In our special Fitness issue, Empower Magazine shares a local Houstonian’s journey to optimum fitness to inspire and equip readers with the mindset and tools to take their own journey to personal fitness. For Candice Henderson, the journey to fitness began with a desire to achieve her best self. Below, she shares her story in her own words and encourages readers to begin their own journey to becoming “Fit & Fabulous.”
I was never the girl who hung in the back of the room struggling with feelings of insecurity. Rather I have always been someone who enjoys hanging out with friends and exuding a positive attitude. I have also consistently focused on being a better person concerning my health. With that being said, I began this journey with little more than a desire to look good in a bikini.
I would always see fitness magazines and notice the nice, toned bodies. However, I wasn’t sure if I could ever achieve that look because of my “body type.” I always felt that being toned was the best physique for a woman regardless of what stage of life she was in. I truly believe that whether a woman is getting married, having a baby, or simply aging gracefully, being fit and in shape just works and looks great!
Initially, I considered myself to be a fairly healthy person who worked out occasionally. Although I didn’t’ think that I was too heavy. I always felt bloated and uncomfortable. I later learned that I was actually borderline obese, weighing 162 pounds at my peak and having a body fat index of 30%. My stomach frequently hurt and my joints just felt overworked. Bottom line, I lacked confidence in my appearance. More than once, I tried to pursue the body of my dreams, but I never truly believed I could work off my big butt and hips regardless of how much I tried. Time after time, I would start a workout program that would always end with excuses, complaints and disappointments instead of results.
All of that changed in November 2011 when I committed to make a change once and for all. The road to better health can be too difficult to walk alone, so I enlisted the help of a professional trainer and a nutritionist. I realized that achieving success was going to take a commitment to change—both in my workout routine and in my diet. The professional trainer was critical in pushing me beyond my comfort zone. The nutritionist was instrumental in teaching me to make the right decisions when it came to deciding what to eat. I knew and accepted that I was the one who was in control of whether my efforts succeeded or failed. But, having experts along for the journey helped to keep me accountable to the vision I had in my mind of what I wanted to become. A healthy dose of being honest with myself and seeking help from others proved to be my formula for success!
I started training with my team by my side and lost close to 40 pounds over a span of six months. My body fat index dropped down to 8.7% and I weighed in at 117 pounds. Even better, I was able to achieve my goal of looking great in a bikini, competing in my first National Physique Committee bikini show in June 2012. It was a great feeling because I was always so self-conscious of my big butt and then, there I was on stage showcasing it! It’s amazing how the body works. I am a true estimony of how you can beat genetics if you stay dedicated to eating clean and working out. Although this is still the beginning of my life committed to a healthier lifestyle, I feel better than I have ever felt before and cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Throughout this process I have also believed that I was doing this not only for myself, but for others who may see my transformation and be inspired. Find something to motivate you, dream a dream, and make it your reality!
Nutrition Tip for the Journey
A practice of eating foods that are natural, free of added sugars, added fats, unnatural, processed foods.
lean meats without excessive fats, such as natural, no hormones added chicken breast, ground turkey breast
Fresh or frozen fruits only — no canned veggies.
Good starches such as 100 percent whole grains — oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes.
From Personal Weight Loss to the Competitive Fitness Stage
The National Qualifiers Europa Super Show
August 16-17 in Dallas, Texas
For upcoming shows, events, and additional fitness information about Candice Henderson Bikini Athlete contact info: