2013 Fall Transformation Challenge Winner
*Results not typical
It started with a vision. A powerful vision. One of those moments in life that your mind wonders to a beautiful day dream, as your elbow sits on your desk at work. Your mind in space and wonders, simply, to more; more than you even believe, you can hardly grasp those dreams but tolerate the thought in pure joy…and SNAP. Your body is shocked by your own vision. When people ask me, ‘what made you change’ ‘why this time Christine’ … I don’t know how to answer them other than, I had a vision. I wasn’t prepared to tell them that I felt horrible about myself. Lack confidence on the inside and had years of pain in my chest from at one point weighting 267. I felt guilty for how I lived before. I didn’t want them to know that I had trouble breathing, smoked cigarettes, and made poor choices with the people I allowed in my life, because I felt worthless. That vision was one of a fit woman with very defined muscles, each defined muscle group was a metaphor of her mental strength, knowledge of proper nutrition to be able to share with others for empowerment, and a woman with an unstoppable mindset. And then, in those precious moments after that powerful vision, I decided I would do anything to become her. I took a leap of faith, signed up for the 2013 Life Time Fitness Fall 90-Day Transformation Challenge, and chose to work 3x a week with IFPA Pro Bodybuilder, one of Minnesota’s most respected Nutrition Coaches and Trainers, Life Time Fitness’s very own, Bob Holper, BH as I would call him. In the weeks ahead he would lead my way to help flourish my vision.
As I grabbed my phone at 4:15 am to turn the alarm off the morning of our first consultation at 5 am, my nerves were evident. I knew that the change I had to make to achieve this vision wasn’t going to be easy. I knew that the way I was currently eating, exercising, and supplementing was going to have to change significantly: I would go out to eat 3-4 times a week, living on the fly with my meals, hardly planning or preparing, I would work out 2-3 times a week but nothing too extreme. As we met that morning and discussed my vision, I could tell in BH’s eyes he believed in me. He believed that I could do this and we hardly knew each other. As we started perfectly crafting out my nutrition plan, we had a few tools that only helped us, a few months prior I took Life Time Fitness’s 96 panel food allergy test, so we knew what foods I could eat that would cause the least water retention and assist with recharging my digestive. Our major focus was getting my body to constantly burn fat; after all, I was considered severely obese with a body fat of 38.5%. We arrived at incorporating healthy clean foods and cycling my carbohydrates in a 15-day cycle. I would eat at a different number of Carbs per day to always confuse my body’s digestive system to stay in a constant burn. We would cycle this way for 10 weeks, and prepare my body on week 11 for complete carb depletion. Over the course of the next 90 days, I had the most fantastic meals! My energy level was through the roof! I ate eggs, turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna, tilapia, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, rainbow quinoa, organic brown rice, and organic yams. Depending on what day “carb count” I was on would determine my carb choices of rice, quinoa, or yams. It was unbelievable. Every other Sunday I would take 3-4 hours to prepare all my meals, shakes, and supplements for the 15-day cycle. I certainly attribute much of my strength gains to the way I was supplementing pre and post workout. To ensure the highest protection and recovery for my muscles, every day I would take a series of Life Time Fitness’s fish oil, a natural fat burner, Pro-Biotics, an AM & PM multi-vitamin, calcium magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Creatine, Glutamine, Dynamic Greens, and VeganMax Protein powder. Within the first week of incorporating my new nutrition program, supplements and workouts, I noticed a substantial difference in the definition in my arms. After one week!
There were times that I was scared about making this huge financial commitment, as a single working mom of a young son, I battled at first with myself because I didn’t feel worthy of taking this time away from him or spending this money on myself incase something happened and we needed it. But my vision overrode that fear. I had BH behind me; I had my friends behind me cheering me on. I would often pray, and then all of a sudden as the days, and weeks carried on my performance at work increased! My mood increased! My relationship with my son was at an all time high! The time we did spend together was so intimate and connected! Day 36, my son who was almost 3 at the time told me, “Mommy I love your big muscles, I want big muscles like you mommy,” and we did push ups together. It dawned on me that he was seeing these changes in my body and mind, and we connected. At his 3rd birthday party he asked for asparagus instead of birthday cake. The emotional side of making significant lifestyle changes is not easy. During this challenge I was completely transparent about everything. To achieve this lifestyle you must be willing make sacrifices. I shared my journey everyday to my friends, family, and followers as I posted statues, pictures, and videos of daily my workout’, meal plans, nutrition choices, and documented my emotions on my social network sites. Day 45 was significant day that I will never forget. As a woman who once over 250lbs., the thought of abs, is a far stretch…. I saw definition in my abs that day. I was always afraid I would have to have surgery on my stomach and frankly I was quite embarrassed about how many stretch marks I had. I knew that my stretch marks would never go away and embraced that part of my body and life and posted my first picture to my spear of 3,000 showcasing my defined abs & stretch marks! It was liberating!
