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May 16, 2011

What Inspires You? An Interview with a FB Friend

Recently, I have gotten to know a facebook friend named Margaret.  I knew she had made a transformation, but after interviewing her, I didn't realize the huge changes she went through.  It is really quite amazing!  I hope you find part one of this interview inspiring and invigorating.  Enjoy! 

Mike:   I've noticed you have made quite a transformation, especially with your strength.  Tell me a little bit about what got you started. Why did you want to make such a change? 

 Margaret: My fitness journey started after gaining 35lbs and having to go to a size 16 pants (size I have NEVER been in!!).  After my 2nd son was born in 2004, I decided it was time to do something.  I did some running and Pilates, on and off.  Lost some weight but nothing I would consider “transforming”.   I kept stopping and starting exercising.  I spent the next few years trying to figure out what I enjoyed doing and what my body loved.  It was actually quite frustrating, really.  I almost gave up.  Yes, I was almost to the point of just accepting the “fat” me and the “unhappy” me.  I was just going to accept it all.  I was ready to give up.  Well, that all changed when I went to visit my dad in the hospital after he had open heart surgery.  He was over 350lbs and only 62 yrs old to the time.  It was so hard seeing my daddy in that condition.  He was always the strong one in the family BUT he looked so weak.  I left the room in tears.  He struggled really badly in recovering.  I remember him telling my husband when he found out he had to have open heart surgery “Take care of yourself.  I ignored the problem and here I am.  Take care of yourself before it’s too late”.

My Dad was my inspiration to not give up.  I knew after seeing him in the hospital that I couldn’t give up.   So I kept searching for something to really click with me.  I decided to give a DVD workout program one last shot.  I had a whole collection of DVD workouts that just didn’t work for me.  I had a friend that got great results from the P90X program.  I was VERY skeptical but thought “one last time”.  Within a month I dropped two sizes and I didn’t really follow the program exactly.  I  FINALLY found what works for me, STRENGTH TRAINING!!!!!!  Not only did it work for me BUT its something I came to LOVE doing!  I finally found a workout that I didn’t dread doing.

Why did I want to make the change?  I wanted to be happy with what I saw in the mirror every day.  I wanted to look like Jillian on the Biggest Loser.  I wanted to be happy with myself.  I thought if I was happy with myself physically, I would be happy with ME.  Well, I’ve learned that it doesn’t work that way.  Being happy with yourself is a whole different area.  Fitness and losing weight gave me the confidence to work on those internal issues I have with myself but it wasn’t a cure.  Even to this day I still have my internal struggles of self-worth and confidence but I am a million times better than I was before losing weight.  I am on the road of truly being 100% happy with the person that defines ME.

Now I am going to talk about the “why” with strength.  Push for strength really didn’t come into the picture until after a year of maintaining what I lost after starting the P90X.  I reached my size and weight goal so why push for anything else, right??  To make a long story short, I met a friend through some of my youtube videos.  He totally put the bug in me to get stronger.  At the time, I knew very little about women being strong.  He sent me videos and such, telling me if I wanted to I could get stronger I could do be.   It opened a whole new world for me.  It’s funny because he said he would give me $5.00 for every pullup I could once I reached 10 pullups in a row.  At the time I could only do like 2 pullups (this was just 2 yrs ago!) but he said I could easily get myself to 10 pullups.  I totally thought he was crazy.  Me do 10 pullups?? Yeah, whatever buddy!!   Well, I ended up making over $50.00 on that bet!  Now it’s an addiction for me because I love how getting stronger makes me feel.  I have set new goals for myself and I realized that I will always continue to do so… more “maintaining” for this woman!!!!!

Mike: The other day, I saw you post a video of doing 1-arm push-ups.  First of all... WOW.  Second of all, WOW.  I know I said it twice because that's how I roll.  But seriously, do you remember how many regular push-ups you were able to do when you first started?

Margaret: I like how you roll Mikey! (-:  Oh gosh, how many regular push-ups I could do when I first started??  Well, I started off with modified (NO they are NOT girlie!! Hahaha) pushups.  When I moved into regular pushups, I could only do a few.   At the time, I didn’t even think I knew there was such a thing as a one arm pushup.  I think I saw Jillian do a few when I watched the Biggest Loser after being able to do about 10 regular ones and thought “wow” BUT it never was a goal of mine.  One day I just did like one or two but it was tough and sloppy.  I think someone asked me if I could do any so I think that’s why I tried them.

Mike: From your blog and posts, it looks like you eat whole, natural foods. Do you think this has made an impact on your strength gains (or should I say freakish strength gains)?

Margaret: Yeah, I’ve been told I’m a freak of nature…hahaha!  I do give my eating HUGE credit.  Its not just whole, natural foods but its beyond that.  Example is the eggs I eat.  I eat organic eggs BUT I buy them from a local organic farmer who let their chicken roam to eat grass, bugs and they are fed a special mineral diet.  I also listen to my body and give it what it needs to function.  I know what I function well on.
It is not just in the food either.  I feel I train smart as well.  If my body needs a break, I give it.  I hear about people that don’t take rest days.  I know people that train every single day.  I can’t do either of them.  I might train 2 days in a row but I feel if I listen well to my body and give it a break when its begging me for one, my strength increases.  Training is great but its that rest time that works wonders for strength gains.  When I come off a rest day (or two..haha!), I feel much stronger.

So basically it’s a combination of my natural diet, training smart, and listening to my body.  I honestly think people would be shocked that I can gain so much strength without following a set “schedule”.  I know people that will do things on certain days of the week.  I have strength training day “routines” (3-4) but what I do on what day depends on my mood and body.

And that's just part 1.    Part 2 to come... I was really excited about Margaret agreeing to do an interview because I find it inspiring and I hope you do, too.

To follow Margaret on her journey, check out her blog at:

Be on the lookout for part 2!

To your success,
Mikey, CFT, CFNC

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