Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

My Story Revisited

Before was MAY 2006. (those shorts were XXL) After was JULY 2009

i’ve had a request from a few people that don’t know, for me to tell my story and show my before and after pictures. many of you have heard this. if so, just skip this blog entry, but for those of you who haven’t, just keep reading. though i have shortened it a bit and added a few thoughts to the end from my original writing…here it is.

Growing up I played softball, basketball, and soccer, and my best friends were teeny tiny cheerleaders.  When I was 15, I went to the doctor for my softball physical and was astonished when I stepped on the scale and it read 211 pounds. At that point, I started my journey of cardio and yo-yo diets. I dropped 40 pounds in high school and it would slowly start to creep back on.  I would go on another crash diet and lose the weight again, and again the pounds would reappear.  Six years after high school, in 2007, I was right back up to 210 pounds.  That spring, I attended my first figure competition. Beverly Internationals 2007 Northern Kentucky. I remember seeing those girls on stage, wishing that one day my body would be beautiful like theirs.   Who was I kidding?  I had never even been to a pool without wearing shorts over my bathing suit.  I could never be confident enough to put on a posing suit and stand in front of hundreds of people.  But seeing those women WAS motivation enough for me to want to lose weight. When I got home after that weekend, I did some research on nutrition..  I cleaned up my diet and started lifting heavy weights to gain muscle.  In a years time I had lost 30 lbs, but also noticed that my body at 180 pounds had more definition than it had in the past at that same scale weight. Again the dream of competing one day in a figure competition popped in my mind and a couple months later I decided there would be no better time for me to achieve this goal than right now, but I also knew I couldn’t do it alone. I did more research (i research everything) and in October 2008 decided to seek help from IFBB pro, Julie lohre. i  sent Julie some photos and asked her if she would consider working with me. A part of me thought she would see my pictures and run, knowing there was no hope for me. Instead, I immediately heard back from Julie with encouraging words that she had no doubt she could get me to where I needed to be for my first show. That was the beginning of my transformation. For 25 weeks i followed a strict diet, but believe me when I say I didn’t starve. In fact, I ate quite a bit and the food was great. I did a lot of cardio and I continued to lift hard. 25 weeks later I was down another 30 lbs, most of it pure fat. I had never been that confident and I was proud of the work I had done and the person I had become. Not only had I grown physically stronger, but mentally and spiritually. On April 11 2009, for the first time in my life, I walked out on stage, as a woman proud of her body and what she had achieved.  Going from no one ever seeing my legs to posing in a tiny suit in front of hundreds of people was like jumping out of an airplane for me, but I loved every minute of it.  It felt good to finally “take my shorts off.”

it’s been a year since i reached my goal and i’m still going strong. my body is continuously changing. i want health and fitness to be my life and not just a sport. if i never compete again, i know for sure i don’t ever want to let myself get back to where i once was. i got here by a lot of hard work, determination, the help of a wonderful trainer, a great support group from my friends and family and my number one, GOD. i ask him every day for the energy i need to get up and GET THINGS DONE and for the strength to say no to the foods that aren’t gonna make my body healthier and stronger. don’t get me wrong. i still eat fun foods like pizza and chocolate, and i enjoy them. but to be the best me and i can be, i know i need to make the right choices in every aspect of my life and not just in fitness. i know i can’t do this alone, but i have faith in HIM and faith in MYSELF!


5 Responses to “My Story Revisited”

  1. I am seriously astonished! Knowing you from childhood…your transformation is just…well, astonishing. I truly would not have recognized you nor did Big Daddy, your former coach!

    Your are truly an inspiration. As beautiful as your body is, what’s most important is that you are the picture of HEALTH.

    Congratulations and here’s to continued success and influence on others to clean up diets and exercise.


  2. I love you and I’m so glad you are in my life!

  3. You have done yourself proud . Anything is possible with Gods help . Love Aunt Linda

  4. Erin you have always been a beautiful girl no matter how you looked, I love you no matter what.. but I know this makes you feel better about yourself and I am all for that… I can’t tell how proud we are of you. What you have done for yourself is very inspiring to me and alot of other people as well.. I hope you know how much you are loved not only by your family but your friends as well.. God Bless you in everything that you do…

  5. HEY!! You’re my Hero!! Yesterday while searching for inspiration, I saw your story on the Beverly International site. I found your blog and found the inspiration I was looking for – and some hope, too! Last night (after my 12-hour, irritating work day) I wrote down my goals, bought myself a goal board, made myself a diet, made a list of groceries and BI supplements to purchase – and – finally had enough courage to step on the scale.
    I’ve follow figure for years and looked to the pros for inspiration – but told myself I could never look like that because I don’t take drugs ( i know -excuses excuses) I saw your tremendous transformation and your great legs and I started to belief in myself and get excited about taking care of myself.
    Thank you Thank you Thank you – so much. I can’t tell you how great it is to get excited about myself again. I’ve been in a slump for years (I’m a lawyer – it sucks the life out of you. Look another excuse!!) and now I’m so ready to get over it!
    You life story has really touched me and I thank you for sharing it with all my heart.
    Allison Nestor

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