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Spotlight On: NPC Bikini Katie James
Spotlight On:  NPC Bikini Katie James

About 5 years ago I was in a very unhealthy relationship. I couldn't control anything or help the person I was with. For some reaso [ ... ]

Jess Frano - Following Her Passion
Jess Frano - Following Her Passion

It’s never to late to start something new. It way sound a bit cliché and trite, but it’s the truth. In the modern economy, tho [ ... ]



Spotlight On IFBB Bikini Pro: Francine Slobodnik

Spotlight On IFBB Bikini Pro: Francine Slobodnik 
Category you competpr100e in: Bikini
Date of birth: 1/31/91
Hometown: Naperville, IL
Career: Full time student at Benedictine University studying Nutrition/Dietetics 
Competition history: 
2012 IFBB Arnold Classic Amateur (1st place)
2012 NPC Fox Cities (1st place)
2012 NPC Jr. Nationals (6th place)
2012 Nationals (1st place) Earned Pro Card
Next competition: Excited to make my pro debut in early 2013!
In your opinion, how important is motivation and confidence when aiming to accomplish a goal? Setting goals is the key to success. I believe that without setting goals, you won’t be able to make any progress in anything whether it is fitness related or not. Goal setting involves establishing specific, measureable, achievable, and realistic and time targeted …aka a “S.M.A.R.T” goal. As far as motivation, the size of your own personal success depends on the depth of your DESIRE! Based on your desire, if you are truly passionate about it you will feel confident and it will follow you throughout your life. 
In your eyes, what combination of hard work and natural ability is needed to reach the top?
I think that in order to reach to the top, you must first FEEL that you are on top. The natural ability is all in your mind. The mind is stronger than your muscles no matter how much you can bench press.  Believing in yourself and not doubting what you have to offer is what will get you on top. What you subconsciously think will show, especially when stepping out onto that stage. If you walk out there knowing that you gave it your best, you put in the hard work and feel confident no matter who has doubted you in the past, then you will rise to the top a lot faster than you could ever image! 
What are some motivational strategies that have or currently work for you?
What helps me stay motivated the most is reading and writing down positive quotes. I try to share this with everyone even on my Facebook page so that others can benefit from them too. Having a strong self-esteem and knowing who you are and what you stand for speaks volumes. The days I’m feeling down or a bit blue, I just open up my journal, let out my feelings and read more quotes…sounds cheesy but let me tell you, it has helped me get through not only prep, but through life!3 - Copy
Give me some examples from your life where confidence has helped you to achieve?
Asking my Ph.D professor to re-read one of my ethics papers because I felt I deserved a better grade. Just having enough guts to walk into his office and confident in myself and in my writing that I politely knocked on his door and asked him to please re-read my paper because I feel that he overlooked its importance. He then took off his glasses and said to me, you will receive an A no matter what because what you just did takes a lot of courage. Never be afraid to stand up for yourself and for something you believe in! It might be hard in the beginning, but it will be worth it.
What do you find the most challenging about competing?
The most challenging thing about competing for me personally would be the fact that I work 2 part time jobs and go to school full time. It gets difficult to prep food, get workouts in, finish up homework but that’s when my motivation kicks in. How bad do you want it? It’s all about balance. Making sacrifices in my social life and putting myself first has benefited me a lot. Being only 21, I feel sometimes that I don’t always fit in…But at the same time, who wants to “fit in” anyways. At the end of the day...All we have is who we are.
What are your top 5 key strategies for success?
1. Commitment to your goal and to yourself
2. Having 100% confidence in yourself
3. Preparation 
4. Being genuinely passionate
5. Positive attitude = Positive outcome
What is your favorite protein powder? Why do you like it? I love all types; however, my all-time favorite would have to be Dymatize Iso-100 Vanilla. It tastes amazing and it’s easy to mix into oatmeal, great for making pancakes, and tastes great with almond milk!
Favorite Inspirational Quote: 
“Don't lose hope, because when the sun goes down, that's when the stars come out”
In closing, who would you like to give a shout MG 3124 - Copy out to?
I would like to thank first off Staci Boyer for not only believing in me and introducing me to the sport, but also teaching me that your destiny is not by chance - it is by choice! Secondly, how could I not mention my one and only mother! She is not only my mom, she’s my best friend…she’s my family! All my family members live in Europe and it has been just me and her for over 15 years. She has been my rock through thick and thin and especially this year. She never once doubted me. She taught me to be respectful towards others while standing up for what I believe in and staying true to myself. She makes me feel as though I can do anything if I put my mind to it! 
-Without the awareness and knowledge from Staci from my first couple competitions, and the unconditional love and support from my mom, I would not be where I am today…Happy, healthy, and truly blessed. As my mom always says, “big things come in small packages!”

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