Lifestyle Prior To Change
My lifestyle was busy. If it wasn’t school that was keeping me busy it was work and entertaining clients, which included social dinners. Explains a lot of the weight gain too. If it wasn’t work, then it was trying to maintain a long distance relationship that was emotionally hard to maintain, thus food was a source of my comfort food. Although I was an active kid playing basketball, running, and jumping rope, I stopped staying active after high school.
What was your low point or turning point?
I had two turning points. When I saw my pictures weighing in at 208-215 lbs, I was really disappointed in my lack of care for myself. I realized I haven’t loved myself like I should. Second turning point pushed me further when my mom passed away from poor health that was preventable. I learned that not only can I be at a healthy weight, I can also apply myself and compete and do things I never thought I could.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
My transformation was difficult 80% of the time when it came to eating. It was ROUGH. Social eating was part of my life every weekend with friends. Changing my eating habits and not having fried foods, happy hour appetizers and late night meals with friends was more of a social exclusion that I wasn’t prepared for. But it was more important for me to get fit. My friends eventually understood but every now and then, cookies and cupcakes were still being offered to me. It took some time for my friends to adjust to the new eating habits I have now but support me in my efforts. After all, I still get treat meals every now and then.
I'd like to share my transformation story with you in hopes that my story will encourage others to want to have a healthy lifestyle and to inspire them. I'm sure you read many stories of others who have lost weight and I believe every single one of them are impactful and life changing. Allow me to share my journey about how I lost 75 lbs and went from a size 14 at 208 lbs to a size 4 at 133 lbs with the help of going to the gym, proper nutrition and consistency.
Transformation Start: Light bulb moment. Realized my weight was too much and I wanted to change.
After coming back from a vacation in Hawaii in 2001 with a few friends of mine and seeing our pictures from our trip, I realized I needed to lose weight because I was fat! It’s a funny thing when a light bulb suddenly switches in your mind. I put my stubbornness down and instead, told myself that I can do it if I wanted to. I really wanted to. Once I mentally accepted my own challenge, I haven't looked back.
At first my focus was to lose weight. I wasn't thinking about strength training nor did I even know how to incorporate it in my life. I use to weight train in high school when I played basketball but I never went to a gym. Stepping into the gym for the first time is a scary feeling! I realized also that I didn't know much about portion control. I was always taught to eat everything on my plate during my childhood. I needed to learn everything from the ground up!
I joined Weight Watchers and learned about portion control and making better food choices. I became a member at 24 Hour Fitness and began to incorporate cardio for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week. I kept a food journal and tracked everything I ate. I lost 70 lbs by going to Weight Watchers, within two and a half years, and kept the weight off for 2 years after. In 2007 my life turned upside down and I lost motivation and soon after 20 lbs crept back up on me putting me at 160 lbs.
My mom passed away during this time from weight-related issues. She had a combination of high blood pressure, diabetes, and thus suffered two massive heart attacks. It was devastating for me to lose my mom; my best friend. Since then, I’ve realized that a lot of the ailments my mom had were preventable. I promised myself I would stay healthy so that my fate would not be the same as my moms and to love myself and know I am worth it. I learned the lesson.
Even though I went through a long and tough journey losing weight, I still didn't know much about working out with weights. Just last year, a good friend of mine who worked out often shared with me several fitness websites and resources such as women's health magazines, which propelled me to go even further with my fitness goals! I learned how to incorporate fun workout programs, how to eat clean, how to incorporate supplements and a wealth of other nuggets of information to help me along the journey.
I’ve even made new friends who are fitness-minded as well! Within the past year of diving into the resources available to me via the web and magazines, I felt like I struck gold. I have found contentment in the foods I eat, the exercise routines I find and try, and enjoy the feeling of achieving my goals. Being in the gym is no longer a scary feeling anymore. Strength training and eating clean helped me shed body fat, get more toned and rock a size 4! I'm so proud that I can say I dropped 10 dress sizes!
Transformation End: My new goal is to shed my body fat from 23% to 10% and compete in a bikini competition and then figure.
WOW! Never thought I'd ever say that! After all is said and done, my final weight will be around 118 lbs with a grand total weight loss of 90 lbs. I will compete in 2011! I once read that to be a successful bodybuilder, you have to look for solutions and not for excuses. Be aware of your mindset everyday. Your mindset is what makes or breaks you to achieve your personal goal. Be accountable for what you eat and be honest by writing your intake down in a journal. When working out, always push yourself and maximize your time. With great effort come great rewards.
