Katrina McKenzie

by Terry Watson | July 16th, 2012
Katrina McKenzie

Katrina McKenzie

Katrina Tia McKenzie is very energetic and outgoing besides her love to read and dance. She is a huge sports fanatic, and professes the Dallas Cowboys and the Boston Celtics as her #1 teams! She attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, and a master’s in chemistry. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and says she is addicted to physical fitness.

“I have always struggled with my weight my entire life. I was introduced to Weight Watchers at a very young age and tried every fad diet that was out there when I was growing up and never lost much weight,” she says. Twice in her life she says she found herself wearing a size 16-18 and weighing well over 220 lbs. “Then I found weight lifting and my world changed. I am now a Funky Fit Aerobics Instructor and bodybuilder,” she states.

McKenzie began working out in 1998 at Quincy Roberts Elite Fitness Center Inc. in Greensboro, N.C. She was introduced to owner, Quincy Roberts and was asked if she’d ever thought about being in a bodybuilding contest. “Of course, my answer was ‘NO WAY’. I have never even owned a two piece swimsuit,” she says. Roberts was great and encouraged McKenzie to do it. “He said, lets train like you are going to do a show, if you aren’t ready we will not do it but if you are, then let’s go for it,” she says.

McKenzie says what she loves most about bodybuilding is the transformation that happens to your body. “It is the best way that I have found to sculpt my body to look the way I want it to look. It is also a great way to relieve stress,” she says. Even with limitations, she says bodybuilding allows her to feel that she’s as good as everyone else and like there is nothing physically wrong with her.

One of the biggest challenges she has faced during her life was when she was diagnosed with a bone disease in 2009. Her whole life she says she knew something was wrong with her left femur but no doctor ever could find out what it was. She was told in the fifth grade that she had a hairline fracture and it would heal on its own. It never did. “I just got used to limping and to the fact that I would have this hairline fracture forever,” she says. “It caused me to not be able to be as active as I wanted to be when growing up. When I found bodybuilding/weight lifting, I realized that if I strengthened my leg muscles the pain was lessened.”

However in 2009, an orthopedic doctor finally found out what the problem was. She was diagnosed with Fibrous Dysplasia. She was born with the disease active in certain parts of her bones as it replaced the bone marrow with a fibrous material. This exchange had been occurring in McKenzie’s femur for a while and by 2009 the whole top half of her femur was a fibrous matter. “I was immediately taken to surgery and told that she could step off of a curb at any moment and her bone could shatter.

The doctors were astonished that she was in the process of becoming an aerobics instructor at the time and doing aerobics up to four hours a day. She says the surgery involved screwing a steel plate onto the side of her thigh bone. “It was as painful as it sounds. I was out of work for six weeks and had to go from a wheelchair to a walker, then to crutches. I recovered slowly and was back working out almost full strength after six months,” she says.

Almost a year to the date, she was taken back to surgery to the operating room to have Arthroscopic knee surgery on the opposite leg because no cartilage was there. Back to the crutches she went and out of work for another six weeks. She slowly recovered from that after another three months. Soon she was back up to 213 lbs, and miserable again she says. “I tried to lose weight again to no avail. Then I remembered how I lost the weight back in 1999 – bodybuilding. So I went back to my first love and with new limitations from my surgeries, I decided to train for another show after ten years,” she says. Her new ambitions were supported by personal training from IFBB Pro Henderson Gordon at MaxFit Customized Personal Training Center in High Point, N.C.

She says she dieted for 365 days and on March 31, 2012 she was back on the stage again competing in a body building contest. She went from 213 lbs and 34.5% body fat to 144 lbs and 19% body fat. She says she pulls her inspiration from people that have come in contact with at the gyms throughout her life. These facilities include Elite Fitness Center in Greensboro, AC Fitness in Greensboro, N’Shapewith’N Fitness and Image Studio in Charlotte, Peak Fitness in Charlotte, Hayes Taylor YMCA in Greensboro, The Rush located on Randleman Road in Greensboro, and MaxFit Customized Personal Training Center in High Point.

Her life has been impacted she says by several people during her journey. Her father, Dr. Wayland McKenzie, gave her the courage along her career, educational path, and weight loss journeys to shoot for the stars. Her three personal trainers (IFBB Pro Quincy Roberts, Nettie Reeves, CPT, CHC owner of N’Shapewith’N and IFBB Pro Henderson Gordon) have given her the tools to change her body. “My trainers have worked with me before and after surgeries. They have helped me physically recuperate, lose weight and mentally push me when I wanted to quit,” she says. In additions she admits that her Charlotte and Greensboro girlfriends have been a great impact on her life. “They have seen my tears and listened to my fears and have had my back through thick and thin,” McKenzie states.

Lastly, the one person besides God she says that has had the biggest impact on her life has been her mother, Peggy McKenzie. “My mother has been my number one cheerleader. She has pushed and carried wheelchairs, walkers and crutches, and has dried my tears and changed bandages. She never missed a doctor’s appointment and has held my hand when I didn’t think I could make it,” she professes. McKenzie also says her mother has attended any and everything that has been important to her including aerobics classes from Greensboro to Charlotte and bodybuilding contests. “She has sprayed me with tan and cooked chicken during my crazy diet times. She has even come to the gym with me at 5:30 a.m. during my training to help motivate me. My trainer, my nurse, my coach, my cheerleader, my best friend is my mother,” she says. “I would not have made it to and through any goal without her. Thank you God for my mom!”

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