As a teen, I did ballet, hip hop dance, and ran track. I was a tomboy with toned muscles and didn't find it feminine. At age 18, I saw a fitness competition on TV, and for the first time in my life I saw muscular women who were beautiful and feminine and bought a fitness magazine that day.
I discovered a new world that I didn't know existed and found a place for my body type. My perception of the ideal body image changed. At age 19, I decided to compete and joined a gym to learn how to train and eat through fitness magazines and training books. I participated in two fitness model competitions without a strong support system (coach or role model), lost my motivation, and stopped.
In 2010, I had my first child. I wasn't active prior or during my pregnancy, gained 60 pounds, and weighed 200 pounds at the end of my pregnancy. After delivering of my little angel, I was determined to get in shape. The only thing that motivated me to work hard and push my limits was a figure competition. When my daughter was eight months old, I hired a trainer and started to eat well and train hard. Six months later, my efforts paid off when I finished second in figure medium at the WBFF Quebec in 2011. I participated in six competitions since giving birth.
When I prep for a competition, I do a mix of low and high reps. Short and intense cardio sessions work best to keep my body fat low.
I eat three meals and two snacks for a total 1,800 calories per day. My plan allows me to eat from every food group, but I must watch my portions and eat every 2-3 hours. My meal plan changes 1-2 weeks before a competition.
I'm very competitive and love challenges that push my limits to see what I'm capable of. Competitions give me opportunities to get stronger and improve my physique. It keeps me focused in the gym to work toward a goal. I love the thrill on stage and love meeting people who share the same goal. Competing keeps me motivated to eat healthy and stay active.
It's a lifestyle. It's not always easy to balance work, family, and training, but when I go to the gym, it's time to let off some steam, relax, and take care of me. Having at least an hour per day to work out makes me a better mom, spouse, and person.
My motivation comes from within. I've always been active and enjoy different activities. I want to continue to be active to enjoy life and live longer. The only way to accomplish that is to follow a healthy lifestyle. My daughter also motivates me. I want to be in shape so I can have energy to play with her and want to be a good role model. Kids have obesity problems due to poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. I want to teach my daughter the importance of eating well and being active by example.
I work full time, take care of my family, and on certain occasions, I don't get a full night's sleep because of my daughter. I'm often tired and don't feel like working out. I follow competitors on the Internet, and on days when I don't feel like working out, I check their pages and statuses for a needed boost.
Last year, I won the Quebec Provincial Championship figure medium division. That qualified me for the national championship, which brought me one step closer to become an IFBB figure pro. That level of competition is tough, so I'm taking a year to improve my physique and work on my weaknesses. I'm also taking time off to focus on my personal training business. I want to work with other women to help them achieve their fitness goals.
My mother raised me to be independent and resourceful. Those qualities served me well in the fitness industry. When you decide to compete, the expenses add up quickly—supplements, bikini, tan, make-up, and hair. One way to save and reduce the cost is to learn to do some of it yourself. I learned to do stage makeup, which saved lots of money. It's also good to have someone you can count on to help you with preparation. For me, that person is my boyfriend. He's with me at every competition and applies my tan and lashes because it's difficult on my own. He's also good moral support.
Monica Brant. I remember when I saw her in Oxygen in my 20s. I thought she had an amazing curvy and toned body. When I started competing, I didn't have a coach or trainer, so I followed her workouts and diets in the magazines. I had a chance to meet her backstage at a WBFF show in 2010 when I was still on maternity leave. She is really nice and down to earth. Seeing her that day motivated me to compete again.
I enjoy following other athletes on Bodybuilding.com. It helps motivate me during prep to know I'm not the only one going through it. I find the training and nutrition articles really helpful. There's always something new to learn in this industry. I go to Bodybuilding.com with my competition checklist to make my final order before a show.
- "Breathe" by The Prodigy
- "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson
- "Run The World (Girls)" by Beyonce
- "Bulletproof" by Le Roux
- "Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia