Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Stefanie Basso

Having seen the skinny and overweight ends of the spectrum, Stefanie made nutrition and exercise staples of her new life. See how she made permanent changes to her lifestyle.

How Did You
Get Started?

I know what it feels like to be overweight. In the 4th grade I remember weighing in the health room at 180 pounds. I was very shy and teased often by peers. This was the start of my driving force toward fitness. I also know what it feels like to be extremely skinny and unhealthy.

I graduated college with a degree in Exercise Science, immediately obtained my NSCA-CPT, and have been a certified personal trainer since.

Today, at age 30, I eat many foods for optimal health, and implement healthy and efficient workouts for a Figure physique. I also obtained a master's degree in Sport Psychology and am currently a University Nutrition instructor and thriving personal trainer. I am grateful for my past experiences which have pushed me to be who I am today ... vibrant and whole.

Ultimately, standing on a stage and competing in a Figure Competition has always been a dream of mine ever since I was that little girl. It is not the end of my fitness journey.

Why Do You Love Fitness/Bodybuilding?

I love fitness because you can't fake hard work. It is who I am. Fitness is a way I celebrate life and health. Fitness activities are preventative medicine for me. It helps me to build strong bones and muscles, increase self-confidence, and best of all relieve stress! As a Johnny G Indoor Cycling Instructor, I make my fitness classes a party! It is also an inspiring field.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

My biggest motivator is being a hero to my two young children. I emphasize to them the importance of healthy foods and exercise and most of all to reach whatever dreams they may have. My health is also my motivator. Money can't buy me good health.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

Proving to the naysayers it could be done pushed me. Self-fulfillment kept me.

What Are Your Future Fitness/Bodybuilding Plans?

I first decided to compete in a Figure Competition in 2010. 3 weeks before competition, I needed to get emergency bowel resection. 7 inches of my small intestines were removed. Though it was hard, I chose my health and to nurse myself back to full health and put my dreams of competing on hold. I was able to again prep and finally competed in my first NPC Figure Competition in July 2011, exactly 1 year later. Placing 2nd in my division and qualifying for Nationals, I was ecstatic! For continued experience and self-mastery, I again competed at Hawaii's biggest NPC show, the Paradise Cup in November 2011, placing 5th.

With all of the experience I have gained, my future goals are to be featured in top fitness and health magazines. I also plan to have my own writing column in these magazines to offer education, advice and inspiration to readers of the world. Ultimately, I plan to own a Whole Body Health and Fitness Center devoted to teach people about real and healthy eating and exercise practices. I also plan to write books and travel and give motivational seminars and workshops ... all while remaining vibrant and fit .

What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?

There will always be a million "reasons" why you can't, shouldn't or won't. Sometimes other people will tell you that you can't. Forget all that. YOU CAN. Don't only dream your dreams ... go CATCH them! Set one realistic, specific goal at a time, VISUALIZE and FEEL yourself already there, and go BE your higher self. The only limitations are those we set upon ourselves.

Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?

I admire the current reigning IFBB Figure Pros Erin Stern for her track-star feminine athleticism, Ava Cowan for her Figure poise and beauty, and Nicole Wilkins for her awesome shoulders and inspiring champion story.

What Features Do You Use On

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