35 pounds and a baby later, Barbara Montero completes her transformation

October 3, 2018

Barbara Montero first started my transformation in 2016 and quickly began to get in shape, but it wasn’t long before life threw her a curve ball that forced us to change the focus of the program. A month after starting, she found out she was pregnant, and rather than quit she decided to finish strong, maintain her progress and prepare her body for the birth of her child. Although the program helped her accomplish these goals, she never really had a chance to reach her full potential. So, this past June she signed up for round two, and by the time she finished, she more than exceeded her original expectations.

“I started the transformation in December of 2016 because I was feeling both physically and mentally sick, and I wanted to make a change,” said Barbara. She had been eating and drinking anything she wanted, and rarely working out, causing her to gain weight and feel bad about herself. She contacted me right before the holidays, and I told her it would make more sense to wait until the new year to start her program. She had already made up her mind and wanted to start right away, so on Dec. 20, 2016, that’s exactly what she did.

During the first few weeks of the program she dropped 12 pounds, significantly reduced her body fat and built a great amount of momentum toward achieving her goals, but by mid-January she realized she was pregnant, and this forced us to take a different approach. Obviously we could no longer focus on weight loss, so we decided to work on strength, stamina and maintaining the results she achieved during the first month. By the time the 12 weeks were over, she had not gained back a single pound of what she had initially lost.

For the rest of the pregnancy, Barbara didn’t work out as much as she did when she was on the program, but she did apply a lot of what she learned about diet. “I was pretty conscious about how I ate, especially portion sizes and making sure I consumed enough lean protein. Because of this, I didn’t gain that much weight at all,“ she said. In fact, the weight she initially lost during the first transformation helped her maintain a healthy pregnancy, and by the time she was ready to have the baby, she was only 12 pounds heavier than when she started the program.

After giving birth, Barbara knew she would eventually be back for round two of the transformation: “It was totally on my radar. I knew I wanted to do it again, but when I did I wanted to do it right.” However, in early June when her husband James decided he wanted to do it too, they entered the program together as a couple. This time the end result was much different.

When the second transformation was over, Barbara had dramatically changed her appearance, losing a total of 35 pounds and reducing her body fat 38 percent from where she started the first time, far exceeding her expectations. In addition, her husband James also had a very successful transformation. He reduced his body fat to a very lean 11 percent, which was a total of 37 percent less, but more importantly, he decreased his cholesterol and triglycerides so much that his doctor thought he was taking medication.

When I asked what advice Barbara had to offer to anyone who has tried to get in shape before but encountered an obstacle that made it harder to reach their goals, she said, “If you have a setback, it’s OK to pause and take a breath. If you think of this as more of a lifestyle and not just a 90-day program, it doesn’t seem as debilitating.” And that’s exactly what Barbara Montero did during this process. “I’m 35 pounds lighter than before I got pregnant, and physically I have never been in this kind of shape before, not even when I was 20 years old,” she said.

  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

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