When I was 21, I tried the party scene for about six months. It was an unhealthy lifestyle and I hated the way I felt. I had body image issues and developed an unhealthy relationship with food, so I started going to the gym, learned the weight room basics, and started my journey toward a healthy lifestyle.
Eight years later, I met people who got me interested in figure competitions. I started focusing more on resistance training and less on cardio. The best part about starting a resistance program is watching how fast your body adapts and builds strength. It became a challenge to beat my personal best every time I went to the gym. I became comfortable in my own skin and enjoyed the way my body changed for the better.
I decided to help others build confidence through healthy living and changed my major to nutrition and exercise physiology—another huge stepping stone in my fitness journey. When I stepped onstage in 2010, the journey turned into a passion and got better every season.
My journey started out as a hobby, but turned into a lifestyle. Improving my strength a little bit every time I go to the gym has been one of the most exciting parts of the journey. Helping others strive to live a healthy lifestyle is rewarding.
Friends, family, and future clients are big motivating factors in what I do. I believe it's important to lead by example and give others the extra push to greatness so they can achieve the healthiest version of themselves.
When I need extra inspiration, I look to people who succeeded in similar areas and try to emulate that. Diet has always been a struggle for me, so I look to people like Brooke Erickson, who battled eating issues, and Erin Stern, who lives a balanced healthy lifestyle year round. I'm always trying to improve so I can be the best version of me.
When it comes to the gym, music and other competitor's training videos (mainly Dana Linn Bailey and Erin Stern) get me fired up.
I plan to get my IFBB figure pro card in 2013. I will receive my B.S. in nutrition and exercise physiology and plan to help others live healthy. Eventually, I want to run a posing clinic. Being onstage is one of the most amazing feelings and I want to help others prepare for it.
I suggest choosing fitness modalities that you enjoy. Whether it's yoga, resistance training, cardio, or CrossFit, you're more likely to stick with it if you enjoy what you're doing. Don't be afraid to try new things. Believe in yourself, be confident, and strive to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
When I first decided to compete in figure in 2010, I read on Bodybuilding.com that Erin Stern could squat 315. I was just starting to squat heavy and it was very motivating to see another female doing the same. She became my figure role model. Erin maintains a healthy lifestyle in the off-season, always smiles, and has a great personality. I attended the 2012 Olympia and watched Erin regain the figure title. I want to join her on the Olympia and Arnold Classic stage.
Bodybuilding.com has always been my go-to place for supplement information and any kind of competition prep. If I have any questions about competing, I go to the site and find the answer. Bodybuilding.com covers everything. I use it for back workout advice, posing techniques, and hair color for the stage. My favorite part about Bodybuilding.com is the reasonable prices for supplements. I recently joined BodySpace, which allows you to chat with fellow fitness enthusiasts and makes it easy for you to track workouts. My goal for 2013 is to blog on BodySpace and become a finalist in the 2014 BodySpace Spokesmodel search.