I have always been very active and competing my entire life, starting at age 5 being the youngest member of the swim team. I was a 5-sport athlete that thrived on competition and sports! After high school, I was recruited to play soccer for West Chester University as a starting defender helping my team to playoffs and NCAA’s. After my four years of collegiate soccer came to an end, I was left with all this extra time on my hands that I was never used to….No more practices, no more games, no more coach telling me to run. My boyfriend, Rob (now husband), got me to join his gym. I had a general background in weight lifting through sports, but I basically just followed exactly what Rob did and lifted just like the “guys.” After just a few months, I started seeing some impressive gains in strength and muscle tone. It wasn’t long until those gains got me hooked (addicted) to the gym. I have that crazy competitive side of me that just thrives on pushing myself to see how far I can go or how much weight I can push or how I can sculpt my body. The gym is my addiction!! After just under a year of training, I entered my first figure contest back in May of 2006. The preparation and training for a competition was that extra drive that made my weight lifting into a lifestyle.
On a typical weekly day: I wake up around 6 am to get ready for work and eat. I leave the house by 6:45am to get to work. I work from 7:30-3:15pm. I get home around 4:00 to eat and play with my pups! Go to the gym to lift from about 5:30 or 6:00 till about 7:30. Then come home make dinner and lunch for the next day….Eat….Shower.....and then try to get in bed by 10 – 10:30, but I usually get sucked into watching TV or updating my sites and end up getting to bed later. Then wake up the very next day and do it allllllll over again!!!
I use an 8-day cycle most weeks. I hit usually one body part a day. For the most part, I do heavy weight with lower reps for my upper body. My rep range is anywhere between 6-15 with 4 sets of each exercise. For lower body, since I already have a lot of mass in my legs from soccer, I work out a little lighter with a higher rep range of 10-15 or 15-20. I do not do much cardio, mainly because I hate it and it is boring or do not have enough time in the day to do both. I will start adding cardio, usually the stair climber, if I’m getting ready for competition, other than that it is last on my list! I don’t really like taking days off from the gym, I guess you can call it an addiction, but I try to arrange my workouts so body parts get enough rest before being worked again. Rest is necessary for growth!
I am not a very strict dieter. I do not count carbs, I do not weigh anything, I do not record anything…I just eat! I try to eat somewhat-clean for the most part. My sources of protein come mostly from egg whites, turkey, fish, steak, and some chicken. Most of my carbohydrates generally come from oatmeal, rice and sweet potatoes. But I do not like bland boring meals, I like eating like a normal person. I just make healthier choices for the ingredients. Example, if I’m hungry for spaghetti, I make nice wheat pasta and load it with tons of lean ground turkey instead of beef. Simple things like that keep me happy ☺
If it has the ingredient chocolate, peanut butter, or ice cream in it… I’m done for!!! I also love pizza and any kind of cereal with marshmallows…Lucky Charms is my jam!!!
Usually I just eat it!!! I’m really not good at dealing with cravings, but I train hard enough all-year round that a cheat here and there will not kill me. Now if I’m getting ready for a show and I need a chocolate fix, I will munch on some chocolate rice cakes OR dark chocolate mint almonds. However, the chocolate mint almonds are incredibly addictive so you really have to watch that you do not eat the entire bag!! I also make these crazy protein brownies that have 40 grams of protein in each square!!
I love Ava Cowen, Larissa Reis and Pauline Nordin (interview with Pauline), because they have that harder, more muscular look to them and obviously they are hot!!
The most challenging part is dealing with myself. I am very hard on myself and always striving to keep bettering myself. It can be very emotionally straining because in the fitness world, your body is what everyone is looking at. It doesn’t really matter what kind of person you are inside, but what your body looks like outside. So it is the constant judging and critiquing from others and also myself!
BIG BACK BABY!!!
I don’t have a specific body part…but I like big guys. Tall, muscular, not necessarily lean and chiseled, just monster big…sort of like my husband ☺ He makes me feel tiny.
I don’t believe in an off-season. I don’t quite understand when competitors go from looking fantastic for a show, to looking like they haven’t seen the gym in couple months during the off-season. My goal is to hopefully motivate and inspire others to want to work out and get in shape, so I need to look the part!
“This is a lifestyle – Train like there is no finish line.”
Dana Linn Bailey