Kierstin is a senior at Flagler College in beautiful, sunny St. Augustine, Florida. Though she has always been active, she has struggled with the weight that stress and poor diets can put on in college. This year, she took a stand and embarked on The 12 Week Transformational Training Regimen that was developed by Kris Gethin. I originally reached out to Kristin because her before and after pictures popped up on my Facebook timeline one day. I was amazed by the results that she had earned and soon discovered her blog, Making the Cut, full of recipes and motivational tips that get her through the process.
So, if you need that last push to get you in the body that you want to be for 2013, read our interview with Kierstin below. She is a tour de force of a fitness femme and a great inspiration! If you have any questions that we didn’t cover, feel free to comment and we’ll pass it on to Kierstin for an answer!
What inspired you to do the challenge?
Kierstin: I’ve always been an athletic girl but I never felt that I looked as athletic and fit as I wanted to. I knew my eating habits were contributing to my unhappiness. I spoke to my manager, Keith, at Smoothie King about my goals and my struggles to achieve those goals. Being interested in health and nutrition, he suggested that I take a look at Kris Gethin’s 12 Week Hardcore trainer on Bodybuilding.com. At first I was hesitant, but after further research I was dead set on completing this challenge. Because Keith had previously completed the transformation, I was able to ask him any questions I had and immediately received answers. After talking to him, doing my research, and trying workouts and supplements for about 3 weeks I felt completely motivated and inspired to finally take control of my body.
Do the supplements play a vital role with your body transformation? Do you think you could have done it without them?
Kierstin: Supplements do exactly what the name says; they SUPPLEMENT your diet. Supplements are not magical powders that make you achieve your goals and therefore they are not necessary but they definitely help you achieve your goals. Personally, I could not have done it without my multivitamin, green tea fat burners, protein powders and BCAAs.
How did you “calculate your own personal body nutrient needs”? (via A day in the life of ME! Post)
Kierstin: Again, I did a ton of research. There are many macronutrient calculators on the internet (I used this one). They’ll give you a good estimate of grams/calories your body needs for the day. Then I divided that number by the number of meals I have per day. That number would be my target number per meal. If its over or under by a little bit that’s okay. Remember, its just an estimate.
I’ve been to bodybuilding.com and experienced with some of their workout plans. Why did you choose a male workout plan?
Kierstin: Like I said earlier, Keith suggested this specific plan for me. When I found that it was considered a male plan I became hesitant. I searched for other women that used this specific plan and although they were hard to find, there were many who were successful. I also did some research and found that females can and should train just as hard as men but because of our hormonal levels we will never be as bulky as men. Furthermore, I looked at the female workout plans on bodybuilding.com and found less of a focus on the intensity of the workouts.
What was your set goal? (Ex: Transform your body? Lose weight? Tone up? Tone up certain areas?)
Kierstin: I wanted to “transform my body” but I wanted to build strong and lean muscle. In order to do so I had to lose the extra fat surrounding my muscles. Personally, my set goal was to look fit with muscle definition.
What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
Kierstin: One of the most challenging aspects was time management. A quote I live by is “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” I always had to be prepared for any obstacle that could occur. I kept a spare set of gym clothes and sneakers in my car and I always carried ingredients for an emergency meal replacement protein drink. Time is a valuable thing and wasting time is not an option. Following a strict training and dieting regiment is very time consuming. Now add college classes, a part time job, housework(I live alone), and a boyfriend and a dog to give attention to. It was exhausting to take on my long list of daily tasks. It seemed like the days weren’t long enough. I almost never had time to just sit and relax or hang out with friends. This was the second most challenging aspect. I removed myself from social scenes. I found that I distanced myself from my friends and family. I completely dedicated everything to myself and therefore I was extremely selfish. When I finished the plan I felt amazing about my accomplishments but I felt kinda lonely. The biggest thing I learned throughout this transformation is to always be the one in control of my environment. You should never let anyone or anything keep you from achieving your dreams. If that means you have to be selfish, then by all means, be selfish! Do it for you and nobody else. I may have lost some “friends” but if they were truly my friends then they would have supported me throughout.
At week 7, you did amazing so far! How did you stay motivated to finish the 12-week plan?
Kierstin: By week 7 the lifestyle became a habit. Also, this was the time when I was just beginning to see real results in the mirror. It seemed like everyday I found something new to be excited about. Just that left me itching for more.
After the 12 week was up, what did you maintain and what did you get rid of [from your daily routine]? – Did you go back to your normal “college” diet? – What do your workouts consist of now? – Do you still take supplements?
Kierstin: As hard as it was to take those unhealthy foods out of my diet, it’s harder to add them back in. After 12 weeks of being so strict on myself, it is mentally challenging to allow myself to have those foods that I’ve worked so hard to completely avoid. Not to mention I’d feel so guilty if I were to just give up everything I’ve worked so hard for. However, it is not healthy to continue to put my body under this much stress and therefore I must slowly and gradually alleviate the stress in order to not gain the weight back. Right now I’ve allowed myself one cheat meal per week where I just don’t care about my macros. I’ve also added a lot more healthy fats into my diet such as nuts, nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, organic dark chocolate. I’m also added in “fun” carbs such as rice cakes, brown rice tortilla, and sprouted grain bread. I know all these things are considered extremely healthy to most people but after restricting myself for so long these are like treats!! For the most part I still eat every 3-4 hours but I don’t stress out if its more or less.
* Some supplements can only be taken for a certain length of time. It’s important to read the directions, serving sizes and any reviews on the supplements you are taking. After my transformation I stopped taking pre-workout, creatine, and fat burning pills. I still drink protein after strength training, BCAAs in my water, and multivitamins.
* A week after my completion of this transformation I celebrated my 21st Birthday. Of course I drank alcohol and had a good time with friends and family. After all, you only turn 21 once. I still won’t drink as much as that of my peers and I’m completely okay with that. I don’t need alcohol to have a good time.
* As for workouts, I am currently trying Kris Gethin’s DTP which is a short muscle building training plan. Fitness is such a dynamic and evolving field. There are always new things to try. The most important thing is to constantly change it up and keep your body guessing. This transformation has opened up a world of possibilities.
What part of the plan helped your body the most? (Ex: taking away carbs, running twice a day, eating 6 meals a day, no alcohol, etc.)
Kierstin: Each part of the plan plays a large role in the transformation process. It’s like one giant puzzle; everything must fit together and the puzzle will never be finished without all the pieces.
Meet the House Guest Contributor: Kierstin Cifelli
Kierstin is a senior at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Learn how she “eats clean and trains dirty” on her blog, Making the Cut.
original post DECEMBER 18, 2012