In 2012, Abby Pollock was under a lot of pressure with school, relationship drama and family health issues. Feeling like everything was out of her control, she found that her diet was one thing she could control; the Toronto-based engineering student became obsessed with tracking her calories, making sure she never ate over 1,000 calories a day. She told Cosmopolitan that she was 20 pounds underweight and struggled with symptoms of both anorexia and bulimia.
Some days she would eat a green smoothie for breakfast and portion out salad ingredients for lunch and dinner, snacking on veggies only when she felt like she was going to pass out.
She followed multiple eating habits, from clean eating to Paleo to vegan to raw vegan. "I told myself I was following these diets for ethical reasons, when really I was using them as a means to further restrict and cover up my disordered habits," she told Cosmo.
MORE: Bikini Competitor's Before and After Pics Prove That 'Gaining Weight Is OK'
Eventually, the stresses piled higher and higher until she finally reached out to a holistic nutritionist and personal trainer for help. First on the list? Getting Abby to eat 2,000 calories a day.
"Eating 1,000 calories a day took constant willpower," she wrote on Instagram. "I was physically drained from eating so little, I was mentally drained from obsessing over such a trivial part of my life."
Today, the 23-year-old eats 1,700 calories per day (as set by her nutritionist), focusing on getting in her daily macros (protein, carbs and fats) and meeting her fitness goals instead of eliminating food groups. Check out a typical day of eating for Abby:
Meal 1: High-protein egg scramble made with ground turkey and side of veggies
Snack: Apple + baby carrots
Meal 2: Chocolate oats made with oatmeal, egg whites, almond milk, cocoa, and stevia for meal two
Meal 3: Spaghetti squash with ground turkey, veggies, and cheese sauce made from almond milk and shredded cheese
Meal 4: Post-workout protein "ice cream" made with protein powder, a banana, almond milk and ice
MORE: Start the 21-Day Shred to jumpstart weight loss today!
How to Sneak More Protein Into Your Meals 👉 mix egg whites in with your ground turkey when you're pan cooking it. Here I mixed 4 oz ground turkey with 1/4 cup egg whites + seasoning salt. Hardly notice the egg whites, but these add a SERIOUS protein punch to your meal. - PS hopping on a Facebook live stream at 8:30PM EST. Tonight we're doing a back to school Q&A - pop by and say hi! 💫Facebook: Abby Pollock Fit or click link in bio💫
Once a week, Abby will deviate from her meal plan and indulge in a favorite food like frozen yogurt or sushi. And instead of feeling guilty for every calorie she consumes, she sees it as a way to make her stronger.
But her diet isn't the only thing that's transformed; she used to do two hours of cardio every single day — talk about running yourself into the ground! Now she's cut back on the cardio and added four sessions of heavy weight training to her routine. She'll hit the gym four days a week, working on her back and biceps one day, shoulders and triceps one day, and lower body two days.
🚨ALERT ALERT🚨 Squats are not the best exercise for glutes. (Full video link in bio) . That said, compound exercises (like squats) are important for building a strong muscular foundation and teaching you the fundamental movement patterns. . Here’s my advice: 1️⃣ Widen your stance to beyond shoulder width apart. 2️⃣ Flare your toes out to 45 degrees. 3️⃣ Add a mini band just below your knees. and 4️⃣ STOP GOING SO DAMN HEAVY! . By widening your stance and flaring your toes, you improve gluteus maximus (glute muscle that adds depth) engagement. By adding the mini band, you improve gluteus medius and minimus (glute muscles that add roundness) engagement. I do a full form / science breakdown in my YouTube video, but these tips alone should make a HUGE difference in your squats 🔥👋!
Like most women, Abby feared lifting heavy weights would make her "bulky." However, she quickly noticed that instead of her whole body expanding, her booty was getting stronger and more shapely (hello, peach emoji!) while her waist got smaller, creating an hourglass effect.
At 5'7", Abby now weighs 152 pounds — a drastic increase considering she used to worry every time the scale went above 125.
Why Gaining Weight is a GOOD Thing👀 TAG A FRIEND who needs to see this! . 140ish lbs vs. 152 lbs. Pear shaped (at best) vs. Strong hourglass. No cardio vs. Sub-22:00min 5km run. Random food choices vs. Educated and enjoyable food choices. BAD acne and oily skin vs. Smooth and taut skin. I could go on. . Weight is NOT the only measure of progress. If you want to drastically transform your body, you MUST build muscle. And muscle has weight. Progress pictures and body part measurements are MUCH better indicators of whether you’re moving towards your goal shape or not. . PS Chicago Glute Camp is Oct 22. See my Snapchat: ampollo for early bird sign up!😊💕
Today, she works for TransformNation, helping other women meet their own fitness goals. "Transformation does not come from finding the 'perfect' moment, training plan, or diet," she told Cosmo. "It comes from taking action and choosing to learn through your failures, rather than give up."
Preach it, sister!
[H/T Instagram / @ampollo]
One Woman's Body Transformation Was Insane After Being Offered $100K to Lose Weight
This Is What Weight Gain Looks Like
Fitness Blogger's 2-Pound Weight Loss Is Nearly Unbelievable — Yes, 2 Pounds