Meet Staci: Your New Powerlifting Super Hero

Ladies, meet your new hero.

Men, prepare to be humbled.

My friend Staci, or Spezzy as she’s known around the Nerd Fitness community, has one of the best transformations I’ve ever seen.

She’s also a nerd (check out that Waluigi costume).

  • If you are a female, you will be inspired beyond belief after following Staci’s adventure.
  • If you are a dude, you will be in awe of Staci’s lifting power – I bet she can out lift an overwhelming majority of the male population.
  • If you’re a robot, I’m really freaking impressed that you’re reading my blog.

So, where was I?

Right! Staci!

Staci’s story is awesome for a number of reasons, but a few in particular stand out to me:

  • Working a sedentary desk job, Staci slowly packed on weight and ate like a typical unhealthy American.
  • Before getting educated, she tried to get in shape by doing what 95% of the female population does when they try to lose weight: she ran a lot and essentially starved herself – Not surprisingly, she dropped to an incredibly low and unhealthy weight.
  • She educated herself, cleaned up her diet, and immediately started feeling and living better.
  • She found the Nerd Fitness community, discovered a love for barbell strength training, and started lifting HEAVY weights.
  • She’s now in the best shape of her life, healthier and happier than ever before.

For the women out there who are scared about “getting too bulky when lifting weights,” this article is for you.  If you’re curious what happens to a girl who packs on twenty pounds of muscle and starts lifting heavy weights, you’ll find your answer here…I have no doubt it will surprise the hell out of you.

Staci in 2009 – 170 pounds

This is a picture of Staci back in 2009 before she decided to make some changes in her life.

As I said previously, Staci works a typical American desk job where she spends all day in front of a computer screen.

Starting around age 16, she started to put on weight relatively steadily through high school and college and after, when she reached her peak at 170 pounds in 2009 at the age of 25.

Here’s her background:

“Growing up I was never comfortable in my own skin.  Never.  I was always the weird one.  I mean, I raised rabbits for a hobby!  RABBITS.  The only after school activity I did was band, and never participated in any sports.  I always thought I was fat.  I always hated my legs, and would refuse to wear shorts in the summer because I was so uncomfortable with them.  If we went to the beach, I’d wear shorts over my bathing suit bottom.

I was super timid, super shy, afraid to talk to ANYONE I didn’t know, even if we were all out with a group of people.”

I asked her what a normal day used to be like for her back in 2009:

“I’d get up at like 9, go to work, have a Slim Fast shake because I never had time for breakfast.  I wasn’t a big snacker but I ate a lot for my meals – I’d typically go out to eat for lunch every day and get a sub or something from D’angelos or Subway – and it was never the 6″ one, it was the big one.  And chips. Lots of chips.  Or french fries.  Getting home I’d either go out to eat with friends or plop in front of the tv playing video games for hours.

My favorite meal was tacos and nachos.   I just asked my old roommate what I used to eat because I didn’t remember, and she said ‘oh, you used to plop in front of the TV with a big plate of meat and cheese, and go ‘Hm, I guess I should have some chips with this.’  On many occasions we’d order pizza around 11PM too.  On top of all of that, I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day!”

I’m sure this is a daily scenario that you can relate to: too tired in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast, lots of unhealthy meals, general apathy towards what you’re eating and when, and no real direction.  She went to the doctor, who told her that she had high cholesterol and needed to lose some weight if she wanted to live a long healthy life.

Except that she wasn’t really sure how to lose weight and get in shape.  And she certainly didn’t want to get bulky by lifting weights (gasp!), so she did what most women do when they want to lose weight: eat way less and run way more.

Staci in early 2010

To get started on her weight loss journey, Staci joined a gym and started doing the elliptical as much as possible (because that’s what you do when you want to get skinny, right?).  She said:

“At first I was only able to make it 10 minutes, but eventually got up to about an hour a day.  Keep in mind though, I’d smoke a cigarette walking up to the gym, and light up again immediately after leaving.”

