How Gina Got Her Groove Back

In 2007, Gina Turner decided that she’d had enough of being obese. Prior to having her second child in her 20s, she had never been heavy, but after that second pregnancy she struggled to lose weight – in fact, she started gaining. “I was unhappy in my current situation and really let myself go,” she explains. “I turned to food for comfort not caring about the consequences and ballooned all the way to 225 pounds.”

Not only did the weight gain affect Gina’s physical appearance, but it took a toll on her mentally. “I literally hid because I hated running into people and seeing their, ‘What the hell happened to her?’ facial expressions or hearing it from them,” she said. “I was unhappy all the way around and it was an ugly cycle. I felt bad, so I ate bad. I felt worse, so I looked worse.”

Gina’s turning point came when she had a conversation with her best friend, Tina, and told her she needed a makeover. “In my mind, I figured that new makeup, tanning, and clothes would make me feel better,” she said. But, her best friend’s response was shocking. “Tina said with love in her heart, ‘OK Gina, I’m going to be honest. I know you and know that all the makeup and new outfits in the world are not going to make you happy. Have you ever thought about what would make you really happy? Like working on your health and getting in shape? Imagine what you would look and feel like!’”

Height: 5 foot 3
Before: 220  lbs.
After: 135 lbs.
Fave Supps: Emerge, MaxPro, Total Weight Loss System, Omega-3
Max Muscle Home Base: Modesto, CA
Children: Alexa, 19, and Nick, 16
Favorite Quote: “Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you manifest on the outside”

Instead of getting hurt or upset, Gina gave serious thought to what her friend said. “She was right,” admitted Gina. “I spent a lot of time thinking about that conversation visualizing my ‘best’ me and had the strong urge to change. That was my defining moment. I just wanted to be healthy.”

Gina was on a mission and decided to formulate a plan. “I needed a lot of help with meal planning and portion control, and had to re-condition my mind-set and lifestyle. I joined a weight-loss program that helped,” she said. “I learned to eat six healthy meals a day and learned how important protein is, what ‘good’ carbs are, how to watch my sodium, fat, and sugar intake. For an ‘emotional eater,’ it wasn’t easy and I had many moments of weakness where I had to talk myself through things so that I wouldn’t give up. Visualizing the person I wanted to become and reminding myself that I wanted to change my life and become healthier helped me through.”

Related: What Does It Take To Be Fit After 40? 

Gina also joined the gym and hired a personal trainer. “I’ve had a couple of great trainers, but the one I’ve trained with the longest and has really made an impact on my fitness is Joshua Voight,” she said. He pushed me even at my weakest points, kept me motivated, and never gave up on me!” She started off slow and walked a lot until she was ready to move on to a more regimented workout. The walking transitioned to cardio then to strength training and weights. “Eating clean and working out 4 to 5 times a week resulted in some awesome changes! I felt better on the outside and inside, and I felt a spike in my energy level,” she said.

In a year and a half, Gina lost 100 pounds, of which she has gained back 10. “After losing the weight, it’s not over. You work on maintaining and you set new goals that require even more discipline,” she said. “I never deprive myself and make sure I have a cheat day, but I don’t indulge all day and limit it to a meal or a dessert. And I also accept that my body will never be perfect no matter how hard I try because that can be discouraging and I don’t want to take away from what I’ve accomplished. I’ve really learned to love and appreciate myself.”

Gina’s Nutrition Regimen Today
Gina used to be an “emotional eater.” While she doesn’t believe in depriving herself and enjoys one “cheat day” a week, the rest of the time, she follows a simple well-balanced diet that leaves her satisfied and nourished. Here is a sample day: Breakfast: Coffee, steel cut instant oatmeal, blackberries
Snack: Almonds
Lunch: Tuna, lettuce, and whole grain bread
Snack: Protein bar
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, asparagus, sweet potato

Gina credits her local Max Muscle store in Modesto, CA for help on her journey. She met with Manager/Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach Brian Sherwood, who assessed her needs and provided his expert advice. “Brian’s knowledge in fitness and nutrition helped to pinpoint exactly what I needed in terms of supplements. Max Muscle products became a true game changer for me,” Gina said. Emerge, MaxPro protein, fish oil, Omega-3, multi-vitamins, and the Total Weight Loss System are her current mainstay products.

“Gina is amazing,” said Brian. “She takes time to make sure she understands what each supplement does and how it will help her meet her goals by asking a lot of questions. She works hard and it shows. I’m proud of what she’s accomplished and the fact that she’s been able to maintain.”

Related: How Alvin Got in Rockin’ Shape

Adopting a new healthy lifestyle has also impacted her children’s lives in a positive way. “I was finally able to play soccer or walk to the park with my kids and, for the first time in a long time, I no longer wanted to hide from people. I wanted to get out and take them places!” Gina said. “Even though I’ve always had them playing almost every sport, it’s different when they see their parent staying active as an adult. And instead of just watching them play, I can play with them! I’m setting a good example and showing my kids how important it is to be healthy – and they’re proud of me, which is the best feeling in the world!”

Gina’s 5 Ways To Keep Your Fitness Goals on Track
1. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you.
2. Set attainable goals.
3. Track your progress and celebrate milestones.
4. Enlist a friend to join you so that you can motivate each other.
5. Don’t throw in the towel if you’ve missed a workout.

By Rochelle Marapao