This Weeks Transformation of the week is Karina Baymiller, she lost an impressive 55 pounds of bodyfat. Read our interview with her to find how she trained and ate for success!
Name: Karina Baymiller
What Made You Turn Your Life Around?
As crazy as it sounds, I kind of just fell into it! I started playing soccer when I was 5 years old, and played until I broke my ankle in high school. It wasn’t until shortly before I graduated college that I started to put my health first and really got involved with fitness. I had gained a significant amount of weight throughout college from being inactive and eating un-healthfully. For many people there is a moment when they realize they need to change their habits, whether it be breaking the zipper on their pant or getting out of breath when they walk up the stairs, but I didn’t have a moment like that. I was ignorant to the fact that I was extremely overweight and the last thing I cared about was my health. A couple months before I graduated college, I caught the flu and by the end of the week I had lost a few pounds. When I started feeling better, I noticed the slight change in my body. I liked what I saw, and from that point on I decided to take my weight loss further. I had no expectations and no plan, but knew I felt better about myself after losing a little weight. I wanted that feeling to continue. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my body would transform into what it is today.
How Did You Do It?
I started off by eating processed junk like frozen diet meals and 100-calorie snack packs. I was only concerned with calorie counts, not nutritional value. I saw progress, but the weight came off very slowly and eventually stopped. I was hesitant to increase my calories because I thought more calories equaled more weight gain, but after getting over my fear of eating, I slowly increased my calories. To my surprise, I started losing more and more weight. Even with the increased weight loss, my body wasn’t looking the way I wanted it to. I felt flabby, weak, so I knew it was time to hit the gym. I became a cardio queen. I spent hours on the elliptical and treadmill, which went against everything I learned in school. I thought it was the only way to burn calories and lose weight. If I lifted weights, I thought I’d end up looking like a guy. I started slow, using only resistance machines a couple days a week and found that I actually liked weight training more than cardio. Fat started to disappear and muscles that I had never seen before started to emerge. After getting up the courage to travel to “the guy’s side of the gym,” I started advancing my routine and lifting heavy weights (thanks to Bodybuilding.com) I was hooked. I overhauled my eating habits to see maximum results, which meant no more processed junk. I only ate whole foods, made everything from scratch, and started eating close to 2000 calories a day. Everything just clicked. I found a training regimen that worked for me, a nutrition plan to fuel it, and the rest is history.
What Helped You Stay Motivated?
I was continually motivated by the changes that I was seeing and feeling within my body. I didn’t have an “end product” in mind, I just kept training and eating clean because I enjoyed it and I loved the results. If I was ever in a rut or stuck in a plateau, I just reminded myself what life was like before I began my transformation. That usually kicked my ass right into gear!
What Was Your Approach To Training?
Like I stated earlier, I started out doing just cardio and ab workouts. I think this is where everyone starts! I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, so I did my research and learned as much as I could about lifting weights. I tried tons of pre-made workout plans and couldn’t find any that I truly liked, so I made my own. I think that’s the most important thing when it comes to training and changing your lifestyle. If you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it. I found that I loved lifting heavy and that my body responded better with less cardio.
What Does Your Training Plan Look Like?
I trained on a five-day split with one day of cardio and one day of rest. I generally followed 3 sets of high repetitions (15-18) and utilized supersets with the majority of my exercises to keep my heart rate up and maximize my gym time. All of my lifting workouts started with a one-mile run on the treadmill as a warm-up.
What Does Your Nutrition Plan Look Like?
I ate a clean diet, meaning I avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and any ingredient I can’t pronounce. In my opinion, diet is 80 percent of the battle, so it’s extremely important to make sure I eat the best foods and fuel my body correctly. I stayed close to 40% protein, 35% carbohydrates, 25% fat, and made sure I ate every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism going all day. I also kept water with me everywhere I go, and drink at least a gallon per day.
Did You Allow Yourself Cheat Meals?
Yes! I never “planned” a cheat meal like many people do, but if my friends were going out, or my mom made a special dinner, I made sure I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This may be why it took me over 2 years to lose my weight, but I wasn’t miserable when I was doing it, and I made sure I enjoyed life. I never indulged more than once or twice a week at the most and always made sure I got back to eating clean as soon as possible.
What Supplements Did You Use?
Multi-Vitamin, Fish Oil, Green Tea Extract, Whey Protein, Casein Protein, and Glutamine.
What Is Your Lifestyle Like Now?
My life now is very similar to what it was like when I was transforming with only a few minor changes. I have switched my training to a 6 day split with heavier weight lower reps. My goal is to pack on the muscle now that I’ve lost the fat! As far as my diet goes, I was recently diagnosed with PCOS, so I have switched to a Paleo/Primal style diet to help regulate my insulin levels. This means I consume no grains, legumes, starches, sugar, processed foods, or alcohol. It has dramatically improved my health so far and I hope eventually it helps to put my PCOS into remission! I have also started listening to my own body more. I am also slowly moving away from counting and planning every gram of food I put into my mouth and the strict eating every 3 hours, to eating when I’m hungry, and stopping when I’m full. Its definitely a rough transition to make, but I am much happier and don’t feel so food obsessed!
Any Suggestions For Others?
There is no one size fits all program. I had no idea what I was doing when I started eating right and working out. I did all of my own research and learned as much as a possibly could about every type of diet and workout program. I tried literally everything until I found what I liked and what worked best for my body. Find what works best for you and most importantly, do what you like. If you are following a workout plan or diet and you’re absolutely miserable, what makes you think you’ll stick with it?