I always thought that being super skinny would make me happy, like it was the one missing piece of my life.  I bought countless exercise machines for my apartments, which all ended up sitting in the corner gathering dust.  I bought DDR thinking that if I could exercise in a video game, that would do it.  But it didn’t.  I even tried “Sweatin to the Oldies” (which, for the record, everyone should do, because it at least gets you laughing and moving).  But nothing stuck.

Until I was finally ready.  I can’t say what it was, but I just got up one day and said “ok, I’m going to do this now”.  I can’t tell you what it was – I didn’t set a date ahead of time, I just woke up knowing it was time. I went on weight watchers, I started running.  But as I started to feel the effects of the weight loss, I got obsessed.  I’d weigh myself every day, I got a scale that measured every ounce so I’d know what I lost.

Following this unhealthy plan, Staci went from 170 pounds all the way down to 117 pounds over the course of a year.  And then she started to open her eyes…

“I did lose the 50lbs that I needed to lose, but instead of ‘finding myself’ and becoming comfortable in my own skin, I ended up being LESS comfortable.  Everything I did was based on appearance. I couldn’t do certain things because I was afraid I’d gain an OUNCE back.  It got to the point where a friend of mine would message me all the time with just “EAT SOMETHING!!!”.  I was tired all the time, I had no energy to do anything even when I was sleeping like 10 hours a night. the bags under my eyes were insane – I simply wasn’t getting the nutrients i needed.

It was at this point that I dated a bodybuilder for a few weeks. He informed me I was doing it all wrong (but didn’t tell me what to do right, just said “youre doing it wrong).  That made me start researching nutrition and strength workouts because I was so incredibly unhealthy, tired, and weak all the time.  I got a set of 5lb dumbbells and a Jillian Michaels DVD and tried doing pushups.   I remember struggling doing chest presses with the 5lb dumbbells.  I was so weak.  And I wouldn’t use weights at the gym because I was so scared of all of the boys on the weight floor.  SO SCARED.

As I found more info on nutrition, I started questioning Weight Watchers, and finally stopped going after I asked a question on how something was healthy and he pulled the line, “we’re not trying to get healthy here, we’re just trying to lose a little weight”.    I started doing more research, read Good Calories, Bad Calories, and started my transition to eating more Paleo in April or May 2010.  I upped my calorie intake to like 1500 a day and immediately started to feel better.”

[Steve's note: I understand that this representative of Weight Watchers certainly doesn't reflect the beliefs and views of all employees at Weight Watchers.  However, I do think WHAT you eat is very important along with how much you're eating."]

Staci starts weight training, goes full Paleo, finds Nerd Fitness

On June 1st, 2010, Staci’s work office opened up a gym with free weights.  Because she was working out with coworkers rather than random strangers, she felt comfortable with strength training; she felt okay asking coworkers questions on different exercises.  Over the next few months, from June until late August, she continued to educate herself on eating better and getting stronger:

“I finished the paleo transition in August or September, and stopped counting calories.  One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life; it’s a freedom I can’t even describe.  I just…ate when I was hungry.  I gained weight, but I stayed the same size clothes, so what the scale said didn’t matter.  I went from 117 pounds (at my lowest) to around 130 pounds and felt GREAT about it.  My scale broke in May, so I threw it away and only weigh myself probably once a month these days out of pure curiosity.”

This is Staci at 117 lbs. on the left (doing her best “deer in the headlights” impression), and 131 lbs. on the right.

It was right around this time on her search for Paleo diet information that she stumbled across Nerd Fitness and saw my latest article about the Legend of Zelda (her favorite video game series too).  She joined our community, signed up for one of the monthly challenges, continued to put her focus on strength training, and made sure she ate enough to fuel her workouts.

And then things got interesting.  After tons of encouragement from members of the Nerd Fitness community (thanks Dantes!), she began a torrid love affair in October that most women would scoff at.

Staci began barbell training.

