Q. What's your background?
- I was born in Canada but my nationality/family background is Italian, with traces of Venezuelan… guess you can understand why I've got that Mediterranean olive skin.
I love both cultures respectively, although I have to say I do have more of a Latin itch… especially when it comes to the dancing… salsa, merenque, cha cha, you name it.
Q. How did you get started in the fitness industry?
- What started me on this unstoppable journey? At a young age where my gymnastics career started at 6 years old; jumping off swing sets, diving boards and anything else that would give my parents a heart attack.
My fearless passion created a 12-year gymnastics career, and from gymnastics grew my passion for dance in hip hop and jazz, and then Latin dancing, hence leading me to become a Professional Salsa Dancer. While keeping busy with the dancing and maintaining my conditioning from my gymnastics training I would also work out a gym to compliment my physique.
On many occasions while working out, I would have several people approach me with the suggestion of competing since they saw that I already had most of the essential ingredients from dance and gymnastics.
Once I decided to take a break from competing in dance, I took up the suggestion to compete in fitness industry. I was introduced to my present trainer, Ian Walling, and from there, my life changed…
Q. What do you feel is your biggest fitness related accomplishment?
- I think my biggest accomplishment was/is the personal challenge of being the best that I can be. Sometimes I see pictures of myself and I ask myself "Is that really me?" When you look at yourself from the outside, you sometimes find it so hard to believe, that it's really the product of you and the hard work and dedication that you put into yourself.
My biggest accomplishment of having the education and discipline to lead a healthy lifestyle of eating and physical training. I am in the best shape of my life… and you feel the pay off when you have the opportunity to have a trophies placed in your hands as I did this year, it's a wonderful feeling.
Q. Is fitness modeling/competition your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?
- No not yet, but I'm working on it! Believe it or not I am a correctional Officer in a jail in Toronto, Canada… and hoping a career in the fitness industry can change that.
Q. What are your immediate and long term goals?
- Presently, I just started my 'off season' preparing mentally and physically for 2005. I am quite a "chronic" and try to maintain and improve my physique year round.
For the future, 2005 watch out! I hope to receive my Pro Card in the Figure Division at one of the FAME World Events qualifiers www.FAMEworldevents.com. I also would like to land a magazine cover spread.
Q. Describe what a typical day for Nancy is like. What is your daily routine?
- I wish I had a typical day! As a correctional officer, I am bound to shift work. I usually work 12 hour days or nights, so I work around my schedule accordingly, which evidently doesn't leave much time for sleep.
If I am working a 12 hour day shift, my day starts at 5am, I go to work, after work I go to the gym to train, do cardio, then home to attend to my dance world, or return phone calls and e-mails, and prepare my meals for the next day.
On a night shift, the routine is reversed. I get up in the morning to do my cardio before breakfast and my training is worked in and around, appointments, teaching, and responding to marketing demands… and maybe some sleep before that night shift!
Q. How do you eat to stay in shape?
- I eat 5-6 meals a day, every 2-3 hours… and yes, I do eat carbohydrates! (the good ones at least.) My first 3 meals consist of a balance of low glycemic carbohydrates (eg-oatmeal, Ezekiel bread), proteins and fats ( EFA's). Fueling my body properly early in the day, prepares my body for the long day ahead.
The carbohydrates and food, break down slowly throughout the day as well as burns fat. My last 3 meals are proteins and fibrous carbohydrates, such as green vegetables. I also drink 2-3 litres of water a day and tend to stay away from wheat, gluten and dairy products which are replaced through supplements.
Q. How many times do you typically eat in a day? Do you balance your calories equally or do you have one heavier then lighter calorie meal during the day?
- I guess I got ahead of myself in the previous question. But to add to it, my trainer and I don't really put a heavy focus on counting calories, rather we concentrate on eating, with proper food combinations so that the food is broken down properly and nutrients absorbed properly in the body.
Q. What is your training routine like?
- In the off season I do a 4-day split as follows:
2 days on, 1 off, 2 on (may vary accordingly)
In addition I do cardio and abs 4-5 days a week.
On season or closer to competition times, my training changes to a 3 on 3 training split where each body part is trained twice a week, the first 3 days are light training days, (Mon., Tues., Wed.), Thursday off, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are heavy days.
