Exercise & Fitness

Matreena Noland: 5 Lessons from My Journey

Matreena Noland, 47, began a 12-week fitness transformation with the goal of competing at the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation Central US Championship. This is what she learned about herself.

{1} NO EXCUSES TO STAY STUCK

For a year and a half, I worked at a local Pilates studio and coached women in my age demographic, helping them transform their bodies with a Pilates-based fat loss program. Daily, these women were challenged by the belief they had no control of their bodies––it was too late, they were too old, menopause and a slow metabolism were the one thing keeping them from flat abs and a better backside. They were excuses to stay stuck. My desire was to train and compete in a World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation show and set out to be an example for other women to follow. I wanted to be a role model by setting a new standard and challenge those ideas. Maybe one woman would look at me and say, “If she can change her body at 45, then I can do it too.”

{2} ALTER YOUR PERCEPTION OF BODY IMAGE AND SELF-ESTEEM

There is nothing better for improving your body image and self-esteem than weight training and getting into shape. When you begin a fitness regimen, you are physically and mentally challenging yourself daily. Mental toughness and finding inner motivation is part of pushing forward, staying committed and getting results. You begin to notice things you want to improve upon––strength, endurance, physical structure. Take on a challenge and overcome it. It is a winning combination for feeling proud, accomplished and improving your self-worth and esteem.

{3} MANAGE SETBACKS

I’ve had two major physical setbacks in the last year. I broke my tibia in March 2012. Also, I’m recovering strength in my left arm and hand from a hairline fracture of my radial bone. It was hard lying around for weeks and watching muscles in my right leg waste away. I love being active and it became depressing at times.

Twelve weeks after breaking my tibia, the doctor gave me the okay to begin walking again. It took two more months for my leg to return to a normal straight position. In the beginning, I worked on restoring mobility. Albert Lee helped me with aqua strength and conditioning (water therapy) and Dr. Ryan Stevens provided me with muscle activation technique. I also committed to traditional chiropractic care with Dr. Ken Downing and had numerous types of massage. The help of every single one of these professionals, my awesome fiancé and my inherent stubbornness was paramount to getting me through.

{4} SELF-MOTIVATION CAN ALSO HELP OTHERS

I would be lying if I didn’t say vanity was a motivating factor for working out. Who doesn’t want to age gracefully and have a better body? But I enjoy the feeling of being physically strong and challenging myself. I love empowering women to be strong from the inside out. Seeing a person I am working with achieve a goal, get stronger and improve each week is extremely gratifying. I may not be saving the world, but I can help one person at a time get healthy.

{5} SET NEW GOALS

Goals push you to ascend and soar to your destination. If I’m going to stand on stage with the best at the WBFF, then preparing to hold my own is a must. I’m still dealing with occasional muscular imbalances from my tibia and my arm is newly out of my cast. To achieve the physique I want, I must continue to set small goals each week and a long-term goal for a few months ahead. My plans are to step on the WBFF stage again on October 5, 2013 in Oklahoma.