Dana's Story: Competing for a Healthy Life
For Dana Brekhus, 38, finding the motivation to live a healthy life was a struggle. Her undiagnosed celiac disease left her feeling sick, and a knee injury halted her long-distance running career. Determined to change her life for the better, Dana started incorporating strength training into her daily routine and slowly started feeling healthy again.
Wanting to push herself even further, the Williston, N.D. resident began asking her friends for fitness advice. After talking to a few friends about the figure contests they competed in, she knew this was something she needed to try. As soon as a spot became available, she signed up with a local figure trainer and got to work. Before she knew it, she was hooked.
By keeping a strict diet, lifting weights and using the Bowflex Max Trainer® cardio machine, Dana was able to shed pounds, build muscle and obtain the slim shape needed for figure contests. Dana now has two trophies under her belt and continues to live a healthy life – all while running her own business and working more than 10 hours a day.
"Fitness is more than looking good; it's about feeling good," Dana explains. "The changes I've made have affected my energy levels, my mindset and how I look at each day."
Today, Dana has more self-confidence than ever. "I've never been a really confident person," she says. "It takes a lot of confidence to stand on stage in front of hundreds of people in a little tiny bikini. One of the biggest changes I've seen is a boost in self-esteem."
Are you interested in trying out a figure contest or a new workout that may seem scary? Dana's advice is to get out there and do it.
"There's a quote that says 'you don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,'" Dana recalls. "A lot of people say they'll start on Monday, but they never begin. You have to take that first step and start your fitness journey. Start your diet. If you don't start it, nothing is going to change."