My fitness journey began at a very young age, I still remember my very first cartwheel at age 4. I wanted to join gymnastics so badly, but we didn’t have the financial means. It wasn’t until I was 8 years old that I joined competitive gymnastics and did that for 4 years. After that throughout school I played basketball, did track and cross country, skateboarded, longboarded, and did other various sports. I remember when I joined post-secondary school we got a free gym pass to the town’s Rec Center and I’d go and do some cardio, some abs, but NEVER lifted a weight. My thoughts were “I don’t want to look like a man!” (haha). A couple of years went by of going maybe 1-2 times a week when I was in Nursing school since I put my Nursing program above everything else. After I graduated and started my career I worked 3 jobs and then was in school part-time again to complete my pre-requisites for the Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse bridging program (one of my goals is to upgrade and obtain my degree in Nursing as an RN).
During this time I discovered Yoga and it re-lit the fire in me that was passionate about fitness years before. As soon as I finished all of my pre-reqs (with nothing less than As I might add hehe) I got a membership to a local “women only” gym. I had NO idea what I was doing. I remember I would spend 3-4hours in the gym and teach myself by watching Youtube videos, downloading apps, and watching other women. I kept a “gym journal” (which I still have haha) and pretty much did a bunch of “everything days”. I completely changed my diet too and ended up losing 15lbs on my own. SO many people asked me if I planned on competing, and my answer was always “no way” or “no, my legs aren’t good enough”. Finally, after enough people asked me, I started to think that they must be seeing something that I’m not seeing. And so, my bodybuilding journey officially began exactly a year ago (July 2016) when I started my first prep for Popeye’s Fall Classic 2016 in Bikini (out of the largest class of 23 women I came 3rd, qualifying for Provincials!).
Although I did well in Bikini, my heart truly belonged to Figure. With only a month of an off season after Popeye’s (which I spent in beautiful Australia) I began my prep for Kelowna Classic 2017 (out of a class of 8 women I came 1st and was runner up for the Figure Overall title! One of the happiest days of my life). This prep was exceptionally difficult as I had quite a bit of fat to lose (I gained 20lbs in that 1 month off season) and I was working 3 jobs averaging 55-60hrs/wk with some days being 16hr days (plus adult responsibilities of living on my own, groceries, meal prep, chores, bills, etc). 2 weeks later I competed at Provincials, the BC Cup 2017, and out of a class of 13 women I came 2nd!
And so here we are, 8 weeks post show, training 5-6 days/week, still working crazy hours, dedicating myself to two of my biggest passions in life (Nursing and Bodybuilding) as I take the road to Nationals to compete next at the CBBF International Event Qualifier 2018!
THEY MUST BE SEEING SOMETHING THAT I’M NOT SEEING.
Are you a trainer?
No, I am not currently a trainer, but I have been looking at nearby schools and plan to become a Certified BCRPA Personal Trainer by winter. I often get asked for advice regarding training, workouts, and/or dieting, and would love to help those people achieve their fitness goals, but only once I have gone through the schooling and become certified.
Who is your trainer?
Ramsey Pretty (TeamRamFit)
I am a Licensed Practical Nurse – My main full time job is working in a male prison as a Correctional Nurse and I also work in a Hospital in the Emergency Room as well as in a Long Term Care facility for the elderly (I work 50-65hrs/week – and yes I worked that much during prep too!). I am very passionate about my career.
Single, very single (gym is life, no time for boys haha)
I AM VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT MY CAREER.
My main long term fitness goal is to get my pro card and become an IFBB Pro (in Figure). This is my dream, and something that I am working towards every day as I prepare my physique for its National debut at the CBBF International Event Qualifier 2018.
Right now my main off season focus is “operation leg gains” aka: I need to add more muscle mass to my legs, they’re my weakest area. So for training, I currently am doing Quads/Calves x2/week and Hamstrings/Glutes x1/wk (3 leg days a week, ouch!) and then I pair a muscle group that is already prominent with another one that I need to focus [growth wise] more on so for example: chest/delts (chest needs more focus), back/tris (back needs more focus). I write down my workouts in my phone and keep track of sets, reps, and lbs lifted and will run the same training program for 4 weeks to track progress, and then I’ll start a new training program. I mix up my training style with heavy weight/low reps, moderate weight/moderate reps, and supersets with dropsets.
