Top fourHub Staff

The past 11 months have been transformative for Lindsay MacKay of Port Elgin. The 25-year-old nurse lost 63 pounds and went from a size 13 to a size 5, and competed in her first fitness competition at the GNC 2015 London Championships where she placed fourth in the figure category, November 21. Her fourth place finish qualified her to compete in the provincial level competition June 2016 in Toronto.

Mackay said that believing in yourself is the first step to wanting to make a healthy change in your life.

“A year ago I worked out at the gym quite regularly but ate whatever I wanted. It is true what they say; ‘you can’t outdo a bad diet’. I had no sense of what portions were and I loved using sauces on everything,” said Mackay following her competition.

“I went from eating whatever I wanted to eating six controlled meals a day. Everything was either measured or weighed. I never had to count calories, which I loved. Now I’m able to walk away from eating something I know I shouldn't be having because I know how hard it was to get the weight off. And I want to keep it off.”

Mackey said she wouldn’t be able to compete without the guidance of her coach, Jada Avon, a former national figure competitor from Saugeen Shores with six years of competing under her belt.

“I had always dreamed of getting in shape but I felt like I did not have what it took to get there. I met with Jada and we talked about the idea of doing a competition. Not once did she think I couldn't do it. She motivated and encouraged me right from the start,” said Mackay. She added, “We started training in January and Jada made up easy plans to follow and was always available if I had any questions. She also adapted my diet if there was something I really did not like.”

Mackay followed her diet, eliminated alcohol, packing portioned lunches and snacks during everyday life and even for special events. She did have cheat-meals once a week, which would usually consist of pizza or pulled-pork.

lindsay vertical“The week before the competition was probably the hardest. Six weeks before the show I lost my weekly cheat meal. By the sixth week without a cheat I was ready to be done with the show so I could eat anything but chicken and asparagus,” Mackay said.

The final week she started depletion workouts (exhausting the body's muscle glycogen supply), and went from drinking four litres of water per day to six and from working out 10 times a week to nothing between Wednesday and show day (Saturday).

On show day Mackay and her family, boyfriend, Paul and friends traveled to London for her first competition She happily enjoyed a steak at The Keg the night before and pancakes the morning of; so her body could absorb the fats and plump up.

“It was inspiring to see all of the hard work and dedication that the competitors had done to get ready. Everyone was supportive and right before I went on stage I became extremely nervous and a woman who was competing in my class took the time to calm me down and give me advice on how to present myself well on stage,” said Mackay.

Post show Mackay was able to go out and have a few drinks with friends who had traveled to cheer her on, and presented her with a Mill Creek Chocolates medal.

Mackay said she had a hamburger for breakfast the next day but when Monday came, “I began my off-season diet and was back at the gym.”

“I was lucky that I had so many people backing me up from the start.” Mackay wanted to be sure and thank her coach, Jada Avon, her boyfriend, Paul who “put up with my weird eating times and huge amounts of chicken,” her friends and family as well as Christy Wolfe ( who designed her suit. “It was the most beautiful suit I have ever seen,” Mackay said.

Mackay is back at the gym and eating clean. She plans on improving her physique for her next show after, of course, a few cheat meals over the holiday season.Lindsay before afterLinday paul