[ Q ] What inspired you to start competing in NPC Fitness and Figure? I understand you didn't start competing until you were 31 years of age - is that correct?
A: Yes, that is correct, and I started doing Fitness competitions. Figure did not exist back then (1997). I had been working out for a while, and was getting bored.
Like a lot of the girls, I would watch the ESPN Fitness America shows on TV. I said to myself, I can do that! Around the same time, a friend of mine told me that he was going to put on a Fitness America Pageant later in the year. I decided at that point to start training for it and do his show.
[ Q ] You look great! Your physique clearly defies age! But do you find it more difficult to train hard now in your 30s as opposed to your 20s? Or is age simply a state of mind?
A: I do feel, for the most part, that it is a state of mind. If you keep yourself thinking and acting like someone who is younger, then you are going to appear younger.
I am also blessed with good genetics and have a mother, who up until just a few years ago, people thought she was my sister when we were together. I also attribute my "youthful" appearance to my healthy lifestyle (no smoking, no drinking, and no drugs).
Never has anyone guessed my actual age (38). Most people think I am in my 20's...which is fine with me! I may get tired a little quicker (especially during those double cardio sessions!), but I do not find training to be more difficult.
[ Q ] The life of a fitness/figure competitor/model seems to be extremely busy. You're at several trade shows and competitions around the country throughout any given year. Not to mention the time involved in training/nutrition preparation, etc. How do you manage to work a full-time job in addition to your pro fitness career?
A: Fortunately, the events are held on the weekends. So, I may have to take a few days off from work here and there, but for the most part, I can work around my full time job.
I haven't had a "real" vacation in a few years because I use most of my vacation days to compete and travel to the expos. Getting ready for a competition can be a challenge when working full time.
It makes for long days when I have to get up at 4:45 to go do cardio before work, work nine to five, then go back to the gym at night for my weight work out. But I have been competing since 1997, so have learned some short cuts, and how to manage my time.
But, it definitely is tougher than for someone who does not work, or works, but can make their own schedule. Plus, I have a household to maintain!
[ Q ] What advice would you offer to someone who is looking to get started in fitness or figure competition? As a personal goal? Or as a career?
A: You have to decide what level you want to take it to. I feel the level of intensity is different if you are just doing it for "yourself", or if you are doing it to turn Pro.
The competition to turn pro in the IFBB is pretty fierce right now. If that is the level you want to go to, you have to lay out a plan. You have to put 100% into it if you want to be successful.
I feel you have to invest a lot more time, energy, and money, if you want it to become your career. For someone who is just starting out, and just wants to get in shape and do a show...they should go to shows, read the magazines, talk to people who are already in the business.
If you don't know what you are doing, hire a trainer, nutritionist, and choreographer.
[ Q ] How is the money in the sport? How difficult is it for a fitness athlete to make a good income in the sport?
A: Unless you are a consistent top five finisher...there is very little money to be made. You can try to get hired by a supplement company to be their spokesperson, but that doesn't come along very often.
You really have to market yourself. If money is the only thing you are interested in, you may want to find a different sport! You have to put out quite a bit of money, and for the majority of the girls, there is little to no return. I enjoy competing and the friends that I have made in this industry. I am not in the sport for the money.
[ Q ] It is often challenging to eat healthy and regularly throughout the day - especially when someone works a lot or travels out of town frequently. How do you manage to maintain proper nutrition? What type of supplementation do you use?
A: My diet and supplementation vary depending on whether I am preparing for a show or whether I am in my off season. When I am preparing for a show, I will eat six meals a day.
However, I always make sure I consume protein in every meal, whether if be off season or competition time. I usually will cook either large batches of chicken or fish at one time, along with a lot of brown rice.
That way, I can just heat up a quick meal of chicken and rice, or chicken and a sweet potato. I own a lot of Tupperware containers! Therefore, I can easily bring stuff to work, or if I am traveling, can pack several meals with me to take.
As far as supplementation, that varies too, depending on whether I am competing or not. But generally, all year round, I will take a multi-vitamin, glutamine, BCAA, and creatine. When I am competing, I will add in fat burners, HMB, and ZMA.
[ Q ] Do you prepare your own meals throughout the day? Can you recommend any quick and easy meals?
A: Yes, I prepare my own meals. As mentioned above, I usually will cook up large amounts of food at one time, generally on Sundays and Wednesdays. I portion and pack everything, so I can just grab and eat.
- 10 egg whites
- 1 cup of oatmeal
- 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
A quick breakfast I like to make is Egg White Pancakes.
- Throw it all in a blender.
- Then cook in a skillet.
- Sprinkle some more cinnamon and/or Splenda on top, and they are done!
It yields about 10 to 12 pancakes, so I can eat them twice.
[ Q ] I've seen recent pictures of you done for the Truebodies.com contest. What special changes do you make to your diet and training program to help you get in top condition?
A: Most of those photos were done right after a competition. Obviously, when dieting for a show, you clean up all of your eating habits. I wipe out all pasta, bread, alcohol, sugar, and condiments.
I add cardio to my training. I work full time, so I have to get up pretty early, and go to the gym to do 30 to 45 minutes of cardio. Then I go back in the evening, and work with weights. As I get closer to the show, I sometimes add a second cardio session, after I am done with my workout.
[ Q ] Can you tell us more about the Truebodies.com contest? How can CORE Performance readers vote for you?!
A: The Truebodies.com contest is a contest that is intended to draw attention to, and showcase female athletes. There are many women who compete in this industry.
However, sometimes, if you are not one of the girls who regularly place in the "top 5", you don't always get the recognition you deserve. So this is a good avenue to get your face out there.
The contest runs for 30 days, and it runs four times throughout the year. The 3 girls who get the highest number of votes from the public advance to the next round, where a panel of judges determines the winner.
I was entered in Round One, and was fortunate enough to make the top 3, by receiving the second highest number of votes in the contest. However, I was not the judge's final choice.
So, I hope to make it into the top three again, and this time, have the judges pick me! How can they pass me up twice? lol. If you would like to cast a vote for me, go to www.truebodies.com. Better yet, here is the direct link to the contest. I thank you in advance for your vote!
[ Q ] Thank you very much for taking time to answer a few questions for CORE! We wish you the best of success!