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Military Bodybuilder Of The Month: Master Sergeant Mia

If you want to be great, look great and feel great, you have to work your body to greater extremes. You lift, run, sweat, and shower clean. You become the things in your dreams.

Mia could tell you what she does for the U.S. Air Force, but then your BodySpace account would suddenly go dormant, your gym membership would get cancelled, and your friends would start asking why you didn't show up for leg day.

Instead, let's say she is a leader and a weightlifter. This career service member and dedicated mother found that the disciplined culture of the military helped her organize her life and reshape her body. She has to fight to cut down for her amateur competitions, but she never fails to put in the effort. Whether it's a stage contest or a PT test, Mia gives it everything she's got. That's the military way. That's how examples are set.

Name: Mia
Age: 33  Height: 5'7"  Weight: 156 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 7
Education: AA Criminal Justice; AA Communications Technology; BS in Criminal Justice Administration; in progress, MS Emergency Service Management
Branch of Service: USAF
Years of Service: 15 1/2 years (16 years in Oct)
Tours of Duty: Goodfellow AFB, Offutt AFB, Osan AB, Kadena AB (twice), Mountain Home AFB, and Edwards AFB
Rank: E-7/MSgt
MOS: Classified
PT Test High Score: 100
Awards, Medals, Decorations:
Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement, Air Force Achievement Medal (2), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2), Meritorious Unit Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device, AF Good Conduct Medals (6), Air Force Recognition, National Defense Service, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbons (2), AF Overseas Long Tour, AF Longevity Service Ribbons (4), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship
Ribbon (Pistol)

Q
How Did You Get Started in Bodybuilding?

I always fought an uphill battle with weight when I was a teen. I was a 5-foot-7, big-boned girl and the culture and lifestyle I grew up in was just not familiar with dieting and working out. I learned discipline and fitness when I joined the military. After my first kid, I topped 230 pounds and that's when I knew I had to do something about it.

I worked hard. I made time in between the hectic schedule of fulfilling military mission requirements, school, and taking care of my household to work out, and I started looking up how to eat right.

Then I got a crazy idea to challenge myself, get a trainer, and see how far I could go with it by joining my first amateur figure competition in 2009. I placed 4th in that show. Since then I've done three more competitions (2 Figure and 1 bodybuilding) and took home two winning trophies from those. Even offseason, I gain weight and fat quick, and it is always hard to shed during competition prep, but I do what I have to and kick my own butt until I get there. That's what makes the victory so sweet!

What Is the Hardest Part of Making the Transition From Civilian Life to Military Life?

The military mission is your priority. You have to put your personal wants second to getting the mission done. If the military calls you to deploy and leave your newborns or small children for months, you get on a plane and do it. It also takes a lot of discipline. A lot of people have a hard time transforming their lives and giving up their past civilian behaviors, but as a military member, you swore a dedication to the nation to live and set an example of "honor, credibility, integrity, respect, and service before self," and you are expected to do that because the community looks up to you. There's not a day that goes by that I don't get a "thank you" from members in the local community for what I do. I don't take it for granted. I appreciate it, because it is a tough job and I am blessed that people recognize it.

Will You Please Describe Your Duties in the Military?

I am an intelligence analyst. There isn't too much I can tell you about my job that is not classified, so I'll just say that I have been fortunate to have a great career in the military and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

How Did Your Tours of Duty Change the Way You Look at Fitness?

I knew nothing about dieting and fitness until I joined the military. The military gave me the education to start improving my fitness. The demanding tempo gave me the drive and spirit to push myself to the limits to achieve the goals I set my mind on, and the perseverance to continue trying. Even when I don't get where I want to be the first time, I get back up and try again.

If You Hadn't Gone Into the Military, What Occupation Would You Have Pursued?

Something along the lines of FBI or CIA. I love seeing bad guys get the justice they deserve. That's why I chose to study criminal justice and get my degrees in it.

Has Your M.O.S. Positioned You for a Career After the Military?

I can say that I have been blessed and whenever my time is up in the military and I have to retire, I'm sure that I'll have a bright future in the civilian world.

How Does Fitness Differ in the Different Military Branches?

It all depends on the drive of the person. There is a stereotype that the Marines may be tougher, or Navy might be more relaxed, but I've worked out with members of all different services and kicked their butts, so I believe it all depends on the individual person and their fitness level.

What Is the Biggest Obstacle in Leading a Military Lifestyle?

Being a mom! I've done cool things, from tracking down terrorists to helping people and communities affected by natural disasters, but my favorite job is being a mom. Any military mom I'm sure would agree that being a mom is the biggest obstacle, because you balance all the responsibilities that civilian moms do, plus live up to the military demands and responsibilities. It's a tough job, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it! An obstacle is defined as something that you try to go over or around, being a military mom is none of that. It's something that makes you stronger and makes your heart fuller.

How Important Is It to You to Perform Well On a PT Test?

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I set high standards for myself. Although I am in excellent physical shape, I'll have anxiety in the days leading up to my PT test because I want to score a 100 every time! When I fall short of that, I'll be disappointed in myself, but I use it to push myself even harder the next time I test. It's getting tougher the older I get. As long as I have blood running though my veins, I am going to push myself to score as high as I can, every time! It's my job to be a leader and set the example and I refuse to accept anything less.

Personal Sacrifice Is an Accepted Part of the Military. How Does That Translate to Fitness?

You turn the stresses of the personal sacrifices of the military into the ammunition and drive to push yourself. I don't sit around sulking in sadness because I miss my family when I have to deploy. You see me in the gym, pushing weights on any free time I have in order to make the time go by faster so I can be home with them again.

Do You Think It's More Difficult for Military Women to Stay in Shape, as Opposed to Civilian Women?

I don't think it makes a difference. I've met some awesome "kick-butt" civilian women. I believe it's all up to the individual person.

Gender Roles are Changing in the Military. How Does That Affect You?

Actually they are changing to accommodate the fact that women are capable of doing some of the same demanding jobs that only males could previously do. I think it's a great thing, but I am also aware that it is a sensitive and controversial subject, so I'll leave it at that.

How Does Fitness Affect Your Role in the Armed Services?

We are responsible for being combat ready at all times, and that means being physically fit.

How Does Your Training Change When You Are in an Active War Zone?

I push myself harder to take away the stress of being away from home.

When You Decided to Make a Career Out of the Air Force, Did That Change the Way You Thought About Your Long-Term Health?

My dad retired from the Air Force, so I followed in his footsteps. It changed my outlook on fitness. I didn't know anything about fitness and dieting until I joined the military. It started me off, and competing got me hooked on reaching my fitness goals because it showed me all the possibilities that I could achieve.

What Workout Plan Worked Best for You?
Day 1: Biceps/Back/Cardio, PM Workout


Day 2: Triceps/Chest/Shoulders/Cardio, PM Workout


Day 3: Legs/Calves/Cardio, PM Workout


Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Cardio/Abs, PM Workout


Day 6: Cardio, AM Workout
Day 7: Rest

Which Nutrition Plan Works Best for You?
Meal 1: 0600
Meal 2: 0900
Meal 3: 1200
Meal 4: 1500
Meal 5: 1800
Meal 6: 2100
  • Whey Protein Shake

    Whey Protein Shake

  • Weekends: I add in 1 cup of brown rice or oatmeal in breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Which Supplements Give You the Greatest Gains?

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Maybe try a stateside figure competition.

What Would It Mean to You to Earn Your Pro Card?

It would mean I made it, that all the hard work got me that prize at the end!

How Do You Think Bodybuilding Helps You as a Service Member?

It gives me the motivation to know that I can do anything I set my mind to.

Who Are Your Favorite Figure Competitors or Bodybuilders?

Zoa Linsey, Ava Cowan, Erin Stern, and Jessica Paxson.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders in the Military?

Nothing. They all are some awesome, driven, disciplined, and hard-working people! I say, "Do your thing and show the world just how awesome and strong you are! Bravo!"


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Do you have a bodybuilding success story to share when you were in the military? If so, send in your pics, stats, and why you got started...

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 Comments

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RipChudd

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RipChudd

Good to see an article on a fellow Airman.

Aug 21, 2013 6:25am | report
 
gagnonnatalie

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gagnonnatalie

woman is an inspiration :) <3

Aug 21, 2013 7:04am | report
 
O311MARINE4LIFE

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O311MARINE4LIFE

TOO BAD THE REST OF THE AIR FORCE DOES NOT MIRROR YOUR PT STANDARDS. OOO RAH SEMPER FI!

Article Rated:
Aug 21, 2013 8:17am | report
 
plmcute8402

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plmcute8402

no kidding! she def looks like she coulda made it thru the island.

Aug 21, 2013 9:25am | report
O311MARINE4LIFE

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O311MARINE4LIFE

LOL YUP!

