If you’re looking for some inspiration, look no further than our dear friend and reader, Leshea Schaivone.

Being Facebook friends, we’ve been able to watch her as she transformed her body and lifestyle over the last year.  When Leshea posted her most recent collage featuring those amazing biceps, we didn’t waste a second asking her if she’d like to do a guest post on her journey.  Lucky for us, she quickly obliged.

I loved reading her story.  One tip Leshea shares is a great rule of thumb “If you can put it on the counter and it will go bad over night, I will eat it.”

Here’s here story:

Why did I do this? I did this because I woke up one morning and said I was not going to be overweight and unhealthy any longer.  My Grandmother, my heroine, lived to be 92 and I want to live as long as her.

I was a 2 pack a day smoker. I quit smoking and I took up eating.   The food was great and I packed on the pounds.  I made the choice to add years to my life by quitting smoking and now knew I had to add even more years to my life and make a lifestyle change.

How did I do this?  I enlisted the help of a personal trainer, Tania Quiones of “Get Fit Do Life.”  We train together 2 days a week for 30 minutes and I work out on my own with weights and cardio 2 more days a week right at home.  I learned it is not a diet.  There is no magic pill that I take.  It is purely dedication and the love of my new healthy lifestyle that keeps me motivated.

What do I eat?  I eat clean. Think of it this way:  If you can put it on the counter and it will go bad over night, I will eat it.  Clean protein, lots of veggies and fruits.  Remember one thing: Abs are made in the kitchen!  I had to keep an open mind and play with recipes.  There is so much out there.  Preparation was key for me.  I prepare meals on a Sunday for a few days and it takes the stress off, keeping me on track.  I follow lots of healthy pages on Instagram and that help me stay creative.  I do get bored, but that is when I change things up and incorporate different cooking techniques.  I do not just grill or bake.  I love clean crock pot recipes and sautéing is certainly a must with the right oils.  Let me point out that I do indulge and it feels great because I feel refueled and it makes me work twice as hard in the gym!

Where do I find inspiration?  I love being healthy.  I love who I have become.  I love eating clean and I love all of my supporters who have guided me along the way.  The Fit Girls Dish inspired me with their clean recipes and their Blog.  My new lifestyle has changed me in so many ways.  I feel great, I have a passion for working out and I enjoy being healthy.  If it was easy, everyone would be thin.  It takes hard work everyday.  My determination and willpower took me to where I am.  I will not stop here, I will keep climbing.  I hope one day I can be a coach for someone who wants to learn and make a lifestyle change.

My biggest accomplishment in this entire journey is being in the same size pants that I was in when I was in High School.  There is a difference though, I am now that size and strong.

How long did this take?  My First picture was taken Jan 7th 2014 and the picture of me in the gym was taken Nov. 21, 2014 It was pure dedication for a little bit over 10 months.