And not wimpy barbell training either.  I’m talking old school heavy deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, and bench presses – the exercises usually reserved for strongmen in the back corner of the gym:

“When I say that the second I touched a barbell I fell in love, I’m not joking.  People say to me, “oh, its not healthy to lift that much, etc…”  Well lifting to me is like going and playing basketball is to someone else.  Its a hobby, and a passion.  I’m not doing it because I have to, I’m doing it because I want to.  I’m simply happier days that I deadlift.”

Staci gets super strong.

Beginning in October 2010, Staci jumped headfirst into the world of power lifting. Over the following six months, she strength trained like her life depended on it, keeping track of her gains and making sure she ate enough to continue getting stronger.  I honestly cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear that from a woman!  She packed on another ten pounds of muscle and got incredibly strong.

Seriously, how many 5’4″ females who weigh 140 pounds do you know that can deadlift 315 pounds?

Here are her weight training stats for those six months:

Over those six months, Staci put on ANOTHER 10 pounds of muscle while strength training like a World’s Strongest Man contestant and eating A TON of food to make sure she could continue to get stronger. She raised her deadlift from 135 pounds to 315 pounds, added 50 pounds to her overhead press and 50 pounds to her bench press.

You’re probably wondering what happens to a woman’s figure when she goes through this transformation.

Prepare to be shocked.

Staci Now

Believe it or not, she’s 11 pounds HEAVIER (142 pounds) in the picture on the right (May 2011) compared to the picture on the left (131 pounds, October 2010).

So what the hell happened?  How the heck does she look like she weighs less even though she weighs more?

She packed on the right kind of weight while getting rid of the wrong kind.

When you strength train with very heavy weights for low numbers of repetitions, you build incredibly DENSE, tight muscle.  It’s funny, but if you really want that toned look in your legs, stomach, and arms – picking up small weights and doing lots of repetitions isn’t doing anything – it’s really heavy weights with low repetition that will sculpt the body you’re after.

On top of super heavy strength training, Staci had to eat between 3000-4000 calories per day (all healthy calories, mind you) to put on the extra weight.  Had she not overloaded her system with calories, she wouldn’t have gained an ounce.

As we’ve learned from Mark Twight, trainer for the actors from 300, “appearance is a consequence of fitness.” Rather than worrying about every calorie, every ounce of food, and every pound on the scale, Staci put her focus into getting stronger – she ate to get stronger, she exercised to get stronger, she lived to get stronger.:

“The thing that I really gained the most in all of this is that I’m now comfortable with who I am.  I’m comfortable in my skin, I’m not nearly as shy and awkward as I used to be, I’m not afraid to try new things.  I stand up for myself.  I learned about failure and success, and I’m not afraid to try something (and fail) over and over again even if people are watching.  My attitude for life pretty much just changed.  I still remember the day I looked at my legs and said “you know what, these are the legs that help me deadlift, so who cares what they look like.

So the whole point in all of this is really that yeah, appearance is one thing, but it’s not the main goal.  I would gain ten pounds tomorrow if it meant I could add 50lbs to my deadlift.”

Staci is now a machine that can’t be stopped. She joined a Crossfit gym back in March and now does crazy things like “1000 burpees on the 4th of July” for fun.  Yeah, she’s nuts…in the best way possible :)

What Staci eats

Want to know what you need to do to pack on a lot of weight as a female while lifting very heavy weights?  Here’s a look at Staci’s weekly routine for eating:

