National Guard Soldier Uses Competitive Bodybuilding To Combat Stress

Bodybuilding can be the cure for what ails you.

Ohio Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Megan Simpson was the first female on the Shawnee High School powerlifting team in Springfield, Ohio, and she’s spent plenty of time in the gym as an adult. But it wasn’t until 2014, when she returned home from a deployment in the Middle East, that she became seriously devoted to bodybuilding. The army reporter recently interviewed Simpson about her new life.

“I was going through a rough transition and needed something else to help me focus. I found bodybuilding was a great way to cope with outside stressors,” Simpson said. “It helps me maintain a healthy lifestyle, and helps me teach my children about healthy eating, balance of nutrition and workouts and enjoying life.”

Simpson manages to compete in around two shows a year and has won trophies in novice and masters’ categories. Her office at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Ohio, boasts impressive accolades including four first place trophies and the overall winner at this year’s Midwest Battle of the Champions in Indianapolis.

Simpson trains five days a week, does cardio three to six times a week, adheres to a rigid diet, and drinks plenty of water. She is a big believe in the potential of the human mind and body.

“My discipline, focus and drive from being in the military helps me through the mental trials of bodybuilding. Your body is an amazing machine and pushing it to its limit is enlightening and motivating.”

Her family, including her husband mother and two children, is her support system. They motivate her through training and cheer her on at shows. She credits her children in particular with being strong sources of motivation.

“It really is a team effort and I have the best one around,” she said. “What bodybuilders do is intense and to the extreme when we get closer to show time, but my family gets it. They put up with my carb depleted attitude. If they catch me eating a cookie they’ll ask, ‘Mom is it a cheat meal?’ ‘Mom can you have that?’ They crack me up.”

As one could expect, since she started competing Simpson exceeds all required scores in for the Army’s physical fitness standards. And she doesn’t plan to stop competing any time soon.

Is bodybuilding your therapy?

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