Thoughts on HIIt, Power lifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, other.:
HIIT I am not a fan of, mostly because it triggers my exercise-induced asthma (haha). Power lifting is definitely my preferred style of training – I love trying to hit PRs (personal records) and lift heavy weight with lower reps. Although this is the style I like best, my body actually responds better to a bodybuilding style approach of lower weight higher reps with super sets and drop sets (and can’t forget those iso holds!). Yoga is amazing, I actually did quite a bit of yoga before I started bodybuilding and I find it has such a positive impact on the mind and soul, and it’s so beneficial towards balance and focus too.
I FIND IT (YOGA) HAS SUCH A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE MIND AND SOUL, AND IT’S SO BENEFICIAL TOWARDS BALANCE AND FOCUS TOO.
Nutritional & Supplements:
Right now I am 8 weeks post show (post BC Cup 2017) and still reverse dieting. To prevent my body from rebounding (from gaining back all the weight I worked so hard to lose) I have been increasing carbs by 10g/week – so by 12 weeks post show (only 4 more weeks yay) I will be back to my starting macronutrient numbers that I began prep with. So far this plan has been working as 8 weeks post show I am sitting at approximately 5-6lbs above stage weight (not bad!). I eat 6 meals a day and try to make every meal different to keep things interesting. Meal 1 is usually an egg white omelet and usually I’ll have 1-2 salads a day and one meal of oats as well, those are my “usuals” I suppose. For supplements I take the standard vitamins plus L-Carnitine, CLA, ALA, probiotic, digestive enzymes, Glutamine, Greens, BCAAs, etc. This off season I started taking Magnum After Burner and Big C, and I love them both!
What do your parents mean to you? What did they teach you?
My dad is not only my father, but my best friend too. He means absolutely everything to me and I would not be the woman I am today without him as my Daddy. He taught me to treat others as you would want to be treated, he taught me that if you want something in life you have to work your butt off for it, and he taught me that being honest and telling the truth is a gold standard to live by. He taught me to dream big, to never give up, and that anything in life is possible. He taught me to believe in myself.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
What I love about Status that is different from other fitness magazines is that it really cares about people’s stories, where they’ve been where they’re doing what they’ve experienced as an individual, no matter if they’re an IFFB pro or an amateur athlete just beginning their fitness journey. I love how Status really focuses on the transformation story of a person and respects all levels of fitness.
HE TAUGHT ME TO DREAM BIG, TO NEVER GIVE UP, AND THAT ANYTHING IN LIFE IS POSSIBLE.
What would it mean to you to become the next Status Fitness Cover-model?
Status Fitness Cover-model?! Oh my, it would be a huge honor and I think I’d have to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming (haha). But in all seriousness, it would mean everything to me because it would mean that my story was recognized and could be used to inspire others.
If you could ask Status Editor-In-Chief, Rodney Jang one question what would that be?
As a new bodybuilder starting out in this industry with big goals and ambitions, what do you feel is the most effective means of self-publication to get recognized?
What was it like working with Warren from Healthy Vision Photography for publication in Status Fitness Magazine?
Warren was absolutely amazing to work with. First off, he drove the same make of vehicle as me so I instantly liked him (haha), but no really. I felt completely comfortable with him, he was genuine and personable, gave good direction, and had a creative mind. My time with Warren flew by as I was having so much fun (I have blooper pics of me laughing to prove it haha). I would recommend Warren as a photographer and hope to shoot with him again.
MY TIME WITH WARREN FLEW BY AS I WAS HAVING SO MUCH FUN.
6 things people would not know about you:
1) I ride motorcycles (crotch rockets).
2) I am “double-jointed” (my elbows and shoulders).
3) I have fallen asleep every night for the past 4 years to the same album playing on repeat on my phone (The Lumineers).
