Time for another success story. This one is from Danielle Reutter who used the Leangains approach to get in amazing shape.

Actually, “amazing” is a huge understatement, as she won her class in the 2010 NPC Nationals (Figure) and earned an IFBB Pro Card.

This makes Danielle the first American “professional” Figure competitor who uses Leangains (as far as I know).

Daniella — Posing on Stage

We need people like Danielle in the health and fitness community – people who aren’t afraid to go against the mainstream. Why? Their success motivates others to change. Bodybuilders and fitness competitors tend to be very locked in their thought processes when it comes to nutrition. They’re usually slaves to diet myths and these superstitions dictate how they approach contest dieting.

The problem is not that the “6-meals-a-day”-approach doesn’t work, because it does for some, but that it just isn’t right for everybody. And if people are afraid to experiment due to some nonsensical belief that doing this or that will (insert here: “slow down metabolism”/”cause muscle loss”/”prevent fat loss”, etc.), then clinging on to it will prevent them from reaching their goals.

In my own case, I’ve talked about how I couldn’t attain my goals when I was obsessively eating every 2-3rd hour, thinking breakfast was crucial and trying to avoid eating in the evening. These behaviors were “forced” on me – they did not exist due to personal preference.

When it slowly dawned on me that my behavior or diet had no scientific basis, that eating every 2-3rd hour did not yield any metabolic boost and so forth, I left it all behind and switched to something that felt right with me.

Unfortunately, most people never find the truths about the diet dogma that permeates the fitness and health mainstream and that’s a shame.

Enough of my ranting, here’s Danielle’s story.

Leangains helped me earn my IFBB Pro Card

I am proud to say that I just earned my IFBB Pro Card in Figure at the 2010 NPC Nationals in Atlanta, GA. This was my 3rd Figure show and I have learned a lot through these couple contest preps. I have been a personal trainer since I got my ISSA Certification is 2007. It has been and continues to be a journey of constant learning and growing.

My 2nd Figure show was the 2010 Arnold Amateur. After this show I realized that eating every 2 hours had made me a little nutty. That constant eating was making me constantly think about food. I was spending way too much time with my mind occupied on food and there were more important things in life that I needed to focus on. So I began researching and found Eat Stop Eat.

Danielle — 3 Weeks out from competition
Danielle three weeks out and 115 lbs.

Eat Stop Eat is a great book and I began implementing the two 24 hour fasts per week into my lifestyle. This totally helped me break the constant need to eat. I found it to be very freeing. Then when I was getting ready to start my next prep, I began doing more research into other ways of fasting – and I found Leangains.

I took what I had learned about my diet from previous shows – as to what works for me, and used that along with fasting 14-16 hours per day, Leangains style. I quickly realized how much less stress this was.

Being a busy mom, it’s so nice to not have to worry about eating right away in the morning. I have my food packed and I eat at work. Also I’m not hungry until later now, so I don’t even think about it.

Danielle — Stage Photo
Danielle stole the show! Fantastic physique. Notice how she looks just perfect and healthy, without the emaciated and “overdieted” look that some competitors have on stage. She weighed in at 108 lbs.

Currently I am preparing for my first Pro Show – the Kentucky Muscle. I am using the same diet, fasting and training regiment as I did for my last show. I am so thankful to have found Leangains! It has made these preparations so much easier – and not to mention my results have been incredible. When I won my Pro Card, I came in 5 pounds lighter than my previous shows. Not only was I lighter, but leaner and tighter.

Danielle placed 16 out of 28 in the Kentucky Muscle Pro, which is great. Keep in mind that the competition is crushing at that level. Not to mention that doing two shows back to back is very challenging and tough on your body.

Let’s wish Danielle all the best for future competitions. People need role models like Danielle, as they are living proof that you can win major fitness and bodybuilding competitions without becoming a slave to Tupperware-containers.

By the way, here’s a picture of Danielle from last year, shortly after her pregnancy at 150 lbs:

Danielle — Picture before Leangains

Quite a difference, wouldn’t you say? Goes to show what kind of amazing change people are capable with determination, consistency and the right diet.

Check out the success stories, or clients, on this site for more examples of people that have gone through all sorts of radical transformations. And you will see more examples of people placing or winning major fitness and bodybuilding competitions in the near future. In the meantime, here are a few examples of fitness and bodybuilding competitors that uses the Leangains approach, all of them featured on this site at one point or another: