In 2011, Angela Arnold found herself at a crossroads. At 29 years old and 250 pounds, her knees would buckle when she stepped out of bed. On top of this, Arnold was depressed and recovering from a bout with TK type of cancer. Her doctor told her she was diabetic and had two options: either lose weight, or be put on insulin medication for the rest of her life. 

Arnold made a decision. “I wanted to make sure that I would be around not only for my sons, [Colby and Camron, ages 13 and 10] but also my future grandchildren. I know I needed to make some serious lifestyle changes to make that happen.” 


She started out with small steps, partially completing Jillian Michaels workout DVDs for 15 minutes at a time. “Even that was hard, but I was determined to keep going,” she says. Each day she added a few more minutes of exercise on, adding time to both her strength and cardio. “I started out walking a little bit every day, then slowly increased my distances until one day I began jogging, and then running.” 

And while her journey wasn’t always smooth (poor techniques led to a hernia that took three surgeries to correct), Arnold did her best to stay on track, and she shed 100 pounds in the course of a year. 

Today, she stays motivated thanks to support from her family and friends. “You can feel beautiful and be happy about your body. Everyone starte somewhere — you just have to work your way up and be pround of each accomplishment along the way.

Training Plan: Arnold strength trains five days a week and includes cardio. She does one day of high-intensity interval Training. 

Favorite Clean Meal: Raw oysters

Favorite Exercise: Lat pulldowns. “Focus on squeezing the muscle and paying attention to form.”

Fitness Inspiration: “Last year, I wen to the Musclemania competition in Las Vegas, and I watched Ruby Carter Pikes, a great-grandmother in her late 60s, win the overall masters competition. It made me realize I had no excuses, and I didn’t want to miss out on the part of my life where I could say I did.” Arnold entered her first fitness competition last June and placed second. “I didn’t want to go onstage — I had a lot of self doubts. But I realized that I also had the chance to inspire others.” 

Key Supplements: Protein powder, aminos, BCAAs, and creatine

Favorite Cheat Foods: Doughnuts and Trader Joe’s cookie butter.

Sample Schedule 

Leg Day

(Done twice a week)

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Walking Lunge
  • Kickbacks
  • Hip Thrusters
  • Leg Presses
  • Leg Extensions