1. Tell us about yourself. (Background, education, job, etc.)
I currently live in Sacramento, Ca with my husband and two kids, where I work full time as a Middle School Counselor and part time Personal Trainer. I played four years of college basketball while earning my degree in Child Development, and continued on to earn a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a PPS Credential in School Counseling. I have been a School Counselor for the past 12 years, and became a Certified Personal Trainer a year and a half ago.
The incredible thing about my passion for kids, people and health, is that they are intertwined on a daily basis. There was a point in time where I was considering doing fitness full time and quitting my counseling job. I feel that having both of my jobs lends itself to inspire more people and impact more lives with the work I do. I feel complete doing both of them and each of them are equally rewarding.
2. What encouraged you to start living a fit and healthy lifestyle?
I had just completed my second triathlon season, and was motivated to get faster (swimming, biking an running) for the next triathlon season. I soon found myself on the internet most nights researching weight loss and building speed within these sports. My late night searches made me realize that I needed to lose FAT and not weight in order to get the lean physique I desired to be faster and a more competitive triathlete. This realization then catapulted my journey into the fitness industry, competing in fitness shows and evolving into a fitness entrepreneur.
3. Sometimes it is hard for women to find motivation to work out every day. What are some of the things that keep you motivated?
THAT is the truth!! It is hard a lot of days. A big misconception is that fit people are always in shape, always eat healthy, workout 3 hours a day and are always motivated. I am here to tell all of your readers that this isn’t the case. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fit people are people just like everyone else walking this earth. What I do think is different is that fit people have found what works. We have had success with weight loss or getting in shape, and we know how to eat and exercise to maintain a physique we are happy with.
That being said, I am personally motivated by my own results. I am motivated to maintain and/or improve what I have worked so hard for and don’t want to lose ground. I don’t want to slip back into my old habits or way of life. I like how I look and I like that I inspire other people with my lifestyle. Knowing that others look to me as an example or for advice, is a huge motivator as well. I believe I need to walk the talk.
4. How long did it take you to get such an amazing physique?
To complete my entire transformation and reach my set goal (which included stepping on stage in a fitness competition) was 6 months. My success came from hiring a GOOD trainer that taught me how to eat and exercise to maximize my time and get the results I was looking for.
5. What is your diet like?
My diet is pretty consistent day in and day out. I have off days, but the majority of the time I try and eat the same each day. When I am not prepping for a show my diet has a lot of variety and flexibility, but the foundation is primarily clean. I eat clean 80% of the time, having treats or indulgences here and there, but don’t go overboard or out of control. I eat 5 to 6 times throughout the day, and my meals consist of lean protein, fruits, veggies and complex carbohydrates. I don’t drink alcohol or eat fast-food, and I drink a lot of water!! I do my best to eat whole, real food and stay away from packaged or processed foods.
6. Do you take any food supplements to help you build muscle mass?
As far as supplements go, I take a multivitamin daily, as well as Omega-3 Fish Oil. Aside from these two supplements, I try to get most of my nutrients through real, whole food and a balanced diet. Early on in my journey I did utilize whey protein powder to supplement, but I found that I feel better without it. I have successfully put muscle on my frame through diet, weight training and getting enough sleep.
7. On your website you have a 6-Week at Home Strength program. How did you come up with all the exercise and diet ideas?
I compiled a series of exercises, meals and an eating plan similar to what I personally follow. Most people don’t know where to start. There is a lot of information on the internet, and people get overwhelmed and sucked in to fad diets or gimmicks that just waste their time and money. I wanted to offer something of value, that actually works. When I first started on my own, I would scour the internet and make up fat blasting workouts for myself, so I used this as a reference point.
