Can you give us a little background about yourself and what it is you do (education, profession, where you were born, where you live, etc.)?
I was born and raised in Hollis, Oklahoma. I am a WBFF Pro and promoter, certified personal trainer, group fitness leader, fitness competitor, fitness and fashion model, and founder and coach for Team Bling, Sweat, Heels, and TeamGenectics competitive fitness teams. I have been featured in several interviews including Oxygen Magazines Inspirational Moms with Kim Dolan, published and featured in Natural Muscle Magazine, written articles for Fit & Firm Online Magazine, and featured as Super Models Unlimited January Model of the Month. I am also the team leader and sponsored athlete for War Hammer Gym Gear and Apparel, featured as KickAssWoman of the Month and now with my own fitness/fashion Blog with them at KickAssWomen.com. I have been involved in the Fitness Field for over 20 years, receiving a BS in Exercise Science with a minor in Marketing, followed by a degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant. My proudest accomplishments are being a wife & fit mom!
Have you always been active? When did you first start getting serious about living a healthy lifestyle? What was your turning point?
I had always been a competitive athlete in school with basketball, track, gymnastics, and cheerleading. I began lifting weights in high school to help with my strength and performance, so with that background and competitive nature, I found fitness competitions the perfect outlet and new challenge for me, mentally and physically. I always had a love for fitness, but when my father suffered a stroke at the age of 42, I became more concerned with health, not just fitness. I truly have a passion for a healthy lifestyle, not just “working out” to look good. I have watched my dad struggle with his disabilities from his stroke for over 20 years now and it makes me appreciate having a strong, capable, fit, and healthy body. I truly enjoy helping others reach and excel their own health/fitness goals.
What made you decide to go into fitness modeling and what inspired you to compete?
I competed in my very first fitness competitions the first year out of college. I missed the discipline and focus of competition and having a goal to strive towards. I had always used strength training to excel in sports, but really began working hard to change my physique. After several years of successfully competing in the Fitness category (fitness routine & physique) I decided to “retire” and focus on starting a family. This took many years, due to fertility issues, but we finally had a daughter at the age of 40. I decided while I was pregnant to set the goal of stepping back on stage in a Bikini Model competition one year after delivery! 14 months later, I was back on stage and earned my Pro card with The WBFF as a Fitness Diva Model. I never thought I would be a “fitness model” at the age of 40, but why not??? It just seemed like the next step in my fitness career and another goal to strive towards. I love fashion and fitness, and being a fitness model combines both elements.
What competitions have you participated in and what were the results?
Pro Fitness Diva Model – 2013 World Championships
Pro Debut Fitness Diva Model – 2012 WBFF World Championship
1st Place (Winning my Pro Card!!!) – Fitness Diva Model 35+ – 2012 WBFF Central Championship
5th Place – Bikini Diva Model 35+ – 2012 WBFF Central Championship
Top 10 – Fitness & Bikini Diva Short – WBFF Central Championship
3rd Place – Fitness Diva Model – 2011 Edmonton, Canada WBFF
8th Place – Fitness Diva Model – 2011 WBFF World Championship
4th Place – Fitness Diva Model – 2011 WBFF Central Championship
6th Place – Bikini Diva Model – 2011 WBFF Central Championship
1st Place – Bikini Classic – 2011 Great North Championship
Top 15 – 2010 FAP Bikini Classic and 2011 FUP Bikini Classic
Before I “retired” in 2004, I used to compete in the Fitness routine portions. Too many to list since I started competing in 1992 (geez, that’s a long time!) The most memorable wins were: 1st place FAP Texas Fitness and Bikini, and I was 5th place at the NPC USA’s in 1998-1999 (or sometime around that year, lol)
We’re curious, what is your diet like? What do you eat in a typical day? Do you avoid anything in your diet?
During my “off season”, I usually follow a less strict nutrition plan. I stay close to the 80/20 principle, eating healthy and clean 80% of the time with “treat” meals 20% of the time. I usually start a clean bulk 14-16 weeks out from a show, staying around 1,600-1,800 calories, with concentration on my macro percentages. Depending on how my body is responding, which is different every single time, I start my leaning out at 10-12 weeks. I will drop calories to around 1400 and adjust macros and total calories according to my body’s response. I use my education, knowledge, experience, and intuition to make these adjustments. This year, I am also relying on a fellow coach and teammate, Kia Golmoradi WBFF Pro, to help me fine tune the process. It always helps to have another expert “eye” and advice to help guide you.
