How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?
When my husband and I lived in Hawaii, I went to every bodybuilding competition he entered. I sat on the sidelines and watched the Fitness girls pose and perform their routines with no desire to want to do the same thing! It was two years later when we moved to Texas I decided to throw my hat in the Figure ring and see how I would do. By this time, the shape of my body transformed into a leaner and tighter physique with all the heavy lifting I did over the two years of training. I ranked 3rd out of 22 female competitors in my first show, I was hooked and still enjoy competing.
Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?
There is one that stands out for me and it was after the birth of my daughter. I took a year off from dieting and training so I could nurse and not use any type of formula. To me, it was worth sacrificing a year of dieting and training for the health benefits my daughter would receive. After that year was over, I looked at my body and questioned if I would ever get back on stage. In fact, I decided not to compete after having my daughter. But the competitor in me couldn’t resist and I told my husband/trainer, Charles, that I want to get back on stage looking even better before the pre-baby days of competing. We did a lot of things differently, he incorporated more plyometrics, leg conditioning, less powerlifting moves, and focused more on shoulders and glutes at least 2-3x a week versus the 1x a week pre-baby routine. Last but not least, I stopped using weights on my crunches and did more core training on my mid section, such as side planking with hip flexion/extension and TRX pikes.
What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?
Wow, I read this question and compared what motivates me now compared to when I was in my 30’s and this is what I came up with: When I was in my 30’s, I was motivated by visual things like seeing Pro female figure athletes in fitness magazines and how they look, what suit they wore, what they ate, how they trained, what tips they gave out. Now that I’m 41 yrs old, I am motivated by the actions of a person and their treatment towards others. When I meet someone, and I think they look good, but possess certain qualities that make them stand out like being genuinely interested in others, I become a fan! I met Valerie Waugaman once and had a short conversation with her. She spoke about her interest with kids and obesity and she was working on her ‘Green Goddess’ vision to be part of the solution. Being a well rounded athlete is important. I want to be that type of person on and off stage. Of course the second thing that keeps me motivated is my workout/posing music because without it, an hour of cardio will feel like a hundred hours!
In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?
For me, the biggest hurdle is time management. There are not enough hours in the day to get everything I need done. When I was single, I had all the time in the world to do things! But now every minute of my day is spent doing something to move my life in a forward direction. I am a Personal Trainer, manager of a gym, figure/bikini coach, wife, and mother so it’s gets a little hectic in my world. Being a mom is a priority and everything takes a backseat when it comes to parenting. So finding the right balance with making sure I’m a great mom to my daughter along with making sure I’m the best at what I do (training, competing) is really tough! Competing teaches me how to get better with my time management skills and this has a ripple effect in other areas of my professional life in a good way. When I work with a client wanting to compete or see results, I do my best to teach them how to be organized and disciplined to achieve a certain level of fitness. When you’re a mom and want to compete, the standards don’t change. You can’t walk on that stage and say, ‘hey, I’m a mom and I wasn’t able to do all of my cardio but here I am!’.
Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?
Some people don’t set realistic goals and when they don’t attain the goal they set out, I think it throws them off their game plan. If you set realistic goals and achieve them, it makes it easier to set another goal and before you know it, you’re at the top of your mountain. I have a great husband that supports me in this world of competing. He’s there to help with our daughter so I can have a chance to get all the little extra things done like prepping food for a week or getting my cardio in. A strong support system is the backbone for any competitor. It’s vital, especially towards the tail end of contest prep when you’re mentally at your weakest.
If you had to rate the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like and why?
50% Diet, 20% Training, 30% Rest. We spend the most time eating in the course of a day fueling and refueling to keep our metabolism running efficiently. So naturally, what you put in your body everyday will have the greatest effect on how you look. Getting enough rest would be the next important factor. Our bodies need to heal so we can continue to break it down! Have you ever tried to workout on lack of sleep? I have and it sucks because you can’t get your endorphins going from a lackluster workout. Training is important, but when you compare it to what you put into your body and how much rest you give your body, it really is last on the list. You need a sound eating and proper rest in order to push the training!
How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?
I think supplements are very useful when training for a competition. Supplements supply the body with the nutrients it needs without the extra calories (multivitamin, calcium, bcaa’s). Yes, I do use supplements and right now my current top supplements are bcaa’s and vanadyl sulfate. As I get closer to my show, I’m doing an hour of cardio first thing in the morning and I’ll take bcaa’s every 15 minutes to help me get through the cardio. It helps replenish the muscles with the aminos that it needs while under stress. On my high carb days, I’ll take the vanadyl sulfate (2) hrs prior to my workout and I get an incredible pump even before I train. I can feel the carbs getting pulled into the muscle!
In general what does your current training routine look like?
