Issue #1


by HardFitness

Thyroid Disorders
by Sandra del Vecchio

The Ins and Outs of a Fitness Routine
by Kristi Willis

Best Shape of your Life
by Julie Lohre

Women and Strength Training
by Holly Geersen

Video Interviews featuring Julie Lohre and Sandra Wickham

Pictorials featuring Amy Peters, Holly Geersen, Julie Lohre, Erica Davidson and Mimi Jabalee

Things to Pack for Contest Day by Amy Peters

A week prior to a show (an article about carb/water depletion)
by Tanya Pennington

Thermogenics by Sandra Del Vecchio

Upcoming shows in '05
by HardFitness

Antioxidants by Holly Geersen

Picture Perfect get the Right Contest Color by Deborah Denio

Easy Lasagna by Amy Peters

Bethany Howlett book by Bethany Howlett

Some facts of Life
by Holly Geersen

Beyond the Plateau
by Shelly Pinkerton

by Shelly Pinkerton

At 38 years old, I had reached what I thought was my final fitness plateau. An avid weight lifter and fitness buff for the better part of 20 years, I had watched my body grow and become more refined as I entered the prime of my physical life. Although my nutritional intake was not pristine, I could eat pretty much what I wanted, and still illicit that oh-so-common accusation…"You work out, don’t you?" I had escaped serious injury during my active life, and was thankful to not have some chronic back or knee “condition” slowing me down. All in all, I felt pretty good about myself…physically. Mentally, however, I had begun to question my purpose in fitness. I knew I loved the feeling of being physical, and that exercise was what kept me sane in my otherwise crazy life; as a wife and mother of two trying to run my own business, the daily (and sometimes nightly) self-sacrifice could easily take its toll. But I was beginning to lose focus on my physical goals. What was my direction in the gym? Why was my fitness regime becoming so dreaded? I was seeing no changes in my body, no differences in my ability to train. At first it was matter-of-fact; I just didn’t feel “into it” that day, I was tired, or I needed to get an early start on homework with my 12-year-old. When I realized the excuses to not exercise were coming as fast as I could think of them, I knew I needed something more.

It is not uncommon for women of my age to go through this cycle, no matter what their career or hobby of choice may be. What is uncommon – although, thanks to the fitness industry and equal opportunity, this is changing – is women taking notice of this “plateau” concept and taking action to rectify the situation. Over the centuries, women have been taught to feel guilty or shameful when they reach a state of plateau. Having no sense of direction meant you weren’t doing things well, or you were letting someone down, or not doing your job. Women did not stop to think that perhaps they simply needed a new personal challenge, or a renewed sense of motivation and a fresh outlook to jumpstart their lives again. For me, and I suspect for many women my age, this sense of going in circles was terribly frustrating and more than a little frightening. The questions I began asking myself became life defining; was I no longer a physically driven person? What had changed in my persona that was taking me away from my life-long passion? What would I do now? What would people think?

What came next was nothing short of an epiphany. I decided to challenge my physical person instead of trying to analyze it or, worse yet, ignore it. I knew nothing of competing in figure, but I knew it would require a discipline that would take precision and focus. And, at my age, who in their right mind would be trying to break into such a physically competitive arena in the first place? It was the perfect challenge and, true to form, I took the bait. It could not have been a better choice. I began training in May of 2004 with National-level competitor and trainer Tony Dodd, an exceptionally dedicated, talented and soulful man with an uncanny understanding of the female physique. Under his careful stewardship, I watched my body grow and change for the second time in my adult life, responding to each training technique and nutritional adjustment like the finely tuned machine it was. I was infused with a renewed sense of empowerment, self-confidence and motivation. This was what I was born to do! The following months were life changing; I placed no lower than second in the 1st three figure competitions I entered, and took the Overall in both the Masters and Unlimited Classes in the 2004 Tournament of Champions in Anaheim, California. What an incredible boost to my self-confidence it was. By the end of the year, I was back on track with a positive and productive physical – and mental - purpose.
My message is simple. As women, the ageing process holds challenges that swirl in a mysterious mist of self-doubt, apathy and fear of what lies ahead. It is only when we meet these challenges head on can we look back and realize what we are truly made of – flesh, blood, bone, determination and HEART! And for these things, we are envied, admired, respected, and LOVED! So go for it, ladies – you are more than worth it.

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About the Author...

Shelly Pinkerton CPFT & National-level Figure Competitor

I grew up in rural northern California where extracurricular activities were few and far between - I can remember my mom driving two to three hours a day to get me to gymnastics and ballet lessons. Naturally athletic and blessed with good genetics, I involved myself in all school sports and cheerleading, and when I started college at CSU, Chico, I found myself joining my first gym and learning about weight training – I was hooked!

After my son was born in 1992 I became certified to teach group fitness and shortly after attained my personal training certification. I have been working with people to improve their lifestyles ever since. In 2004, after a difficult move to Southern California, I accepted a new challenge – figure competing – and found renewed personal satisfaction and success. I plan to continue to share my passion for fitness with others by helping them develop their own happy, healthy lifestyle through my personal training business, BodyWise Total Fitness, and through my experiences in figure competing.

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