FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
SM: My name is Stephanie Maguire. I am a 26 year old fit mom to a bubbly six year old boy. I have been in the fitness lifestyle since my teens and took it all the way to college where I graduated with a BS in Exercise Science. My hobbies include running 5k’s, working out, and doing yoga. I also like to paint and sing. I am currently on the verge of starting my own business to help others live a healthy & fit lifestyle, through custom personal training, boot camps and catered individual online fitness & eating plans. I am also training for my first bikini fitness competition.
FFFC: What sparked your weight-loss journey?
SM: I would say I’ve always had a spark in me to be fit. I have always been active and in the gym starting back in the days of my teens. Unfortunately I lost my spark while pregnant with my son where I gained 100 lbs by losing the love I had for myself and not living a healthy lifestyle. While being pregnant (I will not go into much detail) I was in a very bad place in life mentally, emotionally and physically due to a certain individual. And all that stress affected me in many ways, one being in weight. Once I got rid of the negative aspects in my life I was able to refocus on myself and my love for fitness was reignited.
FFFC: What were your beginning and current weight and/or measurements?
SM: Before I got pregnant I was at my smallest of 125 lbs. and 18% body fat. During the 9 month time span I gained 100 lbs and increased by body fat by 34%. I gained a whopping 40 of those pounds in as little as 3 months. I lost the weight in due time and got down to 135 lbs and 20% body fat. After 6 years of having my son I am currently 147 and 22% body fat and on the way to training for my first bikini competition.
I lost the weight little by little after having my son. Fall 2011 my senior year in College I was focused on everything Jonathan, school, work, my health and I even made the school’s dance team, things finally started going right. A couple 4.0’s and Dean’s High List of Honor’s and soon I was graduating which was a huge deal to me! With the support from my family, friends, and work I made it through my last year in college and obtained a degree in something that I loved, Exercise Science. With my knowledge that I gained and the ability to finally balance everything I got down to 135 lbs. and a body fat percentage of 22% in May 2012 the month that I graduated from Huntingdon.
FFFC: How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
SM: Honestly it took a while roughly a good year and I am glad it did because I did it the healthy way and have been able to maintain it because I did it that way. I lost the weight little by little after having my son. I was also in school full time so it was hard trying to balance and focus completely on losing weight while taking care of my son. & my studies. Fall 2011 my senior year in College I was focused on everything Jonathan, school, work, my health and I even made the school’s dance team, things finally started going right. A couple 4.0’s and Dean’s High List of Honor’s and soon I was graduating which was a huge deal to me! With the support from my family, friends, and work I made it through my last year in college and obtained a degree in something that I loved, Exercise Science. With my knowledge that I gained and the ability to finally balance everything I got down to 135 lbs. and a body fat percentage of 20% in May 2012. Since then I have maintained being a healthy weigh by living a healthy lifestyle and staying fit.
FFFC: What physical activities did you do during your journey?
SM: I developed a love for cardio (that’s crazy I know) I really enjoyed my morning runs it was a great way to clear my mind and focus on what I needed to do for the day, week etc. I would also run I some 5k’s here and there for good causes to keep me in the challenge mode. I looked forward to my dates as I would call it with the stair stepper, something about a good sweat. And of course I loved the weights and pushing myself by higher reps or adding more weight.
FFFC: How did your eating habits change?
SM: Luckily with me being a healthy person before my weight loss it wasn’t really a huge adjustment to changing my habits. I just had to decrease my intake and use what I learned about nutrition and actually read the labels and find out what I was putting into my body! I really learned how to listen and watch how body reacted to certain foods (sodium, bad carbs etc.) and slowly decreased those out of my eating habits.
FFFC: What’s typically on your menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
SM: Recipes for the following are on my social media pages J
Breakfast-I either have veggie infused egg white mini muffins or protein pancakes
Lunch – 4 oz of a lean meat (chicken/fish) with a salad or veggies
Dinner- Salt free herb crusted Salmon, paired with a sweet potato & asparagus
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
SM: My favorite fitness activity includes anything with my son. He loves to work out with me he even has his own little weights, we love to put on some gloves and practice some kick boxing, and he pushes me when we do burpees and jump squats he makes fitness even more fun, and I am glad I am instilling fitness in his life as a positive thing.
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
SM: Oh I get this question so much. Along with making sure I at least get 30 min a day of physical activity and staying consistent with my eating. I honestly think I maintain my physique by giving myself a break and rewarding myself. If I didn’t cheat here and there I would most likely over indulge and get way off track. It’s all about finding a balance and creating a system you can follow daily.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
SM: I avoid the bad stuff by making sure I have a weekly plan of my meals and keeping the bad stuff out of sight. My son has snacks which I would love to devour so I simply keep his snacks in a cabinet/drawer designated specifially for him, I tell myself if I take anything from the cabinet I am stealing from him. I don’t necessarly have a crazy sweet tooth I would rather have salty bad carbs. So I do have one cheat meal a week when I am not prepping for a competition. I honesty think its easier for me to sustain from bad food because I have learned through my education how they can effect you long term healthwise and that’s always in the back of my head. As far as sticking to being active I listen to my body if I feel like Im getting bored I switch it up somehow ( new running route, new type of exercise, new playlist of music etc.) this helps me keep going and not get bored. I also reward my self to keep going by little things like a mani/pedi, a new shirt, etc.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?
SM: Baby steps lead to big results, pick something you know that you know you need to eliminate out of your lifestyle and slowly ween yourself from it. Pick one thing to eliminate each week and replace it with something that will help (example: trade the coke for water or ice cream with yogurt) it will add up in time. Be persistent and patient your body wasn’t made in a day, week or a month, it will take time to get it to where you want. Also monitor your progress by how you feel, you won’t see results instantly but your body should feel it. Take progress photos & measurements sometimes that 2-3 lbs doesn’t show until you compare it to something prior.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
SM: The biggest misconception about this journey is that it’s not a journey. I think so many people think it is a quick process and once you’re done it’s over. The fitness world is now sadly what I call a “fad” it is full of quick weight loss programs, diets and pills to help you lose 10 lbs in 10 days. Those people that fall for that view on weightloss are missing the best part of being the best version of themselves. They don’t get to learn what is best for them individually because they are going by something that is designed for everyone. The journey is amazing if you are patient and the results stay with you ten times longer.
FFFC: Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
SM: I have several. My son is my first inspiration he inspires me to live a healthy lifestyle to where I know he will grow up learning the fundamentals to live a long healthy life. My second inspiration is my support system those who have followed me on my journey they inspire me to keep going. My fitness inspiration is Amanda Latona. I’ll be honest I didn’t know much about competing or who she as well as others were when I first started my journey. I remember when I first talked about competing and my competition coach told me I had the body (anatomy) to look like her, I went a Googled her & boy did that help push me. Since then I have followed her, and I have fallen in love (yes I said it) with her personality and how she promotes fitness to others. Plus we both have an obsession with anything PB+chocolate combo & some Ben and Jerry’s! Kelsey Byers is another fitness inspiration of mine because she teaches women to love your body and the baby step process of being patient. I have one more inspiration that is Bo Shin, I have yet to meet this Bama Beauty but I love how she promotes being healthy and not give in to the harsh stick figure body world that society has sadly fallen to.
FFFC: How can readers learn more about your transformation online (i.e. blog, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?
SM: Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/maguirefirefitness