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Trojan spotlighted

Troy University graduate Joy Randolph has recently been featured in national fitness magazines and has received a sponsorship from Nutrex Research, a company that manufacturers fat-burning and muscle-building supplements.

Randolph of Montgomery was featured in the April 2009 issue of Oxygen Magazine and on the cover and inside the March 17, 2009 issue of “Health and Fitness.”

Randolph’s climb to the division of “figure” competition fitness began from a rather low rung, actually when the scales “shot up to 185 pounds.”

“I was overweight as a child and kids say what they think with no reservations,” Randolph said. “When I was about 10 years old, I was heavier than my friends and I wanted to look like them. While flipping the television channels, I caught a glimpse of a workout program and began working out with it. I easily caught on to choreography and realized that I had a little bit of rhythm. I started reading books on exercising, dieting and eating disorders. And, I began to lose weight. I didn’t go to junior high as ‘the fat kid.’”

Flipping channels again paid off for Randolph. She caught a fitness pageant and admired the beauty of the contestants.

“I couldn’t believe the physiques these women had,” Randolph said. “I knew that I wanted to do a fitness competition pageant when I got older. I eventually ended up cheering in high school and dancing on the college level.”

Even though Randolph was a gym rat, her eating habits were “horrible.”

“During my senior year at Troy University, I decided to enjoy myself and not dance,” she said. “My weight increased. Then, after college when I began to work fulltime, my weight continued to go up — to 185 pounds. It was depressing.”

In January 2007, Randolph decided to get serious about her health.

“This was not just for appearances,” she said. “It was about finding a balance in life so that fitness and healthy eating would become a habit.”

Starting over felt like starting from scratch.

“It was discouraging to be back in the gym but, after a while, I began to build up my stamina and endurance. I worked really hard and a lot of people noticed my discipline and the results of that discipline.”

One of trainers suggested that Randolph consider competing in fitness.

“I expressed concern about the gymnastics aspect of competing and learned about a newer division call ‘figure,’” Randolph said.

About a year later, Randolph committed to a training routine and worked toward a competition deadline.

“I worked out twice a day, five days a week,” she said. “I did an hour of cardio at 5 a.m. and weights in the evening followed by another 30 minutes of cardio. When I started, I weighed about 174 pounds and had 31 percent body fat.

“From January to April, I lost more than 30 pounds and had a ‘stage-ready’ look.’ I placed second at my first two competitions.”

Since then she has been featured on numerous web and print fitness sites and publications.

“I had no idea how much my story impacted others until I was featured on the web and a flood of emails poured in,” Randolph said. “ Going through the process of competing has changed me for the better. I’ve learned so many things such as the power of taking time to write down my goals, confessing them, staying away from negativity and pushing past what I perceived to be my physical limitations.

“My desire is to help others achieve their fitness goals. I will probably compete again but I really have enjoyed helping and coaching others whether it’s competition-related or learning eating habits. I know the amazing feeling of accomplishment and love to see others experience that same joy.”