What is your background?
Although I don’t have any kind of certification in the fitness field, I have come to learn a lot over the years by switching over to a healthy lifestyle! As I continue to workout, I continue to grow with my knowledge. I ask questions and take advice positively. I do not take it as criticism because there is always room for growth! I have taken part in a fitness photo shoot when I was down in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and I am so happy I was able to experience something so great. Being able to capture my hard work and to be recognized for it is so rewarding. I believe that fitness is what I was set out to do, anything in the fitness field! My dream career, would be to fitness model for something really huge, like Nike or be on the cover of a fitness magazine! I know I’ve set my goals high, but that is because I believe I can reach them!
How did you get started in the fitness field?
A little over 3 years ago is when I truly started dedicating myself to fitness and creating a healthy lifestyle for myself. It started with the passing of my dad. The gym was the place I could escape to, to let off steam and get rid of some stress. Ever since I have created this life for me, I never wanted to look back. I love the person I have become and the choices that I have decided to make to become the person I am today.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
The #1 thing I love about fitness is the positive impact it has made on my life. Not only do I love the results it has shaped on my body but the results it has shaped on my heart. It has made me want to help motivate and inspire others to reach the same goals I wish to reach.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment would have to be the whole lifestyle change I have chosen to make for myself. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I slowly made my way to where I am now. I am so proud of myself for not giving up and sticking with what I wanted to do. The only time you should be looking back is to see how far you have come. I am happy with what I have to look back on.
What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
I would start by contacting an agency because you are more likely to get a casting by starting there. Make sure you make great first impressions, because those are everything. Also be sure to take some head shots and whole body shots to have ready to send into the agency.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
A typical day for me starts by eating a delicious and nutritious breakfast! Usually something including eggs or having some oatmeal. I always have a cup of green tea as well. Then I pick up around the house, go run errands and sometimes throw some exercises in throughout the early afternoon. I go to the gym when I have time but lately it has been around 4pm. After working out I come home, eat some supper which is usually chicken, rice and some sort of vegetable. Then I watch a few episodes of whatever TV show I am watching and have some Sleepytime Tea to end the night.
I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories? About two summers ago I did Insanity. It is an insane workout but the videos are not long. If you do not have much time, the best thing for you to do is a video or some kind of exercise at home so you don’t have to waste time driving to the nearest gym. Insanity is a great calorie burner and it works on your strength while doing cardio at the same time. Turbo Jam is also a great video to check out because it has quick workouts as well.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
Honestly, don’t be a person that is constantly checking the scale since it just makes the process seem so much longer. As long as you stick to your diet and make it to the gym 6 days a week you should get the results you want. You just need to trust the process and you will get there. Make sure you are counting your macros (carbs, protein, fat) and always follow the exercise routine that is right for your body.
What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
To get the most out of your workout and to get that nice pump that you want, I would suggest taking some pre-workout supplements, such as C4 or Hemp Shock. Many people also like eating something like oatmeal before a workout. For after your workout to gain lean muscle, drink a quality protein powder. I suggest whey protein specifically. This helps you build and to maintain your muscle mass. It is always smart to eat within 30 minutes after your workout because your heart rate and metabolism is at its best.
How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
Cravings for junk food can be tricky but you need to have self-control. Almost anything unhealthy can be turned around to making it healthy. Choose whole wheat pasta, dark chocolate, organic peanut butter, etc. These foods are not bad for you. You need to start creating a better life for yourself and if you want it bad enough, you can do it. I can say that with confidence because I did it. I used to eat all the “not so healthy” foods. Something that can really change your eating habits is simply giving something up. About 6 years ago I gave up soda for Lent, and I have not liked it ever since. I am so glad for that because soda gives you absolutely no benefits. Two years ago I gave up carbs for Lent because I loved eating pasta. Now, instead of pasta, I prefer chicken or shrimp. Another important thing that you should allow yourself is a cheat meal, preferably something not completely unhealthy though. This allows you not to completely give up something and you also have something to look forward to.
I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
Foods that you should put on your grocery list include some sort of protein, such as chicken or fish. Next you’re going to want rice along with frozen vegetables. Try to stay away from the canned vegetables. Some good snacks to have in your kitchen are bananas, dark chocolate and organic peanut butter. Also add some eggs, yogurt, plain oatmeal and a variety of nuts! These are all great for you and can benefit you in some way!
I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track? I think for someone who is overweight, they should start by doing some cardio to get closer to the size they want to be. Gradually, as you’re doing cardio, start lifting weights because it will help tone your body. If you are looking to gain strength, do heavier weights with less reps. If you are looking to just tone your body, lower the weight and do more reps. If you don’t want to do the gym right away because you are not sure of what to do, you can always get a personal trainer or buy a workout video to help you through it.
I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
If you’re going to eat out I would definitely recommend chicken, grilled seafood or some sort of salad that has protein in it. Order it with a side of steamed vegetables (hold the butter) or a sweet potato (plain). These foods are all delicious and they will help you stay on track with your diet! Try not to give into fried foods or pasta, although it may be tempting! I know because pasta is all I used to order before giving up those types of carbs for Lent!
