A mother of three, co-founder of Nine Line, medical assistant, and bodybuilder, Angela Merritt shares her advice on getting healthy and how she balances it all.
It’s a catch-22 we all face: We want to lose weight, so we can feel great and look good, but somewhere between work, kids, pets and Netflix, we lose our motivation (and the couch is just so comfortable). With an already hectic schedule, it can be overwhelming to think about 5 a.m. alarms to go to the gym, counting calories and all the chocolate cake we’re not going to be able to eat. It’s even easy to write off people who are in shape as “having good genes,” or “plenty of free time,” and convincing ourselves they didn’t have to work just as hard.
“I hit a point in my life where I was just so unhappy with my appearance,” says Angela Merritt, who is working on obtaining her National Physique Committee Pro Card, the first stop when entering the bikini bodybuilding world. “I think most men and women look in their full-length mirror, just as I did, and pick themselves apart. I’m still guilty of it. It wasn’t just my appearance that made me unhappy but my overall health. I was always fatigued and out of energy. I was terrified to go to the gym, but I wanted change.”
It’s a long road for anyone to go from unhappy with their appearance and overall health to becoming a Pro Bodybuilder, one wrought with many challenges waiting to be overcome. Overcoming challenges, however, is one thing Angela Merritt is already a pro at. Her husband Tyler, along with his brother Daniel and Myles Burke, a SCAD student working for them part time while finishing his degree, started what would become Nine Line Apparel in their garage in 2012. Tyler, a former Apache Helicopter Pilot turned Special Operations Air Mission Commander in the 160th SOAR, deployed shortly before the holidays in 2013. That left Angela, who was taking requisite classes to pursue a medical degree while caring for their two children, left to help run the budding business.
“I had to break down the printer daily and clean it and troubleshoot every day while processing orders, ordering product and printing the products. And don’t get me started on the shipping process,” she laughs, then adds seriously, “I couldn’t manage the business and continue my education, so I had to put my education on hold for a little while.”