What’s your training routine? What specific program do you follow? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
I am constantly tweaking my weight training program. The body adapts so easily and you have to constantly change to keep it changing. I train like an athlete all the time. I try and always push my body to the max and use a lot of outdoor “boot camp” type training with sprints, stadium stairs, and hill runs. In the weight room, I will vary between low reps (10-12) high weight days, with high reps (20-100) low weight, or body weight exercises. I usually try and hit each body part twice a week, except abs and glutes…they get more attention! I honestly never do the same exact workout twice. I have training ADD.
What areas do you typically have a hard time getting lean and what are you doing to make a difference?
Always the bootie and abs!!! UGH…I think this is typical for most females, especially as we age. Gravity can be very cruel if you don’t fight it every step of the way. I do a lot of HIIT training, running hill sprints, stadium stairs, heavy weights of lunges, squats, step ups, and fine tuning, and shaping light weight high reps, like glute kickbacks, donkey kicks, ABD/ADD exercises. I hit the glutes in some fashion pretty much everyday. Same thing with abs! I also have to be very aware of my nutrition. I truly believe the old saying “You can’t out train a bad diet!” Believe me, if there was a way, I would have found it by now! I LOVE FOOD!!! BAD FOOD!!! You can bust your ass all you want in the gym, but if you don’t fuel your body with the right nutrition, you will never see the results you want. When you are training for a competition, you are putting your mind and body through some of the most strenuous activities possible. You become like a fine tuned race car and you wouldn’t put 87% ethanol in a race car, would you? So, you can’t expect your body to be strong and your mind to stay focused unless you fuel it with the proper nutritional needs. Another saying I love is “You can’t look like a million bucks if you eat off the dollar menu!” All calories are NOT the same. You can get 1400 calories of junk, which will make you feel like crap and hinder your progress, or you can get quality nutrition that will make you look and feel like a true athlete!
Do you believe in supplements? If so, what are the ones you use and what results have these given you?
I will use Cellucor HD to help towards the end of my prep; mainly for energy, not weight loss. The only real way to lose weight is through good old fashion science…you burn more calories than you put in! It’s really simple math. I recently became a sponsored athlete with IVLProducts (Institute for Vibrant Living). I am using their All Day Energy Greens. With just one tablespoon, I exceed the equivalent of 5 servings of vegetables and fruits. I really have noticed a difference in decreased bloating and increased energy. I will also use Protein Drinks to help get my protein intake high when I am in contest prep. I also take BCAA, Glutamine, Creatine, and multivitamins.
You competed in your first bikini competition 14 months after you delivered your baby. What was your experience getting back into shape after pregnancy?
I continued to exercise and teach my fitness classes throughout my pregnancy, but I still managed to pack on over 40 pounds. It was the first time in my life I felt I could eat ANYTHING I wanted and I wanted Big Mac & fries! 😉 I had been a fitness competitor for years, but had “retired” in 2004. I decided while I was pregnant that I would step back on stage a year after delivery. This goal and my commitment to fitness, pushed me to regain my body back! I started walking at two weeks post delivery, also using Sophie as “weights” for lunges, squats, etc…she loved to be “rocked” with walking lunges and squats. I started my more strenuous workouts after 6 weeks and did my cardio outside with my daughter in the Bob Stroller, which is still my favorite way to get cardio done. I breastfed and that definitely helped to shed the excess weight and fat. I was actually still breastfeeding during my first 3 shows back. I can tell ya, that was the best thing for cellulite! 🙂
I made sure I kept my calories a little higher than I usually would during a prep, so I could continue to give my daughter the best nutrition as well. I look back sometimes and think “How did I do it?” lol, but I truly enjoyed every step of the way to my first time on stage after baby. I wanted to prove that just because I was over 40 and a new mom, I could still bring my best to the stage and not be your typical mom.
Do you think fitness models should be considered as today’s role models?
