Lifestyle Prior To Change
I have struggled with weight all of my life. I have tried every diet in the world only to have temporary success. I smoked for 14 years, drank regularly, and ate anything and everything. Almost all of my meals were eaten out, and I would order as much food as my 6’ 2” husband. I was extremely sedentary, and my jobs in IT only compounded the problem as I was at a desk most of the time.
At this time I could barely walk on a treadmill 0 incline at 2.5 mph for 10 minutes without getting winded. Now I can run an hour of interval sprints.
What was your low point or turning point?
My turning point was when I became a mother. I had quit smoking and drinking shortly before getting pregnant, but still ate everything and was not very active. I knew I had to be healthier to be able to care for and be a better role model for my children.
I had back problems after giving birth. After my third child was born, I hit a “low-point” when I went to my doctor complaining about my back problems. He poked my stomach and told me to “lose the other twin”. I was absolutely humiliated, but I knew no one would ever say that to me again. This is when I started to lose weight.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
I had NEVER been athletic in my life. I was very intimidated by the gym and never dreamed of lifting weights. I also hit several very long plateaus. I told myself that this was a new way of life for me, so giving up was not an option. I also told myself that I should get support and help from anyone that was willing to give it to me.
- Transformation Start: February 2010.
- Milestone: May 2007 - I lost 15 lbs by trying to eat healthier and walking more. I also joined a gym at the end of that month.
- Milestone: September 2008 - I lost 75 lbs total through diet and cardio (WW program), but still had a high body fat % for my weight due to lack of muscle.
- Milestone: February 2009 - Began eating 6 clean meals a day and weight training.
- Milestone: August 2009 - Body fat % changed to 21%.
- Milestone: April 2010 - Competed in my first figure competition at 12% BF and have since competed in a total of 4 in 6 months.
- Transformation End: April 2010 weight of 122 lbs contest weight. My transformation will be ongoing to continue to build muscle and while keeping my body fat low.
Rebin's Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
I alternate between spin bike, interval sprints, and rotating stairs for the fasting cardio. During contest season I add a second cardio session incrementally as needed.
- Monday – Biceps, Triceps and Calves. One hour fasted cardio.
- Tuesday - Shoulders and hamstrings. One hour fasted cardio.
- Wednesday - One hour fasted cardio.
- Thursday – Back and Glutes. One hour fasted cardio.
- Friday - Chest and Quads. One hour fasted cardio.
- Saturday - Additional cardio session if needed.
- Sunday - Rest!
|Monday - Biceps, Triceps and Calves|
|Cable Tricep Pull Down||4||8-12|
|Cable Tricep Extension||4||8-12|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||15-20|
|Donkey Calf Raise||4||8-12|
|Tuesday - Shoulders and Hamstrings|
|Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press||4||8-12|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||4||8-12|
|Bent Over Reverse Fly||4||8-12|
|Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift||4||8-12|
|Squat With Knee Lift||4||8-12|
|Thursday - Back and Glutes|
|Low Cable Row||4||8-12|
|Lat Pull Down||4||8-12|
|Wide Grip Pull Up||4||8-12|
|Standing Cable Kickback||4||8-12|
|Stability Ball Bridge||4||8-12|
|Friday - Chest and Quads|
|Incline Dumbbell Flyes||4||8-12|
|Dumbbell Bench Press||4||8-12|
|Narrow Grip Push Up||4||15|
|Smith Machine Squat||4||8-12|
|Adductor Circuit Machine||4||8-12|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
In the beginning, I walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I slowly increased the duration by 5 minutes at a time until I reached 45 minutes. When I decided to really make a change, I alternated between spin bike, interval sprints, and rotating stairs for fasting cardio. During contest season I add a second cardio session incrementally as needed.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Take things slowly and mix things up. Your body may take time to adjust, but when it does, you may not see changes.
- Don’t be intimidated by watching other people. Do your best and try new things.
- Always strive to improve. Fitness is a journey, not a destination.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
Currently, I am in off-season with a 5 lb gain. I only allow myself 8 lbs total before I begin tweaking and cutting. Some people think this translates to slower muscle gain, but for me it is the best approach. I have a hard time shedding weight and I know that if I allow myself to gain too much body fat, I am not happy. I lift 4 days a week and do cardio as needed.
Rebin's Diet And Nutrition Approach
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
I began with a popular diet program and lost weight, and muscle. When I really wanted to transform my body, I ate (and still do) six clean meals a day. I also used carb cycling when I hit a plateau. I eat six clean meals in off-season to, but allow myself a little more flexibility with carbs.
Can you provide us with a sample daily eating plan (please be specific):
- Meal 1: Cottage cheese pancakes - 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/3 cup egg whites, scant 1/3 cup water, cinnamon and Splenda to taste.
- Meal 2: ½ cup strawberries, 1 scoop Isopure Protein Powder, 1 tblsp natural peanut butter.
