Name: Alana McDiarmid
Location: Sydney, Australia
Weight: 117-119 lbs (53-54 kg); 108 lbs (49 kg) contest
Years Bodybuilding: 2
How did your fitness journey begin?
I feel all women at some point in our lives have had to overcome body image or self-esteem issues: thinking we are too fat, too skinny, not tall enough, etc. From a young age, I was never happy with the way I looked. I always felt self-conscious and never entirely satisfied.
My weight fluctuated slightly as I got older, but the weight began to pile on around the time I accepted a summer camp counselor position in Florida. I remember feeling so ugly and disgusting one night while out with a group of friends who were all a lot smaller than me. It was definitely my rock bottom. However, from that point on I decided it was time to change.
I started by making up little circuits in my garage; I wasn't comfortable going to a commercial gym just then. I also took a proper look at my unhealthy eating habits. It took about two months for me to really see results. My gains finally had me at a stage where I felt I could step foot in a gym!
My partner had taken me to my first bodybuilding show in 2012, and Kai Greene was guest posing. After being mesmerized by his words about setting personal life goals and how important these are to excel, I knew at that instant I wanted to compete!
How did your passion for fitness emerge?
With a sport like figure or bodybuilding, you have the chance to get better with age and strive for your own personal best. What other sport allows that? I love that the health and fitness industries are constantly progressing and evolving, which makes it even more exciting to see what's in store next!
What or who motivates you to live healthy?
I believe everyone has stages in their lives that test their strength, and it's in these moments where our true character is revealed. When my younger brother passed away in 2009, I nearly gave up on everything I had worked so hard for. For a while I had no direction. I was angry and didn't have the motivation to continue training. That moment was my test, and one I can say I overcame.
I remember being up on stage, after winning my first trophy in my first competition, and thinking my brother would never have thought I would make it that far, let alone win!
This will always continue to motivate me, to stick at it and never give up.
Where did you go for inspiration?
My main inspiration comes from the everyday people around me! I see so many different types of people training consistently every day, living a healthy lifestyle, and pushing their limits. They may not be fitness models or pro bodybuilders, but the dedication and effort they put into living this lifestyle is what I find inspiring.
What are your future fitness plans?
I already have a new set of goals to conquer! I have a great prep coach in Paul Haslam, and more recently a sprint coach in Mikke Foley, who will help me achieve my goals! I hope to compete in the first-ever Australian Arnold Classic in 2015! I am also looking at studying nutrition, and am excited to see what this hobby will bring my way!
What is the most important fitness tip?
Don't ever give up! Keep a positive attitude, especially on those really tough days, and know that the end result will be worth all the sacrifices.
Who is your favorite fitness competitor?
I love Kai Greene; he has so much wisdom and advice for competitors. A lot of his advice has helped me on my own journey! Kai is a hard worker, and although he doesn't win every show, he continues to keep trying. That is the definition of a true athlete to me!
How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
Ever since I started training, Bodybuilding.com has helped me in so many ways! When I decided to compete, I would read hours and hours of competition articles, sucking in all the knowledge I could. I learned a lot of what I know today from this research, and still love reading about it.
I'm only new to BodySpace, but I find this is also a great tool for accountability and for tracking progress. I enjoy talking to like-minded people and following their journeys!
Alana's Favorite Gym Tracks
"Stay with Me"
"Touch The Sky"
- 2014 IFBB Queensland All Female Classic - 1st Place in Novice Figure Short
- 2014 IFBB Australasians - 4th Place in Novice Figure Short
- 2013 IFBB Australian Nationals - 3rd Place in Novice Figure Short
- 2012 IFBB Australian Nationals - 7th Place in Novice Figure Short
- 2012 WNBF Asia Pacific - 4th Place in Fit Body & 7th Place Novice Figure
- 2012 WNBF New South Wales - 1st Place in both Novice Figure & Fit Body
I extend special thanks to Jarrod Elson, Deanne Murphy, Paul Haslam, and Mikke Foley. Without their knowledge, support, and advice, I wouldn't have achieved half as much as I have.
I cannot forget to mention Mets Analin and his crew at Titan Fitness in Rockdale, New South Wales. Thank you for all of your kind words and support this year, and for providing the best training facilities in Sydney!
Of course, a massive thank you goes to my family and friends, who put up with me during my competition preps and low-carb days. I don't know how they still love me!