Lifestyle Prior To Change
My life before this was definitely different but not so unlike most 20-something year olds! Let's just say I was a party girl. Being born and raised in Los Angeles I had been exposed to Hollywood and the fun party-city lifestyle since I was young - probably too young. I liked to have a drink, or two, or three....that was a problem. Even though I was in the gym every day, did my cardio without fail, rarely ate fast food, there was still a lack of balance to my life.
I didn't get enough sleep; I wasn't eating enough - skipping meals, and instead was filling up on empty calories with my evening martinis and cocktails. I thought I was in shape because I worked out every day. I was knowledgeable about eating right and training right, I was working as a trainer and helping other get fit, but the bottom line was I didn't practice what I preached. This "healthy" lifestyle I wanted was not the lifestyle I was living and I was truly in denial. No matter how much effort I put into improving my body, my actions were countering my efforts!
What was your low point or turning point?
A series of events lead to a major revelation for me and eventually my turning point. I had just turned 26, no longer a young, naive, 20-something year old, no more excuses for my behavior and lifestyle! I had sort of a mid-life crisis...I remember thinking, "When am I going to slow down, ease up on the partying and drinking, and when will I start respecting myself by taking care of my body and health?" It was time to make a change. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving 2008 that I had my last drink and decided I would see how long I could go without drinking.
Days went by, then weeks, then months, and all of a sudden New Years Eve and the beginning of 2009 was here and I was on a mission! January 1st, 2009 I woke up, and made the commitment that I would change my body, mind, lifestyle, and health forever. It was the first resolution I ever made that I actually followed through with - the best decision I ever made. To get to that point it had to come from within. My friends, family, and boyfriend all had something to say about my lifestyle but it took me taking responsibility for my actions and making a conscious decision to actually change. Little did I know that was the hard part but only the beginning in my journey!
What Was Your Exercise Plan?
My plan of attack to achieve greatness was to begin with a balanced lifestyle of diet, cardio, and weight training. To lose my initial weight and reduce my body fat I decided raising my metabolism would be the first step...aka - changing my diet. In the mean time I worked dropping pounds by getting daily cardio in my regimen. I also concentrated on building more lean muscle through weight training which in turn helped me to burn more fat whether I was working out or not! Great trade off!
What is your current training split and routine?
My training program is constantly changing. Currently I’m preparing for my first IFBB pro competition so my training has been completely different than my off-season training. I train much harder and heavier off-season and I’ve managed to do some great things with my physique.
What was your diet plan?
Whether I’m on or off-season I stick to a “clean eating diet”. I always watch my sodium and sugar because I think those two things can be a killer to your body if you’re not careful! I’m one of those crazy people who actually enjoy measuring and weighing my food, dividing everything into Tupperware, and keeping track of my caloric intake! LOL! Yes, I’m nuts! The truth is I really enjoy cooking just as much as I like eating and I’m constantly exploring new recipes that not only taste great but are healthy too. In some cases even come up with fantastic tasty recipes that are what I call, “Diet-Safe, Bikini-Body Safe, Recipes”!
Can you provide a sample eating plan?
A great eating plan for the person who wants to raise their metabolism and stay healthy would consist of about 4-6 meals a day. You’d want to eat 3 balanced meals and smaller snacks in between - these meals should include lean proteins, whole grains and oats, good fats:
- Breakfast: The infamous egg whites and oatmeal...A true Breakfast of Champions!
- Morning Snack: Low sugar yogurt with homemade granola, fruit, and flax seed.
- Lunch: Get creative and have some tacos - grilled chicken breast, brown rice and& black beans, with salsa and corn tortillas, small side salad with olive oil and vinegar.
- Afternoon Snack: On-the-go? Have some whey protein powder or a MR (meal replacement protein powder blended with ice, water, and berries. Or for an afternoon pick-me-up, use pre-made chilled coffee instead of water!
- Dinner: Grilled fish, garlic and flax meal breaded veggies (zucchini, asparagus, eggplant) onion rings baked in the oven. I always add a salad & sometimes even a tortilla!
What supplements did you use?
What Is Your Life Like Now?
Needless to say, my life has much more structure and discipline than it did before I began my transformation. Although I enjoy working out and competing, I’m very focused on my business and my clients, both competition athletes and fitness/health enthusiasts. I’m doing what I love in the industry I love and I couldn’t ask for anything more. My passion lies in helping others achieve their goals and I’m so blessed to have supportive people around me who see how much my heart, mind, and soul is in this and in everything I do!
What advice do you have for others?
I found that making major changes in your life specifically to your body, although physical, are actually much more of a mental challenge. You can become your worst enemy if you’re not careful. The battle will be with yourself so don’t fight it. Believe in yourself and stick with whatever you decide to do. Find a trainer, philosophy, or routine and go full force, follow through, and give it your all - if it doesn’t work out as planned, don’t give up, just try something else. No one said the journey to the top would be easy but I guarantee if you make it you’ll have a great story to tell and that can be a powerful thing!
Anything else you would like to share?
I will be competing in my first IFBB Bikini Pro Competition March 27th, 2010 in Culver City, California. Less than one year ago I competed in my first show, three months later I earned my IFBB pro card, and now who knows what’s next! I’m also very excited to be training and coaching a fabulous group of women for upcoming NPC amateur shows - many of whom have never competed before. Team Bikini Sass is definitely going to rock 2010! I have a great website that is currently being revamped and I invite anyone interested in bettering themselves to check it out: www.empoweringbody.com If you’re a man or woman, athlete or amateur, in need of diet advice, training programs, one-on-one, or virtual personal training/coaching, competition prep or just have a specific question; please feel free to contact me anytime: Shapeup@supermichele.com!