Iron Angel: Sharon Dahl
Mar 01, 2013 09:51PM
Current Age: 51
Current Weight: 99 14% Body Fat
• Dress Size : 0 petite/ 24 jean
• Started Training Regiment (Date)Sept 2006
• Original Weight: 115 34% Body Fat
• Original Dress: Size 6P
• How long did the transformation take?
Lost 10 lbs body fat within first 6 mos of working with trainer, continued to sculpt and by 2009 was 105 lbs by the time I completed training school. April 2011 was down to 101 and training for first competition, at competition I was between 94-96 lbs (10% BF), regular weight now 99-101.
• What were your original Eating habits?
I have always tended to be a carboholic, lots of enriched white flour and sugar. Too much fat from foods like Pizza, that were easy and fast.
• What was your original work out regiment, if any?
I had been dancing as a hobby since age 6, ballet, jazz, pointe and performing with my local studio. I usually danced twice a week and did body conditioning classes (the kind with barbie weights! LOL) and a lot of walking/aerobic exercise at times.
I had lost my first husband to ALS in 2000. Once I got around age 40 I had health problems and had to have a hysterectomy at 41. I developed a lot of inflammation in my body which exacerbated the female issues and also gave me migraine headaches, weight gain and depression. My second marriage was stressful and deteriorating.
How did your original weight make you feel?
Not myself. I was used to having a naturally slender, dancer physique. I was starting to see the effects of my diet and dancing was no longer enough to keep me fit.
What made you want to change?
Just that feeling that this was not me, or how I was meant to be. I had always been active, but needed to educate myself and find new ways to be healthy. Also the depression, I wanted to fight it! I also knew deep down that I had to get out of my marriage and gain the confidence to do it. Was not even sure if I could lose more than 5 pounds at that point. I hired a trainer, then another, then another. Finally I BECAME a trainer. Weight training had a profound effect on how I saw myself and I wanted to pass the knowledge on to other women.
What was your driving motivation?
First just to feel good and happy with myself. Then came to desire to make personal training my career. My next goal was to look like a fitness model, and then finally to be a Figure Athlete. Once I learned to bodybuild and learned to eat clean, the transformation became truly amazing, and I learned to apply what I had learned in training school. It gave me the confidence to compete for the first time at age 50.
What made you feel sexy?
I think a lot of what made me feel sexy before I made the transformation came from how men responded to me instead of me responding to the world as my confident inner self.
What did you do to lose weight?
Learned to lift heavy, lost the first 10 lbs of body fat fairly quickly. Continued to lose slowly and by the time I graduated training school I was down to 105 lbs. When I started bodybuilding I learned a lot more about diet, and how to apply the principles I had learned to myself. Seeing the nutrition science work on my physique was very motivating and carried me along until I met the goal of doing competition.
How did that make you feel?
Empowered, and it helped with stress and anxiety. I was able to get off depression meds. I found the strength to end my marriage and move ahead with a new life and career.
Who helped you?
Rachael Carbary at Harbor Square Athletic Club was my very first trainer, she got me started doing functional weight training. Another client of hers, Patty Smith, was a bodybuilder. A few years later, Patty became certified around the same time I did and became my bodybuilding trainer and introduced me to the whole world of natural bodybuilding.
I will forever have a special place in my heart for both of them!
Washington Natural Promoters Denise and Kevin James coached me on my first show for posing and Denise did my nutrition plan.
Patty and Denise played a huge part in my success in my first year of shows.
Who/what sabotaged you?
My ex husband. He made me feel as if I could not be successful without him, financially or otherwise. One of the last straws was when he was not supportive of my new career. It was because of his own insecurities and addictions. I am saying this to help other women know that they CAN do it! And you don't need to put up with that subtle form of verbal/emotional abuse. There are many women and men like me out here that are willing and passionate about helping you get started. Weight training is a great way to start empowering yourself.
That is what Iron Angels team is all about, women coming back from health issues, bad relationships, and giving them the tools for inspiration and empowerment.
What was the hardest thing during this process? What was easier than you thought?
The hardest thing was the low carb days close to competition. But really the clean eating becomes a habit, and in everyday life I can now maintain a healthy athlete level body fat because I am more educated on what and when to eat and also how intensely to work out. Probably making clean eating a habit was easier than I thought at first.
What are your current eating habits
I am off season, but try to stay within 5 lbs or so of competition weight. I still struggle with eating too many carbs at times, but I have the knowledge to bring myself back. I have staple items I eat all the time, like tilapia with asparagus and sweet potatoes. I cook ahead in batches so I have healthy items on hand. I keep unhealthy foods out of the house. I have little cheats now and then, and allow myself to as long as my weight is in control. I know once I start training for shows again in Spring I will have to be stricter with my diet. I was able to eat tiny amounts of chocolate and peanut butter right up until competition, its just about tracking your portions.
What was your original work out regiment, if any?
5 day bodybuilding split routine. Legs, Chest/core, Back, Arms, Shoulders. I take some creativity with this sometimes I combine body parts or do Legs 2 days, one day more quads, one day more glutes and hams.
I put more variety in my routine than most bodybuilders because of my dance/movement background and because I learned functional training at NPTI. No two workouts are the same for me or my clients, I constantly mix things up as I learn.
How does your size make you feel?
I know my weight loss does not sound dramatic, but it looks dramatic because it is all about body composition. I went from 34% body fat to 10% at competition over a period of 5 years. The most important numbers to know are your percentage of lean mass vs body fat, that is key to how you look and how healthy you are.
I love being the size I was meant to be! Petite with muscle. I love how I was able to "build up" my upper body to make myself more proportionate.
How do people react to the new you?
Clients take me seriously when they see I have muscle definition.
Men walk up to me in the grocery store and say I look amazing!
I carry myself with more confidence too, which attracts more attention!
All the practice for walking on stage in heels and bikini pays off!