. I tried everything to keep my weight down throughout my adolescent years, but the fad diets would come and go as quickly as the extra pounds.
I am a mother of two now. I had my second child in December of 2008. By September 2009, I felt like I was making great progress. I didn’t want to have to be satisfied with and learn to accept “the mom’s body”. I wanted to be lean, muscular, and most importantly healthy.
I went to my doctor and got the “thumbs up” for my workouts. The body does not lie about good nutrition. I guess we really are what we eat! I knew I had to make a change in my diet. I knew I needed to learn more about good nutrition for the sake of my health. But how?
How Did You Make The Transformation?
I began reading everything I could get my hands on! Books, magazines, websites, articles, etc. After my first child was born (and I struggled to get back into shape), I signed up for a boxing class at a recreation center at a nearby university. It was hard!
I was so amazed at the quickness the instructor had while punching the speed bag. He never missed a beat! I wanted to learn how to do that too! At the class, the instructor showed us the basics skills and workouts of a boxer. I never could quite hit the speed bag right.
After the class had ended, I returned to my local gym (where they also had a speed bag) and (while no one was watching) started hitting the bag. I tried to remember everything the instructor had showed me. It took me a while, but with determination I finally got the “hang” of it.
Now when I hit the bag, people at the gym ask me how to do it! That’s a great feeling. I hung up inspiring pictures of bodybuilders on my refrigerator as a reminder of my goals. I wanted to know everything there was to know about looking like a bodybuilder, but also making sure I was healthy on the inside too.
As my knowledge about diet and exercise grew, I gradually changed my diet and workouts to enhance my performance in the gym. I signed up for a personal trainer course and also a Specialist in Performance Nutrition course. I’m still learning and changing my diet and workout routines all the time. Lasting and healthy changes take time and I’ve learned not to get frustrated if the scale disagrees with me from time to time. I make it a goal to learn something new everyday. In the gym, I spend the majority of my time in the weight room, doing circuit training. I realize now that all the time I spent in the cardio room in the past did not help me get closer to my goals.
I realized I was making great progress when strangers would ask me “how did you lose so much weight so fast?” Well, to me, it wasn’t fast. It was a pound or two a week, then a frustrating plateau for a couple weeks. I guess no one realized that I had been working out and watching my diet for nearly a year!
What Was Your Exercise Plan?
I change my sets, reps, weights, or exercises every 4-6 weeks. It’s amazing how the same exercises seem so much harder when they’re in a different order or paired with an alternative body part. My workout routines consist of 3-5 sets of 2-5 exercises per circuit and 3-4 circuits, depending on the amount of weight I use that day.
I try to complete each set with as little rest as possible. After a set, I’ll take a longer rest. After 3 sets, I immediately move on to the next circuit without rest or with as little rest as possible. I always have my bottle of water, whey protein, and a banana with me when I go to the gym.
I write down my routines (along with notes whether I should increase or decrease weights or reps), what time I start/end my workout, what time I refill my water bottle (so I know how much water I’ve had to drink), and what time I eat my banana with my whey protein so I make sure I keep my meals on schedule. I also write down how I feel before and after the workout so I can track my progress and see how my body is adapting to the routine. If I get faster at the circuit and I’ve increased weights several times, it may be time to change it up.
If I don’t do as well one day, I look at how I’m feeling that day or think about the need to take an extra rest day.
Every “body” is different. One person might have stronger or weaker points than someone else, so it’s important to pay attention to your body and learn those points to “tweak” your workouts and make them more effective.
What Was Your Diet Plan?
- Meal 1 – 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, 1/2 cup of skim milk, 2 tbs of milled flax seed, 2 tbs of wheat germ, 1 tbs of natural peanut butter, 8 oz of acai berry juice.
- Meal 2 – 1 banana, 26 grams of whey protein.
- Meal 3 – 1 small chicken breast, 1 cup of steamed vegetables, 1/2 cup of brown rice.
- Meal 4 – 1 oz. almonds, 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt.
- Meal 5 – Small baked sweet potato (my favorite!), fresh organic baby spinach, red peppers, tuna, portabello mushrooms, red wine vinegar.
- Meal 6 – Protein bar or shake.
- Meal 7 – Steamed asparagus (plain) with slivered almonds, tomato, lean turkey, 1/2 cup barley.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
Advice For Others
My advice to others:
- Keep changing your routines and find ways to challenge yourself.
- Stay motivated by learning something new every day.
- Surround yourself with positive people that have similar goals as you do.
- Never let your ego (lifting heavier than you should) compromise your form! You’ll get better results and fewer injuries with smooth, controlled, full range motions.
- Don’t pair a HIIT cardio day with a day that you’re lifting weights.
- Keep a detailed training journal (some people find a diet journal helpful too).
- Do your homework! Learn proper techniques when trying something new.
- Rest! Your muscles need adequate rest to repair and rebuild.
- Drink water!
- Stay away from sodas and diet sodas. (Sodium Benzoate in combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), forms benzene, a known carcinogen.
- To neutralize the acid in one 12oz soda, you must drink 30, 8oz glasses of water! Not good for a lifter who produces a lot of lactic acid during a workout.
- Ditch the alcohol. Not only does alcohol add calories to your diet, but it dehydrates the body, lowers testosterone levels (which is needed for muscle repair), keeps vitamins and minerals from being absorbed by the body, and slows metabolism.
- Get regular checkups with your doctor!
- Learn to love your workouts. Make them a positive habit in your life.
- Eat foods that will increase your performance to help you reach your goals.
- Get an “eye” for proper portion sizes! Your plate should be the size of your hand, not your head! Eat to live, not live to eat.
- Remember that lifting weights and eating clean are a lifestyle change! Dramatic changes don’t happen overnight. Healthy changes take time and preparation, so be patient!
- Remember that everyone has to start somewhere. I hear a lot of people say “I need to lose some weight BEFORE I go to the gym.” But isn’t going to the gym the whole point of losing weight?
- Don’t get frustrated. Be your own experiment. Keep in mind that every “body” is different so something that works for one individual may not work for another. Find what works for you!
- If you aspire to look like a runner, then run! If you aspire to look like a bodybuilder, then lift weights! If you aspire to look like a couch potato, then sit on the couch!
- You can do all the abdominal routines in the world, but if you don’t strip the fat off the top of them, you’ll never have those glorious 6-pack abs! So, speed away from the fast food line, because abs are made in the kitchen, not the drive thru! If you’re forced to eat out, choose the salad bar where you see what’s going onto your plate.
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