Helene Tremblay Went From 300 Pounds to Women's Physique Competitions
Fighting isn’t always a physical thing.
Often, the greatest and most difficult fight we’ll ever face is within the mind.
For APEMAN Helene Tremblay, it’s a battle that has consumed her life.
“I was always a fat kid,” Helene said. “I grew up in a small town, played rec league sports as a kid and drank every weekend of my high school years. I was always bullied, too. Man, kids are mean. I remember a few instances playing sports where I was picked on by my own teammates. If that doesn’t make a young girl shut down and want to quit, I don’t know what will.”
Helene’s bullying began in the physical, but as time moved on, it evolved into the digital space.
“As I got older, bullying happened in basically every form,” she said. “Rejection from the opposite sex, rude online comments, out in public with strangers pointing and gawking. When you’re made to feel like a sideshow freak, it’s bound to manifest negatively – and for me, it did.”
Helene developed a severe case of depression and anxiety. Eventually, it led to the use of prescription medication.
“It wasn’t until I was about 21 that I fully realized the damage I’d done,” she said. “I was just shy of 300 pounds at 5-4, in a miserable relationship, and was angry and depressed.” I developed a pretty severe case of depression and anxiety which led to the use of prescription medication.”
In late 2013, as Helene puts it, she “finally woke up.” She left her partner, cleaned out her fridge and began to climb out of the dark hole.
“Within the first year I lost almost 100 pounds,” she said. “In 2014, I had surgery to remove the loose skin that hung around my stomach. Training was my only real outlet through some really dark times.”
Initially, she wasn’t interested in physique sports. Until, that is, she got involved with the local “strength” community. She was taken in like family; no one cared about her history, where she came from, what her scars meant… they only wanted to help her get stronger.
That’s when she found APEMAN.
“I started volunteering and competing at meets,” Helene said. “You see brands like APEMAN all over the place. I immediately followed APEMAN and your athletes on Instagram. I read every motto, and I felt like the APEMAN mindset was written specifically for me. It resonated. It makes you feel human again to know that there are people everywhere fighting their demons just like I am. It brings people together through the darkness.”
In 2016, Helene competed in her first Women’s Physique show.
In 2017, she participated in her first three powerlifting meets.
She broke four Canadian National Records.
“In 2018, in my second show and fourth meet, I set another record,” she said. “I was entirely off anti-depressants, and full stock in my career as a personal trainer and strength coach.”
Looking ahead, she has the Western Canadians and WPC Worlds as the plan for 2019.
After that? Who knows.
One thing’s for sure, nothing’s going to stop Helene Tremblay.
“Daily, I fight my demons and throw them in the grave I was formerly digging for myself,” she said.
Helene, you are a true APEMAN, a huge inspiration, and we are thrilled to have been a small part in your journey.