Weight Loss Stories

Learn how Pamela lost 34 lbs. and now competes on stage!

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Read her success story! Before and after fitness success motivation from women who hit their weight loss goals and got THAT BODY with training and meal prep. Learn their workout tips get inspiration! | TheWeighWeWere.comPamela ballooned to a staggering 160 lbs. and went from a size 8 to 14 in a short 6 months. In addition she had accepted that she couldn’t change. Was this the final blow? Learn how she lost 34 lbs. and now competes on stage! 

Vital Stats

Name: Pamela Murray

E-mail: tpjmurray@msn.com

Age: 36

Height: 5′ 1 1/2″


Weight: 160 lbs.

Body Fat: 34%

Size: 13/14


Weight: 117 lbs.

Body Fat: 20%

Size: 1/2

Why I Got Started

After having 2 children, one by vertical c-section, I just accepted the fact that I could never have a toned body, never mind a muscular physique. For years my lifestyle consisted of horrible eating habits partnered with no exercise and alcohol consumption every weekend.

3 years ago at age 33 I was 160 lbs and the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I can’t say that I struggled with my weight because I never made a real effort to do something about it. I was one of those people who admired a muscular and totally fit physique but told myself “I could never do that.”

I had myself completely convinced that I didn’t have the discipline or the willpower to achieve that type of physique. So I continued on with my horrible eating habits and lack of exercise. Why not eat and drink as much as I want if I “can’t” do anything about my weight?

When I went from a pants size 8 to a size 14 and from 135 lbs to 160 lbs over the course of approximately 5-6 months I finally decided it was time to stop making excuses for why I couldn’t eat right and exercise.

I was tired of being winded when I got to the top of the stairs. I was tired of being… so tired all the time. I was tired of having to explain to my kids why I wouldn’t put a swimsuit on so that I could go swimming with them.

I was tired of having to come up with an excuse as to why I was wearing pants instead of shorts on a hot and humid summer day. Most of all, I was tired of setting an incredibly unhealthy and irresponsible example for my kids. That’s ultimately what made me push myself to lose weight.

How I Did It

My original goal was to lose approximately 30 lbs and get into shape. I had no idea how to even begin. So in January of 2005 I decided to hire a personal trainer inNashua,NH(Michael Wilkie/Fit For Life Personal Training) to teach me the proper way to lose weight with weight training and by changing my diet completely.

I had every reason to believe that I’d quit within a month or so given my history and lack of effort. Before I knew it, we were 3 months into training and I was approximately 20 lbs lighter and eating much healthier without even a 2nd thought.

I began weight training 4 times per week along with 30-45 minutes of cardio 4 times per week. As of October 2005 I lost a total of 34 lbs by eating 6 meals per day with protein and carbs included in every meal. I allowed myself one cheat meal per week which I chose to have on Saturday nights. My cheat meal usually consisted of pizza and dessert.

Cheat Meal Articles:

o Cheaters Always Prosper. – By Marc Lobliner

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o Cheating: Should You Do It? – By Shannon Clark

o TheBest WaysTo Cheat! – By Christopher Mohr

o Other Cheat Meal Articles…

I continued training with Michael twice a week and on my own twice a week. This past May I decided that it was time for a new goal. I asked Michael to train me for my first figure competition which was being held in November.

Over the course of 6 months I went from 126 lbs and 24.3% body fat to 117 lbs and 15% body fat. I competed in the Novice Figure Short category in the INBF Monster Mash on 11/3 and placed 4th out of 8 women. I’m currently training for my 2nd INBF figure competition being held in May.

I achieved this goal with daily reassurance to myself that I am capable of this as well as endless support and encouragement from my family and friends. One of the most important things that I’ve learned through all of this is that this is a total lifestyle change. This isn’t something temporary or something that I start and stop. I also now use the word “diet” as a noun rather than a verb.