- Milestone #1: AHA moment. Light bulb turned on and I realized my weight was out of control.
- Milestone #2: Losing 70 lbs by learning how to eat healthier foods and proper portion control.
- Milestone #3: Discovering resources and learned how to weight train.
- Milestone #4: Conditioning to be competition material. Get it girl!
Mitchie's Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
At first I did just cardio. 3-4 times a week and 20-30 minutes on the treadmill, cycling or elliptical machine. Now I workout 6 times a week. 6 days of cardio, 5 days of weight training concentrating on two major muscles per day. For example: quads/abs, chest/hamstrings.
- Monday – Chest, Triceps and Abs. Cardio - 20 minutes HIIT plus 60 minutes boxing.
- Tuesday - Cardio - 60 minutes boxing.
- Wednesday - Back, Biceps and Calves. Cardio - 20 minutes HIIT plus 60 minutes Tahitian class.
- Thursday – Cardio - 60 minutes boxing.
- Friday - Legs, Shoulders and Abs. Cardio - 60 minutes boxing.
- Saturday - Cardio - 60 minutes treadmill.
- Sunday - Rest day.
|Monday - Chest, Triceps and Abs|
|Dumbbell Bench Press||3||12|
|Incline Bench Press||3||12|
|Decline Bench Press||3||12|
|Cable Tricep Extension||3||12|
|Overhead Dumbbell Extension||3||12|
|Tuesday - Back, Biceps and Calves|
|Lat Pull Down||3||12|
|Seated Cable Row||3||12|
|Alternate Dumbbell Curl||3||12|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||15|
|Friday - Legs, Shoulders and Abs|
|Side Lateral Raise||2||12|
|Rear Lateral Raise||3||15|
|Lying Leg Raise||3||12|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
I include cardio 6 times a week. 3 of those days M,T,TH (boxing at DG Boxing) for one hour. W (Tahitian dance class) a low impact cardio but killer on the thighs! In addition, 20-30 minutes HIIT M-Sat.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- It takes discipline, motivation, and willpower! I have much respect for those who are living a fit lifestyle. It’s a full time deal!
- A rest day is just as equally important in your training! Don’t overdue yourself.
- Combining weight training and cardio are essential for optimal results.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
I’m currently training everyday except Sunday. I lift 5 days a week and cardio 6. I’m complete as far as getting down to 133 lbs but with my newfound goal of competing, I want to get down to 10% body fat. I’m now focusing on nutrition more and adding in more cardio in the mornings.
Mitchie's Diet And Nutrition Approach
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
Can you provide us with a sample daily eating plan (please be specific):
- Meal 1: 1/2 cup oats cooked with almond milk and cinnamon, 4 egg whites, 2 caps Cellucor D4 Thermal Shock, 2 caps Cellucor T7 Extreme.
- Meal 2: 1 scoop Cellucor IsoPro Ultra Lean. 1 medium apple or handful almonds.
- Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups salad (spinach, cucumbers, red bell peppers), 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 caps Cellucor D4 Thermal Shock, 2 caps Cellucor T7 Extreme.
- Meal 4: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/3 cup blueberries.
- Meal 5: 4oz grilled halibut or grilled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 2 scoops BSN No-Xplode.
- Meal 6: Post-workout - 1 scoop Cellucor IsoPro Ultra Lean.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
Yes, watch your portions and differentiate hunger and thirst. A lot of times I was just thirsty and didn’t know it was thirst versus hunger.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Always eat breakfast.
- Eat smaller portions more often in the day. (6 to 7 meals)
- Always take a multivitamin.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
I like to call them treat meals because I have them when they are deserved.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
Cellucor Transformation Kit (T7, WS1 & D4).
Advice For Others
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Do it for yourself and not for others.
- Drink a gallon of water daily.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day. Results will come in time, stay consistent.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
I surround myself with fitness-minded people including online via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. I read Muscle & Fitness Hers, Oxygen and SHAPE magazine. My advice is find a resource you know you can gain inspiration. Whether it be through a magazine, a friend who keeps you accountable, or a gym buddy. Remember why you are doing it in the first place.
More From Mitchie De Leon
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
My life is much more fulfilling. I have much satisfaction with shopping, fitting into nice clothes and feeling energetic, healthy and sexy. Most importantly, I’ve become an example to my family that living a healthy lifestyle is attainable.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
I’m motivated because I’ve made a decision to take my fitness to the next level and compete in 2011 in my first bikini competition.
Anything else you would like to share?
One thing I’ve realized is that your mind is powerful. Stay positive and remember your goals to stay motivated.
How can people contact you?