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Bettina Stoddart

This UK JYM Army member took the Holiday Shred Challenge to bounce back from a low point.

Bettina Stoddart

Written by Bettina Stoddart

I stumbled across Jim’s brand in 2013 at the BodyPower Expo in Birmingham (UK), when I sat through one of Jim’s lectures. I was hesitant to join his site because I thought I couldn't do any of the exercises. But I'm glad I did join, because the different workout routines make my training so much more interesting. I'm not allowed to do deadlifts and squats, so I just concentrate on the exercises I can do. You can always do other exercises to train your legs and back; it just may take you a bit longer.

The picture on the right in the above before and after shots was taken with me on stage at the UKBFF Scottish Championship, Body-Fitness category (age 49) in May 2015. I used Dieting 101 and Jim’s Reach Your Peak guidelines (describing Peak Week as “hard” isn’t even close!), and I created my own program by using exercises out of Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength (2nd Edition) – a signed copy of course! My husband was so proud of me – “You looked so beautiful and in the best shape you have ever been,” he told me – and it was a great experience meeting the other girls backstage. It was one of those memorable moments with a great sense of achievement, getting there without a prep coach and all my own work.

The downside during this time was that you will spend most of your time thinking about training, battling self-doubt about being good enough for the stage and thinking about your next meals. Your social life will going right down the pan as well, but during these times, you’ll realize which people are 100% behind you!

Unfortunately, after the competition the old Bettina resurfaced and instead of reverse dieting, which I should have done, my bad habits crept in again. I spent five months binge eating, putting all the weight back on (and more). But that’s me – all or nothing!

This was not a great time for me, because what you eat in secret you wear in public! At those dark moments in my life, I had nearly given up on ever getting a handle on the overeating and I felt so huge that I didn't even enjoy lifting in the gym, which is normally my passion. Then along came Jim’s Holiday Shred Challenge. I started off all enthusiastic because winning a training session with Jim would have been priceless! Now that I'm at Week 4, I’ve come to realize that it will take me at least 6 to 8 months to transform, maybe just in time for the next bodybuilding competition! So far, I 've lost 10 pounds (4.8 kg), 3 inches (9 cm) from my waist and 2 inches (7 cm) from my hips. Baby steps for me!

It's inspiring to see others succeeding, but I also have to remind myself that we are all at different stages of our journey. My biggest success so far is eating like a bodybuilder (on a cutting phase), having energy for work and the gym, and that I have NOT had a single episode of binge eating. Now THAT is priceless!

For me, the most important part is good nutrition and portion control. In addition, I take the following supplements: glucosamine sulfate, Omega 3, Vita JYM, Shred JYM, Pre JYM, Post JYM, Pro JYM and ZMA JYM. This Holiday Shred Challenge will end in two weeks, but this will not be the end of my fitness journey. This challenge has given me a newfound belief that I can achieve my transformation goal!


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