Q. What do you like better, dance or working with weights?
- Now that is a tough question! Hmm... it's hard to compare the two as I am pretty passionate about both, but I would have to say that dance really nourishes my soul.
When I weight train, it gives me "that eye of the tiger". I get so focused on the technique and execution and have an inner vision of the goal at hand, that usually being the next competition.
With dance, I am my own artistic creator, it sets me "free" especially when I am on STAGE! If you have seen me perform in person or seen my on stage pictures, you would know that I have an infectious energy and presence-whether it be dancing in a routine or during a figure/fitness model competition. I know in my heart that I was meant to be on stage. I was born with it.
I don't know what it is but it's in my blood, that feeling, that passion….really nourishes my soul and I really hope that others can embrace my infectious energy, passion and creativity.
Q. If any, what supplements do you use?
- These vary depending on whether I am on or off season, however, regularly, I take:
Q. How do you motivate yourself to get/stay in shape?
- First and foremost, the motivation and discipline really comes from within, you really have to want to do it for yourself, and that is what I do.
My motivation comes from, watching/seeing my body transform… the best feeling is training for weeks at time without really paying attention to any significant changes in your physique, and then waking up one day, looking in the mirror and seeing improvements and transformations in your body. I am sure people can share that same feeling.
| Preparing For A Photo Shoot.
Here is a forecast of some of the areas that should have special attention paid to before you go to your photo shoot...
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Secondly, I try to stay relatively lean year round by consistently setting goals for myself, by mapping out what shows I will compete in or photo shoots I may be involved in. Fitness is a lifestyle for me so staying relatively lean is very important especially in marketing yourself… after all you are your own walking billboard.
Self representation is so important and I am consistently involved in assignments such as fashion shows, seminars, photo shoots, appearances etc.
Q. What are a few of your favourite fitness related web sites?
…and not to be bias but lastly www.nancydinino.com! Ha, ha...
Q. What tips would you give to someone who wanted to get into the fitness modeling (or fitness competition) industry?
- If you are going to make the commitment, then do yourself the favour and make the full commitment. In entering a competition specifically speaking, it requires, a mental, physical, and financial commitment so make sure you are well informed and prepared to make sacrifices in you schedule especially with family and friends.
- Be sure to acquire professional advise on competition eating and training from a trainer that is well experienced in the industry, one who has been through the competition process or at least relative to, themselves. Ask the trainer of his/her background and specialty, remember not all personal trainers focus on or are versed in competition preparation.
- Try to attend a show prior to you doing one, or at least buy tapes so that you are familiar with the concept of that particular federation. Remember, each federation has there own rules and regulations
- Market yourself by having comp cards or business cards readily available, you never know who you may run in to.
- Most importantly, just be the best that you can be for yourself!
Q. If someone you knew asked you how to lose weight and get into shape quickly, what would you tell them?
- I would tell them straight out that there are no "quick fixes" where losing weight is concerned. The fact that they are looking for a quick route indicates a lack of commitment… because if there was a quick way, I wish someone would tell me about it so I could do it! LOL.
Learning the 'science' behind it all is half the journey, and is so much more self rewarding in the final result of achieving your goals.
Q. What do you feel differentiates you from other people in your field?
- ...that I "Dare to be Different" by pushing the envelope in whatever it is I do, especially in fitness and dance. If you were to ask those who know me to describe me, the common reaction is:
"She never stops, she's got that passion, discipline and drive and she just keeps going and going, and her competitive edge, what out cause here she comes!"
I really enjoy creating a "shock value"... it makes it that much more exciting… especially pushing past limits… limits are meant to be 'unlimited'.
Q. Is there anything else further you'd like the public to know about you?
- My image is pure and natural and I really pride myself in being a true, positive role model and athlete, "fusing fitness, fashion, poise and dance", all in one dynamic package.
Its such an inspiration knowing I can be such an inspiration to others. I really enjoy helping others achieve their goals in dance and fitness. I am a pretty down to earth person who appreciates good hearted people.
I am a person who really appreciates everyone's support. Keep it coming! I love reading your e-mails and please continue to share my world, absorb my life, my experiences and my passions, either in person or through my website at:
Nancy DiNino's phenomenal dance routines can be viewed by coming out to the FAME International Event in June 2005. Mark your calendar for a weekend of exhibitors, sponsors, over a thousand competitors and your chance to meet the legends of body building and fitness.