Last summer, Brenda Fulcher, 48, sat in the audience while her daughter, Chrysa, strutted across the stage during the inaugural PureBody Nutrition Extravaganza. It was Tyler's first bodybuilding show, an opportunity for spectators to be wowed by contestants' months of hard work.
This year, Brenda is swapping places with her daughter when she competes in the July 20 bodybuilding contest at Caldwell Auditorium.
For the past six months, she's dedicated her time to changing everything she knows about nutrition and fitness to be a success on that stage.
"It is something to prove to myself and to others because I've always been someone who loves helping people reach their goals," she said. "So I've had numerous people who've watched me and are so inspired."
Brenda said she was inspired by her daughter's dedication to changing her life in search of new fitness goals. It had been a long journey for Chrysa, 21, who, as a young girl, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Her mother recounted the changes the family made when she was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
"It was almost like a lifestyle turned upside down," Brenda said. "We had to adjust everything. It pretty much changed our life."
Nonetheless, she said, "She's a strong, strong girl. To watch her through the years, to see her go through this with her diabetes, I was so inspired. I can say she's my hero. I can definitely say she's my hero."
Chrysa is just as proud of her mother.
"I am so crazy proud of her," Chrysa said. "She kept saying she was going to do it, but I really didn't think she'd actually do it."
Brenda, a Tyler banker, always had been active and had a great interest in fitness when she decided to enter the contest in February.
"Being with (my daughter) last year and going to the shows have really deepened my passion to be fit and healthy," she said.
She's been weightlifting an hour a day, four times each week. She also does 30 minutes of cardio exercise five times a week.
"I think I'm addicted to working out," she said. "Each time I go to a training session, I do something I couldn't do before. It's exhilarating."
Luis Correa, personal trainer and owner at Fitness In Training, said he switched up both ladies' diets and style of training when they joined his gym earlier this year.
He modified Brenda's ratio of carbs, protein and fat and increased calories while encouraging her to eat about every three hours.
"It's not just for a show. She can eat this way for the rest of her life. The old school way of bodybuilding is not good for you," he said, referring to a diet very low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
"Her body has changed dramatically in these six months," Correa said.
The mother-and-daughter team train together often, giving each other advice and accountability.
"It's great, healthy bonding time," Correa said. "To get better, they can feed off each other."
Chrysa had taken some time off from bodybuilding contests when her blood sugar would not stabilize but she'll be back at it in October, when she'll compete in the figure category of a Houston bodybuilding contest.
At last year's PureBody Nutrition Extravaganza, Chrysa won first place in the figure category and placed third in the bikini category.
"I've put on quite a bit of muscle since then," Chrysa said, noting she now will compete in the figure category only.
After next weekend's show Brenda wants to go further. Chrysa also wants to qualify for a National Physique Committee show, the largest amateur bodybuilding show in the country.
IF YOU GO
What: PureBody Nutrition Extravaganza NGA Bodybuilding Show
When: Prejudging at 10 a.m., final judging at 6 p.m. July 20
Where: Caldwell Auditorium, 300 S. College Ave.
Tickets: General advance tickets start at $12 for each show. May be purchased at PureBody Nutrition, 6747 S. Broadway Ave. or at www.purebodynutrition.com