How Bodybuilding Helped Me Live My American Dream

At a Glance:Taneisha Henline

Age: 30

Occupation: Certified Food Manager; Owner & Operator of Top Shotta Jerk Chicken.

Family: Eli - husband of 8 years, and our pup Ruby

Current Residence: Bloomington, IN

Years training: 3 years total

Height: 5'4"

Weight: Off-Season: 145, Contest: 125

Favorite Fitness Meal: Jerk chicken breast with rice and red beans from my food truck, Top Shotta Jerk Chicken

Favorite Supplement: My all-time favorite supplements are: Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, Glutamine Select, and Creatine Select. UMP flavors I really enjoy are Chocolate, Cookies & Crème, and Graham Cracker.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I would definitely recommend Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, Glutamine Select, UMP & Mass Amino Acids.

Music: All genres of Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae.

Most inspiring book: The Everyday Guide to Self-Compassion.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Yoga, mental health advocating, listening to audiobooks, True crime, and everything Star Wars.

Words to live by: "Mens sana in corpore sano" (A sound mind; in a sound body)

 

Growing up in Jamaica was extremely hard for me; I survived poverty, sexual abuse, death of friends and loved ones. So as one can imagine, I had too many issues to deal with, so I never really thought of working out or the gym. I did have a friend at the time in high school who ran track. I can clearly remember thinking that I'd never want to look that way, i.e., "masculine or muscular," because, unfortunately, my culture is one where a woman's body is considered more attractive if she has a thicker body type and not "manly" as we say back home.

As an adult, however, I then wanted to join a gym, but it was just too expensive; after all, I was surviving financially on $70 USD every two weeks, and that was hardly enough to feed myself, so at that time, a gym membership was unattainable.

Fast forward some years, and I'm working as a receptionist at a small resort in my hometown, and in walks Eli Henline; I didn't know it then, but when he saw me, he told his friends he was going to marry me. I would imagine they probably thought that'd be a long shot because not only did he just meet me, I lived in Jamaica, and he lived in Indiana. We spoke while he stayed at the resort, and when he left to return to America, I sent him a Facebook friend request. We talked for a couple of months, and I came for a visit to see how we would connect. We fell in love, got married, and started building a life together.

Eli has always been an avid bodybuilder and a gold club member of Beverly International since 2005 when he did his first Beverly bodybuilding competition. He then competed in three (3) more Beverly shows. Naturally, he introduced me to Beverly International after I expressed in 2020 that I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable in my body. I thought it was time to be healthier, especially now that I could afford a gym membership! Also, I thought it could be something else that Eli and I could bond doing together. I started watching The Gladiators and was fascinated by the beautiful black women and their amazing bodies. That planted a thought in my head that maybe one day, I could look like those amazing women. I had wanted to join a gym for years but wasn't ready until 2020.

On March 17, 2020, I started training with the coaching of my husband; I stopped eating out and only ate from my food truck Top Shotta Jerk Chicken because I make my food from scratch; it’s fresh, never frozen, extremely healthy but most importantly; I know what's in every meal! My first day in the gym was perfect; we did legs. I was so excited to start my fitness journey, but sadly, on March 18, 2022, the entire world was shut down due to COVID-19. This would be a major deterrent for many people, but I was undaunted. Therefore, Eli and I decided to go for runs around the neighborhood, continue to eat clean, do bodyweight exercises, and continue to take our Beverly supplements. This kept us on track; once the gym reopened, we got back in and started lifting heavy daily.

I found it struggling at first not to be able to have carbs with every meal, having cheat meals only on Sundays, and not being able to snack 🙂 I am also not an egg or oatmeal person. I solved this by having a UMP shake or bar when needed, especially when working on my food truck or if I needed a quick meal!

For me, the gym is not just a place where I go to pick things up and put them back down 🙂 it has helped me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I lift as a form of self-therapy; it has increased my confidence, self-love and appreciation. For years I dealt with my childhood trauma internally.

I thought I didn't need to speak with a professional because I had it all under control. Sadly though, in April 2022, I reached a breaking point and decided to speak with someone. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but I’m now happy and proud of myself for making it! I started reading my therapy books and made an everyday effort to work not just on my physical strength but also my mental. I started practicing self-love and compassion; working on my childhood trauma made me realize that I was not living up to my full potential, and it was time to fall back fully in love with myself. I also recognized that I did not have a lot of great moments in my life, and so in March of 2022, I started thinking that maybe I could compete in my first show; I was also being told by my husband and by others, including Ryan Stanton an elite IFBB Pro who trains at the same loyal gym; that I was capable of competing in a show. In May 2022, I answered the call and signed up for my first competition.