- Meal 3: Post-workout - ½ scoop Isopure Protein Powder, ½ scoop Optimum Nutrition Casein Protein.
- Meal 4: 2 slices Trader Joe’s sprouted 7 grain bread, tuna salad - 1 can chunk light tuna in water, ½ celery stalk, 1 tblsp olive oil mayo, 1 tblsp dill relish, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste, plain baby spinach salad.
- Meal 5: Large green salad, mushrooms, 6 ounces grilled chicken breast, vinegar as dressing.
- Meal 6: 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Casein Protein Powder .
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
After being on the low calorie diet that I used to shed a lot of the weight, I was afraid to eat. I hit a plateau for MANY months and tried cutting more calories to lose. This lead to fatigue and frustration. When I started eating clean and more often, I felt energized and satisfied. I find eating 6 clean meals is much easier to stick to and has given me great results. It also allows me to cook healthier food for my family, and be the role model I want to be.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Eat clean and often.
- Load up on veggies because they will keep you full.
- Keep a food journal. I am proud to say, I have kept one for almost 4 years now.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
Off-season I allow myself 1-2 cheat meals and am more flexible on the types of carbs I have earlier in the day. On-season I don’t have any cheats. Last year I went 16 weeks without a single cheat!
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
- Natrol ALA.
- Nature’s Finest L-Carnitine.
- Nature’s Finest green tea (Upon waking, mid morning, and afternoon).
- Nature’s Way Alive No Iron Added multivitamin (with lunch).
- Natrol fish oil (with lunch).
- USPlabs Jack3d or CytoSport Sugar Free Fast Twitch (pre-workout).
- Source Naturals GABA (at bedtime).
Advice For Others
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Find support - I told my friends and family about my goals, found support through meetings, and on the Internet through websites. Having people who can know and understand what you are trying to accomplish can help you stay accountable when you feel like going off track. It can also be a great resource for knowledge and information to help you reach your goals.
- Keep a food journal - I have kept one for almost 4 years now. It has helped me keep track of what I foods I am eating, monitor my portion sizes, and identify times that I have not made the best nutritional choices.
- Set clear goals - How can you get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going? Every time I reach a goal, I come up with a new one to take its place. The challenge keeps me motivated, and keeps me pushing harder. You can do anything you want in life, no matter what anyone says. Come up with the goal, put in the work, give yourself the time, and it WILL happen.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
I find pictures to be very motivating. I take and share pictures regularly. When I was overweight, I rarely let anyone take my picture.
More From Rebin Roy
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
Things are fantastic! As I lost weight, I began to think about what really makes me happy. Through my transformation I realized that helping others is important to me. Now I tried to share information on fitness and nutrition and encourage anyone who is trying to lose weight. I also learned that I love to entertain people and currently am pursuing a career as a comedian!
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
I want to stay healthy and fit to take care of my family and be a role model for my children. I am amazed at my children’s healthy eating habits.
Anything else you would like to share?
You can achieve ANYTHING you put your mind too. When I was overweight and I told how much weight I wanted to lose, and that I wanted to be a figure competitor, many people thought I was crazy. I learned that all that matters is that I believe that I can do it, because I have and will continue to follow my dreams.
How can people contact you?
I also have a Facebook page that I use to share recipes, information, inspiration, and laughter: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Rebin/332448241396?ref=ts
I read your story and wanted to congratulate you on your success. In your story you mentioned you were able to meet your milestone with diet and cardio (WW program) I myself have never worked out and knowing where to start or how to start is overwhelming. I am a single mother of beautiful boy/girl twins. My son was diagnosed with autism when he was 19 months of age - it has been difficult and the stress is always on high - lol.. I am a unhealthy diabetic, triglisorides are over 700 and cholestrol is above 250.. I know I am a ticking bomb. I want to be alive for my twins..
where would you reccommend I start.. how do I start?
Thank you for your time and God bless,
I would start with a setting a goal whether it is weight loss, fitness, a dress size...anything you know you can achieve. Finding something that doesn't overwhelm you is key. Once you find success in that first goal it will give you confidence to keep going. I wish you success in all your fitness goals!
I just want to tell you that reading your transformation has truly inspired me. I need to do something I weight 280 pds and fear if I dont do something now I will weigh over 300 cause I know food is my comfort. I just didnt really know what to do and as long as I can remember my parents had me on diets since the age of 15.
I am so glad to hear my story helped you! I wish you all the best in your fitness goals.
If you would like to follow my contest prep or know about my recipes, check out my page.
Thank you so much for all the support! I am glad to know that it was informative. I always love to share:-)
Your story is truely inspirational!!! Thank you so much!
Did you ever know that you're my hero?
I am honored to know Rebin (through a fitness site, of course) during her amazing transformation, and continue to be in awe of her maintenance!
Thanks Jennifer! Apparently people don't think it is really me LOL! It is always a work in progress, but I am glad to have friends like you who inspire and encourage me.
Inspirational example of what can be accomplished.
The 3 things she learned are so key to success.