My current training routine is based on being 2-3 weeks out from my show and my trainer has me doing moderate weights with high rep ranges between 20-30 with 4 sets per body part. I don’t train heavy in these final weeks leading up to the show, I just want a good pump to the muscles. Training week over five days and looks like this:
Monday – leg conditioning, (2) shoulder exercises, core
Tuesday – Back, chest, arms, core
Wednesday – Full leg training, core
Thursday – cardio only, core
Friday – Back, shoulders, arms, core
What is your current diet routine?
Goodness, my diet is changing everyday! I can tell you I just came off of a 4 day high calorie streak and I’m about to do a 3 day low carb plan, 1 day high, and then a 4 day low carb plan. Next week might be a little different. My trainer decides what direction we take based on how I look every couple of days. The key for me is to not get so shredded. Those high calorie days helps me fill back out and then we drain off the carbs. We’ll do this a few times before the show. I can’t remain on low carb diets for an extended time or I’ll just appear skinny and ripped. This is the first time I get to eat peanut butter 3 weeks out from the show and will probably continue to eat all the way up to. I love peanut butter. I would eat it all day everyday if I could.
How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?
Short term (2 weeks) is fine to do although I still don’t believe in them period. A high protein, low/no carb diet is not healthy for the body. It puts a lot of stress on the liver, dehydrates your body but you need water in the body to cause changes since your body is made up of primarily water. I love carbs way too much to give them up completely. Plus, carbs are a great source of energy to help you get through tough workouts. The lowest I’ve ever dropped my carbs down to is 63 grams and that’s hell! I will only do it for one day to help drain carb stores to get a leaner and tighter physique. Your brain needs at least 125grams of carbs just to function so it’s a little scary to think people are doing keto diets for long periods of time!
How did you get those awesome arms of yours?
I used to hate training my arms! They were always skinny. But then I noticed over time they started to grow as my upper body went up in strength. Well and I guess it helps that my trainer had me training heavy in the arm department for a good year! I know this is crazy, but I love the vein that comes down the middle of the bicep!!
If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site right now, what do you think you would rate?
Hmmmm, right now I’m about two weeks out from master nationals so they’re looking worthy enough to wear a tank so I’d have to rate them an 8? I said it like I’m seeking affirmation ha ha.
How did /do your family and friends feel about your training?
My family in Hawaii probably think I’m crazy, working out ALL THE TIME. Even when we visit home, we make sure to make time to train. But my Houston family and friends love it. I have a husband that encouraged me to compete so you can imagine he’s my biggest fan. It gets hard when there are social events and I can’t eat some of the good eats that friends and family will cook. What’s also nice is there’s no one there telling you, ‘awe, come on, you can have just one of those, it won’t hurt!’. So instead, I have to hear them say, ‘yeah, bet you can’t wait to have one of these things huh?’ See, so supportive
Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?
Aug 28, 2010 – NPC JR USA’s 5th place Figure A
Aug 14, 2010 – NPC Europa Dallas 4th place Figure A
Jul 30, 2010 – NPC USA’s 6th place Figure A
Aug 31, 2009 – NPC Houston Pro/Am 1st place Figure A, Overall, 1st place Masters
Aug 1, 2009 – NPC Capital of Texas Roundup 1st place Figure A, 1st place Masters
July 2005 – NPC USA’s did not place
June 2004 – NPC Jr Nationals did not place
June 6, 2004 – NPC Lone Star Championships 1st place Figure A, Overall
Nov 16, 2004 – NPC John Sherman Classic 2nd place Figure A
July 20, 2003 – NPC Texas State Championships 4th place Figure A
Nov 16, 2002 – NPC John Sherman Classic 3rd place Figure A
What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for 2011?
I was planning on going to USA’s again this year, but decided to see how I will do by competing in Master’s Nationals in Pittsburgh. I did well at the USA’s last year with ladies much younger than me so I wonder what would happen if I compete with women in my age class 35+? I hope to do well and this show is in about 2 weeks.
Where do you see yourself in 5 year? 20 years?
Honestly, in five years I don’t plan on being on stage! In five years I see myself running posing/presentation camps with other ladies helping others get on stage with all the tools they need to be successful. I don’t plan on quitting my day job which I love doing and that’s personal training. In 20 years, I will be back in Hawaii enjoying my life with my one love/husband probably training people on the beach!
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?
Yes! Thank you for asking me to do this interview, it’s always humbling to be interviewed. I also want to say to others, be true to yourself and don’t feel the need to always ‘fit in’. Be different, be unique, have a voice, and most of all, enjoy every part of the journey to becoming a champion in your own right!
Photo Credits: Dan Ray, Red Door Studio, Grant Photography and Jeff Kutscher