Sheree Valdez had a hard time loving the woman she saw staring back at herself in the mirror. How could a 31 year-old have so much self-hatred?

“Every single day I hated my body and hated my stomach,” says Valdez.

Although she loves her three children, Sheree could not bear to look at the stretch marks and weight they left behind.

“I am a mother who carried three babies in my belly. I was given the gift of being a mother and I got to feel babies move inside me and grow. That is one amazing thing to do. Through fitness I have overcome a lot of my body issues and realize I am working towards becoming the best I can,” she says.

Making the decision to change wasn’t easy but through her inner strength and perseverance, she pushed through the grueling first week, and little by little she began to notice a shift in her body. It was enough to keep her going – and it caught the attention of the people around her.

“I loved feeling happy with my body and how much energy I have.”

As her road to a healthy body continued, she began to rave about how much lifting weights in the gym had shaped her body and now her life. The encouragement from friends and family led her to another new found passion – Fitness Coaching.

“Once I started coaching, people loved my help and keeping them accountable helped me push harder towards my own goals. It also set a good example for my children.”

After 6 years of coaching and motivating others, Sheree offers a few words of wisdom to women who feel self doubt like she did.

“I would say don’t compare yourself because we once were where you are. Don’t look at women’s physiques and think I wish I had that body. Why can’t I look like that? Comparing yourself only brings you down. Find something you need to do to get where you want to be and do it. Everyone faces their own struggles and has different strengths. We aren’t the same for a reason. Just focus on creating the best you that you can be and find happiness within that person.”

Sheree’s new found confidence inspired her to step up on stage at the NPC National Physique Competition where she was awarded a Pro Card. She admits it’s been a tough journey, but says it’s helped her become who she is today.

“This journey has shaped me because it adds discipline to my life. It’s just a great feeling to know what you have achieved stepping on stage regardless of your flaws. Being on stage is a great way to show your hard work and dedication.”

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