How did your fitness
I struggled with anorexia throughout my young adult years. When that became too hard, I found an easier way to stay thin through drugs. After becoming a drug addict, I picked up alcohol and heavy partying. This went on for several years and I lost my sense of self-love along the way.
I hit rock bottom when I married my husband and had my beautiful daughter in 2008. After seeing my body blow up from pregnancy, I was mortified and started abusing laxatives. I was nearly on my death bed when my husband intervened and said he couldn't put up with my disorders anymore. As my last resort, I signed up for personal training. Looking back, it seems laughable that I considered health a "last resort."
When I started out with my first personal trainer, I was 90 pounds and determined to give healthy living a chance. I started out with baby steps; my trainer said my first year doesn't count because it was like teaching a baby to crawl. I used to joke with my trainer and say I would be a fitness model, but deep down inside I was dead serious. The most rewarding part of the journey is the self-acceptance, respect, and love I found for my body.
How did your passion for fitness emerge?
I was drawn to fitness when I started with my first personal trainer in 2008. Prior to that, I had little knowledge about fitness or nutrition. I was amazed at how much control we have over our body and health. It made me realize that no one is "born" to be fat.
Bodybuilding is my outlet and foundation. I love the discipline, adrenaline, pump, and how I can unleash my built-up emotions. The physical rewards are a bonus.
What/Who motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?
I want to be a positive influence for my daughter so she won't go down the path I did during my adolescent years. I want her to love her body and realize she doesn't need to diet or be a size 2 to feel pretty. She looks up to me and is constantly influenced by my actions. It encourages me to keep working hard and motivates me to keep fighting for my health.
Where did you go for inspiration?
I have access to many inspiring stories on social media and Bodybuilding.com. I'm thankful to have wonderful coaches and Team EDGE teammates who inspire me every day. I also turn to God and the Bible for inspiration. When I get discouraged, I pray or pick up the Bible and read a few verses. My greatest inspiration is my husband because he believes in me.
What are your future fitness plans?
I'm currently prepping for the NPC Iron Games show in November. I want to place in the top three and qualify for a national show. My goal is to compete in USAs by July 2014. I will compete until I make it. I also plan to study for my NASM training license soon and hope to become a pro so I can help others achieve their fitness goals.
What is the most important fitness tip?
Patience, persistence, consistency, and preparation are vital in this sport. Get those four ingredients down and you'll succeed. Don't be discouraged if you don't see results quickly. As long as you're consistent with your diet and workouts, the results will come. Don't let failure keep you from reaching your goals. Prepare for success and you will succeed. Bodybuilding comes down to lots of scientific factors in the end, but you must have a strong mind.
Who is your favorite fitness competitor?
I might be biased, but I think Ingrid Romero is one of the best female bikini competitors today. That's why she's my coach! I also love Stacey Alexander and India Paulino. These ladies are strong, beautiful, and have an amazing stage presence that stands out from the rest.
How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
I joined BodySpace and discovered other people who are equally as passionate about fitness as I. I followed Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer and completed the $100,000 Transformation Challenge. With the support and information from Bodybuilding.com, I found a coach to help me train for my first NPC competition.
Nana's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "More" by Usher
- "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys
- "Roar" by Katy Perry
- "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke
- "Till I Collapse" by Eminem
- 2012 NPC Excalibur - 12th Place
- 2013 NPC Southern California Championships - 2nd Place Novice, 5th Place Open