  • Every Sunday (or whatever works, but usually its Sunday) I cook a few pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.  I then portion it out and keep them in ziploc bags.  If I don’t have time for that, you can get all natural precooked sausage (both chicken and pork) that works just as well as a “bring to work” meat.
  • 5AM: pre-workout: (first thing in the morning) - protein shake. (nothing special).  Its not paleo, and i love every sip of it.  Then I go and work out.  If I go to the gym with a full stomach, I will not leave with a full stomach.  :)
  • 7:30AM: on my way to work: apple or pear.
  • 9:30AM: sweet potato with cinnamon. I keep them at work, and cut them up, throw it in the microwave for 5 minutes with cinnamon.  Comes out amazing.
  • Another protein shake somewhere in here between breakfast and lunch.
  • 11:45AM-12PM: lunch: two of the bags of chicken I precooked and a bag of the steamfresh vegetables.  The entire bag, its like 3.5 servings of vegetables.  My favorite is broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
  • Lunch 2: spinach salad with shrimp, red peppers, green peppers, red onion, lemon juice.
  • 2-3 snacks in the afternoon. Could be one of these: Apple with almond butter, bell pepper (I eat them like apples… I’m weird), carrots (they even make carrots cut like chips), bags of chicken (yes, those bags of chicken I consider a snack as well, not just a meal), a zucchini (yes, plain, raw, uncooked), celery with almond butter and raisins, strawberries, frozen mixed berries.
  • 7-8PM: dinners: 95% of the time it’s meat (steak, sausage, shrimp, salmon, or chicken) with one of the following: red peppers, green peppers, red onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower (steamfresh bags!), and/or summer squash and zucchini
  • Every once in a while i make something awesome, like this (but really, that takes a lot of time).  When i DO make something like that, i make it in mass bulk and will eat it for the week.
  • In the winter, I’ll usually make a beef shank stew on Sundays that I can eat for a lunch or two as well.

Seems like an absurd amount of food right?

That’s because it IS an absurd amount of food.  This is what Staci does, day in, day out in order to gain weight so that she can lift heavier weights.

And I think you’ll agree with me that despite all of this extra work to pack on a lot of weight, the last word you would use to describe Staci’s physique these days is “bulky.”

Why was Staci successful?

Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty solid transition, how about you?

So let’s do a quick recap why Staci was so damn successful:

She educated herself. When Staci started her weight loss journey, she didn’t really know any better and didn’t know where to turn…so she did what she thought was right: she starved herself and spent hours and hours on treadmills and elliptical machines.  After that, she started doing her research and learned how to eat properly.  She did the research on strength training and started learning how to get stronger.

She focused on strength, not her weight. We know that “appearance is a consequence of fitness.”  Rather than worry about her weight and how it fluctuated on a daily basis, Staci focused on getting stronger.  She tailored her meal plan (which is quite extensive) around her getting stronger.  She understood that it is ALMOST F***ING IMPOSSIBLE FOR WOMEN TO GET TOO BULKY FROM LIFTING WEIGHTS.  Unless you are eating 5,000 calories a day, doing a workout program specifically designed to pack on lots of big muscle, and taking performance enhancing drugs, you will not get bulky.

If you strength train while eating a normal amount of calories, you will lose the fat on top of your muscle, and leave behind the muscle you already have – giving you that toned look.  Make the mistake of just eating less and running more, you’ll burn through both fat and any muscle you have as you lose weight.

She had a community of support. Staci jumped headfirst into the Nerd Fitness community, asking questions about strength training, participating in our monthly challenges, and asking for support in her quest to live a healthier life.  She now also has a community of Crossfit folks at her gym that help support and push her to be stronger and faster.  She knows that she has 2,000+ people on our message boards who encourage and support her every single day she’s in that gym. 

She ate right! What you eat will be 80% of your success or failure when it comes to fitness and health.  Staci tried the “eat way less food” method of weight loss, and it turned her into a weak twig that couldn’t lift 5 pound dumbbells.  She educated herself, started focusing on eating the right food, and now no longer cares how many calories she eats.  She has boundless energy, way more confidence

She tracked her workouts. You can go back through Staci’s old posts on the message boards and see exactly how much she was lifting and how she was training over the past year.  On weeks where she didn’t see enough success in the gym, she adjusted her diet.  On weeks when she didn’t feel as healthy, she could figure out what needed fixing and how to fix it.  As long as the amount of weight on the ends of the bar kept going up, she knew she was progressing in the right direction.

