BodySpace Member Of The Month: LooneyLifter

The BodySpace universe is composed of millions of incredible bodies, but this new star lit up our skies! Miriam has a hardcore work ethic and a physique to match.

Name Of Gym: Miriam Looney
Age: 18
Weight: 125 lbs
Height: 5'3"
BodySpace: LooneyLifter
Occupation: Student in nutrition and diatetics.
Athletic Background: Tennis, volleyball.
Super Powers: Ability to procrastinate and bake some crazy good desserts.
Evil Super Power: Ability to fake cry.
Ultimate Goal: Obtain my IFBB pro card in the sport of figure and inspire others to lead a healthy lifestyle.

What led you to the decision that you needed to get in shape?

From about the age of 13 to 15, I dealt with body image issues. All I wanted was to weigh less than 100 pounds. I thought if I reached that goal I'd finally be happy.

I got my weight to 101 pounds and was so unhappy with the way I looked. I was a twig—and so weak!

I finally realized I loved the look of women with muscles, and I got with a personal trainer, Jessica Pauls, who ended up becoming one of my best friends.

What kind of changes have you made since you made that decision?

I started eating a lot more food and traded the sissy weights for some big girl dumbbells! I now eat tons of protein and vegetables and lift as heavy as I can push myself.

How did you discover BodySpace?

I remember I was browsing the Internet one
day looking for a good place to buy supplements
and I stumbled across

They had me hooked from then on, and I set up my BodySpace account and began keeping track of all my progress.

What would it mean to you to win your IFBB pro card?

To win my pro card would mean the world to me. I've dedicated countless hours to trying to reach my goal.

I live and breathe the figure lifestyle, and I will push myself as far as I have to so I can one day hold that pro card.

Many people don't engage in fitness until they are older. Do you think you have an advantage, having started in your teens?

I feel like I do have an advantage because I have laid a decent foundation to build on as I mature. I am at a disadvantage onstage against the older women though, because I just don't have that muscle maturity they have—yet!

I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up with the older women, and I don't use my age as an excuse.

How do you think BodySpace has helped you reach your goals?

It has definitely helped me keep myself in check as far as watching my body fat and lifting goals. I also love that there is a huge community of people that are interested in bodybuilding.

They always leave positive comments that really help reinforce me to keep pushing toward my goal.

You are one of the youngest BodySpace Members of the Month ever. What would you say to doubters who say you're not yet worthy?

I'd tell them to come watch my daily life and then reconsider their doubts. In high school I would wake up at 4 a.m. every day before school so I could get my first cardio session in, and then I would return to the gym as soon as school was out.

At the same time I maintained good grades and kept up with cooking and packing all my meals throughout the day. I've dedicated every waking moment to my goals. My age is just a number.

What is your favorite feature on BodySpace?

I really love the product review section because I'm able to go through there and see what supplements other BodySpace users have responded well to before I go and spend the money on a supplement I haven't tried. I also really enjoy going through the forum and reading the other people's posts. Some of them are really informative.

Your mother introduced you to competition. How has she influenced your training?

She has been behind me 100% and pushed me to keep going. I would never have gotten to where I am without her.

You've been on BodySpace for a few years. How do you stay motivated for the long term?

I make sure to set new goals to keep me focused and working toward something.

Especially after competitions, when I enter offseason, I need a structured plan of what I want to improve on so I don't just go through the motions in the gym.

What training mistakes did you make when you first started?

The majority of my mistakes would have to be with cardio.

I thought I could get away with doing 20-30 minutes of cardio per day when getting ready for a show when really I need to be doing an hour or more each day.

You competed in the Team Universe this summer. How did that competition differ from the Teen Nationals?

Team Universe was a totally different experience because of the number and caliber of the competitors I was up against. I had 30 ladies in my one height class alone as opposed to three at Teen Nationals.

Every lady at Team Universe was amazing and in great condition, which was kind of intimidating, but I felt I held my ground fairly well for being only 18.

I felt my stage presentation might have been a tad off because I was so nervous going onstage, whereas at Teen Nationals I felt relaxed and on-target with my presentation and posing.

What are your favorite supplements?

I absolutely love ABB Speed Stacks in Mango Peach flavor for a pre-workout and as far as protein goes I love the Isopure Cookies-n-Cream.

What has the biggest impact on muscle growth and recovery?

Most definitely nutrition and training. Sticking to a structured diet with lots of protein and moderate good carbs, combined with intense training, has helped me push my body farther than where an 18-year-old body normally is.

I believe supplementation isn't necessary but definitely helps get you to your goals faster, whether it be for muscle growth or fat loss.

What type of music do you listen to in the gym?

Right now I mainly listen Eminem, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and Linkin Park.

What is your favorite way to spend a "rest" day?

I would have to say with my boyfriend lounging by the pool, and then going out to dinner and a movie.

Someone will read this feature and consider joining BodySpace. Why should that person become a part of the largest fitness social network?

They should join right away because BodySpace is a great way to keep yourself accountable and meet other people who strive to reach the same goals as you.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fellow BodySpace members? Have any of them made a special impact on your life?

I would like to say thank you for all the positive and reinforcing comments—and for everyone to keep their training intense and diet clean!

And yes, all the people who have sent me messages saying how I have inspired them really kept the fire lit under me all these years. That makes it all worth it.

Do you stick to one type of training, or do you vary your exercise attacks?

I keep my training fairly static as far as weightlifting goes. My rep range stays between 10-15 reps most of the time. I'm working with a new trainer, Greg Hasberry, who has me doing more track-style workouts with plyometrics to keep my conditioning up and legs tight.

Bodybuilders have school, day-jobs and families, and still dedicate hours in the gym each week. How do you strike a balance? What happens when you get tired?

Maintaining a balance is one area I have trouble with. Sometimes I get so focused on where I'm going, I don't look around and enjoy where I am.

When it gets like this I'll usually take an off day and spend it with someone just relaxing and getting my mind out of the gym.

Where do you plan to attend college? How important is your ongoing education to you?

This is my first semester attending Auburn University to study nutrition and dietetics. My education is extremely important to me because I know it's one of the stepping stones to getting the job that I love.

In the future I want to help people live healthy balanced lives through clean eating.

On your website, you mention your love for reading (literature and fitness), how does that help you prepare for competitions and life? Any favorite titles?

I use my reading and writing skills to stay up to date on fitness articles and also stay organized and keep track of my progress and goals.

My favorite book would have to be The Count of Monte Cristo, because of the struggles the character endures and how he overcomes every obstacle that is thrown in his way.

How can your fans find you on other social media?

Would you like to add anything else?

I would just like to say thank you to my parents and my sister Kathryn for being so supportive of me and also to my boyfriend, Colt Greer, for being there for me through my 2012 competition season.