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
SQUATS, SQUATS and MORE SQUATS! After squatting for a couple of months, I have seen a drastic change and I love it! When I first started out I did the 30 day squat challenge and it really helped me progress into it. So, I would suggest doing that for beginners. Another great exercise is the lunge. Lunges will help shape and sculpt that booty of yours. If you are more advanced, try doing walking lunges with a bar for more weight and more muscle building.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
My eating! Sometimes I eat too much and other times too little. I guess I don’t know my exact macros that I should be taking in and that is a problem I need to fix. I don’t eat unhealthy but sometimes I get a craving here and there which is perfectly normal, since we’re all human. I meal prep for the most part but if I run out and haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, it is hard to eat exactly what I need. That is why meal prepping is so important!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
Breakfast: Eggs with some turkey bacon.
Mid-Morning Snack: Protein smoothie.
Lunch: Grilled chicken with rice and vegetables.
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Apple with peanut butter.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with rice and vegetables.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
Strength Training Exercises: Lifting heavier weight with less reps. Such as squats, bench press, barbell curls, tricep dips.
Cardio Exercises: Walking on the treadmill at an incline of 7.5 and a speed of 3.6 MPH for 20 minutes after my workouts. This will allow your muscles to keep intact rather than decrease.
Additional Training: Light exercises at home like ab training, push-ups and pull-ups. Just something you can do if you’re watching TV or working on the computer.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Increase weight and decrease the reps!
2. Drink water! Drinking water can help you lose weight and appear thinner.
3. Increase your training intensity! Instead of the boring treadmill or biking, try something like hill sprints. You will notice a huge difference!
4. Drink whey protein powder. Not everyone has time to get enough protein in their diets. This will work hard and fast and it seems to bring the best results! Use it right after a workout when it is most effective.
5. Have fun! Many people take too much time feeling low because of the long process. Find a workout you love, not something you’re just doing to tone up. You need to have fun with it and you will see results much quicker!
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Drink more water! It makes you feel full and helps you to eat less. Keep a 20 ounce water bottle by you and fill it 5 times a day and you’re set!
2. Reduce starchy carbs (potatoes, rice, pasta, breads). These provide your body with more than it needs and the leftover carbs will be stored as fat. Don’t eliminate them completely though!
3. Eat a big balanced breakfast. You have been starving all night long and your body needs nutrients to rebuild itself! An example would be oatmeal with some fruit.
4. Limit sugar consumption. Satisfy your sweet tooth occasionally, but try limiting your intake of sugar to fresh fruit. Try replacing soda and juice with drinks like water, coffee or tea.
5. Eliminate junk foods (fast food, chips, sweets). These offer almost nothing but empty calories. Cheat meals like pizza or hamburgers at least have some nutritional benefits and having them once in a while can actually help you with your diet!
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Increase training frequency. Hit the gym at least 5 times per week if you are looking to gain some size. The increased exposure can be helpful in packing on mass.
2. Focus on big lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench press. These use a lot of muscles and deliver mass building benefits very efficiently.
3. Use isolation movements such as bicep curls or calf raises. These allow you to add volume and bring up lagging body parts.
4. Focus on recovery. Yes, your time in the gym is very important but you also need to give your body time for repair and growth. You need to get some solid sleep of around 8-9 hours per night.
5. Stick with the program. It is important to change your training frequently but you still need to allow yourself to stick with a program long enough to bring in its full benefits.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Vary your routine or change the scenery. Try kickboxing, step aerobics or power yoga. If you are always indoors, switch it up and try something outside. Changing things up can help you more than you know!
2. Have a “swolemate”. Get someone into it just as much as you are. Friends and significant others are great motivators and you will help each other out through those cravings or when you need that extra push!
3. Meal prep! Prepping will take the urge away of making and eating something unhealthy. If it is already prepped for you, you are more likely to eat it then having to make it every day.
4. You have to want it. If you don’t stay dedicated, it could easily slip away from you. Watch other motivators and fitness coaches in the fitness industry. They can help you through it, believe it or not. When I need that extra push, I listen to a motivational speech and it gets me back on track!
5. Allow yourself at least an hour at the gym. Try to plan a week in advance of when you are able to go. That way you have a set time and you’re not just winging it every day!
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
Incline on treadmill for 20 minutes after workout.
Sunday: Rest day.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?
1. Focus on your entire body, not just your stomach. AB exercises alone are not the solution. Achieving a flat stomach is all about workouts that impact different muscle groups at the same time. This way you’re strengthening your entire body and burning more calories.
2. Build up your core. Planking targets your core AB muscles, practices balance and strengthens your chest and back muscles.
3. Eating the right foods. All processed foods need to go. Foods such as beans, berries and nuts are a great go-to food if you want the belly fat to burn!
4. Alcohol is a no-no! When you’re trying to lose weight and tone up, alcohol is your enemy. When you drink, you’re more prone to hold onto extra weight. It also decreases your willpower and stimulates your appetite.
5. Cut sodium intake and increase your water intake. It’s easy to monitor your sodium by reading food labels. Limiting the amount of sodium will help you reduce water retention and will allow you to look leaner.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Barbell squats and walking dumbbell lunges are great for toning all of the muscle groups in your lower body!
2. In order to tone up you must incorporate cardio exercises and strength training exercises together along with a healthy and well-balanced diet!
3. Regularly focus on moderately heavy weights at a reasonably low level of reps. This will increase lean muscle mass, physical strength and the rate at which your body burns calories.
4. Always allow your muscles time to recover. A lot of muscle gains are obtained during rest, not during exercise. It could also increase your risk of injury if you don’t recover properly.
5. Along with lifting weights comes cardio. Try running, swimming, biking, aerobics, sports, treadmills, stair climbers, etc. All of these are great exercises to work the lower body. These are an excellent way to burn calories and to also tone your legs and butt!
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