Stacey O'Malley on stage in April winning first place in the fitness model category of the PCA competition.
Stacey O'Malley on stage in April winning first place in the fitness model category of the PCA competition. Paul Rogers photography

How this woman lost almost 10 kilos in three weeks

WHEN Stacey O'Malley first started training as a body builder in 2012, she was just trying to look good for her wedding.

Fast forward six years and she's won a State Australasian Natural Bodybuilding Association title, represented Australia in Canada and last month won a first and third place in the Physical Culture Australia competition.

Mrs O'Malley, 32, competes in the fitness model division and runs a personal training/ body building training and coaching business helping other women in the sport.

She is also a flight attendant and said her co-workers called her "muscles".

Since her recent competition she has decided to take some time off from competing due to health reasons.


On her journey in body building she has learnt to take the time to build up her body and had two years off competing in 2015 and 2016 while doing that.

"I've done all the diets, Tony Ferguson and the cabbage soup diet. I've been there and done that and used to yo yo all the time. I used to do long distance running and cut carbs," Mrs O'Malley said.

But she has since learnt those diets don't work, and now she teaches clients to increase their carbs and calories slightly over a period of time so that their metabolism adapts to eating more, before cutting them a little to achieve their goals.

"Once you know how the body works, nothing is off limits," she said.

"It takes a long time to build body mass. I've changed over the years, you have to be patient. You need to take time off-season and build muscle mass."

To build mass off-season she eats more carbs and stops cardio focussing on weight training. When it comes time to prep for a competition she drops the carbs back and increases her cardio.

Before she became a personal trainer Mrs O'Malley was a journalist working at Channel nine.

She was training at Anytime Fitness in Springfield for her first competition when management approached her to see if she was interested in becoming a trainer.

The answer was yes she is a trainer at the gym and started OzBod Health and Fitness five years ago. Two years ago she built a home studio.

"I actually compete not to win trophies, but being an ex-dancer I love being on stage. It's the next best thing for me. I've been lucky my hobby has become a career."

Over the years she has probably helped around 20 girls in their body building journey from nutrition to training and posing.

"I only take small teams to comps, for me I like to talk to my girls every day."

She also likes to be able to help them post-comp.

For the past five years she has been sponsored by Body Ripped Sports Nutrition, a Melbourne owned and operated supplement company "they truly are an amazing company".


How she does it...

TO GET ready for competitions Stacey O'Malley does "flexible dieting" she tracks her food on the My Fitness Pal app and eats a variety of foods.

A few weeks out from a competition she starts to limit her carbs and eats mainly meat and vegetables.

But she said it depended on her off-season as to how much calories she would consume.

When she's in the off-season she eats about 1600 to 1800 calories a day and then drops that to around 1200 calories in the last two to three weeks.

She said being restrictive for a long time could affect her hormonal health.

Also dropping her calories could affect her brain function, leading her to sometimes get lost in a conversation.

"They call it comp brain. You do notice that your patience gets thin, you get snappy, hangry," Mrs O'Malley said.

"Poor hubby knows when I'm in prep."

She trains five days a week doing an hour of weights and heavy lifting and increases her cardio before competitions from thirty minutes up to an hour after her weights sesssion.

While she doesn't always track her body fat she said on average she could lose five to 10 kilos before a competition, depending on her off-season and get close to 10-15% body fat.

Meal plan close to competition:

  • Calories around 1100, 145g of protein, 70-80g of carbs, 30g of fats and 20g of fibre
  • Pre-workout/ breakfast: 45g of All-Bran.
  • Post-workout: Chicken with asparagus and sweet potato
  • Lunch: Turkey mince with greens
  • Afternoon tea: Rice cakes with natural peanut butter
  • Dinner: Steak or fish and veggies

Off season meal plan:

  • Calories around 1600-1800, 140g of protein, 180-200g of carbs, 50-60g of fats and 30g of fibre
  • Pre-workout/ breakfast: oats/cereal with Body Ripped sports nutrition protein powder
  • Post-workout: High protein yoghurt with banana
  • Lunch: Chicken salad wrap
  • Arvo tea: Almonds with protein bar
  • Dinner: Steak, fish or pork with veggies
  • Desert: Low fat ice-cream like Halotop or Skinny Cow.

Mrs O'Malley said she generally eats the same things most days, whether in prep or not, but a lot more carbs and fats in the off-season.