I plan to write more info on this subject, but for now here's an article where Fitness Model and Bikini Competitor Taryn Shea Loughran interviews me!
Congrats on your first Competition! You should be so proud of yourself! Did you always have a desire to compete in fitness?
Well, I've always subscribed to Oxygen so I knew about competing. A few years ago, when they came out with the bikini category full of curvy fit girls, my interest was even greater and I thought maybe I can actually do this. I've always liked my curvy body shape and thought I'd love to try that one day and see what I'm capable of.
What or who inspired you to take action and finally decide to train and compete in your first comp?
It was really a series of events I had seen several transformation stories but I never really thought I could transform myself. I remember one day I found your before and after picture in an issue of Oxygen. I thought this is my goal body! Not only has this girl transformed herself into amazing shape, she's wearing what I always want to wear but never feel confident enough, jean shorts! Then I realized we had the same name. I tore it out and taped it to my wall. A little while later, I tracked you down on Facebook and have continued to be inspired by you ever since! I also have an amazing trainer, Claire Hayes. She is my cheerleader, motivator and butt kicker. She has taught me how to be an awesome trainer by example.
What obstacles/challenges did you encounter throughout your journey to taking the stage?
Well, the first part of my prep went really well. Like anyone making a lifestyle change, I had some days where I had cravings. I was working two jobs so that was definitely a challenge. I had to really learn discipline, which I had always struggled with before. The biggest challenge came when an apartment my husband and I were supposed to move into fell through, and we had to live with my in-laws for 6 weeks. I'm very fortunate to have great in-laws, but it was hard to not have my own place to live and prepare my meals. Plus my mother in law makes amazing cookies so I had to resist those!
I know that you recently changed careers and you are now a personal trainer. What inspired you to make this move?
It was the strangest thing. I had just gotten promoted at a great company in downtown Vancouver, I had this amazing job in finance (which I'm not interested in or very good at) and I'd never been more miserable. I really wanted a completely different type of life. I confessed my feelings to my supervisor and she encouraged me to go for my dream, so I quit my job, started working at the front desk of a gym, and finished my schooling. It's my dream come true and I'm really excited to build a clientele and help others.
Describe your feelings as you stepped on the stage?
I was so nervous standing backstage, I had crazy butterflies, but as I stepped on the stage I felt amazing! I felt so proud of myself, it was a little emotional to actually make it on stage.
I love your BLOG! Tell us what inspired you to create that?
I've always loved to write! I started my blog in September of 2010, shortly after I got married. This was when I was working in finance and I wanted a way to express myself and share all the fun things in life with other bloggers and readers. I love sharing recipes, photos, stories, ideas, anything really. It is truly a joy in my life.
Do you have any future plans to compete? What are your dreams and goals for your future?
At this time, I don't have plans to compete again, but you never know what the future holds. My next goal is improving my physique and building more muscle. I also want to focus transitioning my competition diet into more of a clean eating lifestyle. I hope to inspire and motivate other women into becoming the best version of themselves!
Can you tell us what your training/diet consisted of?
Well, because I only gave myself 5 months to train for the competition, I really had to work at it! I did weights 4 times a week, early morning cardio 6 times a week and towards the last month I did extra cardio in the evening. My diet consisted of lean protein such as chicken, white fish, turkey, egg whites and protein powder. My carbs were mostly oatmeal and sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes! I tried to eat a lot of green veggies, because they filled me up with all the nutrients I needed. I also had nuts and omegas for healthy fats. I had a treat meal each week with dessert and that kept me on track. I also drank 3L of water every single day! The water really does make a difference! I really enjoyed my diet for the most part, but towards the end it got quite strict, which was a little less fun!
Lastly, you are an inspiration to many other women! What advice do you have for anyone that is scared or skeptical about competing?
Ultimately, I had a little tug on my heart that wanted to compete, and I knew if I didn't follow my dream I would only be hurting myself. If you have that little tug in your heart to compete, or get in the best shape ever, or any goal, you need to follow it! Take that first step and the rest will get easier. I could not believe my own eyes when I realized how strong I really am. I just kept going, one day at a time, one workout a time and I got there! Also, tell everyone what you are trying to do. I told so many people I wanted to compete and as a result, I had so many people supporting me through the tough times! Build a support system, believe in your heart you really can do it, and you can't fail!