From Pregnant to Physique Competitor

After gaining 60 pounds during her pregnancy, Leigha Coplen took her health back into her own hands.

Michael Nystrom | April 11, 2017

Name: Leigha Coplen | Age: 26

Old weight: 188 | Current weight: 148

Occupation: Personal trainer/gym owner

OXYGEN: What was your life like before your transformation?

Leigha Coplen: During my pregnancy, I gained 60 pounds. I lost every bit of my muscle tone and was very miserable. I was very depressed and struggled with my self-image.

OXYGEN: Have you had any significant life experiences that set you down that path?

LC: I was always athletic before I got married and had a baby. I was able to eat whatever I wanted and exercise and maintain a healthy balance. After I had my daughter, that completely changed. I found myself in a rut that I could not climb out of on my own.

OXYGEN: What was the turning point? How did you make the change?

LC: I decided that I could either be unhappy with myself and make those around me miserable or I could take action and change what I could. I decided to hire a personal trainer and learn what healthy balance my body needed to lose weight. I learned that having a balanced diet is just as important as busting your butt in the gym, maybe even more important.

I also decided to hire a trainer because I wanted to be able to help those and inspire those in my same situation. I became a personal trainer myself, and having a coach and personal trainer helps widen my knowledge.

OXYGEN: What is your current training/nutrition regimen? How has this helped you? Any favorite exercises?

LC: Currently, I weight train five times a week. I also teach several toning and Zumba classes a week. While on contest prep, I do cardio five times a week, as well. This has helped me attain my goal to compete in women’s physique bodybuilding competitions. If I had to choose, I would say that my favorite bodypart to hit would be back.

OXYGEN: What would you impart on someone reading about your journey?

LC: Everyone has to start somewhere! It is more enjoyable to set small realistic goals and set out to meet them. Your age, body type, gender, race or ethnicity doesn’t matter — if you set your mind to it and you are willing to work, anything is possible. Consistency is the No. 1 key!

OXYGEN: How do you stay motivated and on track?

LC: I set goals and GO GET THEM! I also take progress pictures and compare them to where I started. I am never looking back!

About the Author

Michael Nystrom

Michael Nystrom is the online editor for Oxygen, the Box Magazine and Muscle & Performance. He is a 2x IRONMAN triathlon finisher and is an avid cyclist, triathlete and surfer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.