Two years ago Tammy Colbert was new to the competitive bodybuilding scene.
The mother of four and wife of a JBLM 1st Special Forces Group Soldier for 23 years has lived a lifestyle of fitness, health and dance. It wasnt until the family had been living at JBLM for a year that Colbert had the idea to challenge herself with a new venture in bodybuilding.
She found success in fitness and figure categories at natural bodybuilding competitions. She soon caught the attention of renowned fitness photographer Rob Sims who traveled to JBLM last year to photograph Colbert in her first professional photo shoot.
Colbert has enjoyed her success on the competition stage, but felt a greater success was inspiring other females to pursue a fitness lifestyle. She began to train other women on how to eat healthy and how to stick to a fitness plan.
I had so much fun doing it myself and it takes up the in-between time on stage, Colbert said. It keeps me encouraged to go to the gym and eat right. When you dont have that stage time coming up its really easy to fall back. It keeps me focused on staying in competition shape.
But there is one aspect of competing that Colbert is uneasy about the opinion of the judges. They determine who looks good and who doesnt, Colbert said. She wanted something to empower women to feel good about themselves even if they werent competing. Last July Colbert and her friend Denise James had the idea to start Iron Angels, a non-profit organization that helps women physique athletes and women who want to attain a healthier and fitter lifestyle.
Colbert gathered together a group of women physique athletes ranging in age from 25 to 60 and flew out to Florida for a fitness photo shoot with Sims.
I decided to put together another shoot for other women, because it was so much fun, Colbert said. It was moms, wives and single women coming together and learning about each other.
Colbert turned the photos into an Iron Angels calendar released last month. The women featured in the calendar are VIP Iron Angels (physique athletes) and are promoted at bodybuilding shows and competitions, being seen by more than just the judges.
Other Iron Angels include women the VIPs take under their wings to train and encourage. Colbert is currently working with five women who reached out to her about competing.
With her husband about to deploy Colbert needed to make changes to her schedule to take care of her four children. After teaching dance lessons for 30 years, including four seasons at her studio in DuPont, Colbert will close the studio in April to dedicate her time to her family and to her latest venture.
I knew I wanted to keep doing fitness modeling because it was a new challenge, Colbert said. This was just another challenge for me.