Immediately I started doing more in-depth research on bodybuilding, posing, previous competitions, and competitors. I used the Beverly Method to get me to the stage, took a disciplined approach & used it as my blueprint.

Saturday, June 25, 2022, was the big day! At the hotel on the morning of the show, I had a Jamaican Supligen, a milk-based meal supplement nutritional drink used in many Jamaican punch recipes, and a Beverly UMP bar. While backstage, I sipped on Glutamine Select with salt and took small bites of my Beverly goo. My number and name were called, and it was go time! I won all the Figure categories I entered: the Open Novice, Class B, and Overall. I am the 2022 NPC Natural Miss Figure Indiana; I am so happy and proud that I accomplished such success at my first show! Not a lot of people can say they won an overall on their first show.

This was an experience that I will never forget; hearing strangers yell my number was just a tantalizing moment. My family there, especially my husband yelling and cheering for me was so special. I also told myself that I was going to make friends at my show, and I did just that. I'm just elated with how this journey turned out for me. Hard work does pay off, and it also helps to be genetically gifted!

Diet

Not having a solid meal prep plan can be discouraging for one's fitness journey. Luckily, I have a healthy food business, so I'm fortunate to be able to cook most of my meals fresh. You may cut or increase portions as you see fit! Add your carbs where necessary for you. Eating a solid meal first thing in the morning is extremely difficult; I find that I can drink a UMP shake after my workout or eat a UMP bar, and that's just perfect for me. I have a very sensitive tummy which other protein powders only irritate, plus Beverly's UMP is super delicious.

 

Supplements

Every morning before I lift, I take 2 Lean Out and 2 7- Keto MuscLean with a scoop of Glutamine Select. After each of my six meals, I take 2 Lean Out, 2 Mass Aminos, and 2 Ultra 40s with another scoop of Glutamine Select. I will be adding Muscle Synergy back to my supplement list during the off-season as well.

While lifting, I'm constantly sipping on Glutamine Select and Creatine Select. This is the perfect blend for working out on an empty stomach!

Workout

My workout is a 6-day split. I aim for 3-4 sets of 10 reps on each exercise with a drop set on the final set. Here are examples of the exercises I use for my various body parts.

Quads:
Leg Extension
Leg Press
Lunges
Squats

Hammies:
Leg Curls
Squats (wide stance)
Lunges
Leg Press (feet high on platform)

Back & Biceps:
Pullovers
Pullups
DB Curls
Hammer Curls

Chest & Triceps:
Pec Dec
Push-Ups
Triceps Extension
DB Kickbacks

Back & Delts:
Rows
Pulldowns
Face Pulls
Rear Delt Laterals

Abs & Calves:
Seated Crunch Kicks
Leg Raises
Seated Calf Raise
Standing Calf Raise

In Closing

My first contest prep experience was good. I struggled at first with being moody and trying not to let those emotions get the best of me. Sometimes I felt light-headed while working on my food truck and was sleepier than usual. But, I made perseverance an integral part of my mindset and was determined to relish the process. My high school's motto, “Mens sana in corpore sano,” the Latin term for "a sound mind in a sound body," helped me keep my focus. I made sure I had everything taken care of for show day way in advance so I wouldn't be anxious about anything.

Meal Plan

Meal One
1 scoop UMP, 3 strawberries, and 1/3 cup of blueberries

Meal Two
4oz Body by Shotta chicken breast, 1 small apple, half cup rice, red beans, or sweet potato

Meal Three
5oz lean beef, 2 cups vegetables, 2 tbsp olive oil and vinegar

Meal Four (snack)
1 scoop UMP, half cup rice or red beans

Meal Five
4oz lean meat 2 cups vegetables

Meal Six (snack)
1 scoop UMP, 1 tbsp almond butter

Cardio:

I walk for 20 minutes every morning. When preparing for a contest, I add a session after my workout. My favorite cardio forms include HIIT, running, or the elliptical. I would also go for walks in the afternoon! I always listen to my favorite tracks during cardio; this helps me stay in the zone.

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