I was never athletic and the only working out I had done was pilates and yoga. Two years ago I saw a photo of myself with my husband and realized that I had gained a few pounds over the last couple of years (about 50 give or take). I decided to take action. I bought DVDs, weights, books, etc.. and after losing 30 lbs joined the gym (yes I got in shape to join the gym).

Realizing how much I liked training and seeing the results I decided I might want to compete. I knew nothing of the sport, had never seen a show but figured (no pun intended) at 47, why not? After interviewing a few trainers, I began working with Joe Franco in February 2010. One of the first things Joe did was asses my diet. I’m vegetarian and have a pretty clean diet. What I didn’t realize is that I was not eating nearly enough nor was I eating properly. I was shocked to learn that my diet was made up of about 80% carbohydrates. I was eating low or non-fat everything, lots of veggies, wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc.. Joe asked me how much protein I was taking in each day. Protein? No idea. Joe gave me my first homework assignment — follow your current meal plan for one week and track your protein intake. Well, I think it was somewhere around 40 – 50 grams per day. First order of business, nutrition. Joe provided a macro breakdown (fat/carbs/protein) for me to follow. Within just a couple of weeks my energy level increased and I began to see positive changes in my physique.

Although I was making progress and pleased with my training, I decided that the physical distance coupled with a demanding job and family commitments made it difficult for me to travel to Warminster (and hour each way) on a weekly basis. I made the decision to train with someone closer to home. Long story short, I’m back training with Joe and thrilled to be here! I train on line during the off season and travel to Warminster weekly during contest prep. Well worth the trip! His monthly posing classes are invaluable and a must for anyone competing.

Joe has taught me that it is not about the 12 week contest prep but rather a way of life. With Joe’s guidance I have been able to change my physique, gain the confidence to compete and earn my pro card in just over 15 months! His methods are sensible, straightforward and easy to follow. No crazy diets, no cutting water, no silly “tricks” – just The Truth! After all, isn’t this supposed to be fun?! I’m truly blessed to have Joe Franco as my trainer, coach and friend. You ROCK Joe!!