Although Francina had always been athletic, her eating habits were less than optimal and she didn?t have the body she knew she was capable of having. So she dedicated herself to losing weight for a competition. Learn how she dropped 30 pounds!
Name: Francina Segbefia
Weight: 155 lbs
Body Fat: 29%
Weight: 125 lbs
Body Fat: 15%
Why I Got Started
I have always had very low self-esteem. People look at me and tell me that they don’t believe me, but it is absolutely true. Growing up, I was felt like the odd girl out. I was ignored by my classmates and basically buried my nose in the books during my adolescence.
I’ve always been involved with working out, but my eating habits were horrible. I packed on weight and seemed to be stuck and could not lose the weight no matter what. When I finally got my eating under control, I realized that I was one of those people that used food as coping mechanism.
The food numbed my emotions and I really used it as a drug. Food was comfort and without it, I was forced to face my true emotions. That was a very difficult realization.
Although I was never technically obese, I had a mentality where I thought and acted like I was much more overweight than I really was. I would cover up my body all the time.
I always worked out at the gym in long pants and sweat shirts, even in the summer. I tried to wear a bikini when I went to the beach, but would feel horrible uncomfortable and could not enjoy myself.
I would compare myself to women who were 100+ pounds heavier than me and think that I somehow looked like those individuals. Basically, I had a completely unrealistic view of myself and zero self-worth.
I finally took a long hard look at myself and realized that I needed to take responsibility for my actions and my life. I control how I react to certain situations. I control what I eat and how hard I work out.
Once I learned that lesson, I was ready to change. I found my trainer, Beka Bentley (www.bekabentley.com), who give me the tough love I needed to get on track and I have never looked back.
My first goal was to lose weight and to get in shape for a trip toArubaI was taking in August 2008 for my 31st birthday. I was very embarrassed about the pictures from my vacation the previous year, and did not want to feel uncomfortable and fat again.
I just wanted to feel healthy and happy with my body and proud to flaunt my body in a bikini. My trainer created a customized diet and training plan for me. After the first 6 weeks, my body had transformed in a way that I had never seen before. My trainer knew I had a goal of competing and asked me when I wanted to do my first show.
At that point, I seriously considered competing in a figure show. I did my research and found a local show that was coming up in approximately 4 months. With dedication and the support of all the people around me, I did it. And I literally worked my butt off!
I competed in my first figure show on November 15, 2008 – the OCB Yorton Cup Nationals. It was a large and competitive show but I took home 2 trophies. That day was a dream come true. Now I realize that I need to dream bigger dreams!
How I Did It
My main issue was controlling my eating. I was used to working out every day, but I just did not know how to diet correctly for my body type. My diet consisted of 6 small meals a day with a good balance of lean proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
I eliminated virtually all sugar and processed foods. I learned portion control, which was a major factor in controlling my weight. I also learned that all the little “extras”, i.e., condiments, salt, dressings, creamer, were all contributing to my weight gain.
I slowly started to phase all of these items out of my diet. It was tough at first, but it became easier and easier. I learned what foods I liked and how to cook them in a manner what was on my diet plan. After a while, I really began to love my clean eating foods.
My workouts consisted of weight training 6 days a week with an hour of cardio a day. High intensity interval training worked most efficiently for me in burning off the excess fat. I mistakenly thought that long, steady-state cardio was best.
But after training and running 3 marathons and gaining 15 pounds over that time, I quickly learned that was not the case. The intervals kept my body guessing and it never adapted to any type of cardio because I was constantly changing the intensity to challenge myself. It worked like a charm!
* Flaxseed Oil
* Green Tea Extract
* Whey Protein
o Boiled egg whites
o Lean protein
Meal 4: Post-Workout
o Whey Protein
o Green vegetable
o Green vegetable
* Monday: Legs
* Tuesday: Back
* Wednesday: Shoulders
* Thursday: Abs
* Friday: Chest
* Saturday: Arms
* Sunday: Off
* Cardio: 6 or 7 days a week for 1 hour usually intervals on the treadmill, spinning classes or the stepmill.
* Weight Training: Different body part each day for 6 days a week – 6 separate exercises; sets vary but are usually between 3 and 5 sets with reps between 6-15.
Suggestions For Others
Sit down, think about and write out your goals. As cliché as it may seem, this step is so important.
I live, breathe and eat my goals and each time I reach a goal, I start to dream bigger and bigger. I always have a countdown timer on my computer set, clicking away to my next important event or goal. This helps me to stay focused.
Once you have listed your goal, commit yourself. This means not that you just “try” to reach your goal. Make the decision that you will reach your goal – no matter what! Trying is not good enough.
You must make the decision to complete what you start – no excuses. You may not reach the specific goal you are trying to reach, but you will complete or achieve your goal with a certain result.
Prepare! Preparation is everything. You may be tired, but when you get home from work, make sure your meals are prepared for the next day. Do all your shopping and the bulk of your cooking over the weekend.
Have plenty of clean eating snacks prepared, in small baggies, so it is easy to grab and eat. Lay out your workout clothes, set your alarm, have your coffee-maker ready, do everything you can to prepare. The more you prepare, the more you set up yourself for success. Do not be lazy about this step!
Recruit your friends, co-workers, spouse, family for support. Let them know what your goals are and ask them for support. My family and friends were great about not keeping tempting food around me. No temptation means no cheating.