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Body Transformation: "Skinny Fat" Bryn Kosack Lost 62 Pounds

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Tired of going nowhere slowly, Bryn Kosack did a complete turnaround and decided to never again settle for anything that she didn’t desire or deserve.
Before Stats:
  • 178 lbs
  • 36
  • 5'3"
  • Unknown
  • 12/14
After Stats:
  • 116 lbs
  • 39
  • 5'3"
  • 18.6%
  • 0

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

Since my teens I suffered from depression and anxiety. I had a very difficult time with my parent's divorce when I was 13 and I had to move with my mom, far away from my dad and 2 sisters. I was extremely shy and had a difficult time adjusting to a new school and making friends. My mom thought the answer to all of my problems was a prescription medication (she was wrong.)

I spent the next 15 years on and off medications which brought about a roller coaster ride of gaining and losing weight and walking around like a zombie. I spent my twenties and early thirties feeling depressed, lonely, and in relationships with men who did not appreciate me, nor lift me.

Bryn KosackLow self-esteem was a constant reminder that my life was not as I wish it to be. I had this notion that I was merely a victim of circumstance. That all of these bad things were done to me, that I had no control, that was life was pre-determined by some unseen force.

What was your low point or turning point?

The day my life did a complete turnaround was the day that I decided that I would never settle for anything that I didn’t want, desire or deserve. So within a blink of an eye, instead of going nowhere slowly I was determined to live my dreams and change everything about the way I lived my life, immediately.

In May of 2011, my husband Dave found for me a 98 day fitness and health challenge to compete in and that was the beginning of a higher quality of life for me. I decided I was not merely going to follow through with it, but I was going to win. I have never felt like I was the best at anything, school, sports, etc. This was my chance to prove to myself that I can completely change my mindset and body in a short amount of time.

I placed as a top 10 finalist in that challenge competing against 1700 others. Since then, I have been consistent with my workouts, nutrition and proper mindset. The feeling that I have when I look in the mirror is PRICELESS!

My goal is to compete professionally, to be on the cover of a fitness magazine in 2012, but MOST important of all my goal is to be able to inspire people all over the planet that as long as they have determination, clarity and focus that they can and will reach their goals!

Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?

I had 2 major physical issues that occurred while I was in my transformation process. Due to a lower back injury in my twenties, I am unable to perform certain lifting techniques. One of which is my favorite, the deadlift.

Last summer my back went out and I was in so much pain that I could barely move, let alone walk. My chiropractor said that I should immediately stop lifting weights (for good) or I may have permanent damage to my discs and more than likely would require surgery. He suggested swimming. I was absolutely heart broken, for in weight lifting I had found the perfect remedy to my depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

It took me about 3 days after that visit to realize that it was simply his opinion and not my reality. I decided to find exercises to strengthen my lower back. I haven't stopped lifting since and my back has been for the most part pain free.

My other physical challenge was an umbilical hernia stemming from the birth of my first child. I was unable to do many types of exercises that would cause my hernia to protrude. It had never caused me any pain until the past few months. I had my hernia surgically repaired in April. For 6 weeks I could not do any lifting over 20 lbs, nor any exercise except walking.

This was a very difficult time since I work out at least 6 days per week. During this time I had a few days of feeling my depression and anxiety coming back, but I knew it was only a temporary feeling.

Bryn Kosack

Please provide a timeline including when you started the transformation, and include major milestones:

  • Transformation Start: February 2009. When I got pregnant with my first child my weight skyrocketed up to 178 lbs. I had a really difficult time looking in the mirror after my daughter was born. I sunk into a deep depression for many months. It took me about 6 months to get on a tread mill, lose 62 lbs and to gain back control of my emotions and body. The depression lifted and I was feeling great about myself.
  • Milestone: April 2010. My son was born 17 months after my daughter and for this pregnancy my weight went up to 165 lbs. I went through the same depression; however, it didn't take 6 months this time to get my body back. Within 90 days I lost 45 lbs. I looked ok, but I was a "skinny fat" person. I had flabby arms, and lots of fat on my arms, belly, thighs and back.
  • Milestone: March 2011. My husband and I had a major financial stress in our lives and I began eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was depressed and emotional eating took place. I gained 12 lbs almost immediately.
  • Milestone: May of 2011 I decided I deserved a “new body” and a”new mindset”. I decided to dedicate my life to fitness, nutrition and a happy, healthy lifestyle.
  • Transformation End: There is no end. I will always continue to strive for a new "challenge" in fitness, to step out of my comfort zone, to do what most people won't do.