Aug 22, 2013 9:44am | report
RoyalRevolver

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RoyalRevolver

Great story!

Aug 21, 2013 9:09am | report
 
plmcute8402

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plmcute8402

Great story, have to agree about being a mom, but disagree about the marines, its in my blood and takes a diff kind of person to be able to be a marine. :0) Although I coulda handle Kadena twice... like the Ritz compaired to Hansen OooRah

Aug 21, 2013 9:31am | report
 
justbeme

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justbeme

Thank you! My hat off to you Marines...I think I would have loved to have been a Marine myself because I love the discipline, look, and pride the Corp has...so I can't disagree about your comment at all. Plus, some of my good friends and family are Marine officers, so I got mad respect for it! Take care!

Aug 23, 2013 9:14am | report
FitNisha

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FitNisha

Wow Mia!!!! great job! I am so proud of you!!!! Love ya!

Aug 22, 2013 10:46am | report
 
justbeme

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justbeme

Nish!!!! How have you been girl???? Dang, I haven't seen you since Idaho! Miss u girl...and you look great! Are you still working on base? If so....hit me on global, I'd love to catch up!

Aug 23, 2013 9:18am | report
FitNisha

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FitNisha

I been good girl! I'm still on base so I will hit you on global for sure!!!! You are amazing, I been showing everybody your pics lol. You know we love you!

Aug 27, 2013 9:30am | report
nbcain01

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nbcain01

I love reading these military articles. Good to see the branches being represented so nicely. Hooah!

Aug 22, 2013 11:29am | report
 
dustinlapray

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dustinlapray

Thanks Mia! So tough, so smart.
If you or someone you know would like to be featured in this series, send an email to military_bodybuilder@bodybuilding.com

Aug 22, 2013 11:33am | report
 
justbeme

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justbeme

Thanks Dustin! I'm just really thankful and humbled by you sharing my story! :)

Aug 23, 2013 9:20am | report
mjthemissfit

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mjthemissfit

OMG If she's still at Edwards, we're totally stationed together! Inspo-ed!!!!!

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Aug 22, 2013 4:03pm | report
 
justbeme

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justbeme

Thank you! Yes, I'm still at Cali...but I'm headed out on a deployment. I seen you in the gym when we first PCS'd there...you are looking great...and I can always appreciate someone who looks all hard in the gym because they are focused on their workout! I do the same thing...so you know i've seen ya! :) If your goal is to compete, you are on the right track...you look great! :)

Aug 23, 2013 9:55am | report
sombraluz83

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sombraluz83

Wow! Amazing! Just found another great person to add to my inspiration list. I plan to achieve that sort of discipline ASAP even though I'm not in the military.

Thank you for keeping our country safe! You are definitely appreciate for your hard work, dedication, and sacrifice!

Aug 23, 2013 5:57am | report
 
justbeme

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justbeme

Thank you Ma'am...I appreciate your kindness and hope you reach your goals! Just think of it as: Nothing comes easy, you got to work hard to make it there, so push yourself to be where you want to be. When you feel like you can't do it...push even harder! :) Please keep me posted on your success! ;)

Aug 23, 2013 9:32am | report
Qotu79

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Qotu79

Wow! Very nice work!

Aug 23, 2013 6:51am | report
 
justbeme

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justbeme

Thank you Ma'am!

Aug 23, 2013 9:34am | report
Macboog

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Macboog

Got to salute my fellow vets. You are a beast.

Aug 23, 2013 11:44am | report
 
Macboog

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Macboog

Got to salute my fellow vets. You are a beast.

Aug 23, 2013 11:44am | report
 
Bill661

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Bill661

I completely admire this person's accomplishments! I by no means am not criticizing or disrespect her by my question. I am just curious about one of her Korean Service Medal. It is simply a matter of seeking info. I don't know much about the award requirements, and based upon her age and the dates of the Korean War, I am wondering how she served in the Korean War that occurred in the early to mid-1950's. I'm certain she meets the requirements, and I'm merely hoping someone can help explain what the award requirements are for that medal.

Aug 30, 2013 11:26am | report
 
charliecohat

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charliecohat

She didn't when you deploy to KOREA for a certain amount of days you earn the medal 30 consecutive days.

Nov 27, 2013 12:34pm | report
I_dare_U

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I_dare_U

You go girl!!!! Show them whos boss! GO HARD!!!

Sep 3, 2013 8:13pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 33 Comments

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