4) My dream travel location is Italy (pasta, pizza, wine, cars, clothing, language, architecture – count me in!)
5) My top 3 “happy places” nearby are Whytecliff Park, Swan Falls, and Gold Creek Falls.
6) I have an oversized whiteboard in my room that I made into a calendar where I write out my work schedule, cardio days, my training schedule, rest days, appointments, etc (and of course its color coded).
Who inspires you?
My father. He’s inspired me my whole life to be the best version of myself that I can be. He had a rough upbringing and was dealt some poor cards in life, and although headed down the wrong path he decided to change his life around and did exactly that! For a few years he was a single father to my sister and me and I couldn’t have asked for a better man to raise me.
Who do you wish to inspire?
I wish to inspire anyone who was ever told by anyone that they can’t. I’m here to tell you that you CAN. And if you’re determined enough, committed enough, and believe in yourself enough, you WILL.
I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN.
My transformation story is more of a psychological one than a physical one. Due to experiencing childhood trauma, I struggle with certain mental health illnesses. The main one I won’t address here, but the other ones are anxiety, depression, and OCD. Because of this, I started partying at a very young age (13).
Throughout my teen years it was mostly for fun, but as I got older and my mental health issues became more problematic, drinking quickly became my go to coping mechanism. It got so bad at one point that I was actually experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I was headed down a dark and dangerous road – abusing liquor to numb the pain. I felt like I had no control over anything in my life, not my relationship, my emotions, my behaviors, nothing. That’s about the time I got my local gym membership and would spend 3-4 hours in the gym at a time – it became my escape.
My body became the one thing that I had full control over and I made a complete lifestyle change. I quit drinking and partying, changed my diet, committed myself to the gym, and haven’t looked back since! As for my psychological status, every day is a battle, but I’ve developed healthier coping mechanisms and have learned a little something called self-love. I know it sounds cliché when people say that bodybuilding saved them, but for me, it honestly did.
To live an ethical life staying true to the morals that define who I am.
3 lessons you have learned:
1) Even at a cross walk if it’s not your turn to walk yet, don’t walk! (I got hit as a pedestrian by a car when I was 16 years old, never made that mistake again).
2) Don’t take a scoop of Citrulline Malate as a powder shot straight from the scoop into your mouth (nasty).
3) Always keep clean underwear in your gym bag for those early morning fasted cardio sessions before work when you forget to pack them.
MY BODY BECAME THE ONE THING THAT I HAD FULL CONTROL OVER…
Music and artist you listen while training:
Cardio: deep house/trap with lyrics (I actually lip sing during my 40min fasted step mill cardio)
Training: leg days or back days would be hardstyle dubstep like Excision or Brennan Heart, or I listen to my favorite band Rise Against (anything a bit more aggressive).
Other: I’ll put my phone on shuffle so anything could come up from Eminem to Meat Loaf to Marilyn Manson to Rihanna, etc.
Favorite actors/ movies:
My favorite movie of all time is The Breakfast Club (I actually have 2 copies on DVD in case something happens to one copy haha), but a close second is American Psycho, and then a close third is V for Vendetta (watch them all if you haven’t!). One of my favorite actors is Edward Norton (kind of my secret celeb crush actually haha)
Favorite books and authors:
My favorite book is written by my favorite author: False Memory by Dean Koontz.
BUT ADVICE I CAN GIVE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO START TRAINING IS – DO IT.
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Advice you can give to children who want to start training?
Children? Should be playing and being kids – the gym is no jungle-gym. But advice I can give for anyone who wants to start training is – DO IT. Honestly it will have such a positive impact on your life in the most holistic way possible. It really is the answer to all of life’s problems. Stressed? Gym. Angry? Gym. Insecure? Gym. Body image issues? Gym. Health problems due to obesity? Gym. Bored? GYM!
“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” – Dr Phil.
This is one of his Life Laws, and I love this quote so much that I actually have it tattooed on my left arm. Self-awareness is so important and I believe that you have to be honest with yourself no matter how hard it may be. We all have flaws and imperfections, but we can’t work on self-improvement if we don’t acknowledge them.