With both of her parents working full time when she was young, Trista Elaschuk was often left to prepare her own breakfast and lunch. Many times she didn’t bother to eat, which meant she would binge on whatever was around when she finally got home. Her father was obese, and Elaschuk herself struggled with her weight through childhood. Though she was active, playing competitive soccer into her high school years, her weight held her back. “I simply couldn’t keep up with the other girls,” she says.

Elaschuk went on her first diet at age 16, and quickly lost about 40 pounds. But by high school graduation, she’d ballooned to 195 pounds. “I was embarrassed of how I looked. I didn’t even want to leave the house,” she recalls.

That year, her father encouraged her to join Weight Watchers with him. She dropped 50 pounds on the diet, but when she stopped attending meetings, the weight crept back. By 2012, she was up to 185 pounds. She decided to try again, this time adding exercise to her routine.
“I was intimidated by the weight room, so I decided to hit the treadmill, and soon I was running almost every day.” After a while, though, she needed a new challenge. A friend suggested they lift weights together, and Elaschuk became more confident. After a few months she was training five days a week in the gym.

In November 2013, she went on a double date to a bodybuilding competition. “The hard work and dedica­tion there amazed me. I kept thinking, ‘I could do that! That could be me,'” she says. About a month later, she hired a coach to get her into competitive shape. “I told everyone I knew I was doing it so I’d be less likely to back out,” Elaschuk says. When she started her prep, she was 162 pounds and had 24% body fat. “I had 23 weeks to transform my body and was 100% committed!”

Elaschuk began spending six days a week at the gym, and last June, she placed third in the figure category in her first competition. “It was the most exhilarating, rewarding, and humbling day of my life!” Now 27, she plans to keep competing and pushing herself to reach new goals. She’s even inspired her family to get more into fitness; her father has started working with her coach to improve his conditioning. “I spent most of my life being overweight, and I hated myself. But I’ve found a true passion in bodybuilding, and I don’t ever want to go back to the way I was before.”

How She Does It:


Cardio: Stairclimber, 30 minutes, 6 days a week

Strength: 5 days a week, plus 1 circuit day


Sample Daily Menu

Meal 1: Egg white, blueberry, and oatmeal scramble

Meal 2: Greek yogurt with banana and All-Bran

Meal 3: Sweet potato, chicken, green beans

Meal 4: Sweet potato, chicken

Meal 5: Sweet potato, chicken, zucchini

Meal 6: Greek yogurt with protein powder

Favorite Supplements

Mornings: Fish oil, multivitamin, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C

Post-workout: Cellucor Mint Chocolate Chip protein powder mixed with flavorless BCAA and glutamine

Evenings: Probiotic, fish oil