Name: Debra Ricci
Location: Tarzana, CA
Weight: 102-105 lbs contest, 120-130 lbs off
Years Competing: 2
How did your fitness
I grew up at the roller skating rink from age 3 to 15 in Portland, Maine, where fitness and competing isn't popular. I never played sports in school. Instead, I focused on my studies and obtained enough credits to graduate a semester early. I hadn't skated since age 15 and wasn't involved in any type of physical activity.
When I turned 21 years old, I looked at my photos and noticed that I put on weight. It was the eye-opener I needed to get physically active and change my eating habits. I decided to commit to a lifestyle change, joined a gym, and put myself on a diet.
I was excited to control my health but didn't have support from family or friends in the process. They didn't understand why I started dieting and thought I looked fine. The problem was deep inside that I didn't feel fine and was uncomfortable in my own skin. I was wearing size 13 jeans and weighed 155 pounds at 4-foot-11.
I started going to the gym daily, did cardio, ate healthier, and lost 50 pounds in two years. Then I became curious about lifting. I was hesitant to lift initially because I didn't want to get big or bulky. I started doing research, educated myself on weight training, and learned how beneficial it can be for females.
My passion for fitness grew, but I didn't take it to another level until I moved to California in January 2011. In April 2012, I spoke with IFBB figure pro and fitness coach, Nancy Georges, and expressed interest in competitions. Nancy decided that an 18-week prep would be best for me and I chose a show.
I competed in the NPC Tournament of Champions in September 2012 and placed third in my height class. After the competition, I developed a true love and passion for competing. In April 2013, I competed in my second show, placed eighth, and later competed in USAs in July 2013 where I placed top 10. Since then, I've had a successful offseason to prepare for 2014. My next prep will commence soon for a lineup of shows.
How did your passion for fitness emerge?
My passion for fitness surfaced in 2003 when I committed to change my lifestyle and prepared for my first figure competition. The gym became my place to relieve stress and worry to get in the zone. It's exciting to see my body respond and change from my weight training. Each competition challenges me to improve and bring a different package. I work hard to stay passionate by focusing to improve my weak areas.
What motivates you to live healthy?
When I first decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle in 2003, I didn't have much support from family or friends. They didn't understand why I did it, but it was OK because I just went ahead myself and took charge of my health. My passion lights a fire within to stay inspired during tough times.
Where did you go for inspiration?
I love watching fitness videos on YouTube and social media. My go-to "fitspirations" are Nicole Wilkins and Dana Linn Bailey. I've met them both on different occasions and they're super sweet, down to earth, and inspiring. I did posing practice with Nicole and it was amazing. Working out with Dana is on my to-do list next.
What are your future fitness plans?
My future fitness plans are to continue following my passion for competitions and stay involved in the fitness industry. My goal is to work hard, stay focused, and become an IFBB figure pro in 2014. One of my dreams is to work for and/or be sponsored by a major supplement company.
What is the most important fitness tip?
My favorite fitness tips stem from trusting the process. Results won't happen overnight, but if you stick to the plan and stay focused, results will come. We have the daily opportunity to write our story. If you fall down, pick yourself up and keep pushing forward.
Who is your favorite fitness competitor?
There are many elite fitness athletes and competitors that I admire and look up to. As I mentioned above, Nicole Wilkins and Dana Linn Bailey are two beautiful women who push themselves to the limit and beyond. They women have amazingly beautiful physiques.
How did bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
Bodybuilding.com is the best! The prices are unbeatable and I don't have to worry about shipping issues or delays. I use BodySpace to update and track my progress, get fitness and nutrition tips, read articles, and interact with others who share my love and passion for fitness.
Debra's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry
- "Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor
- "Never" by Heart
- "Hold Strong" by Rob Bailey and The Hustle Standard
- "Survival" by Eminem
- 2012 NPC Tournament of Champions - 3rd Place Figure Class A
- 2013 NPC Grand Prix - 8th Place Figure Class A
- 2013 NPC USAs - 10th Place Figure Class A