Chandler fitness instructor Barbie Thomas inspires others through workouts, determination

Chandler, AZ -
It's a dream for bodybuilders across America to compete at the national level.  It takes a lot of dedication, hard work and sweat.  Some, never make it.  But those who do, never look back.
We all know that working out isn't easy.  It can take years to become a top competitor, and tons and tons and tons of lifting.  Competitors train every part of their body, from their core to their calves.
37-year-old Barbie Thomas of Chandler does it for one specific reason.
"So I look good in my clothes," she said.  "So I fit in my clothes.  And I love it, it's a good stress reliever for me."
Barbie started competing at the national level back in 2003.
"I just said, what the heck, I'm gonna go for it," she said. And that determination might surprise you and may even inspire you. Barbie works out and competed with no arms.
"I was two-and-a-half and I got into a transformer.  The electricity went in through my hands and out through my legs," she said. Doctors had to amputate her arms and didn't  think she would survive.  "I think God had a different plan for me and spared my life," she said.
Barbie is now a fitness competitor and she recalls her first attempt on stage.  "I got a lot of funny looks the first few times I competed."  Yet her trophies, prove her success. She does most everything with her feet including texting, driving, and working out.  But she too admits she doesn't go everyday.  "I have those days too where I don't want to go to the gym."
Her faith is a constant reminder to never give up.  "You know there are times when I have to pray just to keep my spirits up," she said.  "I try not to complain too much but, we all have those days, so it gets me through."
One of her close friends said, "Everywhere she goes, whether she's at the gym, or at the store, whatever she's doing, she inspires everyone." Barbie believes that's her mission.
"I really think that's why I'm still here on Earth is to motivate other people and inspire other people and show them that, you can do it, when you put your mind to it. It's possible."
Next summer will be Barbie's 11- year competing on stage.  She's a mother of two teen boys, a motivational speaker and has her own blog. Learn more at
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