[LQ] You made a conscious decision to improve an area of your life, what was this decision and how old were you when you made it?
[SG] It was July of 2016 and I found myself the heaviest that I have ever been weighing in at 185 lbs. With my short 5'3" frame, that was heavy for me. I remember being down and frustrated with my appearance and weight. My clothes didn't fit properly and I was just angry at myself for getting to this point. The real icing on the cake was looking back at my wedding photos from earlier that year and not being 100% happy with the way I looked in some of the photos. I never wanted to be the person who was not their absolute best on their wedding, and there I was, not the best physical version of myself. I knew then I needed to make a change!
[LQ] Before making this decision, were you regularly in the gym
[SG] Before I started my fitness journey in 2016, my husband Kyle and I belonged to health clubs for years. We would join, go for a while, not go for a while. We were never really consistent. I was an athlete my entire life participating in Dance, Gymnastics, Cheerleading and Track & Field. But as an adult I found it not as easy to stay in shape.
[LQ] What made you decide to enter into figure competitions?
[SG] The reason I started competing in figure competitions was because I needed an extreme goal. I am the type of person that always has to be working towards something. In July of 2016 when I decided enough was enough and hired a trainer and got on a diet and exercise plan and the only thing missing was a goal. So, I had a few friends that competed in the past and I remember them sharing their experience on social media. So, I said "Let's do it" and I did!
[LQ] Did you find it difficult at first? Do you find it difficult today?
[SG] Nothing worth having ever comes easy... I struggle at time, still to this day. The beginning is rough. You want to see instant change, but as they say, slow and steady wins the race. This statement in so true especially with weight loss. In September of 2016, just two months into my journey and two months before my first figure show a bombshell was dropped on me. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis... I was struggling with some symptoms earlier in the year and through testing all signs pointed to MS. BUT I didn't let that stop me and pushed ahead! I always say I am so glad I found this fit lifestyle because I don't know where I would be if I was at my starting point and got this news...
[LQ] What has been some of the biggest benefits you have seen from this journey?
[SG] Overall health and wellness! Not only have I lost over 40 pounds, I brought my body fat percentage down considerably and have lost many inches all over my body. My energy and is super high and I rarely feel “exhausted” as I used to experience this frequently. I have also regained my confidence! It takes a lot to get up on stage in a tiny bikini in front of hundreds of people, but now I can do it! I also have the privilege of inspiring others. I get messages, texts, and comments weekly from people letting me know how I am inspiring them which is amazing!
[LQ] Was there anything that surprised you along the way?
[SG] First and foremost, I really showed myself that with a proper nutrition plan, cardio and weight lifting program, you can lose weight and body fat! It takes time, yes, but if you are consistent it will happen. Over the years I’ve tried “weight loss” products like Isagenix, Herbalife, and Fit Tummy Teas just to name a few. These things might work short term but they are not sustainable AT ALL! Our bodies need real whole foods to live. Basically, eat real food and move your butt, and you will see results and keep them over time!
[LQ] What keeps you motivated?
[SG] Many things… first and foremost my health. As an adult living with MS, I am VERY lucky and fortunate that I am able to do the things that I do and be as active as I am. I know for a FACT if I got the diagnosis while I was at my worst, 185 pounds and depressed, it would have just been a downward spiral. The fact that I can do what I do in the gym is all the motivation I need because others with the same condition that I have are not so lucky.
[LQ] Do you have any favorite tools, apps, workouts, machines, etc. that you would recommend to others?
[SG] If I can suggest anything I would recommend the food and fitness tracking app “My Fitness Pal” Starting a fitness journey is about moving your body but first your nutrition MUST be in check. I have used this app for over 10 years on and off and it has worked for me! It basically makes you realize how much you are really consuming. We all over eat, it’s just what we do, but when you are conscious about it and have goals in place, it’s easier to stop! Losing weight is about creating a caloric deficit, calories in vs. calories out. When you know what you are really consuming, you have a much better grasp on what you need to do!
I also used to use an app years ago called “Beat Burn Elliptical Trainer” I loved this because I had an elliptical at home and I would do cardio in the mornings before work. This app gives you ques through a times workout of your choice. It challenged me on the daily rather than just doing 30 minutes each day on level 5. It’s a great motivator. I believe now there is also one for the treadmill if that’s what you like to do!
[LQ] Favorite workout music currently?
[SG] I must admit, I am so bad when it comes to music. Yes, I like music and I listen to music while I work out, but I don’t have anything really specific that I listen to. I have Spotify which is awesome and I highly recommend getting that app for music. You can create playlists and find pretty much any song that you want. Right now I have a “Gym Playlist” of a bunch of randomness… 2000’s rap, 80’s rock, and a little Cardi B, haha! As long as it has a good beat and doesn’t make my ears bleed, I’ll listed to it!
[LQ] What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a fitness journey, but has been hesitant to do so?
[SG] Just get started, like now. Don’t wait! You don’t have to wait until Monday. You don’t have to wait until the first of the month, start TODAY! Once of my favorite quotes is “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” I love the 2016 Stacy for just starting. You also don’t need to go to a gym or hire a trainer. Walking outside is free. Start there. Also, your food. If you are getting take out at the office 3 times a week, cut it down two times. It’s a start. You can’t go from zero to one hundred in one day. Start slow and make small changes weekly. If you think you can’t, you’re right. Typically, the mind will give up before the body does. YOU CAN DO IT. Once you get going and start seeing results, you will be addicted! JUST START.
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