Who doesn’t love a good transformation story? We’ve gathered stories from issues over the past two years of men and women who worked hard to become the best versions of themselves. Here they are, compiled from oldest to most recent.
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Like many people, Sarah had trouble balancing a career, parenthood, and fitness. She lost her pregnancy weight fairly easily after giving birth to her son, but once she went back to work, she found it more difficult to find the time to eat healthy and exercise.
In 2012, Sarah and her husband Chris noticed a 90-day transformation challenge that offered a $10,000 prize for the most dramatic results. Although they didn’t finish the challenge, the goal gave them the jump-start they needed, especially for Sarah. She was able to lose 20 pounds in three months by cleaning up her diet and doing daily cardio and weight training.
The couple that works out together stay together, right? That seemed to be the case for Harmony and Rob Pini. After reaching a weight of 400 pounds each, the two began to realize they needed a change. Rob also began having health issues, which only further proved that they needed to change aspects of their lifestyle. They began controlling their portions and doing moderate activity. Soon after that, they joined a local club where a trainer put together a basic workout for them to follow together.
Rob stated, “It isn’t competitive with us. It’s more about supporting each other.”
Rob was eventually able to go off his diabetes medications and returned his cholesterol to a normal level, while Harmony lost about 200 pounds and has established a goal of entering and competing in a figure competition.
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Trista had struggled with her weight all throughout her childhood. After losing and gaining weight through various diets in her teen years, Trista decided in 2012 to try once again, but this time added exercise to her routine. She began running the treadmill, which soon became part of her daily life. Eventually, she needed a new challenge, and a friend suggested they lift weights together.
After attending a bodybuilding competition, Trista felt inspired to compete herself. She hired a coach and began spending six days a week at the gym. In her first competition in June 2014, she ended up placing third in the figure category.
“I spent most of my life being overweight, and I hated myself. But I’ve found a true passion in bodybuilding, and I don’t ever want to go back to the way I was before.”
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Ashley Soto was constantly pointing out the flaws she found in her body. After having two children close together and an unhealthy diet, Soto’s weight went up to 161. She soon decided she’d had enough, and wanted to improve her health and fitness.
Soto began hitting the gym and replacing her unhealthy eating with healthy foods like sweet potatoes, quinoa, chicken, etc. Within six months, she lost 25 pounds.
Her next step was entering a fitness competition. She brought her weight down to 111 pounds and competed in her first competition, the Jen Hendershott Big Shott Classic. Soto placed third and became a nationally qualified figure competitor.
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In 2011, Angela Arnold weighed 250 pounds. She was battling depression, her knees would buckle when she got out of bed, and she had been diagnosed with diabetes. She was given the option of either losing weight or being put on insulin medication for the rest of her life. Arnold’s health scare help put things into perspective and she knew what she had to do. She started with small steps, such as exercising a little bit each day. Gradually, she would exercise more and more, and was able to lose 100 pounds within a year.
After being inspired by a seeing a great-grandmother in her late 60’s win an overall masters at a bodybuilding competition, Arnold realized she had no excuses. The next year she entered her first competition and placed second in her class.
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In March 2013, 23-year-old mother of two Katie Summers weighed 215 pounds. She constantly felt tired, self-conscious, and depressed. After her daughter, Gracie, caught her crying one day, Summers realized she had to make a change.
The first change she made was to her diet, switching to whole foods and eating five to six times a day. She spent 30 to 45 minutes on the elliptical and total-body weightlifting circuits three to four days a week.
Over time, not only did she get in shape, but she also found confidence in herself and learned to be happy with who she is. By December 2014, she had lost 90 pounds, and decided to sign up for a fitness competition to push herself even further. Summers finished in the top five and she plans to compete again soon.