Update: 2/2017, Since winning My Journey last year Stephanie has continued to grow as a person and is now competing for a spot in Muscle & Fitness Hers and a chance to win big! Join us in wishing her the best of luck and to support: Click Here to Vote: http://buff.ly/2k8OmRq
An Interview with Competitor, Stephanie Richie, for the MY JOURNEY story series.
LAC: When did you decide to start making your health a priority (what or whom inspired this decision) and what were your goals?
Stephanie: Being healthy has always been a part of my life, however, I was never fully educated in the right way until I joined LAC New Albany. I then met a great group of people at this gym., they are like a family to me. Brittany Taylor has been my trainer for the past 4 years and has taught me a lot about lifting. I then met Emily Bethany thru Brittany.. and found a love for fitness competitions. These girls have shown me a whole new world. I used to be the cardio girl, and would rarely pick up a weight. Now I crave it.
LAC: How did you get started and what did you do to improve your health?
Stephanie: When I was younger I was a runner, so that is all I knew. Running is a great way to stay healthy, but I wanted something more. I wanted to learn more about how my body can change and by healthy while doing it. 4 years ago on the 4th of July I walked into LAC New Albany with my mom and that is when everything changed for the both of us. Eating habits and gym habits changed.
LAC: How did you stay motivated and what was the biggest challenge?
Stephanie: Motivation is key, your mind is a powerful thing. I want people to be inspired by me. I want to help others like my friends helped me. That is what keeps me going. My family keeps me going as well. They are my cheering team If I have an off day, I have to remind myself that nothing is ever easy. You have to put work in to get great results. It’s not about looking good, it’s about feeling great in your own skin and seeing what you can accomplish next. What exercise can I do that I couldn’t before, who can I help next?
LAC: What positive changes did you see in your life and what did you learn throughout this process?
Stephanie: My attitude in life has changed. I have found a true passion for fitness. I feel great, I feel happy. Why? I did my first NPC Competition in October then the next in November of 2015. That was the hardest 3 months that I put my mind and body thru. I did it. I made it. I live for being healthy for myself. Honestly, being in the gym and lifting weights lets any bit of stress that I would have in my life. I want to show anyone who is afraid of going into the gym to let go of any fear they have of going over to that weight section that you should just do it. Do it with confidence. I have learned that I have found myself. I have found who I am. I am a girl who fell in love with lifting weights, a girl who loves to show others that fitness is not just about looking good, it’s about being healthy and feeling good on the inside. People inspired me and continue to do so.
LAC: Final Thoughts? Is there anything else you would like share about your story?
Stephanie: I have come a long way from 4 years ago. I didn’t know a thing about lifting. I didn’t know a thing about NPC Bikini Competitions. Now I live it, I breathe it. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning for my cardio. I lift weights to grow. I am learning every day. The gym is my therapy. When my 6 year old comes up with fitness games, when I see him doing push-ups at home, it makes my day. He is watching, these are the things that make my day. When my husband tells me he is proud of my accomplishments, that is what I live for and when I feel good about my day, when come one messages me and tells me I inspire them, I want to keep going. I’m a dreamer and a believer and a goal chaser.
Stephanie was also a WINNER of the My Journey monthly drawing for January 2016.