Bryn's Training Approach

What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?

I must give 100% credit to my biggest fan and support system, my husband Dave. He has pushed me harder than I could ever imagine pushing myself. Dave spent many years managing a World Gym (this was before we had met). So, obviously he spent lots of time around some pretty amazing bodybuilders and obtained great information in regards to fitness.

Dave created a workout and nutrition program for me that definitely worked (and worked rather quickly). The workout was based upon muscle confusion, static stretching, dynamic stretching and my favorite; heavy lifting. For 90 days I did a completely unique workout everyday. The results were amazing! We took weekly photos so that I could actually see how much progress I was making in such a short amount of time.

Bryn KosackPlease add a workout that worked best for you:

Monday - 30-45 seconds rest in between sets.

  • Cardio: 30 minutes at level 6 intensity (10 being the most difficult). 10 minutes on the stationary bicycle, 10 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the elliptical.
  • Tri-sets (each of these sets were performed 3 times total. I performed 8-12 reps using weights that were heavy enough that I could perform at least 8 reps, but no more than 12 reps, unless otherwise noted):
  • Set#1: Lying external rotations, lying internal rotations, side to side neck raises 25 reps of each exercise.
  • Set#2: Seated cable rows, sumo squats to upright rows, side lateral raises.
  • Set#3: Wide grip lat pull-downs, single arm dumbbell rows, standing calf raises.
  • Set#4: Dumbbell shrugs, rear delt raises, reverse presses.

Tuesday - 5 Minute warm-up on the treadmill.

  • Tri-sets (each of these sets were performed 3 times total. I performed 8-12 reps using weights that were heavy enough that I could perform at least 8 reps, but no more than 12 reps, unless otherwise noted):
  • Set#1: Seated external rotations, dive-bombers, leg curls (on the exercise ball, 25 reps).
  • Set#2: Incline dumbbell press, incline dumbbell flyes, crunches (legs straight in the air, 25 reps).
  • Set#3: Lying hamstring curls, pelvic lifts (single leg), push-ups.
  • Set#4: Seated leg curls, ½ sit-ups, grasshoppers.
  • Cardio: 40 minutes at level 6-7 intensity (15 minutes on the stair master, 15 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the elliptical).

Wednesday

  • Cardio: 20 minutes at level 20 intensity (10 minutes on the stationary bicycle, 10 minutes on the stair master).

Exercise:

  • Dynamic stretch - chest expansions 2 sets @ 25 reps.
  • Dynamic stretch - diagonal head tilts 5 sets @ 25 reps.
  • Static stretch - sumo squat 2 sets @ 25 reps.
  • Cardio: 10 minutes @ level 8 intensity (treadmill).

Exercise:

  • Static stretch - hands behind the back 2 sets holding for 15-30 seconds.
  • Static stretch - lying figure four 2 sets holding for 15-30 seconds.
  • Static stretch - runner’s lunge 2 sets holding for 15-30 seconds.
  • Cardio: 10 minutes @ level 8 intensity (elliptical).

Exercise:

  • Dynamic stretch: seated point and flex 2 sets @ 25 reps.
  • Static stretch: forward bend 2 sets holding for 15-30 seconds.
  • Static stretch: heel bend 2 sets holding for 15-30 seconds.

Bryn Kosack

Thursday

  • Cardio: 20 minutes at level 7 intensity (10 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stair master).

Exercise: (all were performed for 3 sets, holding each for 15-30 seconds).

  • Static stretch: downward-facing dog.
  • Static stretch: child’s pose.
  • Static stretch: forward bend (legs apart).
  • Static stretch: frog straddle.
  • Static stretch: elbow bend and push.
  • Static stretch: straight arm across the chest.
  • Static stretch: seated twist.
  • Static stretch: cobra stretch.

Friday - 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill.

