Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
I currently have two big goals set for myself and those are to attain my Master’s Degree in Public Health and Nutrition at the University of Michigan and earn my Professional Bodybuilding Card in the Bikini Division.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy how challenging and fun fitness can be because it’s all in what you make of it. I’ve never felt forced to work out or be in the gym. Some days I don’t want to be there, but I know I’ll always feel better after a good or bad workout! Some days I know I shouldn’t go to the gym, so I don’t. I listen to my body when it needs rest. Fitness isn’t always found in the gym though. I also trail-ride dirt bikes throughout Michigan and extremely enjoy camping. that’s just a different form of fitness and exercise.
How long have you been into fitness?
I’ve always been an athletic child growing up. My mom started me in dance like any young girl usually gets thrown into, then I latched onto soccer. It was until high school when I found a love for volleyball and tennis. I wanted to be better in those sports, so my parents go me my first gym membership when I was 16 years old and I would go to the gym after school, then head home and get my homework done, then go back to school for volleyball practice. I just wanted to push my body and see what it was capable of! I knew I could get better!
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
I’d have to say the biggest turning point was my rock bottom, developing binge eating disorder combined with bulimia really took a toll on me. It developed slowly and happened at a younger age while I was still living with my parents. It got worse over time and I attempted to seek professional help but none of that seemed to work or stick with me. I had to move out of my parent’s house in order to have more control over my food choices.
After suffering for 5-6 years with my eating disorder, I finally found ways to manage it and love myself whenever I would have relapses. I honestly found such a good spot with myself and my eating and training that it no longer had a hold on me. This is when I decided to compete in bodybuilding. I did a 14-week prep for my first show at the Natural Northern in Ohio and honestly couldn’t believe that I accomplished that. I didn’t realize my potential in the sport until I took home first place in my novice class and third in open. I competed again a few weeks later at the Pittsburgh Pro show and took home 2nd in novice and 4th in open.
After my second show, I took about four months off from dieting and just went back to ‘normal’ living. Little did I know how hard post show was mentally and physically for competitors. In that short of time I regained all the weight back I had lost for my competitions and couldn’t believe the spot I was in. My season wasn’t over though so I got back on the grind and prepped for 16 weeks for the Kentucky Muscle and took home 2nd in novice and 3rd in open. By this time, I was a 3x Nationally Qualified Bikini Athlete I had to do a national show! Just a few short weeks after my Kentucky show I went to NPC Nationals in Miami with the goal of placing top ten, and I did just that. I got 8th place out of 38 amazing women and was on such a high!
Leaving the show I was determined to properly reverse diet out of my deficit and not make the same mistake twice. This is probably the hardest part for competitors because there’s no longer a show date set, there’s no big goal anymore so it’s that much harder to be consistent. My goal is to earn my IFBB Pro card in bikini and be competitive as a professional. I do want a family someday as well and I’m not getting any younger! It’s extremely important for me to prioritize and plan accordingly for my future.
How has fitness impacted your life?
Fitness has always been an outlet for me to relieve stress, focus on myself, better myself, build a better foundation for myself. It’s taught me to have discipline when the motivation is gone. It taught me perseverance and patience when you’re stuck in a rut or a plateau. It’s also shown me my true colors and the true colors of others who share the same passion as I do. I’ve surrounded myself with like-minded people and those who have the discipline to maintain a fit and active lifestyle also have the discipline to be successful in every area of their lives.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is do your own research! Whether it’s bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit or even yoga, attend classes, go to local shows, find people on social media that have an honest following and provide quality information about whatever you’re passionate about! There’s so much information out there so it’s important to filter out the ‘too good to be true’ bullshit and find the people that are raw real and genuine with their content.