By: Sharon Aron Baron
A local resident who has made an amazing physical transformation from flab to fitness model shows that anyone can have a body like hers, but doing so not only takes hard work, it takes an unwavering commitment.
At the age of 20, Alma Snyder displays the type of discipline with exercise and diet that is regularly seen only in professional athletes. However, Alma will attest that she wasn’t born with this great body. Alma’s weight issues began after graduating from Coral Springs high school where she gained 25 pounds.
“My first attempts to lose weight were ridiculous methods, such as the drinking excessive amounts of water to numb hunger, skipping meals in fear of calories, and avoiding all carbohydrates,” said Alma, “ little did I know, these methods were counterproductive.”
Alma believed that if she were to continue to eating in such an unhealthy manner, she would have dramatically increased her chances of coronary heart disease, diabetes, or depression.
She started working our with her husband Michael who is currently a personal trainer at University Fitness in Tamarac. He introduced her to the gym where she first started strength training four times a week and cardiovascular exercise once a week. Her cardio workout consisted of alternating between the treadmill and the elliptical, eventually adding the bike into the workout.
“At first, exercise was a difficult task for me to grasp. The strict form in every movement felt very robotic. Many nights were spent contemplating whether I had the discipline needed to reach my goals, but I was ready to take on the challenge.”
The dramatic changes did not occur until Alma decided to make changes in the food that she was eating. She inquired about nutrition from individuals who had been in the field of personal training for several years. By making changes in her food choices, as well as eating adequate portions became the defining factors for her weight loss. “With the right intensity of exercise, the frequency of exercising, and proper meal planning I was able to loose a total of 30 pounds,” said Alma.
Last October after being a spectator and fan of bodybuilding competitions, a trainer named Marijan Lipsinic encouraged her to try to compete in one herself. She decided to take on the challenge and intensified her workouts by including strength training five times a week, sprinting twice a week either at the gym or outside, 20 minutes of light cardio five times a week at a steady pace and throughout the week she stretched to make sure her joints stayed flexible.
Lipsinic also gave her guidance on dieting. She learned to rethink everything she knew about food and learn that food was to become her fuel, and when she ate, it was with a purpose.
For 16 weeks, she focused on a transitional diet that went from high carbs, high fats, and four weeks before competition, moved on to high proteins and vegetables.
Because she was eating at specific times, she would pack food and carry it with her so she wouldn’t miss a meal. “If I didn’t eat at specific times, I would get headaches and become irritable. Carrying food also kept me from binging on other things,” said Snyder.
Her hard work paid off when last month Snyder competed and won first place in Novice Figure at the Sunshine Classic CJ Classic Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championship held in West Palm Beach. She also placed Fourth in Open Figure.
In the past couple years I have seen myself change physically and mentally. I will never say I did this independently because I have been fortunate to have friends who have extended their hand to me. Guided me through all changes and motivated me to demand more of myself. The support system I have is strong and I will be FOREVER thankful for every advise, tip, and compliment given to me. Nothing ever goes unnoticed.” – Alma Snyder
Snyder is now a fitness model and a spokesmodel for Redline VPX Sports Drinks where she not only models for them, She makes presentations for the company and their products at special events.
Although not everyone she knows has followed suit and jumped on the fitness bandwagon, Snyder is flattered that she has inspired one friend, Araceli, to get into shape. “I’m trying to guide her as much as I can,” said Snyder who said that Araceli was 12 weeks away from her first competition in bikini.
Will Snyder have much downtime now that competition is over? Not a chance. Snyder is currently gearing up for the Fort Lauderdale Cup competition in October where she will competing in bikini.
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Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.