Welcome! I am Debra Jean Terpstra, founder and owner of WithMeFit.com and host of the Women’s Maximum fitness podcast. (available on Apple and Spotify)
I am a 43 year old, divorced, single mother, and happy fitness addict living in Michigan. I have struggled with various eating disorders my whole life and have been every weight from 105 to 173 pounds on my 5’5″ frame. Back in 2001 I was surgically diagnosed with endometriosis. I spent too many years incorrectly trying to cope with the physical and emotional stress and pain of this infertility disease. In 2004 after three and a half years of trying to get pregnant I found out I was (without fertility drugs, praise be to God) and in 2005 I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I still struggled through the years that followed with managing my weight, pain, and other symptoms, until I discovered weight training.
In 2010 I decided to take control of my life and headed back to school for a degree in business and wellness. I began weight training in the basement gym of Kalamazoo Valley Community College and discovered many of my endometriosis symptoms were minimized after an intense lifting session. It was there that I got bitten by the bodybuilding bug when one day someone approached me asking if I was getting ready to compete in a show. I’d seen pieces of fitness competitions and strong man contests on ESPN and the thought that I was in mistaken for someone in that league was all it took to motivate me.
I threw myself into the bodybuilding and fitness industry, connecting with as many influential and successful people as I could to learn first hand about nutrition, training, and supplementation. I understood knowledge from the pros and other coaches in the fitness industry would quickly improve my self progress, and eventually my coaching skills for others. I began weight training nearly every day, learning about rest days, types of training, the best training split for ones goals etc. My college health and wellness classes were an incredible boost to educating myself also. I stopped smoking cigarettes (I know), drinking alcohol, and committed my diet to be one that was nutritionally balanced. I wanted to look, feel, and be, healthy.
In March 2012 I got a job working my first Arnold Classic expo in Columbus, OH for MetRx. After that year one of the pros bodybuilders I knew put a word in and I got a job working with Isolatorfitness. Since then I’ve traveled all over the country working with them, including 4 more Arnold Classics and 2 Olympias. I love working the expos and being able to connect with like-minded people. The company I work for is amazing.
In 2014 I achieved my goal to step on stage and compete in Women’s Physique, winning my first show (April), nationally qualifying in my second (May), and competing nationally in my third (June). That first show was one of the best days of my life as I could see and hear my 7 year old daughter holding a huge sign and cheering “That’s MY MOMMA” while I posed on stage. Being a strong and healthy example to her is the most important thing in the world to me.
In October of 2014 a freak squatting accident caused a tear in my rotator cuff and herniated disk in my neck. After months of physical therapy and doctors appointments I finally decided to have surgery in May 2015 on my rotator cuff. Since I couldn’t compete, I spent the year becoming an NPC judge.
There is a lot of confusing information out there and I strive to provide evidence-based, healthy, and practical information. Knowledge is power and once you know something, you can’t unknow it. I’m here to share my power. Studying new research, as well as fads and trends keeps me abreast of the latest content about training and nutrition. I continue to spend much of my time educating myself about nutrition, training, and supplementation to improve my clients and myself. There’s nothing worse than a coach coaching with dated information. Better ways are constantly coming to light and I am always right there with them for you (and me). Not only have I changed my physique, but all these years of changing my lifestyle has literally changed my life in every other aspect by growing my strength, motivation, and discipline. During this time I’ve been self taught, but also educated myself through college and a variety of certifications and qualifications. It all has lead me where I am today.
- Health Coach Certified
- Sports Nutrition Certified
- Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified
- Certified personal trainer
- Group Fitness Instructor
- Nationally Qualified NPC Women’s Physique Competitor (2014)
- Posing Coach (since 2015)
- NPC Judge ( since 2015)
Despite all the qualifications and experiences listed, I still believe that my faith in God and being a single mom is the combination that makes me a great coach. My knowledge base is great but clients often tell me they are lead to me for those two reasons. I see it in emails time after time. “Hello Debra, I’ve been following you on social media for a long time and I’m reaching out for your guidance because I love your relationship with Anna and your open relationship with God”. My faith is very strong and always leading my way, and my daughter and I have a bond like none I could have ever imagined. Without question, these two relationships have taught me everything about grace and patience. These aspects are absolutely necessary when embarking on a successful journey with someone to change your life. The bottom line is you have to trust your coach and be able to communicate with her.
The information and encouragement you need to become fit and healthy from the inside out is all right here. With my help and your subscription to the WMF website and podcast, you will achieve your own personal health and fitness goals. Are you ready to discover your max fit?