Category you compete in: Women’s Physique
Date of birth: 09/25/1978
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Career: RN, cardiac
2012 NPC SC Palmetto Cup 3rd place Figure Class A
2012 NPC SC State Championship 1st place Figure Class A & Overall
2012 NPC National Championships Figure Class A (16th)
2013 NPC SC State Championship WPD 1st place
2013 NPC USA Championships 3rd place WPD Class A
2014 NPC USA Championships 3rd place WPD Class A
2014 NPC North American Championships:
Women’s Physique 1st place Open Class A
Women’s Physique 2nd place Over 35 Class A
Next competition: 2015 Wings of Strength Chicago Pro
In your opinion, how important is motivation and confidence when aiming to accomplish a goal? When aiming to accomplish a goal, I think discipline is the key to following through and completing a task you set out to do. Sometimes staying motivated is difficult and there are days where you just have to go through the motions. As long as you stick to the plan and keep your goal in mind, you will eventually find that motivation again.
Confidence is needed to give you that mindset that you CAN achieve your goal. I’m a firm believer in visualization and positive affirmations. I do this during my workouts and it gives me the motivation to push through a tough set and gives me the confidence to believe I am capable of reaching my goal.
In your eyes, what combination of hard work and natural ability is needed to reach the top?
A good combination of genetics and hard work definitely makes reaching the top a little easier. I do believe that natural ability is needed to attain a high level of performance but without the hard work you won’t ever reach your full potential. On the other hand, I believe someone without the natural ability is still capable of reaching a high level if he/she puts in the consistency, the time and effort.
What are some motivational strategies that have or currently work for you?
With my last competition prep I watched a lot of motivational videos and YouTube training clips. I usually would watch these during cardio to help keep me focused on my goal and to help pass the time.
My coach, Shelby Starnes, also recommended a couple of books by Steven Pressfield that were really helpful in preparing me for this past competition season.
Give me some examples from your life where confidence has helped you to achieve?
One area I can think of is completing nursing school. Nursing school is one of the hardest things I’ve had to endure, but I also felt like it was my calling. I felt as if I was meant to work in healthcare and I had the confidence knowing that I would be successful as long as I put in the work. Now, I have a job I love, in an area where I feel I really help people and I believe in the system for which I work.
What do you find the most challenging about competing? The most challenging thing about competing for me is the diet. Before getting involved in this sport I was always active. I enjoyed working out; I liked lifting weights and I liked being strong, but I never followed a diet. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. So, to be on a meal plan and schedule was difficult to adapt to. At first the cravings are intense and can break you down mentally. It gets easier but it’s a constant battle between those cravings and immediate satisfaction and will power. Now that I’ve been at this for a few years I’m used to the diet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the yummy stuff. I have a mega sweet tooth and love cake but during competition prep, it’s off limits unless it’s ok’d by the coach.
What are your top 5 key strategies for success?
Discipline: Going to the gym every day, preparing meals, getting cardio done all takes discipline, especially when you’re tired or have a million other things you could be doing. You just get it done!
Consistency: Day in, day out. Never failing to give your all with each and every workout
Accountability: This goes for training and dieting but can be used in general areas of life. Accountability is a crucial strategy for success.
Support System: When preparing for a show a support system is critical. It’s a matter of balance and all things working together and it plays a huge part in your mental preparation.
Passion: There has to be a passion, a drive to do what you love in order to find satisfaction. If you find satisfaction in what you do, you are successful. In order to have to will power, the discipline to complete a task, especially one that is so taxing, you must be passionate about it.
What is your favorite protein powder? Why do you like it?
I have a few that I really like, but lately I have been hooked on Dymatize Birthday Cake. It’s low carb and it tastes like cake batter! I add enough water to make it into a pudding consistency and then freeze it. I get really excited about this meal; definitely one of my favorites :) Isopure Cookies and Crème is one I’ll use during competition season because it’s zero carb. BSN Sytha-6 is also one that is on the top of my list. I don’t use it very often because of the carb content but I love the taste.
Favorite Inspirational Quote:
Like I mentioned earlier, throughout the past several months I watched a lot of motivational videos and there was one in particular that stood out. You see, when it gets down to the last few weeks of the prep and you’ve been on a very restrictive diet for weeks, you’re low on fuel, you’re low on energy, your mind can start to play tricks on you. I would have moments where I began to doubt my efforts; I feared the unknown. There was a quote from a motivational video posted by cutandjacked.com that really stuck with me:
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination causing us to fear things that are not present and may not ever exist.”
“A well-built physique is a status symbol. It reflects the hard work you’ve put in. You can’t steal it, you can’t borrow it, and you cannot hold on to it without constant work. It’s from dedication, discipline, self-respect and dignity.” –Ashley Horner
In closing, who would you like to give a shout out to?
First, my husband, Benjamin is my #1 supporter and my biggest fan. He has been to every one of my competitions and I couldn’t do it without him. Ben also is responsible for setting my up with my coach, Shelby Starnes.
Secondly, I’d like to thank Shelby. He is a genius when it comes to nutrition and training. I started working with Shelby in Oct. 2011 and the transformations I have seen are incredible. He’s a great coach who doesn’t sugar coat responses, he responds to updates in a matter of minutes and he genuinely cares for his clients. Shelby has my deepest respect and loyalty as a coach.