Be strong like Spezzy

I love Staci’s story because she tried different methods, educated herself, and learned how to get healthy the right way. She focused on getting stronger and eating healthier, and as a result her appearance followed suit.

She doesn’t bother stepping on a scale anymore, and she doesn’t count calories.  She eats when she’s hungry, she eats to get stronger, and as a result she’s healthier and happier than she’s ever been in the past.  She is now full of confidence and feels comfortable in her own skin, something that she’s never had in the past.

I’ve highlighted a number of successful success stories over the past few weeks (like Saint, Tony, and these 6-week success stories): ordinary people, with ordinary desk jobs, who have had tremendous success in radically leveling up their lives.  Although everybody’s story is unique, they all have common themes that helped them succeed:

Do you have any questions for Staci? She’s more than happy to hang out in the comments or on the boards and answer any questions you have relating to weight training, her mental or physical transformation, and anything in between.  I’m just excited that I now have an article to reference anytime a female reader tells me “I don’t want to get too bulky.”

Leave a comment or question and she’ll answer it!  She’s nice like that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go work out!

-Steve

PS – Staci is now a full time team member of Nerd Fitness.  If you’ve got a question for her, she no longer watches the comments here, but you can find her on twitter here. We did a follow up story with her here

She’s also the lead instructor for Women’s Fitness 101 over in the Nerd Fitness Academy.  We’d love for you to join us!

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  • Fern

    Hi Staci,
    Your story is inspirational! I’m a 16 year old girl and I’ve been clawing my way out of the depths of anorexia for over a year now. I’ve developed a passion for fitness. For a long time I was only doing cardio and, similarly, I dropped to a really low weight. I found strength training and I just fell in love with how strong and capable I felt. When I joined the gym I’m at now, the trainer gave me a program (lots of machine work and a LOT of reps) which I used for ages, but after reading NF and seeing your story I’ve created my own training plan (squats, deadlifts, pull ups, etc). I feel so much better on this plan, so much more functional and confident. Thanks to you, I’m no longer afraid of food because I know it will only make me stronger; when we went on a holiday and I wasn’t eating as purposefully as I am now, I came back skinnier and unable to use 75% of my average lift! You are a total, total inspiration to me. When I started lifting, I had a stepparent ask rhetorically “Why would you want to lift weights? You’re a girl. Do you want to get muscly?” Cue me directing them to this page … I better wrap up. Thank you so much :) And thanks Steve for such an amazing site!

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  • Finntroll

    Wow.. A friend of mine has been going to the gym for about 3 years now. He is obsessed, he does about 2 hours of gym every single day and smashes heaps of creatine etc. He can’t dead lift as much as this girl and he is 155 pounds. He also only just hit 310pounds PB, his PB was around 220 for ages. I can’t wait to troll the piss out of him over this, I am sure he will make some excuse like meh I did like 500 pullups at crossfit :S

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  • Angela McCarthy

    Staci, like so many people have already said: You are awesome!!I have to tell you that having gone through a similar experience; you are a very mentally strong person and I have great admiration for you! I personally, can’t seem to shake my need to cardio myself to death.  I dropped 80lbs undereating and overrunning. I know that if I stop the excessive running and increase my protein intake (combined with my weight training) then I can achieve my goals, but I feel SOOO guilty not excessively running.  My question for you is: what do you do for your cardio? How much cardio do you do and when do you do it? Thanks! And keep on doing you. You are truly an inspiration for all women!

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  • R111111

    Holy shit those 2009 legs look good! I mean, she’s improved her strenght and all and if that’s what’s really important to her then “congradulations!”, but Jesus look at those curvy hips!

  • Grey

    Huge inspiration, I’ve been trying to get fit; but I’m going to try paleo and do more strength training. See what happens!!

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  • Mofrank97

    Do you use any supplements and if so which ones?

