Her decision to change her lifestyle shows that it’s never too late to get serious about fitness.
At 23, Alicia Rancier, a certified personal trainer and graphic designer from Myrtle Beach, SC, weighed in at 170 lbs. She recalls one of her lowest moments that began a downward spiral.
“My senior year in college, I found myself walking to class eating a fast-food sandwich and sipping a medium-size soda as fast as I could. About a half-hour into the lecture, I started feeling ill: severe heartburn, sour stomach, headache, nausea—I felt like my throat was closing in,” Rancier recalls. Her doctor diagnosed her with reflux disease and ulcers. She was devastated, upset, and embarrassed. “I’d never been that heavy in all my life. I couldn’t eat anything because of the unbearable pain from the ulcers, and the depression was making me have suicidal thoughts,” she says. The diagnosis spurred her to lose weight, but she lost too much, too soon. It took her four years after that to reach a healthy and stable 145 lbs.
READ THE LABELS
Rancier started her turnaround by reading the nutrition labels on food and replacing processed foods with fresh ones. Now Rancier eats five to six meals a day and tracks her calories and macros on MyFitnessPal. “I have become an ovo-lacto pescatarian, which means I only eat seafood such as shrimp, salmon, and tuna, along with eggs and dairy.” She also eats a lot of fresh veggies like green beans and cucumbers, plus complex carbs such as oatmeal and black beans.
FROM CARDIO TO WEIGHTLIFTING
When Rancier started working out she mostly did cardio. “I was using the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike, and learning how to use the machines. Then, when I felt more comfortable, I started lifting weights, and I was hooked!” She usually hits the gym six days a week for an hour.
“I love training legs!” she says. “My favorite exercises include squats, deadlifts, and reverse hyperextensions.”
FIND INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE
To push past plateaus, she looked to her idols for motivation. “I would watch workouts on YouTube of Dana Linn Bailey and Nicole Wilkins pushing themselves to the limit to motivate me to keep moving forward.” She also entered fitness competitions after a friend’s encouragement. Having done five shows, she hopes to win an IFBB pro card in the women’s physique division.
“I look forward to finding different approaches to competition prep and seeing changes in my physique, thanks to consistency,” says Rancier. Her advice to other women is to enjoy the journey and not to give up—because the end result is worth all the hardships.
ON HER MENU
- 5 egg whites
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup oatmeal
- 4 oz steamed tilapia
- 1 cup spring mix
- 1 tbsp homemade balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 cup cucumbers
- 2 whole eggs with 3 whites
- 1⁄2 cup spinach
- 1⁄4 cup walnuts
- 4 oz grilled salmon
- 1 cup green beans
- 1⁄4 cup almonds
- 4 oz shrimp
- 1⁄4 cup brown jasmine rice
- 1⁄2 cup asparagus
Supplements: Multivitamin, BCAAs, flaxseed, fat burner, and pre-workout. “I like to get all my omegas from my eggs and oils such as macadamia/avocado oil. I don’t drink whey protein, but I put one to two scoops in my oatmeal or when making pancakes.”