"I can't tell this story," said Bilson, before her podcast cohost interjected and revealed how she "embarrassed myself" during Rachel and Justin's flirty moment. Rachel…
Navy vet bodybuilder, 47, fires back at trolls who call her a ‘man’ – and says she’s fitter than when she was a teen
- Jeanie Welker, 47, is a doctor of veterinary medicine and lives in Seattle
- She underwent two body transformations of weight loss and bodybuilding
- Jeanie joined the Navy as a teen and began training after she was discharged
A female bodybuilder has hit back at trolls who call her a man – saying ‘none of that bothers me.’
Jeanie Welker, who is a doctor of veterinary medicine and lives in Seattle, struggled with her weight as a teen, and since finding bodybuilding, she says she’s fitter than when she was young.
The 47-year-old navy veteran reminds herself of the reasoning behind the negativity and believes: ‘With the men making these comments, I have to keep in mind that they are always less developed than me and they are probably struggling with body image issues and feelings of inadequacy.’
She argues: ‘Female bodybuilders are a threat because we don’t look like women they (men) can control.’
Jeanie Welker (pictured), 47, is a doctor of veterinary medicine and bodybuilder who lives in Seattle
She underwent two body transformations that included weight loss and bodybuilding. She’s pictured here as a teen
She joined the Navy as a teen and after she was discharged she began training. Pictured is Jeanie after her weight loss journey of becoming 10 dress sizes smaller
She states that no one made any comments directly to her face, but now that social media exists, she has gotten lots of negativity.
Therefore, she doesn’t read her DMs, and she has changed her post settings to only allow followers to comment.
‘If I didn’t, I would occasionally get a comment that I’m a man, that I am disgusting or they would post the puking emoji. None of that bothers me,’ Jeanie added.
She continued: ‘They must not understand that men and women have the same muscles just sitting on us, waiting to be developed.
‘When they [negative comments] are from women, I feel pity that they don’t know their own potential, and they are probably limited in other aspects of their lives.
‘They believe what the men around them have told them what they need to look like, but these women have never asked what they want for themselves.’
In her experience, men who are in shape tend to be more ‘confident’ and ‘supportive’ because they understand the hard work that it takes to become a bodybuilder.
She first laughed when someone approached her at the gym to ask if she would ever considered bodybuilding.
It was when she wanted to make sure she could hold her own in the 1999 Camp Pendleton Marine Corps 10k Mud Run that she started training (pictured is Jeanie in her Navy uniform)
But nine months later, she was on stage at a bodybuilding competition and showing off the hard work she had put into her physique.
Jeanie has been pursuing bodybuilding since 2008 and now boasts a body fat of just eight per cent while she is competing.
Her biceps are currently 16 inches, her thighs are 25 inches, and she can bench press 196 pounds and leg press 532 pounds in sets of 12.
Jeanie grew up in a small town in the state of Missouri. Her father was in the army she followed her father into the military, joining the Navy at 21 after graduating with her first Bachelor’s degree and she left as a Lieutenant (O-3).
During her time in the military, Jeanie travelled to Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain.
At her heaviest, Jeanie was 168 pounds and she is now 10 dress sizes smaller.
She had a very similar diet to what she does now, except for the protein powder but in smaller amounts since her metabolism was so poor and she wasn’t exercising.
Jeannie trains for the duration of two to three hours, with ‘three to five sets of variable rep schemes.’ She proudly considers herself ‘a high-volume trainer’
It was when she wanted to make sure she could hold her own in the 1999 Camp Pendleton Marine Corps 10k Mud Run and not let her teammates down that she began lifting weights.
Jeanie was honorably discharged from the Navy after her term was done and her time was extended a year past the four years that she had agreed to. She left to pursue the goal of becoming a doctor.
She then began her journey to body build with a vengeance, becoming obsessed with gaining knowledge about the sport.
Her diet and exercise regime are now meticulously planned.
Between 2008 and 2022, Jeanie competed in 17 bodybuilding competitions across the US, winning the NANBF KC Gold’s Natural Classic Collegiate Women’s BB in 2008, the INBF Natural Springfield Missouri Classic Women’s Open Heavyweight (Rookie Pro Card) in 2009.
She also won the NANBF Natural Southern States Classic, ranking Women’s Open Short, Women’s 35+ Submasters, Ms. Natural Missouri, and Women’s Open Overall (Pro Card) in 2011.
She came third in the IFBB Savannah Pro, Women’s Open BB in 2021, and fifth in the IFBB Chicago Pro, Women’s Open BB in 2022.
Jeanie immersed herself into reading everything that covered muscle building, training and nutrition.
When she’s not prepping for a show, she usually consumes 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day. However, when a show comes along, she shifts her daily intake to 1,500 to 2000 calories
She gives credit to her consistency during her journey of building muscle, and she also made many changes to her training style, and her focus on specific muscle groups. She prioritizes ‘always showing up,’ and she trains everyday.
