Skinny to Strong

Skinny to StrongBy Laura Petrolino

Like many people, I’ve always had a weight problem.

But unlike many—my problem is gaining weight!

A high metabolism, an active lifestyle, and a tendency to be slightly hyperactive (those who know me are laughing right now, “slightly?!?”) keeps me in a constant fight to maintain, or gain weight.

Add on top of it, I have celiac sprue. A condition which has forced me to fight many battles when it comes to food choices and weight gain.

I’m a perfect recipe for a terribly skinny chick.

You don’t get much sympathy being too thin, let me tell you that. And you are discriminated against in the same way ( or often worse) of those who are overweight. It’s not just hurtful, it can be downright devastating.

I started weight training when I was a kid (I was an athlete growing up, so cross training with weights, plyo, and the like was part of the grind), but didn’t become really serious about it until after a extremely bad bout with my celiac which left me desperate to gain weight and regain my health.

So I found a coach, and went to it. That was in my early 20s.

Since that time I’ve had many coaches, some good, some bad. I’ve competed in many events—obstacle courses, mud raises, crossfit, paddleboarding races, 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and duathlons, outdoor adventure challenges…the list goes on.

All things that weight lifting and a high fitness level have afforded me the ability to not only do, but be competitive in.

Over the last several years I’ve really refined my focus into the world of bodybuilding and powerlifting. And while a part of me will always love a variety of sports and activities, it has become my sole competitive aim and around which many of my fitness goals stem.

So that’s why today, with great excitement, I start a 14 week prep for my first figure competition. You can also follow my Instagram feed to keep track of progress pictures and gym shenanigans.

Most of my blogs from now until then will be focused on this journey. Along with learnings, tips, and “prep ponderings” along the way (like the agony of learning to walk in heels).

I also want to give a different perspective, since so much focus on the bodybuilding world is placed on losing weight, it’s important to remember that the most important part comes during improvement season when you build your body, by building lean muscle mass.

Hopefully following along is a fun and inspirational reminder that skinny, thick, short, tall, strong, or weak, you can accomplish any goal you put your mind to.

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