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. She also chain-smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day.
  • 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, regularly competing in powerlifting tournaments and deadlifting 430+ pounds!

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!


PS: Staci is now a full time member of Team Nerd Fitness, and also the lead instructor for The Nerd Fitness Academy.  We’d love for you to join the 25,000+ students already in there!

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  • Gabsn Paternoster

    The 3 Week Diet is an extreme rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!

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  • Jessica Baker

    I have a serious, “please answer me, anybody” question… What do you do if you want to get to being like her but you just had a baby and breastfeed? I’m supposed to eat an extra 700 calories /just/ because of that, plus I chase after my two year old all day. BUT I am also a freelance comic artist and 3D animator, so I spend most of my day sitting hunched over at my desk on a sketchpad or a tablet. I have no clue how to calculate exactly what I need…
    I’m also 5’3(barely; actually like 5’2 and a half) and weigh around 140lbs.

    Also, I read you said somewhere else that it’s impossible to target one area of fat. Is that true in all cases? Because I would LOVE to lose this mommy pooch on my lower stomach but it’s really the only place that I have fat at…

  • emtbythesea

    I had my 2nd baby 10 months ago. I’m still breastfeeding. I was lifting for about a year prior to my pregnancy and I continued to lift until a week before she was born. I’m 5’4″ and 135lbs. This delivery was via c-section so I had to wait a couple of months before getting back into the gym. What’s worked for me: use My Fitness Pal app to figure out how many calories you should be eating (then add 300 to accommodate breastfeeding), log all your food in the app, hit the gym hard with 3-4 days of resistance training + 1 day of cardio (30 minutes), if you can afford a trainer then get one, don’t use any suppliments, if you are choosing birth control DONT use one with hormones (like the pill or depo or the ring) that made me gain a bunch of weight. Good luck – weight training is so much fun and it’s empowering after we have babies! You can check out my ig @shrinkingthepooch to see my progress if you’re interested. xo

  • Jessica Baker

    I thought you were supposed to eat an additional 700 calories if you’re breastfeedng, though?

  • Emtbythesea

    700 calories extra? That’s like a whole extra dinner. At 140lbs your milk supply will not be affected by decreasing your “bonus” calories. Drink plenty of H2O. My doc loves my diet and my milk has never run dry…lol – that sounds funny. I stuck with the same calorie count I had during and after pregnancy: about 2000 per day total. I’m trying to lose about 10lbs right now so I’ve cut it down to between 1700-2000 per day of strictly clean eating (except when I break down with tacos, beer and double cheeseburgers). Still nursing or pumping 3-5 times per day. No drop in milk supply. Remember to eat a nice balance of protein, GOOD carbs and not too much fat. Can I ask how old is your baby?

  • Emtbythesea

    One more thing: to lose the pooch, it’s all about rebuilding core strength and eating clean (my two most difficult things)

  • Jessica Baker

    I’ve been trying to eat clean. Hard to do when my husband gets nothing but junk food, rice, spam, etc., though. =( I was doing great yesterday(my first full paleo attempt) until he made a muffuletta sandwich for me… lol

  • Emtbythesea

    I know what you mean – my husband’s a candy junkie. I just stopped buying all that stuff and told my family they can’t eat like that in the house. Hubby keeps a candy stash in his car. Try meal prepping in advance and break your eating up into 5 meals throughout the day (kinda like Staci). Try not to eat or snack after 7 or 8pm. Since my family would starve if they had to make their own food, they are eating pretty much the same as me. Sometimes they get bored without the sugar & salt…but not enough to cook for themselves. PS: I’m not on paleo but im on a mostly salt and sugar free diet.

  • Erin

    Hi Staci,
    I have been weight lifting for about 12 years now i have always loved lifting heavy. I now would like to start competing in powerlifting competitions. Do you have any tips to up my strength or to prepare myself? Have you competed before?

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  • WOW. She looks AMAZING. I’m very, very inspired.

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  • Angie

    I recommend doing it after. Losing weight doesn’t have to take long. If you’re looking for something that works to lose weight quickly and keep it off, I recently discovered The 3 Week Diet online (go to ) on our local news and it really helped me. I went from 195 pounds all the way to 145, so I’m glad I made the change to a healthier lifestyle. If I can do it, you can too! Get up off your butt and do something about your health and fitness! Three weeks from now you’ll wish you have started today… good luck and you can do this! I promise 🙂Text me if you need some help staying motivated! (706) 968-7729 – I might be a little slow at replying but I’ll do my best to be your free personal trainer. We can be here for each other 🙂xo,Angie

  • Jess

    I’ve got a question about diet. What would you suggest as an appropriate pales vegan sub for protein. I’ve tried seitan but eating tons of it makes me really sick. Thank so much!

  • So, I just did a cost analysis of Staci’s diet. It costs her $1,120.00 just to eat each month! My girlfriend and I together spend a combined $600 per month on groceries. I doubt very seriously that we could afford to eat as much as she does every day. This is very disheartening. I want to eat properly and exercise, but I don’t want to spend half my paycheck on food each month. That would leave me with no money for savings, new clothes, or entertainment. I believe her menu to be unrealistic for people who live on a budget. Is there something that is a little cheaper for people who earn a normal paycheck?

  • Staci is also on Failbook for that time she offered to spot a dude on a machine…. it didn’t end well for him 😛

  • DJ

    Gr8 b8 m8. Go be a troll somewhere else.

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  • Michael Gritzner

    Still Waiting to be “Humbled”.

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  • Stacy Kim

    Great story. Question—do you use “cheat” meals? And, how to do you keep from getting bored of the same foods?

  • Sanarah

    I am ready for a massive change in my life and I really want to change the way I think about food. Can you recommend some (correct) informative sites on nutrition that you found helpful in educating yourself? Thank you for sharing your story. I think you are amazing!

  • JPW

    She looked better in the before photo. Just sayin’.

  • King

    How often does Staci run and for how long?


    Six-Pack Abs for ladies or women is becoming a trend these days. Numerous ladies are currently contemplating to get more fit as well as, building a sporty, sexy looking body with a ‘Six-Pack’ included.

  • Captain Chubby

    The more articles on the site I read, the more furious I get. Because you are so right. I work as as care taker for individuals with special needs, and one of the women I’m with is kept on a very very strict diet. Diet coke, low calorie chips and snacks, and boxed dinners, then a jog on her treadmill. At the bottom of the worker’s totem pole, there’s NOTHING I can do to stop it, but have to do my part to enforce it. She’s always exhausted and moody, she’s always starving, she always gets “in trouble” for going back to get seconds or sweets, and begs me to have regular soda over diet because diet hurts her back. I do my part to sneak her extra good food when I can, then somehow “forget” to include that in her daily calorie count (which is supposed to be 1500, but because she gets so scared of going over she herself keeps it under 1300). It’s so frustrating watching her suffer from the crap I have to provide her with; if I didn’t love the individuals I’d be long gone from that company.

  • Thomas Handley

    Girl has got the eating down. Gotta eat big

  • BeholdMyGirth

    Sent this to my GF as inspiration, we’re both on a health kick of late. However, she slipped a disc in her back a few months ago and has only just gotten over it, and the doctors have advised her not to deadlift. Any suggestions on what she could replace the deadlifting movement with?

  • anarchisme

    hello! it’s a great story i would like to ask you for an advise , i’v been doing cross-fit for 2 years now, and i’m in shape and i eat right and love to cook BTW , i can cook awesome healthy foods from anything 😛 , my problem is,I Lost the weight i need to loose, my body fat is good (15%) but i’m not hitting that point where my abs are awesome like yours, my workout is always at night after work around 9 pm to 10 pm (3 days a week). any advise how can i manage a similar diet plan as yours but with a late night workout not early in the morning like yours ( i wake up at 8) ?!?! any advise would b appreciated! i’m getting frustrated, i read a lot and research a lot and tried a lot of stuff and i’m working hard but i’m not getting the result i want (that curved abdominal area)
    (i’m 60 kg and 163 cm tall but i feel i should a lot slimmer so i can have those curves, and with crossfit no diet is slimming me down )

  • Gaz

    Hey, so I know I’m super late on this article [my bad], but here goes. I am incredibly inspired by Spezzy, and want to do this myself. I’ve had an on and off affair with lifting for the last year or so, and usually end up having a dry spell because of illness or work, then it takes me months to get back to the weight room again. I do admit, though, that graph discourages me. I know I shouldn’t compare, but I can’t DL even 100 yet, much less 135, and I’m a 5’11” woman who’s in fairly decent shape. I’m a vegetarian martial artist who, despite not having too much time in, has thrown myself into my studies and really seen a result. I’m just confused. And an overhead press of more than 50?? I can’t even do 20! Spezz, some help? I’m kind of ashamed I even posted this, but some clarity would really help.
    Thanks much,

  • Josie G

    You are an inspiration! I started the new year going crazy on the eliptical and eating very healthy to lose weight. This caused me to injure my ankle. Instead of letting my injury hinder my goal this year to make a healthy lifestyle change I started to pick up a weightlifting class at my gym. It looked intimidating at first but, now I love it! I feel myself getting stronger in every class. I can’t see the results as of yet because of my current weight but, with your story I feel that my instinct was correct. I’m going to keep at it. I’m up to three classes a week now and three classes of yoga. Thanks agai!

  • Mrmack330

    She looked better before

  • Pingback: A Step-By-Step Guide To Meal Planning And Prep | Nerd Fitness()

  • Fabiola

    Hello, I am 170lb 5’4″ and need to lose weight, but I don’t want to lose muscle as well. I see Stacy lost all the fat(and muscle) first, what should I do? Losing weight is very daunting.

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  • antonia hadlock


    I was wondering if you noticed a difference in your skin after beginning the Paleo diet. Or did you notice a change in your face as in less acne or not as dry etc. I’m curious what effects the switch in lifestyle has done to your skin, since it’s obvious it has don’t wonders with your overall look. Thanks so much.

  • Don’t assume a workout requires carbs. There are athletes who get good performance doing keto. Too many people try low-carbing, don’t give it long enough, don’t eat enough fat, then wonder why they’re failing. Some of it may be down to slight genetic differences too. Experiment. Figure out what works. But give yourself TIME to collect that data. Don’t LC for three days, then go “I can’t LC and work out”. That’s not long enough.

  • Fabulous

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  • Hannah

    This is a truly inspirational blog of how you turned your life around. I am currently far too thin and just need to get the inspiration and continuous encouragement to keep eating. Calorie counting is a big part of my life and I want to be as brave as you and just forget about the calories and go for the muscle and strength.

  • จรัญ จอมวงศ์
  • Nishi Hundan

    Staci is giving me a boner

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    Check out “An Update With Staci: OUR Powerlifting Superhero” in the archives. You’ll find it in September 2013. Staci talks about how she’d do it if she started again.