This is the last of the three-part interview with fitness models Nate Miyaki & Kalai Diamond. In this interview, Nate & Kalai talk about their first stage experience, diet & exercise tips and future plans.
If you haven’t read Part 1 & Part 2, you may check them out here:
Interview with Fitness Models and Couple Nate Miyaki & Kalai Diamond – Part 1: Here, we learn about their background and how they decided to compete in their first fitness show.
Interview with Fitness Models and Couple Nate Miyaki & Kalai Diamond – Part 2: This covers their diet, training program and competition preparation regime .
8. What was your experience like for stepping on stage the first time? I believe that my first show was my most exciting because so many unknowns going in and the rush is unlike anything else I’ve experienced. What tips would you give to those stepping on stage for the first time?
You are right that there were so many unknowns, and I was winging it for the majority of the day. However, I had no problem making it known it was my first show and asking questions, and people were always willing to help. I was fortunate to meet another competitor early that morning when we were both waiting for one last spray tan; she was so friendly, and kind of took me under her wing. It was nice to have someone to get last-minute advice from, or just chat with throughout the day, which helped me to forget how nervous I was!
Being on stage in and of itself wasn’t that bad. I grew up dancing the hula and had performed as a soloist in front of large audiences before, so I knew I’d be able to handle the eyes on me. I don’t think the magnitude of what I was doing hit me until we were in the finals and waiting to hear the winners. Then, in a flash, it was all over, months of preparation, all for a couple of minutes on stage. Crazy!
For anyone stepping on stage for the first time, I would recommend the following: (1) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Learn how to pose from someone who has done it before (and is good at it), and practice walking and posing in your heels. A lot. Not just in front of a mirror, but without a mirror as well (since obviously you won’t be able to see yourself on stage). I recommend having someone take photos or video of you walking and posing so you can see what the judges will see. With practice comes confidence, and you absolutely need that! I would also recommend NOT focusing on the final rankings or results, but just enjoying the experience for what it is, everything that you’ve learned throughout the process, all that you’ve accomplished simply by being there. It may sound hokey, and I’m just as competitive as the next person, but your success as a first-time competitor shouldn’t be measured by where (or if) you place. If you enjoy the experience, there will be lots of time to train again and improve for the next show.
9. How have your friends and family responded to your contest prep? Kalai I know that you had mentioned that your sister may have had some positive influence from your preparations. What easy tips could you give to others taking that first big change in diet/exercise?
Nate: I’ve done it enough times that they get it now. They still don’t completely understand why I want to shave the legs (among other areas), slap on a fake tan, and strut around in panties (and dudes, lets not try and mask what they really are – they’re not “posing trunks”, they’re frickin’ panties — so wear them with pride and be done with it). But I think they respect it. And many of my family members come to me when they have health or fitness questions. Using my nutritional philosophies, I even helped one of my brothers reduce his cholesterol levels enough so that he could get off medications that were damaging his liver. You see, its not all just about looking good.
Kalai: In the beginning I was worried that people would think I was crazy, that it was ridiculous, or that I was just trying to be like Nate. Instead, those closest to me were nothing but encouraging and supportive. It was difficult around the holidays, not being able to eat the family meals and all, but not only were they understanding, but accommodating to my desire to find ways to spend time together that weren’t centered around food. They checked in often to ask how I was doing, ask about the plan, the show, etc. I think they respected the discipline I had to stick to the program, and the courage to get up on stage.
Knowing how much I loved to eat, I think my transformation – both in terms of my dietary habits and the physical change in my body – has had a pretty significant impact on many people around me. My sister is indeed someone who has started making some changes of her own, and I can tell she is gets more excited and “into” it as the days go by; she is now more conscious of her food choices, which is resulting in fewer food cravings. Her clothes are getting looser and work colleagues are starting to notice her body changing. She has young children, so I think this is a great way for her to improve her health and be a role model for her family. Healthy habits can be something their mommy has, and not just Uncle Nate!
The first set of easy tips I have given to family and friends are:
(1) cut out sugar from your diet. One of my friends did only this, and lost 15 pounds for her wedding; and
(2) Measure your portions, especially of starchy carbohydrates. You have no idea how much you are overeating until you get out a measuring cup and use it. You will be surprised at how little a ½ cup is on your plate, but how it is just enough to make you satisfied (but not full).
As for exercise, my two pieces of advice are:
(1) Do something – anything – on a regular basis. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, go anyway. Whatever you do will be better than nothing, and you will always be happier that you went; and
(2) Let go of the notion that you must do hours of cardio to lose weight and be lean. When I was getting ready for my wedding, I would spend up to 90 minutes in the gym, which included 45-60 minutes of cardio after lifting weights. Even with all that activity, I was nowhere near as lean then as I was after preparing for this competition, for which I did no formal cardio activity whatsoever. You need muscle to be lean, and in order to build muscle you need to weight train.
10. What’s next on your plate? Future plans, etc.
Nate: So I’ve been asked to write a regular column for T-Nation. I’m the resident ripped guy — I think that’s pretty cool. I’ll be sharing my nutritional expertise and philosophy with the readers.
We launched our new website/blog, and we’ll be updating that every week with new principles, Q&A’s, and interviews. We’re excited about helping our family and friends, and also helping the new friends we hope to make along the way that share our passion for health & fitness.
In our athletic pursuits, we hope to change directions and move more towards fitness modeling than competitive bodybuilding/bikini events. I think that’s more “our look” if you know what I mean, so hopefully we can get some stuff rolling with that.
And the major project this year is some type of a book. It’s been something I’ve been planning on doing for quite some time. I’ve just been so busy with my one-on-one business. I really need to break away from the golden handcuffs and just make the time to do it, because I’ve discovered that I really love to write. Sometimes I’ll write just so I can read what I have to say.
Or, I might just give it all up and start stripping for a living. (I think I’m up to 25 cents a dance, not bad in these economic times)
Kalai: Now that the contest is over, I can focus on getting this darn spray tan residue off my skin! (just kidding…sort of). My diet and exercise program will focus on maintaining the gains I made over the past few months, and truly making this a permanent part of my lifestyle – no more yoyo-ing! I’m excited to work with Nate on our new website project; I’ll share my perspective on diet and exercise, and focus on the mental and psychological aspects of getting fit. My family will be happy that I’m finally using my degrees J
11. Where can we find you on the Internet?
Check out my photography work at http://natalieminhphotography.com