As the weeks carried on, I began to live life the way it is to be lived, with intention, with meaning, with the ability to empower and give, with connection, with motivation…with worth. I was a woman of worth! I finally believed it. Day 50 I cried because someone told me I changed their life. My personal sessions with BH were beginning to become so particular, I had peaked at my all-time athletic performance, and I felt and looked like an Athlete! Day 51 I told BH I would compete in bodybuilding and becomes a National Bikini Competitor. As my vision began to form with each rising sun, my life was enhanced every day. I was excited to go to sleep and just as excited to wake up! I kissed my son more. I smiled more. I spoke to people I didn’t know. I engaged life. I was working out in the morning and afternoon. Even if my body was tired, on my rest days I would still come in to sit in the sauna…but really it was that just being at Life Time made me feel good. The connections I made at Life Time were notably one of the major reasons why I was so successful. When I walked through the big glass doors regardless of what had happened in my day before I would step foot in the club, I knew I would have a giant smile on my face before my work out! The staff in every department was watching this beautiful transformation in front of their eyes and they weren’t afraid to tell me! From the greeters at check in, I would pass the Life Cafe and my favorite gals Mary and Jane would yell, “looking good CC,” to the Life Spa, “the shrinking CC”, I would pass the gym, the gentleman that manages the courts, would pop his head out, “Wowzers! You’re a beast!” … I would go into the Child Center to drop my son off, “Cammmmeron you’re here! Have a great workout Mom!” said Charley one of my son’s favorite Child Center Teachers. The support was endless from the staff at Life Time. Day 66 I had a photo shoot for a magazine doing an article on “Living Fit for Life.” Me, photo shoot? Someone wanting my story? Conveniently enough, I had my weigh in right before the shoot, and hit my 110 lb. weight loss, in challenge weight loss of 15lbs. and body fat percentage of 25%! Again, another day in my life that I’ll never forget as all eyes were on me, celebrating this achievement and my success.
As the end was near approaching, I knew I would be experiencing the next level of commitment and challenge as week 11 as I was coming up. On that week, I would only eat tilapia and asparagus 4-5 times a day. That week would be the most significant week for workouts and nutrition. BH told me I would see the largest loss in body fat. It is called complete carbohydrate depletion. I would have to monitor everything. The people that were following my journey knew this week was going to be the ultimate test. I bought 16 lbs. of Tilapia and prepped my bags of asparagus. Thank God I did, because Day 82 I said I hated Tilapia. I tried everything to get it down. It was quite the sight. I survived (hardly). Although, I may never eat tilapia a day in my life, I did manage to lose 4.9 % body fat in 5 days, it was amazing. That was motivation for me to finish the challenge strong or so I thought. Something happened on day 84 that was not in the plan, I almost quit. I was ready to be done. My body hurt. My mind hurt. I was completely depleted. As I cycled back up on my carbs, I started having cravings for sugary foods, and the entire challenge this hadn’t happened. I didn’t know what to do with these thoughts? How would I survive 6 more days? I was happy with my results. That was good enough. WHAT? How could my mind fail me now? I was thought I was strong, I was helping others, I was doing everything BH asked, why was my mind telling me to quit? How could I think like this? It was a simple phone call from a friend that told me,” SNAP OUT OF IT. Remember your vision. You stop those thoughts, you stick to the plan, and you listen to BH. In fact, you call him. NOW.” She hung up. So I did. I cried that day. I felt guilty. I felt weak. BH told me that if I wasn’t feeling that way then he knew I wasn’t following the plan, he told me “FIGHT IT, this is the time when your true mental strength is tested, how bad do you want this. Your vision Christine is of someone of a powerful mindset. You are powerful. You got this.” In that moment, I realized, I had everything I needed. I woke up the next morning, Day 85, with a refreshed attitude and the unstoppable mindset. I told my followers, “I. Will. Not. Be. Stopped.” and during the days up until final weigh in, I kept having flashes of my vision, pushing me, harder, and stronger. Day 89 I looked in the mirror…. and did a double take, I realized my vision was coming true. To be able to grasp, taking a dream day thought, to a vision, to see it in fully flourish in 90 day leaves me in complete ah. I can say without a doubt, the last 90 days of my life, have changed me forever and it is not something I will ever forget. I am thankful for all the connections, the people at the Life Time, my friends and family, and those that cheered me on. As I stepped on the scaled this morning at final weigh in, I weighed 151 lbs., in body fat of 20.8 % and body index of 14.8%. Hi, my name is Christine CC Hodges, a woman with very defined muscles, a knowledgeable woman of nutrition that focuses on empowering others to live healthy, and a woman with an unstoppable mindset. Day 90 I looked in the mirror and proudly told myself, VISION ACCOMPLISHED!
THANK YOU LIFETIME FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY! I AM BEYOND PROUD.