VIP Client Spotlight: Athlete and Okon Lifer, Susanna

How long have you been living a fit-focused lifestyle?

I have been “fit-focused” since 2011, meaning that I loved working out. You could find me in the gym after work every day for multiple hours. Unfortunately, I never matched my nutrition to my workouts… so was it really a “fit-focused” life? Not one bit. It was just me working out and then putting too much faith in my workout and thinking I could eat like crap and drink. I started to really focus on my fitness and health around 2017, matching what I ate with what I was doing. 

What turning point led you to this lifestyle?

I lived in a town where all I did was drink with friends to “pass time.” I would drink during the week, on the weekends and eat whatever I wanted, or what I thought to be healthy. There were times where I did not know how I got home or even remember what happened the night before. I experimented with things I never thought I would and I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into a hole of darkness. I was in a pattern of getting up, go to work, workout, go drinking, sleep, and repeat… it was a cycle I was trying to get out of but never seemed to be able to break. I desperately wanted to get out of that town because it was not only breaking me physically, but it was breaking me spiritually and emotionally. I remember one night in particular; I was sitting in my car after coming back from drinking and just bawling at how my life was going. I screamed at the top of my lungs in anger and frustration. I kept screaming and crying and asking God what the hell was I even doing. Often times I would find myself out on a drive thinking if I let go and God wants me to live… he will direct my car. I was hiding in my own darkness and not sharing with anyone how I was feeling. I did not have good relationships with many people in my life or I would only let it get as deep as I would allow. In 2015 I knew I needed something different and I had heard that competing in NPC shows had changed people’s lives. I felt like it was something I wanted, but I was not even sure where or how to begin. Then in 2016, I saw a Facebook post from my friend with a picture of Angie and something about it spoke to my soul and I felt a spark somewhere inside. I followed her and Okon Fitness and that was the start of my life changes. 

What is the biggest thing that keeps you grounded and focused?

If I am being 100% honest, it is my team and my coach. I have met such strong women through the Okon community that keep me going and keep me encouraged. They have all dealt with something in their life that could have kept them in their darkness, but they chose to rise above it all. They have taught me to love myself at every stage and love the process of growth. I found a much happier self once I started putting my energy into self-improvement, cutting out alcohol, and focused on my mental and physical health. I have found emotional healing from my past choices and when I look back at where my life was going before this journey, I use that as momentum to keep me going when I wonder if it is worth it. I have zero regrets with choosing myself and my wellness. I have better relationships with my friends and family. I feel more centered with God and everything around me. 

Why did you choose to work with Okon?

I was searching for something to break my cycle and I was not happy with how I looked, my mental thoughts, and my attitude on life. I wanted something that was real and something that was not a hoax because I am one of those people who tried stupid things to feel better. Drinking, over-eating, guys, buying crap I did not need, and then I would be so frustrated that I would not eat to lose weight, drink fit tea, tried fad diets, diet pills, eating only salads…etc. When my friend shared the post and I saw Angie and followed her, I saw what she represented and how she never seemed to bullshit anything. I valued her honesty with her posts, her empowerment attitude. While I loved what she represented, I was on the fence because of having tried so many things and never seeming to get anywhere. It was after was seeing an Okon post on the changes that Cora had made through here bikini prep that pushed me over the edge to reach out… and so here I am now. 

What does Okon mean to you and how has It impacted your life in a positive way?

Okon and my coach mean the world to me. More than they will ever know. They have changed my life in such a positive way that I will forever be humbly grateful. Not only have I become more confident in who I am, but I have also been able to realize that women can have muscle and it is not wrong. I was always scared to lift heavy for fear I would bulk up and I was always told that weightlifting was a guy’s sport. When I would be in the gym, I would be lifting moderately and doing a lot of cardio because I was just trying to be skinny. Following Angie showed me to not be afraid and I started lifting heavy shit in 2016 and found a major passion than what was already there. Okon changed my mindset and now I feel like I have a healthy relationship with myself. I love lifting heavy knowing it is OKAY! I love learning new workouts knowing they will help me improve. The women that surround me through Okon have lifted my heart to so many levels that I did not know existed. There is support and cheering from people I don’t even know. I love the Okon babes… they are family. 

What things have you learned about yourself throughout this process?

The biggest thing I have learned was that I am mentally stronger than I ever thought. When I did my first bikini prep, I learned what I was capable of when it came to patience, physical strength, and determination. It taught me that I have the capability of controlling what I do and disciplining myself. I found I had more confidence in who I was as a woman and that I did not need alcohol or guys in my life to have fun or feel good about myself. I have learned a love for myself and the masterpiece I am continuing to mold that is not temporary. I gained the confidence I had always lacked with always feeling the need to please people. I am not sure how my fitness journey taught me that, but I learned it on my prep. I have overcome hurdles with greater ease because I have learned patience and to trust the process. 

What advice would you give to someone trying to get started?

The absolute best advice I can give someone is to never expect immediate results but to put in all the damn work. You cannot get what you do not put in. I also believe that it is 100% necessary to have a coach and a team behind you that motivate you and cheer for you. If my coach was not my biggest fan, I think I may have given up on my journey or at least not been continuously focused. I have had setbacks, but I have never stayed in those setbacks. Because of her, and the supportive team I have… I can say that I continue to want to move forward. 

What are your goals with fitness, both short term, and long term?

In the short term, I want to do at least one more show… maybe more depending on life. In the long run, I want to have a physique I am proud of. I want fitness and a healthy lifestyle to always be part of my life that I will instill into my future spawn (lol). 

What is your favorite part of YOU, body, personality, etc?

My absolute favorite part myself is my determination in sticking to plans even when I do not always see results. I love how I have become a big advocate for empowering other people on their journey and I love that even though I may have started off rocky on this journey… it has led me to the physique I have now with muscle I am proud of and a mindset that is never happy to settle. I am proud as all get out at the self-control I have learned and the hard work I am willing to put in to obtain something I want in life.

I am proud of myself. 

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