8. How intense is your fitness program and is it successful so far?
The program is fairly intense, but is scalable for all levels and provides demonstrations through youtube videos on ways to modify the exercises. The workouts are like anything else we do; you get out what you put in. Depending on how hard a person is willing to work is as hard as the workout is going to be. Each workout is no more than 35 minutes. In my opinion, I have had great success with the program for not doing a lot of marketing. My website is near completion
and I am very excited to have that launched!! Success to me is when current clients continue to refer friends and family because they are satisfied with the program.
9. What is it that you like most about inspiring people to work out?
What I like most about inspiring people to work out is witnessing their new found confidence and belief in themselves. Watching them do something they never thought they could do, is pretty fantastic!!! I take pride in the role I play, and know that it is a great responsibility to have people’s trust. I feel honored and extremely grateful. One of the most rewarding things is to receive messages and comments from people who tell me I have inspired them to workout or eat better, or even go after a dream they have always had. That to me makes it all worth it.
10. After having two kids, you stopped your athletic lifestyle. What inspired your decision to come back into the fitness industry?
After having my kids I didn’t do much in the way of self improvement a far as exercise went. I actually avoided the gym and was pretty inactive. My journey was reignited by participating in a 4th of July Fun Run with an encouraging friend. I had not run a single mile since high school probably, and here I was signed up to run (walk, really) FIVE miles. I had to be nudged pretty good to finally commit to doing it, but I did it and I was proud of myself in the end. It was that day that I also signed up for my first triathlon.
All of this happening because of an encouraging friend and me following along like a scared puppy dig. With each event that participated in during the course of the first two years of my “comeback,” I gained more and more confidence. I tried new things, I had less fear and I was happier. My journey lead me to hiring a personal trainer to compete in a bodybuilding/figure show. I reached my goal and hit the stage within 6 months, and I haven’t looked back. I have continued to grow in every sense of the word, taking my goals to the next level, as well as my business. It is an exciting time!!!
11. As an entrepreneur, a school counselor, a wife, a fitness competitor, and most importantly, a mother, how do you manage all your time? Does it ever get too stressful?
It does get too stressful sometimes. It does get daunting at times, and self doubt does creep in. But, I keep going. I know enough now to know this process and this life is up and down an sideways. It isn’t, and never will be, consistent or always easy. I have an incredible support system in which my husband is at the forefront, as well as my kids and extended family. It could never be a one woman show.
When I do get overwhelmed or stressed out, I do my best to own it,express it and ask for help. I am the first to say I overextend myself. I have gotten much better at balance and it feels amazing to continue to learn how to let things go or not feel like I have to do it all. I have gotten really good at saying, “no” and not feel bad about it.
12. How does your discipline as a fitness model influence your life as a whole?
The discipline that it takes to stay in shape and/or compete is one that takes daily actions and commitment. I have to be organized, structured and prioritize my days in order to be successful in all areas of my life if I want to do them well. I go to bed early, I plan at least one to two days ahead of time, and I rely heavily on my calendar (my kid’s activities, etc…). When I am at work as a school counselor I an all in. I do fitness work before and after school, on holidays and on the weekends. This means I have to be disciplined to wake up early to workout or send emails or connect with clients.
13. You’re a fit mother. Any advice for parents on educating their own children about how it is important to live a healthy lifestyle?
The best teacher is to lead by example. SHOW them how important it is. SHOW them how happy you are, and talk about how great you feel. What you do as parents, your kids pick up on and they copy what you do. Your words and advice are just as important, but if your actions don’t match what you say, then there is conflicting statements. Good, healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad. Kids want flavor just like we do. There are a lot if kid friendly, wealthy recipes that can be incorporated into their diets. Last but not least, reduce the junk and sugar they consume.
14. What advice would you give to anyone to live a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Any small, healthy changes you can make are still changes in the right direction. Focusing on daily or weekly goals instead of becoming overwhelmed by the larger goal, can often prove to be more successful. Start saying, “no thank you” to food and drinks you are offered. It is not rude or impolite to decline food, it is in your control. Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body and take notice if it is something helping you reach your goals or stall your efforts. Drink MORE water!!!