By Cary Shuman
Francesca DiGiorgio is preparing for her first professional bodybuilding competition, a feat that didnâ€™t seem attainable more than a dozen years ago when the former Revere resident was battling drug addiction.
But after dedicating herself to a clean, healthy, and active lifestyle, DiGiorgio is ready to make her mark in the sport.
DiGiorgio, 32, took up bodybuilding 18 months ago and participated in her first amateur event in November, 2015, taking second place in her division. This past April, DiGiorgio won the novice and open figure divisions at a major competition on Cape Cod. The twin victories qualified her for the Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders (OCB) and she will make he debut as a professional natural bodybuilder next spring.
Â DiGiorgio grew up in Revere and attended the Beachmont School and Revere High School.
â€œI didnâ€™t play sports as a kid,â€ said DiGiorgio. â€œI was not athletic.â€
DiGiorgio said she decided to become a bodybuilder â€œbecause I wanted to do something to feel better about myself, have more self-confidence and self-esteem, and push myself more and have more drive and ambition.â€
DiGiorgio, who is 5-feet, 3 inches tall and competes at 128 pounds, has a daily two-hour workout regimen in which she lifts weights and does sprints on the treadmill.
DiGiorgio credits her improved fitness and self-image to her attendance at twice-a-week boot camp classes run by Glen Rodrigues, owner of Disciplined Fitness in Lynn.
â€œGlenâ€™s awesome. I walked in there with no self esteem, just trying to get healthy,â€ said DiGiorgio. â€œGlen has really transformed my life and he has been a huge part of my life and journey.â€
Â DiGiorgio speaks openly about her battle with drugs as a teenager. She hopes her story of recovery can inspire others.
â€œI am a recovering addict,â€ she said. â€œYou hear about way too many people overdosing and dying. My story could have easily ended that way. But there is hope for suffering addicts out there. We can get better and we can have great lives again and reach for our dreams.
â€œI had no worth or respect for myself when I was 20. But here I am 11 years later with an amazing life. I own a house, a car. I have a loving husband (Justin) who runs sober houses because itâ€™s his passion to help other addicts recover and have support living in a safe environment. We have two beautiful children (Dakota and Daniella) and three dogs.â€
DiGirogio also thanks her parents, Bill and Dorothy Gould, for all their support and encouragement. â€œThey love being a part of my bodybuilding endeavors. Theyâ€™re great. Theyâ€™re very proud of me.â€