Monday, December 21, 2015

Jacqueline Paige- overweight and anxiety ridden to competing in Natural Bodybuilding Competition and living her best Life!

Jacqueline Paige is not only transformational person, but someone who will truly inspire you and help you to live your best life. As Newarknow continues to focus on health and fitness Jaqueline story is one that will stick out not only in crafting your best body, but also your heart and soul. Here's her story.

In recent years you had a total physical transformation, how did you do it?
Steve, to completely answer this question I have to go into a bit more detail. I have severe generalized anxiety. Basically, it is where I cannot turn off my brain.
The actual definition General Anxiety Disorder according to Web MD is: Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In people with GAD, the worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person's thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.
The doctors like to say, “you suffer from severe general anxiety disorder” to which my response is, “Shut the hell up- I am BLESSED with severe anxiety disorder”. But WHY am I telling you about this mess of a problem when I am supposed to be telling you about my “successful” fitness/weight loss journey. You needed to know what I struggle with EVERY SINGLE DAY, my motivating factor… my lifeline.My weight loss journey started in November 2012. The highest I ever saw the scale go was 183 pounds. Now, for some people, that might be their target goal- but for me, and my body type, I was highly overweight. I struggled daily mentally, physically and emotionally. I ate fast food multiple times a week. “Cooking” was throwing a frozen pizza in the oven, pizza rolls in the microwave or if I got really ambitious, I would make loaded cheesy potatoes (and proceed to eat the whole pan). It wasn’t that I sat on my ass 24/7, or that I didn’t exercise- actually, quite the opposite. I had a stressful internship out in Wyoming working 60+ hours a week, was still taking online college courses, and went to the gym to “run” on the treadmill a few times a week. I never had time to just sit, yet I was getting progressively larger by the day. Although I didn’t love how I looked, I didn’t hate it. What I did hate is how I felt. I felt like shit 100% of the time. If I wasn’t struggling emotionally or mentally, it was probably because my body was too exhausted physically from my job and from my daily life activates that I was legitimately out of breath! I needed something to change.
My mom, being the beast, and by beast I mean amazing, gorgeous, ambitious woman she is, competed through the NANBF (North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation) as a figure competitor. I saw her lose weight, build muscle and gain confidence…and she looked and felt GREAT (everyone could tell). She was what I aspired to be like, not only because of her physical transformation, but because of the mental transformation and life change she was making as well.

January 2013 I made the decision and set the goal to do my first NANBF competition in May. That gave me five months to change my eating habits, start working out/building muscle, and gain the confidence to go on stage and “present” my best package. I complied a diet plan for the next five months (with the help of my mother and family friend, Jim), I started weight training six days a week with my mom, and started working towards a healthier lifestyle (not binge drinking, binge eating). In May 2013, I stepped on the stage at the NANBF Mr. and Ms. Minnesota show and completed my first “fitness” milestone. I ended up taking home a fourth place in my class. I dropped approximately fifty pounds from the time I started training to going on stage. Now, to say that was difficult, would be an understatement. Completely changing the way you eat, think, and LIVE not only affects you, but those around you. I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t fully understand the physiological effects taking place during my training. I was focused on losing weight and looking good in a bikini for a show… I wasn’t actually focused on changing my lifestyle. However, I had gotten bit by the “show bug”, I wanted to be on stage and do better- so I set another goal of the NANBF show in Elk River Minnesota in October 2013. I lifted hard, but hit the cardio harder. In October, I came in with an even better personal package, and ended up taking home fourth in my class again. I was so proud of myself physically but STILL struggled with myself mentally and emotionally. It was at that point when I realized I needed to take a step back and concentrate on myself mentally and emotionally getting stronger, rather than just physically getting stronger. I needed to educate myself.
It turns out the more I educated myself and others about my anxiety disorder, the worse I felt about myself. People tended to look at it as a weakness. I tried multiple medications, therapy… you name it, I tried it. I felt like a burden, a mutant, a ticking time bomb. In early October of 2014, a year after my NANBF Elk River show, I hit rock bottom. I had proceeded to push a majority of my loved ones away: my now ex-boyfriend, many friends, and family. I hit rock bottom, and cannot emphasize enough how thankful I am for the individuals who did stick with me, who continued to believe in me (even when I had completely given up on myself). I wanted to make myself feel better- to not let my anxiety overcome my life. So I decided to change my mindset, and let my lifestyle follow. I found a doctor named Chris, she’s amazing and LISTENS. I started reading The Positive Thinking Secret, and embracing the theories. To my surprise, I saw change. I believed things were going to get better, I believed that I could be positive (and that my anxiety could be positive) and it started to work! I am not saying that every day was perfect, or amazing… but every day was a good day (even if it did have some rough patches).
By January 2015, I was mentally and emotionally feeling the best I have ever felt. I wanted to try training for another show. Two shows were coming up, Natural Iowa, and Mr. and Ms. Minnesota. They were rapidly approaching (in May) and I thought it would be cool to try to peak for Mr. and Ms. MN since it had been my “starter” show. I trained doing limited cardio, and focusing primarily on weightlifting. My body composition had completely changed from the first time I stepped on stage. I trained with the mindset and belief that these competitions were me against me. Me and my mind now against who I was in 2013 and 2014. I stepped on stage at Iowa with a great personal package and didn’t place… but I was SO proud MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY and EMOTIONALLY. The week after Iowa, I stepped on stage at Mr. and Ms. Minnesota and blew my 2013 package out of the water. I ended up taking home third place in my novice class. My most recent show, was a DFAC show in Duluth, MN where I competed in one of the bikini classes. I was wanted to try the DFAC show format for the sole purpose that the shows are made for the competitors, put on by competitors. This was the most competitive show I have ever competed at, and I didn't end up placing (which I was more than ok with). The other athletes were amazing, and I felt blessed to be sharing the stage with them.

Now you compete in various competitions which ones and how do you like competing?

I have competed in five shows thus far. I have competed in four NANBF shows, and one DFAC show. (I think the above question answered this in more detail).
Who is your role model and why?  
This is probably cliche, but my mother is my biggest role model. She has gone through a transformation similar to mine, she works full time, is a mother of three kids, a wife, a christian, and one of the kindest people I know. She is selfless, blunt, funny, and I am blessed to call her MY mother.
What exercises and supplement do you perform and take?As for exercises, I try and mix it up as much as possible. I weight lift six days a week but it is ever changing. I am the operations manager for a gym, so I have the pleasure of collaborating now with my personal training director and staff. Not only do I get to learn from my staff at work, but looking at blogs and training videos online help me to change up my routine as well.
Supplements are an issue for me if I am speaking honestly. I take a multi vitamin on a daily basis along with glutamine, bcaas, and CLA. That is it for supplements. I have to be careful with what I introduce into my system for the fact that it can affect my anxiety.
What are your goals in life and in the fitness world?
My goals in life and in the fitness world are the same- Help other people realize they can achieve whatever they put their mind to.. and to realize that everyone is going through something (big or small).

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