Monday, November 28, 2011

From "Love-HANDLES" to "Love-MUSCLES" // Photos of my Changes over the last Decade!

A picture can SAY IT ALL sometimes. What stage you were in life, were you happy then, were you stressed then, experiencing new things, meeting a lot of new people, developing meaningful relationships. We love taking pictures because we want something to help us remember that exact moment. What we're doing, eating, seeing, you name it! People document events for a reason. Why do you think Facebook has become so popluar over the last 3 years? When you actually take the time to sit and revisit these photos and memories, you can assess quite a bit of your life's journey. Check out this BEFORE and AFTER comparison! There is only a year and 1/2 time-frame between the 2 snapshots.

For me, I have been in a constant transformation mode, both internally and externally, since I hit my early 20's. That's what growing up is all about, right? Over the 10 years from graduating high school to approaching my 30th birthday I can say that I have experienced plenty of "adult-life-changing-moments". There have been challenges, opportunities and blessings. I have had different jobs, living situations, health struggles, seasons with depression and counseling, changing relationships, and more.

The most noticeable change that has been easiest to keep track of has been my "outward appearance". I started to grow out my "pixie haircut", stop wearing my glasses, and searched for a new life of eating healthier and being active in the gym. My weight has always been up and down especially when my body was overcome with chronic pain. But after realizing that I had a severe GLUTEN/WHEAT allergy my appearance has taken a major overhaul. Not only did my chronic pain go away, I felt better, had more energy and felt like I could conquer anything! That's how I got into fitness competitions this year. Now here's a look at my photos over the last 10 years.

 10 YEARS of PHOTOS (2000 - 2011)

Senior Prom  - High School (May 2000)
That's me on the left in the red dress and short hair!
I was never considered the skinny or athletic girl growing up or even in
high school. I was thought as the "cute-curvy" girl who knew how
 to "bust a move" on the dance floor with the dance team.

Moved to MN - Age 22 (Summer 2002)
I struggled with gaining weight during the 2 years I attended college,
but it became even more difficult when I moved to MN in 2002. I was starting
fresh in a new city all over again which was a lot to deal with.
I hit my heaviest weight at about 145 lbs at the age of 22.
Sister's NYC Wedding - Age 24 (Summer 05)
By 23, I decided to make some changes with my diet and joined a local gym.
I started lifting for the 1st time and enjoyed feeling strong and seeing changes.
Within a years time I lost about 25 lbs and felt great!

25th Birthday (May 2006)

26th Birthday (May 2007)

Colorado Girls Road Trip (Summer 08)

27th Birthday (May 2009)

(Summer 09)

New Years Eve (December 2010)
 Here I was probably at one of my heaviest points and the scale
didn't really show it, so I had no idea! My body fat had just increased
from the lack of working out without adding any more pounds. Crazy huh!

28th Birthday (May 2010)
These photos from my birthday were a real shocker to me and I knew
something had to change. I signed up with my trainer Al Norby for strength training
sessions and changed my diet. My body fat was at 24% the summer of 2010.

(Summer 2010)

Halloween - Katy Perry (Fall 2010)
 This was right around the time that I discovered my gluten allergy so I had
completed the Master Cleanse (10 days of liquids) and I dropped at least 5 lbs and
felt amazing! This was a kick-start to my "eating clean" lifestyle.

Pin Up Photo Shoot for Business  (Feb 2011)

I really felt great at the beginning of this year and decided to start training
for my 1st competition. I was at 15% body fat at this time.

Beginner Figure Overall Winner (May 2011)
By May, I won two 1st place titles in Figure and 2nd place in Fitness at the
Mr. and Mrs. Natural MN competition. I had the time of my life
and was a little under 9% body fat.

Modeling Shoot the week before Fitness America (Nov 2011)
I started training again in late July to compete with Tara Thatcher's Perfectly Prepared
team at the Fitness America Competition in Las Vegas. I gained more muscle
and leaned out even more! The transformation has been the most amazing journey!

Thank you for taking a look and hopefully
you were motivated and inspired!

Click here to read my recent post
about how I did at Fitness America!

Love Your Figure/Fitness girl,
BethanyJN (Peanut)

(please leave me a comment/message below!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Getting Ready To STRUT IT in Las Vegas!! { Fitness America 2011 }

The week after my first competition in May I was hit with my very first "Post-Show Blues" which I was warned about, but wasn't prepared for. I had just experienced the best night of my life, worked so hard for something and made huge accomplishments. Now what!? I thought "there's NO way I can wait an entire YEAR to do that again!" I jumped on the computer and searched for fall competitions, but most of the fall shows were scheduled for October which was a month that was just not going to work for me. My blues quickly turned-around when Tara Annemarie Haertzen owner of Perfectly Prepared found me on Facebook saying she had loved my performance and style at the Mr and Mrs Natural MN show!! She told me about the ooportunity to go to her and a group of women to Vegas in November for the Fitness America Pageant. I was sold!

Tarah and I practicing our posing!
 Tara also invited me to join her Perfectly Prepared training sessions called "Fit and Sassy Saturdays". We spend the first half with cardio and weight training and finish the class with "sassy walks" across the floor in our high heels. Along with the awesome workouts, Tara and her counter-part Megan Moon provides special one-on-one coaching to each girl on their presentation walks and posing. This has been the best thing for me over the last 3 months. It has kept me focused and helped me fine-tune my competition skills along the way!

Brook and I with Insanity &
HipHopAbs creator SEAN T!!
Aside from the training aspect, the friendships I have made has been absolutely the best part of getting into this sport! Seeing the girls on Saturdays and getting to know them is something I look forward to each week. There have been birthday parties, sweating it out at the gym, lunches, and coffees. We've been cheering eachother on the whole time, with our walks, preparations and so much more. I never thought I would be so blessed to meet more and more women (and men too) that care about this sport like I do and be so supportive and encouraging!

Me with some Bikini bombshells (Angela, Tarah and Christina)

Getting some luvin' from Miss Tarah at a Fit and Sassy Saturday!

Now there is this "posse" of women that I train and practice with and we get excited for everyone's upcoming competitions. In October we had a couple of girls in compete their first time in bikini at the NPC North Star in Eden Prairie. In November we rallied at the NANBF Natural Classic in Elk River to see some of our girls in both figure and bikini.

It was so much fun to experience the other side of things and cheer these ladies on! Everyone has their own journey, the support makes all of the difference.


Everything is coming together now for one of the BIGGEST experiences of my life! I've blinged my posing suit, choreographed my fitness routine, practiced posing with the Coach T, shot my first fitness video (check out this awesome promo video by Ramon Moreno) and photo shoots. I've been working out hard, dieting hard and loving every moment of it. My body continues to change and look and feel stronger, I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been. Through the recent ups and downs, life stresses and struggles, my faith keeps me going and the blessings never seem to stop showing up! Life is good and I'm can't wait to have a blast in Vegas!

Make sure you tune in to the LIVE WEBCAST
of the Fitness America Show!
Cheer me on from home!!

"You have to BE the change if you wanna SEE the change."

BethanyJN's Fitness Routine at Fitness America 2012

BethanyJN's Fitness Routine at Fitness America 2011

Interview Round (TOP 10 FINALIST) - FITNESS AMERICA 2011