Ingri DeGroote, 40, of Battle Ground, WA was really good at taking care of the people she loved. She had four young daughters, regularly volunteered in her community and church and worked as a caregiver for ill family and friends. She worked hard to care for her family but was surprised one day during a conversation with her new trainer when she realized she didn’t take good care of herself. “I would do all those things for my entire family but I wouldn’t do them for me,” she said. “Why wasn’t I as important as my family?” Ingri had to learn to say no to others and yes to herself.

Shocked by the disturbing epiphany that somehow taking care of herself always ranked dead last on her impossible to do list, Ingri decided that 2012 was going to be the start of a strategic year of self care, a year of healing.

As a borderline diabetic who was 70 pounds overweight, Ingri acknowledges today that she began this health journey motivated to help her family but it became about helping herself. She discovered the MaxForm Life Challenge contest and according to her, it was the first thing she has ever started and finished just for her.

Working with Stacey England at Max Muscle Sports Nutrition East Vancouver for her nutrition plan and supplements, Ingri began taking control of her nutrition. She admits that before her year of healing she would drink Diet Coke for breakfast, would not even prepare a plate for herself at lunch – instead she would eat the kids’ leftovers – and then overeat with a big heavy fried southern dinner.

Under Stacy’s guidance as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach (CFNC), Ingri ate rolled oats, berries, sweet potatoes, egg whites, avocados, chicken, fish, vegetables, cottage cheese and occasionally a Quest bar! She ate six small meals a day and began to “see food as nutrients and fuel to get me where I wanted to go,” she said.

Ingri admitted that the biggest challenge she faced in changing her lifestyle was “choosing me” and learning that setting aside time for herself was OK. “At first, I felt like I was being selfish,” she said. “I was totally depleted, I couldn’t give anymore, and I was just exhausted beyond exhausted. I had to learn to step back and take care of myself,” she said.

It was her trainer who put it bluntly: “I can’t take care of you once you leave here. You have to stay true to 1390248220-ingriyourself.”

In addition to powering her body with clean nutrition, Ingri used the following products to help her body recover from her intense workouts and build lean muscle: Max Lean and MaxPro for her proteins, Max Glutamine, Max EFA, Vit-Acell Energy, Max Liqui-Carn, Quadra Cuts, Full Blown Extreme and Emerge.

Ingri credits her CFNC Stacy, Karen King and Elba Benzler (BOLD Training owners), and her trainer with giving her the support she needed along the way to make lifelong lifestyle changes. The support she received online at from others going through the same challenges helped her stay motivated. Ingri said, “Max Muscle’s MaxForm Life Challenge reward is this … with each pound lost I found another piece of me that had been forgotten or was broken! This momma is back!”

Ingri’s father told her from an early age, “work hard, never lie and don’t cheat yourself.” During her year of healing and the MaxForm Life Challenge Ingri said, “I finally did this, I worked hard, I didn’t lie to me and I didn’t cheat myself.”

Said Ingri, “I have learned through the process that doing for yourself does not mean you are being selfish. When you give to yourself, you have more to give to others. In my 40th year, with each pound lost, I grew. I grew into the woman I was meant to be.” MS&F

(Photo by James Patrick.)

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