Uplifting One of the things I enjoy about this sport is encouraging other women to get into fitness and particularly to get into lifting weights. There are a lot of myths out there about women lifting weights, that you're going to get big and bulky. Typically, if you do measurements of body parts, you actually see decreased circumference in areas like the hips and waist.

Raise that bar
A lot of people are like, "OK, you want to bench a lot of weight, who cares?" But for me, it's about challenging myself in the competition and striving to be the best I can be at what I've chosen to do. Athletically and in my professional life [as an attorney], I want to strive to be the best I can be.

Records everywhere I have state records in the bench press in the 114 [pound weight class], lifting 198 and in the 105 class lifting 187, and that's also a national meet record.

Fuel up
I think lifting weights has been really healthy for me because you have to give your body good nutrition to increase strength. I typically eat six times a day, eating smaller meals throughout the day. I'm a big proponent of eating natural, wholesome foods and not eating a lot of processed foods. I do a lot of my shopping at the local co-op in Stillwater because I'd rather get meats that are free-range and not fed antibiotics and hormones just because I don't think that's good to be putting that stuff in your body. I'm not into low-carb, but am into healthy carbs like oatmeal and brown rice and whole grains. That's kind of my basic philosophy. And I think you have to have treats. I believe in having a piece of chocolate every day.

Lifelong investment
I think the one thing that's going to be with you your whole life is your body, and if you take care of it, it'll take care of you.

Upcoming
I want to break the American record [214 pounds] on the bench press. It's kind of that [issue of] can you push yourself to this level, and what is your body really capable of? There have been so many myths about women and strength training, so there's also this fraction of it where I want to see what is the limit of a woman's strength to kind of disprove those myths.  

CONTACT US If you or someone you know would be a good candidate for "How I Got This Body," e-mail us at body@startribune.com and include your name, age, contact information and an explanation of your fitness story.