Name: Andrea Walker
Age: 47
Occupation: Family Nurse Practitioner
Family: Son (25) and Grandson (18 months)

Favorite Ways to Stay Fit: Follow a specific lifting/training plan on a weekly basis. I know exactly what muscle groups I will work and which machines I’ll use before I enter the gym. I even have a backup plan in case machines or equipment are being used. I include cardio at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. I also count calories and measure everything to help me remain fit. I have been doing all three on a consistent basis for the past five years. 

Where I Work Out: I am a member at ATC Fitness and I work out there six times a week. I also work out at home in my mini home gym or outside occasionally when the weather is nice. 

What Started My Fitness Journey: 12/31/2014. I signed up at a gym for the “New Year’s Special.” It was an awesome decision. I have been working out consistently since then. 

How I Stay Motivated: I focus on remaining healthy and being fit to help me keep going even when I don’t feel like working out. I was on blood pressure medication before I started consistently working out. After losing weight, I was able to stop taking it. 

What I Eat to Stay Healthy: I try to limit my intake of processed foods. I eat lean protein—a lot of chicken, turkey meat, and egg whites—and healthy carbs, healthy fats, and a limited amount of fruit. I try to eat a carb, protein, and fat with each meal. I eat six times a day and drink water, protein shakes, and coffee with stevia. I measure everything. 

How I Curb Cravings: I am genetically blessed to not have a sweet tooth, but I do crave some foods such as french fries. I remind myself of my overall health and fitness goals and remind myself of the consequences of indulging in those cravings. Moderation is key. 

My reward is: Sometimes a new outfit, a new piece of gym equipment for at home, or an occasional cheat meal. (I do not believe in cheat days.) I am a competitive bodybuilder, so winning a trophy or medal is an awesome reward as well. 

Bucket List: I’ve always wanted to try power lifting and train to go on American Ninja Warrior to complete the extreme obstacle course. 

My secret to staying fit: I have a personal trainer/coach. Having someone else to help hold me accountable is key. 

My favorite piece of equipment is… battle ropes

What I Do to Stay Injury Free: I stretch before and after I work out. I also use a foam roller as needed. I am very careful when I lift while trying to make sure my form is correct. If it feels too heavy, I lower my weights and reassess my form. I see a chiropractor and get massages as needed. I use wrist wraps, lifting straps, knee braces, and a lifting belt depending on what muscle groups I am working. 

It’s not always easy…. Although I am single, it can be difficult trying to spend time with my family, work a full-time job, have a social life, and make sure I work out. Time management is key to be successful. When the gyms were shut down, I started working out at home, but I put on more weight than I would have liked to due to the stress and not working out as much. By mid-August, I decided it was time to get back on track. I lost the weight and saw even more success once I was back in the gym. I competed in a bodybuilding competition in Nashville in October for motivation. I love bodybuilding, so I knew that would keep me focused. It worked. 

Fave Workout Song: All I Do Is Win — DJ Khaled 

Advice to Others on Their Fitness Journey: It’s all mental. First, you must decide you want to be healthy and fit and then commit to it. You will have setbacks and unexpected delays, but you must keep pressing. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Your fitness journey should become a lifestyle without a final destination. 

Photo by Tindall Stephens