In 2011, I competed in the bikini division -on my own- a few times and decided in 2013 to transition into the figure division and hire a coach which wasn’t the the best experience, unfortunately, but was suprised to find out shortly after a show I was going to have a baby.
On March 25th, 2014 my daughter came into the world and I never thought I’d compete again. Well, 3 years later I made the decision to step back on stage and with the help of a friend/ fellow team mate, Tia Hamilton, I made the decision to contact Karen Yoakum with Diva Squad Fitness!
I was a little nervous about hiring another coach, but Karen and I connected instantly. This This made me very happy and excited to be apart of something bigger than myself! Karen has made this experience one of the best I’ve ever had! Even though I placed 3rd out of 12 competitors this was a major accomplishment for me. It may not have been 1st, but it felt like 1st too me. I wasn’t expecting that placement and was completely blown away.
For one, my body looks amazing. The best its ever looked! 2nd, she’s there with me every step of the way. And 3rd, she’s always motivating me, constantly sends inspirational emails, and she -most importantly- continues to lift my spirits up when I’m down or being too hard on myself! I’m really looking forward to my up coming shows! And I’m extremely proud and honored to be a diva squad figure athlete! Karen is not only my coach, she’s also my friend.
If anyone is looking for a coach, whether to get back in shape or wanting to compete; IFBB Pro Karen Yoakum is your coach!! I promise she won’t let you down and you’ll be in the best shape of your life!
“My dream was to one day compete as a bikini competitor since the age of 19.
For more than a decade I trained myself. First, thinking hours of cardio a week was the only solution to end my struggle with being overweight. I had a perceived ideal weight of 120 lbs. At one point in my life I actually got my weight down to 120 lbs but I didn’t look like how I expected. I looked bony and had zero muscle tone. Afterwards, I felt defeated as if it was never possible.
I revisited the idea of training to be a bikini competitor. I was 144 lbs, had little knowledge of proper prep diet and lifestyle. I gave myself a show to work towards which I was nowhere near stage ready despite my dedication and motivation. This time instead of giving up, I was pissed off and more determined than ever to fulfill my goal of competing. I sought out the best all around trainer I could find. After doing some research I found Karen Yoakum, Diva Squad Fitness. I signed up almost immediately and began her online prep program with diet, cardio, and weight training. After just one week of completing her program I could see a dramatic difference with diet alone. Every aspect of the program was specifically laid out. At any time I could ask questions if I had any. Early on I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. As long as I stuck to Karen’s program, I would realize my goal.
After months of prepping for my competition debut, Karen had helped me transform from out of shape 40 year old, to a lean, confident bikini competitor ready for the stage. It was a huge milestone that I achieved. I’m certain without Karen’s help through her program, I wouldn’t have been able to do in the amount of time I accomplished it in. I would highly recommend anyone that wants to end their struggle with weight to sign up for one of Karen’s programs. “
The decision to come to Karen was one of the biggest and most life-changing steps of my life. As a woman I have struggled immensely with my self-confidence. I was confident in areas I knew best (sports – volleyball), but when it came down to it, I was not accepting of myself and who I truly was. Growing up in an abusive, drug/alcohol-consumed household, I was not given the essential needs and lessons a child must receive in order to grow as a person and be confident. Instead, I would hide from everything and everyone in fear that my “secret”, =home-life would ”get out” and make me even more uncomfortable with the person I was. I stayed in my bubble and just focused on making it through day-by-day instead of focusing on growing as an independent woman.
As if life wasn’t crazy enough during my childhood, the insanity continued on throughout my 20’s. It was a day-to-day struggle to stay focused on me, because I was constantly concerned about making sure everyone else around me was OK. It was at that time in December of 2015 that I knew I needed to make a change to better myself and to stop trying to bandage up my past. I needed to accept me for me and needed to focus on creating the best version of myself (both physically and mentally). That’s when I decided to call Karen and on a whim made the decision to commit to a 14-week competition prep program!
Just as I was prepared to finally focus on me after 27 years of trying to fix my family and crazy past; rock bottom officially slapped me in the face. That very same month I ended up going through one of the lowest points in my life. I had lost any sort of “family” that I was still trying to hold on to and tape back together due to addiction. I felt alone and abandoned by my own blood and didn’t know if I was going to get through it.
Without hesitation I knew I couldn’t stop at this point. The very next day I went and got that gym membership and committed to Karen. During those 14-weeks I felt it ALL. I not only felt the physical pain of every workout and cardio session that led to the 20+ pound weight loss, I also felt every emotion of losing my loved ones and chose to let myself deal with the pain with hopes of overcoming it with time.
As time progressed I started seeing results both physically and mentally. My new physique, the constant reminders from Karen that I was on the right track, the morning quotes from her reminding me to go after my dreams and to set aside the distractions, and all of the positive reinforcement that I WAS a sexy diva and not some un-confident scared individual started to grow on me and give me confidence as a woman that I NEVER thought I could have. I stopped thinking about all that I didn’t have and started to thank God for providing me with a loving, fitness family that cared about my goals and dreams and who also wanted to see me become the best version of me. 🙂
Thank you, Karen for your commitment to my future as a competitor and individual; but more importantly for helping me realize that my past is just that and that it does not define me!
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Nutrition and exercise is a daily routine for me in my everyday lifestyle. Competing was an entirely new level of the fitness world to me and I can say I am grateful to have had Karen as my coach through the process of transforming my body from fit to competition ready. It was not only fun, but a great experience!
I have truly enjoyed my prep with Karen & Diva Squad Fitness. The entire program from start to show day was amazing. Loved that the meal plan and workouts changed often so there was no way to get bored with any of it. Looking forward to continuing my journey with Diva Squad.