The girl behind “Larapro4”

Hey everyone! I have finally got this website up and running! I hope to add much more as I get things moving along. Some of you may know me and some of you may be wondering, “Who the heck is this peanut butter obsessed gym addict?”. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and my own personal health journey so you can get to know me a little bit better 😉

I have been active all of my life. I began playing sports my second grade year at my school and continued all the way up until senior year of high school. I played just about everything. Basketball, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, tennis and enjoyed regular outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. I played basketball at a competitive level all of high school including AAU in the summer. I was never a sedentary person. My eating habits were always “so-so” but I ran so much that it never really mattered what I ate. I always had breakfast made for me in the morning, lunch packed and a fresh dinner ready on the table after my practice. Let’s just say my parents spoiled me a tad.

I graduated high school in 2008 and entered my first year of college at the University of Louisville. Boy, was I excited! I was finally living on my own. I could do what I wanted whenever I wanted. I had way too much free time, way too much money on my food credit, partied way too much and spent way too much of my day being lazy. What did all of this lead to? An extra 20 pounds my first year of college and a beautiful muffin top accompanied by the flabby arms. Wowzers. Now this didn’t happen over night. I ate terrible. I binged. I drank tons of alcohol. I ate late at night after the drinking… i mean duh! Who didn’t hit up White Castle or Taco Bell at 4am?  Anything that affected my health in a negative way, I did. I thought being a cardio queen would cancel out all the bad stuff that was entering my body. It didn’t. I looked in the mirror one day towards the end of my first year and lost it. It hit me. I had really gained this weight. I lost my self confidence. I looked back at high school pictures and dreamed of having that body back again.

Over the next couple of years I lost weight here and there and found a “comfortable” weight. I never really felt good about my body. I still lacked self confidence. I could have a million people tell me how pretty I am or how they love my body, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t feel that way. I didn’t like my body. I dressed with loose fitting clothes. Black was the only color in my closet. Well, I do believe it is the same today but at least I added 10% of some color ;).  I knew how to disguise my flaws. I was paranoid about people taking pictures because I didn’t know how I would look… and to be honest, I didn’t want to even look at the pictures.

In the fall of my senior year everything changed. I came across a before and after picture of a girl who’s before picture looked exactly like me at the time. Her after picture was phenomenal! She was rocking a bikini with a beautifully toned and sculpted body and the confidence was exuding! I found the trainer that helped her achieve her transformation and told him it was my turn. I wanted to be his next transformation.

…Before I continue, I want to share a little bit about me. I’m a tomboy. I wear sweats 98% of the time. My hair stays in a ponytail and you’d be lucky to catch me with a face of makeup. It just doesn’t happen people. I’m shy. I hate attention. I hate to be looked at. I wear black 75% of the time to avoid standing out (as previously noted). It’s just not my thing…

Back to my story. I met with this trainer, Fred, and he told me he would train me. He promised me he could help me achieve the exact same look. “I’m in! Let’s get going now!” was my response. “Just one thing” he said. “You HAVE to compete in a NPC bikini competition after your transformation.” Let me tell you what I did. I laughed. Hysterically. There is no way in hell I’m going to step on stage painted orange in a tiny bikini, stripper heels, clown face of makeup and strutting around in front of hundreds of people. No way. “I can’t train you if you won’t compete.” I took a few days to think about it and finally decided, WHY NOT? What did I have to lose? (besides those 20 lbs)… I told him I was in. It was time for me to have my own transformation, both mentally and physically. It was time to do something to better myself and what better way than transforming my body and health and overcoming a terrible stage fright.
We began training that week. He taught me so much. I always thought being active was more important than nutrition. I didn’t know any better. I grew up with a family that ate whatever, whenever. He taught me every detail about nutrition and how it affected my competition and overall lifestyle. I trained 6 days a week for 2-3 hours and sometimes twice a day. I spent my life in that gym for 6 months. I spent hours meal prepping. I spent hours practicing my posing. It was my life. April came and I stepped on that stage and ROCKED. Family and friends were there cheering me on and I felt AMAZING. All of my hard work paid off. I was rocking self confidence like no other. I didn’t place top 5 that show but I did place 8 out of 24 girls. I’m extremely competitive and always shoot for #1 but in this case, I was ecstatic!
Following the show, I indulged in my favorite foods that I was missing so terribly, and the next week I was right back in the gym and back to meal prepping. I was hooked and this “health and fitness life” was now my way of life. I loved it. I loved everything about it. I loved the clean eating. I loved the weight training. I loved dripping in sweat after an intense cardio session. It was my therapy. It still is my therapy.

Since I tracked my entire experience of training via Facebook and Instagram, I had a pretty big following and began getting questions from girls asking if I could train them. It never crossed my mind to become a trainer. I was studying exercise science, public health and wellness coaching but I thought I would go more towards the health program planning than anything else. I gave it some thought and decided I would train a few people as a side job until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I got tons of request and emails from online training requests as well. Turns out I loved it. I loved the one on one training. I loved helping people see results and go through the changes I once did. It’s an amazing feeling to know you are helping someone in a positive way. I knew this was what I wanted to do.

I have learned so much through school, different trainers, reading, other bodybuilders and most of all my own experiences. In my first year of training I helped over 60+ clients through one on one, group training and bootcamps and have helped hundreds via online. This is my calling. This is my passion. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and getting to know me just a little bit. I hope to share many more stories and experiences as well as helpful tips for training and nutrition and much more!

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