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I earned my IFBB Pro Figure Card in 2007. Priorities changed not long after that and I decided I wanted to start a family. After years of trying to become pregnant, finally there was in vitro success in December of 2011 with the arrival of my miracle baby Steele.  With all the hormone therapy, and actually having 3 back to back failed pregnancies lasting approximately 1-3 months for 3 straight years you can imagine what that does to a girl’s body and metabolism. Oh yeah, throw in eating whatever I wanted to that mix, and no exercise (per doctors orders)!  Early in 2013, at age 45, I decided I wanted my body back and was trying to figure out given the limited time I had for the gym and the financial resources for a trainer, the best approach. 

There was no way I could do daily or twice daily cardio sessions anymore, nor spend hours in the gym training. Living in the country, an hour from Columbus, working full-time and taking care of a new born, I had come up with something that made the best use of my time, and was affordable. 

When I first contacted Mark about training, he explained the CrossFit based programming he was using with his clients. Based on his observations coming out of the CrossFit community, he was convinced it was the best way to restore my body with what little time I had for training. He told me it would be different, skill based, require more mobility and flexibility than previous training styles but that it would increase my metabolism, add the needed muscle mass I wanted for a possible over 45 Pro Physique or Figure competition down the road, and minimize the need for additional cardio. He told me it would be frustrating and difficult, as well as mentally challenging getting my head out of what used to be my former lifestyle. He told me I could actually eat what I liked and the days of near zero carb diets were history. They were just not compatible with this style of training. I was skeptical for sure.  

My current diet is Zone/Block based, and not totally strict on portions. Not measuring or weighing things and I indulge in certain foods when I crave them (within reason), drink and eat normally on the weekends but nothing crazy. 

Cardio consists of 2 – 3 days of incline treadmill walking, about 30 – 45 minutes, and I am not allowed to hold the side or front rails!  

Post workout I consume a protein/carbohydrate drink, then follow that up with a mixed meal. I don’t watch sodium esp given how much I sweat and take Creatine monohydrate and Beta-Alanine as supplements. 

Total kcal intake simply matches my macro needs, try to keep the protein at about 1 g/lb body mass. 

I’ve been training consistently since March of 2013, the changes in my body composition and symmetry have occurred much faster than I expected. I’ve been told that my shape is better now that it was when I competed. I’ll take that. I certainly need to get leaner, but for now the focus is muscle and symmetry. I currently weigh about 153 and I am about 16% bodyfat as determined by iDXA.  

When I first started I told Mark I wanted glutes and hamstrings, he assured me that wouldn’t be a problem given all the posterior chain work in the programming. He was right. What we do is not easy nor is it for everyone. It was as mentally challenging as it is physically. But the results given the time I spend in the gym, much better than the old days. 

Obviously when I decide to get contest ready, the diet will tighten up, but it will stay balanced and include foods I like. There are no magic foods, only total kcals and the right macro balance. 

I haven’t decided on when or if I’ll compete. The goal is to get in the best shape I can, get leaner and work on my symmetry. If at that point I feel like I can be competitive in an over 45 Pro Division, and the prep will fit into my “real life”, we’ll see what happens. Until then, I keep it fun, enjoy working with my teammates and the community of MM Team Fitness.

Updated 7-8-2014. Competed in IFBB Pro Women's Physique, Wings of Strength Show in Chicago IL, on 7-5-2014, took 4th place out of 17 pro women. Thank you Mark for all you do!!!

- Pam York

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