My Fitness Journey (2012-2016)

Whether you’re new to lifting or have been doing it for awhile and feel like giving up because you aren’t seeing what you think you should be, I encourage you to hang in there because it takes time.

Many people jump into lifting expecting to loose weight, gain muscle, and get their dream body within a mere matter of months- which is far from reality. It’s a process, largely coinciding with nutrition.

Those fitness models you see across social media, like Michelle Lewin, have been lifting and eating right for years. See Mental Obsession = Physical Results for more regarding that matter. Also, be aware that some fitness models are not natty (natural). Some use gear (steroids, pro-hormones), photoshop to majorly alter their bodies’ appearance, and/or have implants in their glutes- this is unfortunately starting to become more and more common.

Anyways, below are some snapshots of my fitness journey from over the years!

You’ll notice in some of the pictures that I bounce back and forth between loosing weight, gaining weight, building muscle, and/or some combination of both, (granted, the angling and lighting in pictures plays a part too). This was mainly because I was not always disciplined with what I ate. It was also because my mentality in the gym (and overall) has changed.

For example, I would eat well for several days and then go overboard with “cheating.” I didn’t have good control with food a couple years ago, and I knew that I was somewhat self-defeating myself from my goals by doing this, but at that time, I didn’t really care because I just wanted to eat the foods that I wanted to- when I wanted to. I would think to myself, “I’m working out, I deserve it, it’s fine,” and it was- for a few weeks until everything I binged on would inevitably catch up with me and there was no hiding it, my body would show it.

And I’ll admit, there are times where I still do over do it- but I am nowhere close to how I used to be. Now, when I know I’ve over done it with enjoying myself, I try to just work that much harder in the gym the next day(s) with extra cardio.

Anyways, without further ado, I present my fitness journey from late 2012 to current day (March 2016). I hope that you are able to find encouragement and motivation; that when you truly want something, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT! No, it’s not going to be a quick, simple, and always straight-forward process- it’s going to be filled with trials and errors, smiles and frustrations, but guess what- it’s worth it. Each step closer that you make towards your short and long-term goals, you will have a whole new sense of self confidence and satisfaction.


This was at the end of my first semester in college. I actually ended up gaining 20+ lbs. You may not be able to tell, especially if you have never met me in person, but my face attests to the weight I had gained.


Several months into lifting, I lost a few pounds, but continued to eat poorly, so I didn’t see much progress.


After lifting for half a year, I had significantly lost weight, but hadn’t built much muscle yet. I was just skinny.


About a year later, I started to develop more muscle. In this picture you can see some bicep and ab development.


Over the course of the following months, I gained some muscle in my back, due to being obsessed with doing pull ups and chin ups haha. I had made it my mission that summer to be able to continuously do them, and I succeeded. 🙂

FullSizeRender 5

Competed in my first push/pull competition (benchpress and deadlift). It was a pretty cool experience! But after that event, I realized powerlifting was not my thing. I find bodybuilding to be much more rewarding.

FullSizeRender 6

Started my first bulk to build more muscle.


During my first bulk, I gained more than I should have. I completely stopped doing cardio (mistake) and after seeing how much I had gained, I started to reassess myself with fitness. Yeah, I loved eating sweets and treats (who doesn’t?), but afterwards, I didn’t like how my body would store all of the extra pounds, and how “fluffy” I would look. This was somewhat of a turning point for me. I became more disciplined and worked with more vigor in the gym.


Fast forward five months, and I put in hard work to get those pounds off (and more) from my bulk. I snapped this picture a couple days before I went on my cruise last year. I didn’t get as lean as I had wanted to in preparation for it, but I have learned from it.


Taken as we were boarding for the cruise! Ya mon.


This was at a shore excursion in the Bahamas. Sigh. You can barely see definition in my abs- I may or may not of had one too many Bahama mamas… I did manage to go to the gym 4-5 out of the 7 days we were on the cruise, and I ate pretty good for the most part, but the Long Islands and Bahama Mamas were getting me bloated.


After getting back from the cruise, I had puffed up a bit from everything I had consumed.


Gained a little more definition.


Continued to get leaner.


By August, I had leaned down a fair amount. It was probably my leanest month of last summer.


Mid-October last year was when I was began to bulk again.

Gold's Flex

Enter full bulk mode. Clearly lost my definition and gained some mass. Cardio was 1-2 times per week. I was eating more calories, especially more carbs. My main goal during the bulk was to build more in my hamstrings and glutes.


Was still bulking somewhat.


As of March, I started implementing more cardio (3-4 times per week) and decreasing my carbs and upping my fats a bit.

During my little cut that I’ll be doing in preparation for summer (and another cruise later on), I will be routinely taking progress pictures, and sharing them along with other content here, so be sure to subscribe to stay in the loop! :))

For more current pics and vids, join me on IG and Twitter @hmillerfit


5 thoughts on “My Fitness Journey (2012-2016)

  1. This post is beautiful because it highlights the ebb and flow of a true fitness journey. I love how you have grown not only physically but mentally along the way.


    1. Thanks Jen! 🙂

      I wish I had better pictures, like intentional progress pictures that I have taken from over the years, but I don’t really. Over time I would just snap a pic here and there. But I appreciate your support! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the timeline! The progress and definition in your arms and calves last year, especially from August onward is amazing. I like that you’re defined, but still soft without the harsh veins or muscle cut appearance. Your shape both full and looking in on smaller parts is a great amount for being a shorter girl, it really isn’t over exaggerated. In other words, you look strong and healthy without loosing femininity like so many others fear and end up seeing happen to themselves once they push to far. Gradual and healthier is much better than fast and forced progress, yours shows this transformation in a much more natural journey. Thanks for the inspiration!


  3. Wow, thanks Rachelle!

    One of my goals last summer, was actually to develop my arms more – especially my shoulders. So that makes me really happy that you were able to notice that.

    I am somewhat short, 5’4″, and shorter girls like myself typically do develop muscle more quickly, however, we also store fat easily too which sucks haha.

    Thank you again for your support and compliments! 🙂

    Hope you are doing well with finishing up your MA, and killn’ it in the gym! 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s