Brittany Williams always knew she wanted to be a doctor. It’s in her blood. She grew up surrounded by generations of relatives who work in heath care, including her parents, who are doctors.
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Williams, 27, will graduate this month from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and move on to her residency training in July at the St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading.
Williams grew up playing tennis and running track for Upper Darby High School, but on Saturday, she will compete in her first Ms. Natural Philly bodybuilding competition, where she hopes to bring home the crown.
“I see nutrition and exercise as the key cornerstones of good health, and I plan to incorporatethat into my medical practice one day,” Williams said. “I also plan to obtain my certification in personal training [specializing in fitness nutrition, too]. It will make me a better resource for my patients.”
Although Williams gave up sports while studying biology at Hampton University, once she got into medical school, she was itching to get back to working out and also wanted a healthy way to relieve stress. “I hired a personal trainer for two years to keep me accountable,” she said.
In fact, it was her personal trainer, Justin Taylor, who encouraged Williams to enter the Ms. Natural Philly competition.
“I had the muscle, and the fitness was there,” Williams said. “But give up my pizza? I’m too greedy; I didn’t want to give up my food.”
Yet this unlikely and reluctant bodybuilder was bitten by the bug, and she surrendered to the process. And, as any bodybuilder will tell you, diet is the hardest part. If you’re going to compete, say goodbye to burgers, pizza, and ice cream (at least temporarily). Move over bacon, and make way for egg whites, oatmeal, lean protein, and vegetables every three hours. By the way, also make room for that gallon of distilled water you’ll drink daily.
Ultimately, Williams believes physicians should lead by example, and that is what drives her passion, persistence, and determination. “This competition is just the beginning of the platform I wish to stand on,” said Williams. “It’s about lifestyle, prevention, and how we can really save a lot of heath-care dollars in the future.”
Agreed. Sounds like Williams has all the right stuff to be a compassionate, courageous, and caring family medicine doctor who intends to really make a difference in the lives of her patients.Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears on the first and third Wednesdays monthly.