If she isn’t feeling motivated, she takes the day off, but her routine is seven days a week.
She explains her training schedule, saying: ‘My current split is Sunday-delts-isolation focus, Monday-chest, Tuesday-legs, Wednesday-delts-heavy press focus, Thursday-biceps/triceps, Friday-Legs-glute and hamstring focus, Saturday-back.’
Jeanie trains for the duration of two to three hours, with ‘three to five sets of variable rep schemes.’ She proudly considers herself ‘a high-volume trainer.’
She explained exactly what it takes to participate in the grueling yet fulfilling body building competitions.
Whenever she’s preparing for an upcoming bodybuilding contest, she lowers her consumption of carbs and fats, so her weight drops down dramatically.
‘Before I was almost 168 pounds but it was fat, now I am 161 pounds during the off-season, with about 18 per cent body fat, whereas, when I am competing, it is more like 140 pounds and eight per cent body fat,’ Jeanie explained.
When she’s not prepping for a show, she usually consumes 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day. However, when a show comes along, she shifts her daily intake to 1,500-2000 calories.
Once she lost the initial 28 pounds, she was hooked. Since then, she has been rebuilding to become the strongest she has ever been at 47 years old.
Her body’s evolution has two parts to it. First, she had a massive weight loss in 1999, and then she got into bodybuilding in 2008.
Her weight loss journey was difficult and she recalls: ‘Before the weight loss, I had finally accepted my body. In my mind I was meant to be heavy since I had tried so hard to lose it to no avail.’
Her bodybuilding physical makes her feel powerful and she states: ‘I feel empowered. I feel strong. My body finally represents my internal strength of mind and spirit’
That process ‘melted the fat off’ her body and she ‘feel in love with lifting.’ She lost a total of 30 pounds.
She recalls: ‘So, the body acceptance went right out the window. No, 30 pounds lighter, that is the body I was meant to have.
‘I was satisfied with weight control until 2008, when I stumbled upon bodybuilding, the sport where you are never satisfied and the job is never done.
‘I found myself at a gym during vet school when two people approached me separately and asked if I had ever thought about competing. I thought that sounded preposterous, and nine months later I was up on the stage.’
Despite the negativity online, Jeanie’s also gotten a lot of positive comments from people who ‘wish’ they had her arms or legs.
She added that she ‘doesn’t follow the crowd’ or ‘care about the opinion of strangers.’
Her bodybuilding physique makes her feel powerful and she states: ‘I feel empowered. I feel strong. My body finally represents my internal strength of mind and spirit.
Her go-to is intermittent fasting. She uses it all season long and calls it the ‘easiest diet in the world’
‘My favorite compliment is when people say I have a good X frame, that is the shape bodybuilders covet: wide shoulders and lats, small waist, wide quad sweep.’
Jeanie did lose some of her muscle when COVID hit and could not go the gym, but she has since built it back up, and could not wait to get back on stage to compete.
During COVID, she dropped 20 pounds of muscle because gyms were closed for months.
She found a solution, saying: ‘All I had was a suspension TRX band, some ankle weights, an ab roller and 15 pound dumbbells. Over time I was able to accumulate pieces to create a very nice home gym in my garage. Now I split my time between the home gym and a box gym.’
In regard to her diet, she’s tried it all, however, it’s been a challenge because she has a severe condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which ‘regurgitates food several times an hour for hours,’ and the ‘acid destroyed her vocal cords.’
Her go-to is intermittent fasting. She uses it all season long, and calls it the ‘easiest diet in the world.’
Jeanie offers bodybuilding advice: ‘I recommend keeping the weights light as you learn proper form. There are many online sites that offer exercises by body part and show a short video’
She consumes only her necessary 700 to 1300 calories daily, and keeps drinking water after that.
As for food, she eats ‘whatever she likes,’ however, she prioritizes eating 180 grams of protein per day, which can be found in ‘meat, protein shakes, and mass gainer shakes.’
In regard to carbs, she does consume them, but makes sure that the fats are not too high.
‘I don’t have to measure [during] off season, as much as I can hold bread, pasta, cakes, crackers, fruit, candy and a small handful of veggies daily,’ Jeanie said.
If you are thinking of getting into the bodybuilding field, she offers the following advice.
‘I recommend keeping the weights light as you learn proper form. There are many online sites that offer exercises by body part and show a short video of them properly executed, such as www.strengthlog.com, which is also an app,’ Jeanie said.
‘Get your form down, and then you can progressively increase the weight. I watch YouTube videos as well, it’s a great source of training material,’ she said.
‘There are different styles of training and I recommend you try them all to find what your body responds to best.
‘At the end of the day, muscles all have specific purposes and if you train them in the motion they are meant for, with resistance, they will grow.’
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