At age 10, I had a 15-year plan: play basketball every day, join a college team and make the WNBA. But a year into undergrad, I was still just a walk-on, and I realized that my WNBA dreams were unrealistic (and my engineering degree would earn me more money). So I quit to focus on my studies. At the same time, I was doing what most college kids dopartyingand lost the motivation to work out. I graduated in December 2011 weighing 185 pounds.
Facebook wake-up call Diploma in hand, I moved to Indianapolis. Lonely in my new apartment and flipping through my tagged Facebook photos, I suddenly saw how big I'd become. I was confused: Why didn't anyone tell me? I needed to make a change. I got the Insanity DVDs and followed the program every night after work for 90 days. Then I'd cook a dinner that was much healthier than the dining hall food of the previous four years. Eating clean and another cycle of Insanity got me to 135 pounds by September 2012.
RELATED: 8 Great Workout DVDs to Try Now
A new lift I had already hit my weight goal, but I wanted to get stronger. I started lifting and quickly developed some definition. But it was my auntwho went from being overweight to a world-champion bodybuilderwho inspired me to take it seriously. In June 2014, I entered my first bodybuilding competition, and I placed in the top five! I've since competed three more times. While I'm still an engineer by day, I've discovered a way to live out my dreams of going proas a bodybuilder.
Jasmine's Journey to Fit Jasmine relied on a winning combo of exercise and better eating. Steal her tricks, and get even more at health.com/weight-loss-stories.
Just add color I buy workout clothes in crazy colorsthey give me energy.
Switch up your push-ups Create a diamond shape with your forefingers and thumbs to really target your triceps.
RELATED: 11 Best Exercises to Get Strong, Toned Arms
Find instant motivation I started listening to motivational speeches on YouTube during workouts. My favorite: "I Am a Champion" by Coach Flowers.
DIY protein bars I make my own protein bars by mixing oats with nuts or dried fruitwhatever sounds goodthen adding a bit of heated unsweetened almond milk to bind the dough before pressing it into a sheet pan (no baking needed).