How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?
I have always wanted to compete, ever since I first started weight training. I always loved nice round and fit shoulders on women, and have strived to get that built! In 2009, during a difficult divorce process, I decided to go back to training, and finally aim to compete and achieve my goals that I had set for myself since a teenager; but of course had allowed to be pushed to the side. In essence, I allowed for “me” to be pushed aside. Getting into the bodybuilding / fitness world was the first step to putting myself first.
Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?
Yes, there were two defining moments so far. The first was when I decided it was time to get on stage, I started looking into potential coaches. Among those who were recommended, was IFBB Pro Gregory Ulysse. One late afternoon in early September 2009, I met him at his office at Progym. I was terrified! I had an IFBB Pro bodybuilder sitting across me, talking to me about my goals, analyzing my training and diet which I had devised on my own up until that point. This was serious! And I was ready! He gave me my program and diet. During my first leg work-out with him one-on-one it became apparent that my training had just gone up a few notches!
The second defining moment, was after all the competitions, the disappointments I felt in my own body and the inability to keep on the weight (due to stress, illness, burn-out, etc). I set new goals for the new season. So the training level went up by 100 notches. There wasn’t a day I wasn’t sore, fatigued or dreading the set-in of pain after only a couple of hours of training. But in 2010, both training and diet went up many levels. I was training to win
What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?
The first I would say is keeping my eye on the goal, stepping on stage and being the best “me” I can be, better than the previous times. The other is by making sure I take pictures every month and then every week, so when I feel like my body is no longer changing, or that I am not progressing, I look back on my past images to give myself a reality check, and to push me to keep going hard, because hard work pays off
In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?
For sure one of them is the time commitment, in the gym, outside the gym to make your meals, plan how long you will be out of the house to have all your meals with you… it takes a whole lot of time and organization.
Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?
It is purely how badly a person wants it. For some it is a passing passion, for others it is a means to keep fit, and for very few, it is part of who they are. This is all they want, it is their greatest desire, and that pushes a person to succeed.
If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like and why? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)
Hmmm…. that’s a tough one! Can I make it out of 200%?? LOL
Let’s see… I would say 30% training, 40% diet, 30% rest (and when i say rest, I mean in every sense, rest days from training, as well as proper sleep hours every day)
How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?
Really it depends, I feel if you eat properly, you do not need vitamins in the form of pills; so I am not one to take vitamins. However, I swear by my BCAA, Glutamine (they keep me recuperating faster, and really keep me form getting sick with the hard training), tyrosine – to keep cortisol levels down, of course whey protein – but they are not really supplements; I would say these are my MUST have’s and regulars
In general what does your current training routine look like?
Day 2: chest / biceps
DAY 3: back
Day 4: shoulders / triceps
What is your current diet routine?
Well right now I am off-season, but my diet doesn’t differ all that much form on-season and competition prep, with the exception that it gets more strict and less cheat meals the closer it gets!
Meal 1: 6 egg whites with 2 whole eggs; 2 slices kamut bread; 1 sering fruit
Meal 2: whey shale + 1 fruit + 10 almonds
Meal 3: 6 oz meat + 4 oz sweet potato + 120g veggies
Meal 4 +6: same as meal 3
Meal 5: whey shake with juice and 1 fruit
Off season I will have a few cheat meals per week, generally pizza, pasta, burgers with dessert!
How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?
I personally I am not a fan of extreme diets. They are necessary in the last two weeks of prep for competition, but I always find the greatest amount of work by my body is done when I am slowly leaning out throughout the year, by cutting out the junk, eating cleaner and cleaner and gaining more muscle as I lose fat.
How did you get those awesome arms of yours?
LOL, thank you! They still have a way to go But honestly it is by remembering that all major muscle groups in the biceps, triceps and shoulders need to be worked from every angle.
If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site (http://vote.ratemyarms.com/) right now, what do you think you would rate?
Oh BOY!!! I do not think I would rate very high, amongst those amazing arms!!!! I still have some way to go before uploading my arms on your site!
How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?
Mixed feelings. Most friends are very supportive and admire the amount of work it takes, even if they do not like the body-type, they still admire it and support. Family, unfortunately are not supportive of my training and competing at all, but I understand, it is a different culture, generation, and different mentality, where the female body is not supposed to be represented as strong and muscular, but rather soft, plump and curvy.
Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?
I first started competing in May 2010, at the UFE in Montreal, Quebec; that was meant to be a show to wet my feet and get used to the stage. Afterwards I competed at the Quebec De L’Ouest (regionals), where I placed 3rd in Figure Medium; then The WBFF in Quebec, where I placed in top 10 fitness models and 2nd in figure medium.
This year, I competed at the Quebec Provincials, where I placed FIRST in Figure Medium! I went to CBBF Nationals in Saskatoon for the first time, where I unfortunately placed 14th.
What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for 2012?
I will be returning to the CBBF Nationals, this time in Vancouver, and then from there, we shall see
How did you improve from one year to the next?
In 2010, my first year of training after a very long break due to pregnancy, baby and no free time, my body responded very fast to losing weight. Unfortunately that meant that on stage for my first show I weighed 106Lbs, and the others around 110-112Lbs; So as soon as I got off the stage in 2010 I started eating like MAD, and training one-on-one with my coach, 5 days a week, to gain mass, with the goal to be 118-120Lbs on stage the following year. It was definitely a very difficult goal to reach, that we knew, but I wasn’t willing to give up. I pushed harder and heavier every week, I ate everything he told me to the T, and just kept track of the weight on the scale every morning. We not only reached our goal, but surpassed it! At the Provincials stage I was around 125Lbs and at the CBBF Nationals, a leaner 123 Lbs
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?
Hmmm… within 5 years, I am hoping to have my IFBB Pro card by that point and to be competing a the Pro level; Possibly unrealistic with all the fantastic athletes out there? We will see! I am aiming for the pro card every time I step on stage!
In 20 years, I hope to have taken a path in figure competing and training that I will have set an example for my daughter, and all women out there, especially single moms. Hard work takes you where you want to be. I would like within 20 years to own my own gym, with a high performance center for all athletes out there, as well as a gym for the lay person, where they would have the chance to be educated on proper training and diet and be empowered to change their lifestyle.
The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you for asking me to do this interview! It was an honour. I would like to end by saying that everything is possible. Yes, easier said than done, no one said it wouldn’t take a whole lot of work, but if it is something you truly dream about, it is well worth the work. And of course THANK you to all my friends who support me, and a HUGE thank you to my coach, Gregory Ulysse. without him, none of this would have been possible!
Photo Credits: Healthy Vision Photography and Glen Grant