Who Am I?

Who Am I?

So that girl in the magazines? The one with the abs who’s demonstrating how to get a better butt?

I’d have never guessed that would be me. Because for most of my life, my body was my greatest adversary.

I was always physical. I loved to exercise and move and eat right, but my body never seemed to cooperate.

From age three to eighteen, ballet was my entire world. But my big thighs and muscular back were a constant bane to my dance career. I was hardly the svelte, dainty ideal of a dancer that ballet companies enforce.

So that girl in the magazines? The one with the abs who’s demonstrating how to get a better butt?

I’d have never guessed that would be me. Because for most of my life, my body was my greatest adversary.

I was always physical. I loved to exercise and move and eat right, but my body never seemed to cooperate.

From age three to eighteen, ballet was my entire world. But my big thighs and muscular back were a constant bane to my dance career. I was hardly the svelte, dainty ideal of a dancer that ballet companies enforce.

Because of ballet, I learned to love movement—and to hate the body I was given.

But despite my athletic frame, I received a scholarship to the Cuban National Ballet—the only dance company in the world that accepted athletic-looking dancers.

I was elated! I was finally going to live my dream of being a full-time ballerina.

Because of ballet, I learned to love movement—and to hate the body I was given.

But despite my athletic frame, I received a scholarship to the Cuban National Ballet—the only dance company in the world that accepted athletic-looking dancers.

I was elated! I was finally going to live my dream of being a full-time ballerina.

But life had other plans.

That same year, I had a snowboarding accident that left me lying in the snow in unbearable pain. A crowd circled around me, gawking at my bent-backward leg while I waited for the paramedics. I had torn my ACL, and along with it my dance career.

The years that followed were some of the darkest in my life. I lost a major part of myself, and I gained a ton of weight.

But after spending too long walking around in a body that I didn’t love, fate intervened. I was working at a major supplement company, helping to formulate products that help people gain muscle and get lean. To encourage its employees to better understand those products, the company hosted an in-house fitness and bodybuilding show. Everyone who signed up would get paired with a trainer and nutritionist, and at the end of three months, there would be a physique show. The winner would get a $2000 prize.

I didn’t think I had a hope of winning the cash, but I was ready to try anything to change my body. So I signed up.

I’d worked with nutritionists and personal trainers before. I’d read the books and done the group classes, and thought I had tried everything.

But life had other plans.

That same year, I had a snowboarding accident that left me lying in the snow in unbearable pain. A crowd circled around me, gawking at my bent-backward leg while I waited for the paramedics. I had torn my ACL, and along with it my dance career.

The years that followed were some of the darkest in my life. I lost a major part of myself, and I gained a ton of weight.

But after spending too long walking around in a body that I didn’t love, fate intervened. I was working at a major supplement company, helping to formulate products that help people gain muscle and get lean. To encourage its employees to better understand those products, the company hosted an in-house fitness and bodybuilding show. Everyone who signed up would get paired with a trainer and nutritionist, and at the end of three months, there would be a physique show. The winner would get a $2000 prize.

I didn’t think I had a hope of winning the cash, but I was ready to try anything to change my body. So I signed up.

I’d worked with nutritionists and personal trainers before. I’d read the books and done the group classes, and thought I had tried everything.

So I was surprised when my first meeting with my trainer took place in the free-weight area of the gym. I’d never ventured beyond the resistance and cardio machines before. The clanking plates were intimidating, but it was also thrilling.

That trainer taught me to lift properly, and from my first set of shoulder presses, I never looked back. I followed his training and diet plan religiously, weighing and measuring everything I ate.

Nothing was more empowering than lifting weights and seeing those changes in the mirror. I was shocked.

And so were my coworkers when I stood on that stage in a bikini three months later.

I didn’t just win that competition—I owned it. I was back onstage, doing what I loved, but instead of dancing in a body that never felt right, I was posing in a body that I was proud of. Suddenly my muscular arms and backside were beautiful.

That was the day I learned to love my body.

From that point on, physique competitions became a huge part of my life. I competed all over North America, working with the world’s best trainers and nutritionists, and posing for magazines like Oxygen and Inside Fitness.

But the best part has been learning how to help others discover the same joy that comes from lifting heavy, eating right, and taking charge of a body that they thought they could never love.

That’s why I started Lean By Heart—so I could help others achieve the same feeling of accomplishment that I felt once I learned to make training and healthy eating a life-long habit.

If you’re ready to take that journey, get started on your own body transformation today!

So I was surprised when my first meeting with my trainer took place in the free-weight area of the gym. I’d never ventured beyond the resistance and cardio machines before. The clanking plates were intimidating, but it was also thrilling.

That trainer taught me to lift properly, and from my first set of shoulder presses, I never looked back. I followed his training and diet plan religiously, weighing and measuring everything I ate.

Nothing was more empowering than lifting weights and seeing those changes in the mirror. I was shocked.

And so were my coworkers when I stood on that stage in a bikini three months later.

I didn’t just win that competition—I owned it. I was back onstage, doing what I loved, but instead of dancing in a body that never felt right, I was posing in a body that I was proud of. Suddenly my muscular arms and backside were beautiful.

That was the day I learned to love my body.

From that point on, physique competitions became a huge part of my life. I competed all over North America, working with the world’s best trainers and nutritionists, and posing for magazines like Oxygen and Inside Fitness.

But the best part has been learning how to help others discover the same joy that comes from lifting heavy, eating right, and taking charge of a body that they thought they could never love.

That’s why I started Lean By Heart—so I could help others achieve the same feeling of accomplishment that I felt once I learned to make training and healthy eating a life-long habit.

If you’re ready to take that journey, get started on your own body transformation today!