Sample Diet

My diet consists of a certain number of protein, carbs, fat and calories per day. These numbers are distributed throughout 6 meals per day with the focus of each meal being on protein and carbs. The number of protein and carbs that I consume each meal depends on when and if I’m weight training that day. My daily target numbers are:

Protein: 130g/day

Carbs: 155g/day

Fat: 30g/day

Calories: 1,410/day

Below is how I distribute the number of protein and carbs according to when I’m training:

Early Morning Workout/No Workout Day

Meal # 1 (pre-workout meal): 25g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 2 (post workout meal): 25g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 3: 20g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 4: 20g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 5: 20g protein, 25g carbs

Meal # 6: 20g protein, 10g carbs

Mid-Day Workout

Meal # 1: 25g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 2: 25g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 3 (pre-workout meal): 20g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 4 (post workout meal): 20g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 5: 20g protein, 25g carbs

Meal # 6: 20g protein, 10g carbs

P.M. Workout

Meal # 1: 25g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 2: 20g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 3: 25g protein, 25g carbs

Meal # 4: 20g protein, 10g carbs

Meal # 5 (pre-workout): 20g protein, 30g carbs

Meal # 6 (post workout): 20g protein, 30g carbs

My diet pretty much consists of the same foods everyday. Those foods are:

* Protein powders

* Ready to drink shakes

* Meal replacement shakes

* Fat free cottage cheese

* Yogurt

* Frozen strawberries

* Quaker Oats

* Salad

* Chicken breast

* Whole wheat bread

* English muffins

* Natural peanut butter

* Sugar free jam

* Sugar free salad dressings

* Red potatoes

* Sun dried tomatoes

* Flavored seltzer water

Here’s how I put it all together according to my target numbers on a day when I’m either training first thing in the morning or not training at all:

Meal # 1: (pre-workout) 25g pro, 30g carbs

o Whey Protein

o 1 slice of whole grain toast

o 1 tbsp sugar free jam

Meal # 2: (post workout) 25g pro, 30g carbs

o MRP (Myoplex Lite) w/BCAA

o 1/2 whole wheat English muffin

o 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

o 1 tbsp sugar free jam

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Meal # 3: 20g pro, 30g carbs

o 4 oz. Fat free cottage cheese

o 6 oz Dannon nonfat yogurt

o 5 oz Dole frozen strawberries

o 2 Barlean’s fish oil softgels

Meal # 4: 20g pro, 30g carbs

o 3 cups salad

o 3 oz boneless/skinless chicken breast

o 4 oz baked baby red potatoes

o 20g capers

o 10g sundried tomatoes

o 2 tbsp Newman’s low fat sesame ginger dressing

Meal # 5: 20g pro, 25g carbs

o 1/4 cup oatmeal w/Splenda

o MRP (Myoplex Lite)

o 4 oz container of yogurt

Meal # 6: 20g pro, 10g carbs

o 3 cups salad

o 3 oz chicken

o 2 tbsp of sugar free balsamic vinaigrette dressing


I train 4 times per week hitting every body part once, abs 3 times per week (never consecutive days and never when they’re sore) and cardio (usually the Stairmaster and once in a while the elliptical) 2-3 times per week for 30-45 minutes each. I’ll stick with two cardios per week if my diet has been perfect.

I’ll add the third cardio if I ate a little more than I should have over the weekend or had something that maybe I shouldn’t have. I don’t do the same routine on the same day every week.

Michael and I usually decide at the beginning of the week which body part we’ll hit on which days. I do 4 sets of each exercise with the first set at 12 reps and the rest at 8-10 reps increasing the weight when possible with each set. Abs are done with any of these workouts or done alone three times per week with 8 sets at 20 reps each.

Here’s a typical week for me:

Day 1 – Legs:

Straight-leg deadlifts

Leg extension

Leg press superset with lunges

Smith machine squats

Calf raises

Day 2 – Chest/Biceps:

Incline dumbbell press superset with dumbbell bicep curls

Barbell bench press superset with barbell curls

Pec deck fly superset with hammer curls


Day 3 – Back:

Wide-grip lat pulldown

Seated cable rows

Bent-over barbell row

Reverse-grip lat pulldown

Dumbbell row

Day 4 – Shoulders/Triceps:

Seated dumbbell shoulder press superset with bench dips

Seated rear delt raise superset with seated tricep press

Behind the neck press

Tricep pressdown


* Whey protein

* Meal replacements

* Fish oil softgels


* Multivitamin

* Calcium

Suggestions For Others

I’ve learned from experience that you can be your own worst enemy. Don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t do this. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. What’s helped me the most is setting goals for myself.

Set short-term and long-term goals for yourself and post them somewhere that you’ll see them every single day. Remind yourself everyday why you’re doing this. Remember to give yourself credit for the progress that you’ve made no matter how small you may think it is at the time.

If you have a setback, learn from it and continue on toward your goal. You really can’t imagine how rewarding it is to set what seems like an impossible goal for yourself and finally reach it after working so hard for it. It’s overwhelming. As ironic as this is, one of my favorite pieces of advice came from fortune cookies.

“If at first you do succeed… try something harder.”

Source: bodybuilding

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