Where are you currently living and training? Where did you grow up?
Currently my husband and I are living in Woodstock, Georgia but commuting to Marietta to work and train at our studio gym, Parkaire Fitness. I was actually born and raised in Georgia, my childhood home is just a 15-20 minute drive from our gym.
What languages do you speak?
I should be able to speak pretty fluent Spanish after taking 4 years of it in school, but unfortunately, English is the only language I speak. I can order a really good meal at a Mexican restaurant though.
How did you get started competing?
In 2011 I was finishing up my senior year in high school (yes high school, I’m only 22) and working at a Gold’s Gym in Acworth, GA. There was a group of women who were getting ready for the NPC Georgia State Championships and they were encouraging me to enter. I literally knew nothing about competing, the divisions, the diet, etc. All I did was lift weights, but I wasn’t one to let a challenge pass me by. I entered the show in the bikini division and started the diet, which at the time I was told fish and asparagus was basically the only thing I could eat. The diet was the biggest challenge for me, but I ended up seeing it through and I actually won my division! I loved that rush of endorphins before walking across the stage, and I most definitely loved the feeling of winning my division, but bikini wasn’t my passion. Over the span of the next two years, my goals were to put on more muscle, and gain some more knowledge about diet so I wouldn’t ever have to eat tilapia again. The two years hiatus paid off after I won the overall title of Ms. Georgia Figure in 2013 and turned pro 3 national shows later.
So far in your iron journey what has been your favorite, most memorable and most powerful moment?
This year as a whole has been packed with extremely powerful moments for me and my journey. Winning my pro card at Junior Nationals in Chicago was quite the thrill, but winning the overall title of Junior Nationals Overall Figure Winner was more than I expected. Of course we all go to compete and win the whole competition, but when they actually call your name for the win- it’s a surreal feeling. As soon as I saw Matt, my husband, after stepping off stage, he squeezed me so tight and simply said, “You did it!”. These memories will forever hold near and dear to my heart.
What do you enjoy doing away from the gym?
Most of my time is spent with my husband since we work together, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re big movie people, we generally watch a couple every week. We also enjoy hanging out with friends, fishing, cooking out, and of course working out. I enjoy doing projects around the home, doing anything outdoors, and anything to do with dogs, especially my sweet black lab, Lexi.
What goes on in your mind before you are about to step on the bodybuilding stage?
Of course I’m thinking to myself that I better not fall. Other than that I just try to stay calm and not let the nerves take over. I tell myself that this very moment is what I’ve trained so hard for. We only have those few seconds to showcase all of the work we’ve put in. I try to make the most of that small amount of time!
Would you please tell us a little about your workout schedule? Contest and during the Off-Season? Does it vary much?
My workout schedule changes with every prep I do. When I was prepping for Junior Nationals I was told I needed to lay off the leg training for a few weeks, so I was only training upper body. For the Tampa Pro I started lifting weights twice a day, and started to train hamstrings and glutes again. I don’t generally do too much cardio when I’m getting ready for a competition, 30 minutes is the most I’ve done every day. Now that I’m not preparing for any competitions in the near future, I just train once a day, 6-7 days a week. I’ve found for me, I grow the most when I stick to higher reps and moderate amount of weights.
Do you ever get in a negative rut in the offseason ? How do you overcome it?
I’ve definitely experienced the post show tail spin. After being on such a strict diet for so long it’s hard not to go out and eat every little thing you’ve been craving. Reverse dieting is definitely the way to go when coming off from a show, but of course I think a little more moderation is necessary. So you’ve already had a cheat meal this week but your folks invite you over for dinner and dessert, I’ve learned it won’t kill you. Gaining weight is inevitable after a competition, and that’s totally fine, as long as you don’t carry a bad self-image of yourself. If I find myself in a rut, I like to look at pictures of the women I look up to, and tell myself that eating junk food day in and day out won’t get me there. And after all, its ONLY food. Moderation, in my opinion, is the key to a healthy, valuable offseason.
How do people close to you describe your personality?
I took this time to ask my friends to figure out what they REALLY think of me, They describe my personality as outgoing, spontaneous, confident, strong willed, and brutally honest.
In closing, who would you like to thank or give a shout out to?
First off, thank you for taking the time to interview me! Your time and the opportunity are both greatly appreciated! I want to thank my husband right off the bat, because without him I don’t think half of what I’ve accomplished in the past year would have been possible. He’s my coach but also my biggest cheerleader. In this sport you have to roll with the ebbs and the flows, he does that all while pushing my harder to be better than I was yesterday. Thank you to my family, both immediate and my in-laws. They’re very supportive of my competitions, and often call and check to see how everything’s going during some of those grueling days of prep. Thank you to Dan Ray with Muscular Development, not only is his photography great, but he has also given me a great amount of insight that has helped me so much along the way. Last but not least, thank you to all of my great friends, facebook friends, and followers on Instagram. I’ve been so blessed to have made some of the friendships I have from this sport.
How can we get in touch with you?