Exercise: Each exercise was performed doing 15 reps (5 seconds rest), 12 reps (5 seconds rest), 10 reps (5 seconds rest), 8 reps (then 30-45 second rest in between each set).

  • Machine chest presses.
  • Barbell curls.
  • Cable crossovers.
  • Rope hammer curls.
  • Flat dumbbell presses.
  • Alternation dumbbell curls.
  • Leg raises (bent knees) 1 set @ 100 reps.
  • Crunches (raised knees) 1 set @ 100 reps.

Saturday - 5 minute warm up (elliptical).

Exercise:  Each exercise was performed doing 15 reps (5 seconds rest), 12 reps (5 seconds rest), 10 reps (5 seconds rest), 8 reps (then 30-45 second rest in between each set).

  • Exercise ball: leg curls.
  • Standing calf raises.
  • Leg presses.
  • Body squats.
  • Seated leg curls.
  • Alternating front lunges.
  • Grasshoppers 1 set @ 100 reps.
  • V-ups 1 set @ 100 reps.

Sunday - 5 minute warm up (Stairmaster).

Exercise:  Each exercise was performed doing 15 reps (5 seconds rest), 12 reps (5 seconds rest), 10 reps (5 seconds rest), 8 reps (then 30-45 second rest in between each set).

  • Seated cable rows.
  • Wide grip lat pull downs.
  • Arnold presses.
  • Rear delt raises.
  • Standing French presses.
  • Rope tricep pushdowns.
  • Jackknife crunches.
  • Bicycles.
  • Cardio: 45 minutes @ level 7 intensity (15 minutes treadmill, 15 minutes Stairmaster, 15 minutes elliptical).

Bryn KosackPlease list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. The most important thing I learned about weight training is that I am way stronger than I think. My husband told me this over and over again so that I would never forget it!
  2. I learned that I do not hate cardio. My results from hours on the Stairmaster have changed my thoughts from hate to love. Now, the Stairmaster is my best friend!
  3. I have learned that even though I love working out twice a day for an hour or more each time, that it is absolutely unnecessary to spend that much time in the gym to see amazing results. Now, if I do it twice a day it's to keep my anxiety down.

How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?

My workouts haven't changed that much since my transformation, however I always set new goals for myself whether it is a heavier weight or learning about a new technique. I still work out 6-7 days per week. My goal is to do 35 minutes of cardio (6 days per week) and strength training (5 days per week).

My favorite type of training is heavy lifting. I never knew that I would like lifting, let alone love it. The satisfaction that I receive when I lift is incomparable to anything else I have ever done in my life.

Bryn's Diet And Supplement Plan

What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

I ate 5 to 6 meals spaced about 2 1/2-3 hours apart. All my my meals were properly proportioned in regards to carbs, protein and fat. I figured out what my caloric intake would be with a 30% deficit. I put my mind in what I call "robot mode". I tried not to think too much about eating and viewed it as only 90 days (even though I was creating lifestyle eating habits).

Can you give an example of what your daily meal plan looks like?

  • Meal 1/Breakfast - 4 egg white omelet with vegetables, 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal with banana, 8-10 oz. water.
  • Meal 2/Snack - 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp ground flax seed, 8-10 oz. water.
  • Meal 3/Lunch - 4 oz chicken breast on a bed of spinach, sliced tomatoes, sprinkling of nuts (raw, un-salted), olive oil (1- 2 tbsp), 8-10 oz. water.
  • Meal 4/Snack - 1 scoop protein powder, 8-10 oz. water.
  • Meal 5/Dinner - 6 oz salmon, 1 cup steamed vegetables, 10 oz. water.
  • Meal 6/Snack at bedtime - 1 scoop casein powder, 8-10 oz. water. 

Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?

One of the biggest mistakes is that I tried to rationalize eating either unhealthy foods or over indulging myself simply because I had worked out extra hard that day.

Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. Do not be afraid of carbs! Carbs are vital for energy, maintaining lean muscle, brain power and most importantly (for myself) maintaining a good mood.
  2. Essential fatty acids are absolutely necessary. Not only for the immune system and heart health, but they were essential for helping me with my depression and anxiety.
  3. Eating enough, eating at the right times and having the proper ratio of protein, carbs and fats are important for releasing body fat, maintaining and gaining lean muscle, energy for a successful workout and increasing your metabolism.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

Yes, twice a week I allowed myself a "treat" meal. I ate whatever I desired and had no guilt!

