I am Lauren Drain
In 2013, I decided to change my life for the better. I had always been active, going as far as training for CrossFit competitions, but I never achieved the look that I wanted. I always tried to make healthier choices and stay in shape, but the results were lackluster. From 2013 to 2014, I made simple changes that catapulted me from a semi-in-shape person to WBFF Bodybuilding Pro. You may recognize where I began… After the fall and holiday season, several slices of pie, and dozens of cookies, I was less than pleased with my appearance. I was stressed, fatigued, sleep deprived, and overweight, working excessive hours as an RN. I felt unhappy and unhealthy, and I needed to change. What at the time seemed like your average “New Year’s Resolution” to get in shape, turned into a passion. A passion I want to share with you.
On January 1, 2013, I signed up for a Paleo Challenge to try to drop excess weight gained over the course of the fall and winter months. I made a commitment to myself to get in the best shape of my life. Not a throwaway, New Year’s resolution; a real commitment. After completing the Paleo Challenge and seeing what I was capable of by committing to a vision, I took it to the next level: WBFF Bikini competition.At the beginning of the year, I weighed 135lbs. Through training with specialized coaches and unwavering determination, I dropped to a stage weight of 122lbs, revealing muscle definition and razor-cut curves that were hidden by excess fat. Since that first competition, I have put on muscle weight in all the right places, through a strategic training process, customized diet, and devotion to a better me. The personal growth in this journey has produced a stronger, happier and healthier me.
It’s not easy. Not even close. I am not a genetic specimen that can eat two pints of ice cream, half a chocolate cake, and a dozen donuts and not gain an ounce. The booty and legs that you see today are the result of nothing more than hard work, dedication, and vision. I know exactly how it feels to be disappointed when you look in the mirror. I know how easy it is to make excuses and blame genetics. I am going to let you in on a secret…
Those excuses are lies. You can achieve any physique goal that you set out to conquer. If you have a vision of how you want to look, you can make it a reality. If I can, I am telling you… you can too.
While personal fitness is an integral part of my life, helping others with health, wellness and quality of life is my passion. Since the age of 16, I have held full-time jobs in various capacities within healthcare. I have been a cardiac registered nurse for the past 10 years, with experiences in intermediate ICU (ICU step-down) settings and as a charge nurse working all floors of a hospital.
It is in my nature to care and help. As a nurse, I am allotted opportunities to genuinely care for people when they need it most. I have helped people rehab after losing a limb, and consoled patients scared of dying alone. I have given solace to families grieving a loss, and helped patients laugh when they have felt embarrassed or scared about a condition. It is a blessing and I am fortunate to have been in circumstances to help make others’ lives better.
In my years as a nurse, I have never seen a natural athlete in poor health. Active lifestyles lead to better quality of life. I try to teach my patients about how they can prevent disease through health and fitness instead of resorting to medication. Every opportunity I am granted to teach patients about changing lifestyle habits to cure or prevent disease and ailment is a victory.
I never set out to be a “fitness model” – in fact that was never my intention. About three years ago, I let the fall and holiday seasons get the best of me. I was unhappy with what I saw in the mirror and I felt even worse, so I decided to make a change for the better. I finished my first Paleo challenge with motivating results that led me to research aesthetic competition shows (lots of YouTube asking around). Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and signed up for my first bikini show. I got a coach and trained my butt off for 14 weeks straight before I stepped onstage, and it was far from easy. At the time, I was working 13-hour night shifts at one hospital, and per-diem at another to make up the cost of the show and coaching. By the time I stepped on stage, I was an anxious/excited/inexperienced mess – who placed 9th out of 30+ girls in my first competition.
From that point forward, I was hungry for a pro card. The next week, I entered a show in Canada (six hours away) in two divisions. My husband picked me up from work after a night shift on the day before the show and drove to Canada while I, still in my scrubs, slept in the back seat. He delivered me to the athletes meeting with minutes to spare. I placed 3rd in Bikini and 5th in Fitness – but no pro card. After training for a total of six shows in 12 months, while still working nights, I won my 5th show and earned my pro card.