Definitely! In today’s society, so much emphasis is placed on looks and being “skinny”. As fitness models, we empower young girls to see that you can be strong, fit, and healthy! You don’t have to starve yourself to look amazing and don’t be afraid to lift some weights…What’s that saying? “Strong is the new Sexy!” I know my daughter looks up to me and to all the ladies on our team, and loves to be included in our posing classes. I know it is building her confidence and she sees other women supporting each other and building each other up. I try to keep my “image” classy and sexy at the same time. I have certain standards that I apply to choosing my “look” with each photo shoot. I will not be photographed in any picture I wouldn’t want my family members to see. I want my daughter to be proud and I want other young girls and women to know you can be sexy and fit without being trashy. Have pride in yourself and never look to others for validation. Remember, once something is out there, you can’t take it back, it’s there forever.
What tips would you give to new moms who just had their baby and looking to get into great shape?
I always tell moms to remember that their health and fitness is crucial to maintaining a happy healthy family. It’s easy to “lose” yourself and focus solely on your family’s needs, but it is important to also take care of your own needs. Try and commit just 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days a week to get some kind of exercise. It doesn’t have to be in the gym; I actually only make it there 2-3 times a week. Walking and running are completely free and can be done almost anywhere! Invest in a great jogging stroller and take the little one with you. My daughter and I love this time together (except now she bosses me on which songs we have to listen to during our walk/run). 🙂 You can also involve the whole family. Set up a place/room in your house where you can do workouts. All you need are body weights and/or a few dumbbells, exercise ball, and a little imagination (or DVDs). I have experienced first hand what it is like to have a “sick” parent and it is very hard, so take care of your health so you can live a longer, healthier and happier life for yourself and your family. I always remind my clients…”If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!!!” 😉 There is nothing wrong with still choosing to look HOT after a baby. Fit moms are great moms, in my opinion!
Are you planning to compete again this year? Are you doing anything different to help you prepare for the next show?
Yes!!! I will be stepping on The WBFF Pro Fitness Diva Stage on April 20, 2014 in Montreal. Like I said before, my nutrition and training are constantly changing. I am trying to stay away from so much cardio this time and do more of the HIIT training, which helps to maintain muscle and even build. Look at the world class sprinters, that is all the proof you need! 🙂 I am also using the help and advice of my fellow coach and teammate, who I mentioned previously, Kia Golmoradi. My last couple of preps, I just did my nutrition and training myself, but I felt like this time I needed an extra “push” and someone to “answer to”. It helps having to be accountable. Even though I coach and train many competitors, I still need help and expertise. As you get into full prep, EVERYONE gets what I call “competition brain”. You can’t see yourself as others do, so everyone needs someone else to keep them on track and SANE! Kia has many years of experience, knowledge and education, and I have seen the results he gets, so I am letting go of some of my “control issues” this time and relying on his help. 🙂 I also have the support of my whole team of athletes backing me and my wonderful family is always a constant support system! I couldn’t do any of this without them!
What are your long term goals in this industry? Are you working on any upcoming projects?
As far as long term goals…I just want to continue to help others reach their fitness dreams and goals and to keep at this for as long as they will let met!!! 🙂 Right now, I am concentrating on contest prep for The WBFF Pro show in Montreal. I also have several photo shoots, magazine articles, and interviews I am working on for submission. I will be featured in Super Models Unlimited Magazine soon, which I am really excited about. I am also working on several projects and training videos with a new online training site called Global Training as their lead Pro trainer. I am the promoter and director for The WBFF Oklahoma Fitness & Fashion Event that will be in OKC on October 4, 2014. I am continuing to do my blog for KickAssWomen.com, working with Bestway to Health on many new and exciting projects, as well as promoting War Hammer Gym Gear as a sponsored athlete. I am always coming up with new ways to help my Team and clients.
Any shout outs? Where can we find you on the Internet?
I would love to shout out to my wonderful team of athletes backing and supporting me with Team BSH and TeamGenetics, my sponsors War Hammer Gym Gear and Apparel, Bestway to Health, IVLProducts, KickAssWomen.com, my fellow coaches Kristi Winger Szudo WBFF Pro and Kia Golmoradi for always having my back, The WBFF for all the amazing doors and opportunities they have opened up for me as a Pro within the organization, all the amazing photographers and stylists that I get to work with, and most importantly, to my wonderful husband and family who always believes in me and are a constant support system. I couldn’t do any of this without them!
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