  • Diandra

    Hi Staci, I just came across this article and would like to congratulate you and ask you a few things. 
    I have been loosing weight since a couple years ago I was 215 and now 180 but I want to loose more weight. I have turned a bit obsessed with wanting to be fit now rather than being a stick. This is why I have been searching for lots of information lately but the truth is that it can be a bit overwhelming. 
    When I read 
    ” I was tired all the time, I had no energy to do anything even when I was sleeping like 10 hours a night. the bags under my eyes were insane – I simply wasn’t getting the nutrients i needed.” 
    I totally related to your story…this is how I feel right now, besides my grandma constantly keeps telling me I look awful my skin tone is ugly and that I look anemic (geez grandma don’t be so tough on me).
    The thing is after reading alot I finally understood that lifting weight is what would help me get where I wanna get but my concern now is on the food. I know that the way I currently eat will end up killing me if I start weight lifting but I don’t want to eat more and feel I’m going to get fat again.
    I would really appreciate if you could help me out a bit with my concerns or if you have a blog or something I can read…I’m really interested in getting healthy and fit.

    Thanks.

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  • Misty

    Was curious if you do much cardio or stick to weights mostly?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DiggityDash Dan Jones

    Spezzy you are my dream wife! Nerdy cosplay deadlifting fitness fanatic! I would totally dig deadlifting on valetines day romantic. Please consider it ;) xo

  • http://lacucinadikait.com/ la cucina di kait

    wow great and inspiring article

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  • Tloftis2008

     Your Grocery bill must Be Crazy with the 5000cal days lol…I am 44 and became a Personal Trainer in March of this yr… ive Lost 19lbs & 11%bf since April 19th…I am lifting weights & have doubled my strength & amt of weights in the last 3 wks… im over 100 on just about everything now & I too am 5’4″ tall & weigh 141lbs but my body does NOT look like yours just yet lol…I am my own worst client about the scale but I will get Stronger & Better b4 the end of the yr!! I shared your story on my FB fitness page & my personal page 2 show my clients that Girls who Lift Heavy Weights are Sexy & Beautiful & we Do Not Look LIke Men!! lol

    Awesome Job & your Even More of an Inspiration!!!

  • http://www.ForeclosureIndustry.com Christine Springer

    Staci, this is a pretty sweet transformation! I started Paleo about six weeks ago. I had trouble with headaches and low blood sugar so I added some carbs back in. I also didn’t worry about working out right away until I got used to eating on Paleo, because early on I was ravenous post-workout and the temptation to cheat was too great. 

    I am ready to start working out. I just saw your post and 
    thought I should start lifting. I took athletic PT in high school and learned to lift there, so I’m familiar with all the techniques. 

    You also said something else interesting above, about getting leaner on Paleo. Even though I’m not really exercising I’m starting to notice more muscle definition from eating this way. It’s really cool and I’m thrilled with my results. Anyway, congrats on your transformation and thanks for the inspiration!

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  • Amber

    I love that she questioned Weight Watchers. Every “healthy” WW recipe I see on pinterest calls for artificial sweetener, no-fat Cool Whip, or some other “healthy” diet food. 

  • Iecc

    Great! I’m thinking of starting with weight but I am scared of losing my hourglass body… Do you think that the waist would get thicker?

  • Messejessie

    So Stacy I know this is an old post but I’m a runner and a weight lifter. Im mostly trying to lose fat with the cardio 2 sdays a week while lifting 3 times week. The diet I’m on now only allows me 1260 calories. Should I make it a higher than what it is?

  • Amy

    Absolutely love it! I started lifting heavy 9 weeks ago (am doing 5X5 SL for starters) and am loving it. I feel like I’ve finally found my niche in the gym. I do pole dance for fitness too, and the amount of strength Ive been building lately is great.Ive been able to pull into my handsprings so much more than I could and nailed a move I’d been working on for 8 months!! I hit 60kg deadlifts this morning and am so proud. They are soooo my favourite exercise ever! Ive been eating paleo too, and feel full of energy and really cheery, like freakishly, its wonderful.

