How and why did you get into Fitness Training?
When I was nineteen and suffering from anorexia, I looked at my 85 pound body on one particular day and resolved to become healthy. Lifting weights in conjunction with good nutrition seemed like an excellent way to achieve this goal and it turned out that I really enjoyed it.
What is your diet and workout routine like?
I typically eat six meals per day, and make sure to have a great deal of variety. Every morning begins with egg whites and oatmeal, and my other meals include chicken breast, tilapia, whey protein and ground turkey as protein sources, vegetables, yams and rice cakes.
As for my training, I have a five day split:
- Monday: Legs
- Tuesday: Shoulders/Triceps
- Wednesday: Back/Biceps
- Thursday: Legs
- Friday: Chest/Shoulder/Butt
Typically I will group a couple of exercises together in a superset and I move pretty quickly through my workouts.
What advice would you give to people looking to achieve your aesthetic physique?
The most important kernel of advice I can offer to people who are interested in attaining a similar type of physique and conditioning to mine is to be CONSISTENT and DEDICATED. I NEVER miss a workout, and I never make excuses. I know how important it is to follow my meal plan, so I make sure to pack my food daily.
Tell us about your journey and how you got all the way to the top as National NPC Bikini Champion.
In May of 2009 I attended the NPC California State Championships and was approached by three different individuals who told me that I had the type of physique that would do well in the newly incepted Bikini Division and that I should consider entering a competition. I thought about it for a couple of days then decided it might be fun to compete just one time, and I regarded my decision to compete as a bucket list item. Instead what happened as I stood onstage was that every shred of shyness I had possessed vanished and I became bitten by the bug. I decided to do another competition, which led to another, and yet another, and soon I realized that I had no intention of stopping.
The first year I competed I was clueless about so many contest prep elements and also had no real strategy. But with each show I learned something new, whether it was with regard to suit selection, posing, spray tans, makeup application, hair, and final week prep.
Right after that show I decided I needed to step up my game so I became a Bombshell Bikini Athlete. My next visit onto the IFBB North American stage resulted in a First Place finish in Open Bikini C and a Second Place finish in Masters Bikini C. I spent my off season after Nationals building muscle and working on my weak points. I also had a new suit made in a color I had never worn onstage before. Earlier this month I competed at the NPC Pittsburgh where I took First Place in Masters Bikini B, Masters Overall Bikini Title, and Third Place in Open Bikini C.
Have you ever had any obstacles in your fitness journey?
Generally speaking, the main obstacles I have faced have been financial. The list of expenses is endless! The cost of food, supplementation, coaching, suits and accessories, show entry and travel expenses and spray tanning really do add up. Another obstacle has been temptation. There are days when I am tempted to eat a cheat food, especially when I am enduring an especially stressful day.
How did you manage to overcome those obstacles and progress even further?
I have been blessed to have sponsors who step in and assist in paying for show expenses which helps out tremendously and when I am in contest prep mode, I remind myself of how hard I am working towards my fitness goals which is usually effective in keeping me on track.
What are your opinions on Image / Performance enhancing drugs?
As a physician, I am especially aware of the dangers of Image/Performance enhancing drug use and would never condone the use of such substances. The impact on internal organs is simply not worth the extreme muscle hypertrophy which has historically been rewarded in the bodybuilding world.
What advice would you give to female beginners looking to become a fitness model just like you in the near future?
First off, I want to make sure that ladies are aware not only of how saturated the fitness model pool is, but how difficult it can be to make a living as a fitness model. Please make sure that you lead a balanced life and do not shirk your responsibilities in the pursuit of a fitness modeling career. If my words haven’t deterred you, then make sure you get in front of the camera lens with reputable photographers so that you can develop a comfort level in front of the camera and become aware of how to move and pose.
What are your future plans?
Hopefully this is the year that I obtain IFBB Professional Status, in which case I would like to compete once or twice as a pro before the end of the year. I intend to continue competing for as long as possible, but would like to decrease my show schedule to one or two shows per year as a Pro.
What are your long term goals?
I would love to become the female version of Dr. Oz and have my own television talk show which would encompass general medical topics, aesthetic medicine, anti-aging, and weight management. In addition, I hope to work with a large supplement company not only as an endorsed athlete but also as a medical advisor and writer. Lastly, I would love to launch a skin care line which would cater to ethnic mixes.
For more on NPC Bikini Champion, Stacey Naito, check out these links!