I’ve met so many great people through the hustle and always made an effort to get my name out there; I worked with everyone I could to generate fun content. I’ve tried and failed time and time again but I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’m not perfect, I’m not trying to be… I just want to be the best version of myself that I can. During my journey, I made my private Instagram account public and started posting photos that documented my struggles and successes, thinking a few extra fans may help me land a photoshoot or help my chances of winning a show. I never imagined my account would become so popular. With all that said, I just want to thank you all for your love and support – I couldn’t have done it without you.
WBFF Bikini Pro
Within a year of competing in my first show, I had earned my WBFF Pro Card. It was a rollercoaster of a year, with a fair share of obstacles and disappointments. The relentless effort began immediately…
It was a week after the first competition that my husband picked me up after an over-night hospital shift, and drove to Canada (a 6-hour trip) for my second. Exhausted, I slept in the back seat, still in scrubs, for the duration of the trip. We arrived at the meet, exhausted and with literal minutes to spare, and I placed 3rd in the Bikini class and 5th in Fitness.
With each show, I had an opportunity to continue getting better in every aspect of my performance. I took the time to learn as much as I could from those around me. In a span of 12 months, I had competed in 6 different shows. Within one year, I had earned a Pro Card, placing 1st in the Bikini Division at a competition in Rhode Island in 2014. How did I go from an amateur fitness enthusiast to a WBFF pro in such short time? My competition prep and mindset is unlike any other. Having had the opportunity to learn from some of the best posing and fitness coaches in the industry, including WBFF Bikini World Champ, Bikini Worlds runner-up and Team Domin8; I picked up valuable information that I continue to implement today.
The most important factors of success are simple. Have a goal, find a plan, stick to a plan, and see it through. Some weeks meal prepping seems like a chore, but it is necessary to achieve your vision. Some days, just the thought of the gym is awful. There are obstacles and roadblocks, but the only way to get where you are going is to find a way around them.
Maybe your goal isn’t to compete in Bikini competitions. It doesn’t matter. These principles can be utilized in every area of your life to help you become the best version of yourself. The key to progress is dedicating yourself to a goal, choosing the right plan, and seeing your commitment through. It’s that simple and it works. I promise.
With a desire to help empower people struggling to achieve their own fitness goals, I became a NASM certified personal trainer. In addition to my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, I am always in the pursuit of new knowledge to improve the health, fitness and well-being of others. I now dedicate time to helping other women and men make personal and physical transformations into the best versions of themselves.
When starting a fitness journey, there are often so many questions on which direction to take, what plan to follow, and what dieting protocol your body will best adjust to. I know because I struggled with the same issues. There is so much information available, and it’s all conflicting. After figuring out how simple the formula to fitness is, I wanted to share it with everyone who has gone through the fitness struggles that I did.
I wrote a New York Times best-selling book about a previous life that I am not proud of. There have been interviews documenting my experiences featured on CNN, MSNBC, 60 Minutes, and 20/20 amongst other TV and radio programs. Without getting into too much detail, I was indoctrinated into a cult at an early age, along with my family. Upon rejecting their misguided belief system rooted in hate, I was excommunicated by my family at 21 and we haven’t spoken since. While this traumatic experience was extremely difficult to cope with, and still is today, it has shaped the person I have become. The lessons learned through heartbreaking situations only make you stronger in the end, and I know that first hand.
I have used my painful experience to help others who may be going through the same type of situations. I have since created a charity to help others escape this cult and posed for the NO H8 campaign. Speaking at universities, conferences, and other events about the power of brainwashing and hate, I want the public to be aware of this serious problem.
I have a life outside of what you see on the internet. My husband David and I have been together for over 7 years and happily married for 4. We travel together, manage business together, and try to make life an adventure together. We have been lucky enough to turn our passions into a business and help others in the process.
While Instagram may portray us leading a glamorous lifestyle, we are really a normal couple that happen to document extraordinary moments on camera to share with the world. A normal day in the life includes working on our business, training together, and hanging out with our little puggle buddy Max. We hope to continue to enrich the lives of others, while maintaining a balance in our own lives, and eventually plan to start a family. We are far from perfect but couldn’t be happier. I wouldn’t have it any other way.