Anna Watson, a junior at the University of Georgia, found comfort and success in weightlifting following a stressful period in her life and eventually found herself looking at a $75,000 modeling contract after turning her arms into those fear-injecting limbs you see above. And then, she changed her mind. Mostly because it was becoming a frightening regimen of intense workouts, consuming 3,000 calories a day, and (legal) steroids. Watson opted out. Now, in addition to being a cheerleader, she’s an exercise and sports science major who hopes to become a personal trainer and help others find ways to set their own fitness goals.
While Watson was attending Hawaii Pacific University, she found herself becoming obsessed with a counterproductive exercise routine. As a cheerleader, she had to maintain her stamina and strength, but the cardio she was doing was not giving her the results she wanted. Instead of gaining strength, she was losing her body fat and her muscle, and realized it was getting harder to do stunts. That’s when she started weightlifting at the suggestion of her family and friends back in Georgia.
So, she started weightlifting, and the next thing she knew, she was developing what the kids call “serious guns.” The more muscle she put on, the more attractive she looked to modeling agencies who specialized in fitness models and bodybuilders. But their demands made her “obsessive,” and then they got even ickier:
They showed [Watson] a woman who worked out with the aid of Anavar, a legal anabolic steroid. The agent suggested Watson — who had been trying to gain almost 50 pounds in muscle to be signed as a model — do the same. …
She could be like the woman in the photo, who “put on the size she needed… got her job … made her money and … cycled off the steroids and was back to normal.”
After realizing that there was little reward in what she was doing to her body — downing “900-calorie mass gainer shakes,” benching 155 pounds and squatting 255, bicep curls with 35-pound weights, dead lifting 230, all putting her body through a a 55-pound swing in a year. So, she stopped. She gave up the modeling contract, gave up the insane workouts, and went back to being a cheerleader and student.
While Watson suffered an injury that prevents her from cheering (for the moment), she still has no regrets about her decision and remains proud of her athletic figure, which still carries a fierce amount of muscle. She hopes to use what she’s learned to help others find their warriors within.