What supplements did you use during your transformation?

Advice For Others

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?

  1. I believe that the proper positive mindset is THE most important factor when it comes to success with anything that you do or desire in life.
  2. Goal setting is absolutely necessary. It must be done in written form and re-evaluated as need be on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
  3. Visualization is an essential element for any type of change. I studied fitness magazines, cut out pictures of how I desired my body to look like and most importantly I spent time every morning and night visualizing how it would feel to have the body of my dreams.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?

I stay motivated by my reflection in the mirror. I have dedicated so much time, energy and thought into my transformation that there is no way I will ever allow myself to take a step backward.

In regards to staying I track, I take it one day at a time. If I have had a difficult day I may pick up a chocolate bar or some type of junk food and indulge. I know food is not the answer, however,  I still have cravings that sometimes I feel too weak to avoid. When this happens (and it get's fewer and farther between the more time goes on), I do my best to realize that my feelings or whatever stress that I may be having is just temporary and that tomorrow is a whole new day and a new beginning.

Your Life Now

What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?

I have self confidence that I feel I never really had much of before. I feel genuinely happy, my energy throughout the day is great, my relationships with my husband and 2 children have improved since I have lowered my stress, depression and anxiety and when I do my heavy lifting I feel like a Superhero.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

Since my transformation I have had many people contact me and tell me that I have inspired them that change is possible. Besides how I look and feel about myself, this has been one of the greatest gifts. Now my passion and goal in life is to help and show as many people as possible that as long as they are focused, determined and motivated that they can and will reach their goals and dreams.

I am also completely motivated by my goal to compete professionally and to be on the cover of a fitness magazine in 2012.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Here are a few of my current goals and visualizations:

  • I am in the very best shape of my life mentally, physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually!
  • I am grateful for my loving, supportive, awesome family!
  • I am so grateful that I inspire people all over the world!
  • I feel empowered, strong, motivated, focused, determined, beautiful and sexy!
  • I am so happy and grateful that I am a size 0, I weigh 112 Lbs and I am 14% body fat!
  • I love the way I look in my bikini, my arms are ripped, my legs are toned and lean!
  • My legs and butt look fantastic in shorts!
  • My bras fit perfectly and look great in a white tee shirt (back fat is GONE)!
  • People ask me every day how I got into such phenomenal shape. Women say "I wish I had your determination and will power"!
  • I appreciate my lean, fit, strong body!
  • I eat 6 meals per day with perfect, proper ratios of lean protein, carbs and fat, always on time and at 3 hour intervals!
  • I stay well-hydrated and purify my body by drinking a gallon of water every day!
  • I am celebrating Memorial Day with clearly visible abs!
  • I thoroughly enjoy my 2 treat meals per week. It's more than enough to satisfy my taste buds!
  • I love my workouts that I do every day. I feel amazing, refreshed and energized for the day!
  • I feel abundant and stronger than ever!
  • I feel as though every component in my life is amazing!
  • I ignore all negative thoughts!
  • I lift heavier than ever and it keeps getting heavier all the time!
  • I am living my “dream” life with my “dream” husband, “dream” children, “dream” body and “dream” mind. (Replace the word “dream” with reality)

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?

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Comments (2)

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BigAugie
Posted Sat, 06/02/2012 - 14:28

Stories like yours never cease to impress and motivate me. I stay healthy and in shape but so I can relate to the work and effort you've put in to get where you're at today. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience and let you know that you're paying it forward by inspiring others.

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FEEZ
Posted Fri, 06/07/2013 - 14:03

Your transformation is incredible. But my question I guess would be how do you find time to work out twice a day with two kids what do u do with them and when do you find time to see them between work cooking cleaning and life. I struggle to get one workout in a day cook clean and take care of the family and I'm exhausted by 9pm. Your amazing I am truly inspired by you I just need to figure out where to fit everything in as I have very little help from my husband and family and I need to drop about 50lbs eek:(

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