    Youre an absolute inspiration!

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  • GUest

    Hi Staci,
    I was wondering how you got to the point where you stopped counting and caring about calories, and the best way to become toned rather than skinny.
    Thanks!

  • Sarah Kuznitz

    what is technique work?

  • Dmmcclair

     Not trying to be creepy, but she has an amazing body

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  • Jess

    This is probably the main reason why I’m going to start taking Strength and Conditioning for my P.E. requirement this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Claire Whatley

    Hey Staci, Hoping you can help. I am upping my strength training, as well as cardio (currently training for Tough Mudder May’13) I’m really confused about protein shakes – when should you take them, and what sort of mix should you get? There are so many different ones and as soon as I start looking I get overwhelmed. Does it even matter as long as there’s protein in it?! Would be really grateful for your (or anyone else’s) advice. Thanks! Claire x

  • http://twitter.com/danamdkny DanaMarie

    I kinda like the 117 pic best – sowie– she’s not too skinny and still has nice muscle shape —

  • midalah

    You are kinda missing the point, actually. She may physically look good in the pic of her at 117, but she wasn’t *healthy*. And it isn’t just about physical health, it’s about mental. She wasn’t comfortable in her skin and was more concerned with what the scale said then how she looked. It wasn’t until she stopped focusing on the weight that she started feeling healthier on not only a physical level, but also an emotional and mental one. That is what matters.

  • http://twitter.com/danamdkny DanaMarie

    im a dancer and I care about aesthetic – no worries though, I actually have been having a similar transformation trajectory

  • http://twitter.com/danamdkny DanaMarie

    ie = i’m not missing the point, just expressing my aesthetic opinion — if you post a picture of something, expect aesthetic opinion – that goes for any subject matter

  • midalah

    I’ve seen dancers with similar physiques to her current one with the more musculature as I am into tribal fusion belly dance. I think the current image of her is also aesthetically appealing.

    Regardless of expressing aesthetic opinion, how you expressed it really did (to me) come across as saying she looked fine at 117. Well yes, she did look fine, but the point is that she may have *looked* fine, but she didn’t *feel* fine.

    Ultimately that is what is more important in the end than the look of someone. Especially as that is how many with anorexia or bulimia can get into some serious trouble. They ignore how they feel and focus solely on the aesthetic, and while we may physically see a walking skeleton, they still see themselves as very overweight, even if they didn’t start out as “very”.

    And I am not one of those that thinks all models look anorexic either. Going by the caring about aesthetics- I care about it too, but in the terms of someone looking healthy. If a model is naturally slender and she looks healthy, great. If she doesn’t look healthy and looks like she could keel over at any moment, not so much.

    Aesthetics isn’t all about seeing someone as skinny or fat- it’s about seeing if they are unhealthy or healthy as well. All of our body types are different and one person may look great and healthy at 117 pounds, while another person would look great and healthy at 137 pounds. Especially depending on height, body type, etc.

  • stacixmarie

    Hey Dana,

    Regardless of aesthetics, after being hospitalized I was informed by my doctors that the weight was dangerously low for my body and if I continued living how I was living at that weight I would most likely be dead in a few months.

    I’m healthy now. And I’m not going to die. I prefer that.

    Staci

  • stacixmarie

    Protein shakes aren’t going to give you anything real food isn’t – they’re not a necessity, but a supplement. Steve likes Optimum Nutrition, I prefer Dymatize ISO-100. Just read the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t have anything funky in it!

  • stacixmarie

    Yes, I would. 1260 is barely anything!

  • Kate

    Staci — Awesome transformation! Thank you so much for sharing this; I’ve lost 30 lbs by running (a lot) in combination with calorie restriction. It is not sustainable. I am inspired. I’m going to venture into the weight section at the work gym — like your co-workers did, I’m sure my co-workers will be happy to help too (even though it is very, very intimidating). Thank you again and WOW!!