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This is what Natesway is all about, this is why I do what I do, for stories like these. If you need inspiration this is it. Libby story reminds us that no matter how hard life hits you, you can still push forward. She overcame more events then most people and still found a way to grind through and succeed. Enjoy this inspiring interview and get inspired :)

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you accomplished.

Libby is a mother, wife, a veteran and a cancer survivor (since 2004) whom stewarded herself through a 70lb weight loss. Over a steady 2-year period, Libby’s body transformation took her down 10 sizes. Libby is a nationally qualified NPC bodybuilder. She was featured in December 2013 Shape magazine “You In Shape” and is currently included among Shape’s “Most Inspiring Weight Loss Stories”. Libby currently highlighted on Jillian’ Michael’s Live “Fan Success Stories” website. Libby’s transformation and inspiring story has been featured on the RXMuscle, BeautyFit, and Black Women Do Workout websites.

2. What inspired you to take action and make this incredible change?

The loss of my mother whom was also battling cancer left me parent-less days before my 40th birthday (my father passed when I was 16 years old). I did not want this for my own son. He has no living grandparents and no siblings all due to cancer and other family genetics, but he had me (MOMMY). Between my predefined genetics of high blood press, diabetes, knee problems and cancer, if I didn’t change my life, I knew the outcome. It was time for a change.

3 – Did you find it difficult to stay on track during the process?

Honestly, I have good and bad days even to this day. The trick is not letting the bad days dictate your outcome and to stay focused.

4 – What helped you stick with it and not give up? Because I know it can get tough.

Having goals along the way…small and large helped me to focus on something besides the numbers on the scale. The numbers going down was a direct by-product of my achieving goals. I started running races and worked my way up to a half marathon. I entered a bodybuilding competition. All very challenging for me. Also sharing my story and goals via social media helped hold me accountable to my own goals. When I started see small successes, I didn’t want to sabotage my own handy work.

5 – Were your friends and family encouraging you during the experience? If so, do you find it helped you stay motivated and kept you going?

My family and friends are very accepting of me “as I am” and didn’t really see the need for drastic changes; however, since getting healthier and in shape was my personal goal, they were more supportive than motivating. Seeing the changes in my body and achieving my goals is what kept me motivated and moving.

6. What are some of the benefits you got from the whole experience?

The #1 benefit is being in the absolute best shape of my life and being a role model and inspiration for my son and others around the world have been very fulfilling. It has been a blessing to share my story and transformation on national level. If my story helps one person, I’m happy.

7. There is so many options for people to lose weight but many are still finding it difficult to achieve. What exactly did you do to lose that weight?

I stopped dieting! I had been a yo-yo serial dieter and each time I ended up right back where I started. This time around I adapted my version of “clean eating”. My guiding “principle is “if it doesn’t come from a Momma or the ground, I probably shouldn’t be eating it” but I still allowed for foods that I enjoy (from time to time) which removed the deprivation feeling. If I want dessert, pizza, etc., I eat it, I savor every bit, and I move on. I also stopped drinking alcohol during the week. It is what worked for me.

9 – Do you have any advice for those who don’t know how to get started?

Do NOT start out with a rigorous workout program AND a restrictive diet. Start SLOW. Start exercising, make it a habit and the nutrition part WILL come more naturally. No one wants to workout and not see the results of their work nor to sabotage their own gym time. When you start changing nutrition, know what you REALLY can live with and ADAPT. If you can’t live this way day-in, day-out, it is not the right nutrition program for you. Make your nutrition program your own program. It doesn’t have to be a specific named program. What works for you friend might not work for you. Be patient with yourself.

10 – You have an inspiring story! Is there any way for people to follow you? Perhaps a blog? https://www.facebook.com/libbywellnessfitness

http://www.libbywestphal.com/mybrainblog.html

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