How Theresa Ivancik Overcame Eating Disorder To Become IFBB Bodybuilding Champion

Images via Theresa Ivancik Instagram

Theresa Ivancik suffered from bulimia at a young age but has overcome it and become a champion.

Theresa Ivancik has overcome many obstacles to get to where she is as a women’s bodybuilder. After battling bulimia at a young age and weighing around 110 pounds, Ivancik was able to overcome it all and accomplish her goal of becoming a champion bodybuilder in the IFBB.

Ivancik has been open about her journey to becoming a fitness pro and champion bodybuilder. She has started her own website and currently owns Harlan’s Elite Fitness in Pennsylvania.

“It was a tough time in my life, but I knew that if I didn’t take control and do something positive with my time, I’d never forgive myself.”

Ivancik was able to overcome the eating disorder and put her focus in becoming a bodybuilder. She admitted to working out six days a week and made sure to prioritize meals.

“In addition to training six days a week, I focused on gaining weight, eating more cards and proteins. I gained 59 pounds, taking my weight from 120 to 180 pounds.”

Theresa Ivancik Instagram

Theresa Ivancik’s Journey To The Top

At a young age, Theresa Ivancik suffered from bulimia and was a huge cardio freak when training. In 2001, Ivancik was inspired by an Oxygen Fitness Magazine and began setting health and fitness goals for herself. Under the guidance of Jeff Harlan, Ivancik found it difficult to eat more food and cut down on cardio.

Ivancik shared her thoughts on her website:

“With me being a cardio freak and suffering from bulimia, I thought he was crazy. So, I left, and didn’t continue consulting with him as I decided to do things on my own.”

Fast forward to 2007, Theresa Ivancik placed at her first bodybuilding show but was not satisfied with how she looked. She consulted with Harlan once again and the rest is history.

Ivancik set goals for herself that included owing a gym, becoming an IFBB professional, and becoming a personal trainer. With the help of Jeff Harlan, who is now her fiancé, Ivancik has accomplished these goals and is continuing to improve on stage.

“I got a personal training job with him after he helped me with my certification, which then led to us owning our own gym…My next journey begins here, now with a new goal — to be the best in the world one day.”

In 2017, Ivancik made her professional debut. Just two years later, she won her first title, and was also crowned best poser, during the Lenda Murray Pro. The very next year, Ivancik won the 2022 Chicago Pro and earned her first trip to the Olympia, where she finished 14th.

Theresa Ivancik Instagram

Last season, Ivancik continued to improve. She earned a trip to her second Olympia by winning the 2022 Indy Pro. At the biggest show of the year, Ivancik was part of the third callout and finished seventh. She continues to climb up the rankings and will work to one day become Ms. Olympia.

“There are always new challenge to overcome and new goals to achieve. That’s what keeps me motivated and hungry for more…Every day is a new opportunity to push yourself and see what you’re capable of.”

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.