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My Fitness Journey

Growing Up

I grew up in a low-income family in Kansas City, Missouri. We dug in dirt with kitchen spoons, climbed trees and rode bikes. You know... free stuff.


I didn't grow up participating in all the sports or being a star athlete. I did some cheerleading at age 6 (picture below), played basketball in 5th and 6th grade (we never won a game), and was a junior varsity cheerleader in 9th grade. This is where I gained some flexibility and strength. Most of my activity in 10 & 11th grade came from working either as a cashier in fast food, as a fitting room attendant in retail or a tanning bed cleaner at a salon. I'm not the girl who grew up competing in sports. I'm the average G.I.Lane =)

That's me on the left!

The Marine Corps

Senior year of high school I learned I could pay for college by going into the Marine Corps. I signed up and started training with the Marines weekly and hitting the gym daily. Here is where I gained more strength and endurance. Mostly, a mind set. We'd run three miles, do push ups, sit ups, mountain climbers, obstacle courses, buddy exercises and more. This is where I became above average. At eighteen years old, two weeks after high school graduation, I shipped out to Paris Island, South Carolina where I spent three months becoming a U.S. Marine. Fitness was now part of my job. After boot camp I went to Marine Combat Training and learned to hike 5, 7, 10 miles with 50-70 lbs on my back. My body got strong - and my heart got stronger. In the Marine Corps we trained together everyday. Whether it was a long shop run, a gym session or a company hike, physical fitness was a way to bond, grow and excel.

That's me in the middle!

Compassion for others

As the training non-commissioned officer for my shop I was responsible for the physical readiness of my Marines. I ran what you call "remedial PT" for Marines who needed to improve their physical fitness test. After training with my shop in the morning, working all day, lifting weights on my lunch break, and working overtime, I'd condition the Marines who needed help. This is where I learned the psychology behind fitness and gained compassion for individual circumstances.

The beginning of bodybuilding

As a Sergeant in the Marine Corps I was sent to be a Devil Pup Instructor and lead platoons of 50  14-18 year old girls through 10 days of a mini Marine Corps bootcamp. I became involved with another Devil Pup Instructor who never missed a day at the gym. Us having 24 hour duty every 4 nights left very little time for our relationship. To spend time together I began going to the gym with him everyday. He introduced me to traditional body building. That is, training different muscle groups on different days. We are great friends to this day and he consults for G.I.Lane.

Engaged to the game

The last year of the Marine Corps I got engaged to a San Diegan who worked two jobs and lifted 5 times / week. Again, I had to go to the gym to get quality time. This is what solidified the lifestyle. I was on his traditional body building routine and became addicted to the results. I'll never forget seeing the first picture of my back after lifting for a month or two. I had never seen muscle on my body before. These two pictures were monumental moments in my journey.


My fiancé and I lived together so I adopted most of his eating habits. Thank God. Growing up in the mid-west on McDonalds, mac & cheese and butter I had a lot to learn from this man who grew up in San Diego, CA, was 12 years older than me and had been lifting weights for 15 years. I'll never forget him seeing me drink three green teas with 54 grams of sugar each and setting me straight. I thought I was doing something healthy because I heard green tea was better than coffee. Here is where I began to do research. The results were so addictive I wanted to share. I began posting pics and tips on Facebook in 2010 about food and documenting my fitness journey. Some of my friends suggested I write a cook book.


In 2013 people started to request personalized meal and exercise. My first client was following someone else's program but was bored that the only thing that changed week from week was reps. I wrote out my regimen, sent it to her for $20 and the rest is history. Client after client I realized this is something people needed and I enjoyed.

Leaving my job

After college while coaching online I was working full time as a government contractor. Everyday I found myself wanting to spend more time on my phone posting and communicating with clients than writing government contracts and dealing with coworkers so I quit and published my first Meal Plan Book April 1st of 2015. It had the 6 meal plans I alternate between based on my goals and 25 recipes I used often for myself and my clients.

My Certifications

Undergraduate Diploma in Psychology

San Diego State University, 2013

Certified Personal Trainer

National Academy of Sports Medicine, Jan 2016

National Certifying Exam

Advanced Personal Trainer 

National Personal Training Institute, Jan 2016

500 Hours Prac

Corrective Exercise Specialist 

National Academy of Sports Medicine &

National Personal Training Institute, April 2016

Licensed Massage Therapist 

California Massage Board

Bellus Academy, February 2016

800 Hours Prac

Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Personal Training Institute, October 2017

Certified Weight Loss Specialist

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Personal Training Institute, October 2017

Certified Health Coach 

National Personal Training Institute, October 2017

Yoga Teacher

Yoga Alliance

National Personal Training Institute, July 2018

500 Hours 

G.I. Lane 12 Month Strength Training Plan

  • Compound and Isolated Exercises
  • Warm Up and Cool Down
  • High Intensity and Dynamic

About the Author Stephanie Lane

Stephanie is an author, bodybuilder, and blogger. You can check out her latest book here.