Friday, September 26, 2014

Ms. Bikini Universe Pro Jamie Lynn Hughes is holding nothing back for her return to the ’14 Fitness America Show in November. She had 11 Top 5 placing’s with 4 of those being runner-ups. Jamie says, “Although I compete because I love every second of it, my repeated placing’s as runner-up to world titles has only fueled my desire to chase an overall title.” Beyond competing she wants to be featured on popular fitness magazines.
Congratulations to Kathryn Magnus for winning 1st place in the ’14 Ms. Bikini Australia division. Throughout her life she has overcome injuries and genetic issues in order to be the healthiest she can be. Kathryn’s surgeons told her she needed surgery for her scoliosis and 3 herniated discs, but she opted for long-term rehab & weight training. She says, “Due to my genetic issues, I’ve had to adjust my diet. Due to my injuries, there are many exercises I can’t do. However, I focus on what I can do! I want to help people be their best through awesome nutrition & inspire those with injuries that you can still be fit with the right training.”
Model Britain Champions Ashley Lewis & Daisy Ward who won the show last weekend in London. At just 17 years old, Daisy surprised everyone with her fresh look and was Top 5 Finalist at Model Universe in Miami in the summer. Ashley is a black belt in karate and level 2-3 personal trainer. The 5’7″, 180 lbs. was all new to the competitive fitness scene. He explains, “I have never been to a competition and I have never tried to cut weight and have always been single digit body fat.”
Ms. Bikini and Figure Universe Pro Ann Hubbard and Fitness Universe Physique competitor Roger Williams say wine is not the only thing that can get better with age. Ann and Roger are at 48 and 52 years old respectively. She says, “It is never too late to start a healthy lifestyle of physical fitness and good nutrition. Due to modern medicine and technology, people are living longer than ever before. However, they are living with disease and poor health in their later years. The key is to live longer and be healthy enough to enjoy it!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

With the ’14 Fitness America Show just 6 weeks away, Joyce Emily had to get serious and honest about her goal to return to the show. Since her last competition, she had gained 14 pounds. With the help of her training coach, Joyce became aware that for months now she had been in denial about her eating behaviors and she not being honest with herself. Her life had changed radically after starting her own business and putting too much on her plate. Joyce says, “Trying to spin and balance too many plates has made me miserable and 14 pounds heavier. Does it scare the crap out of me, the way I look now knowing in 10 weeks I need to be in a bikini? Hell yes! I had the most incredible experience last year competing in the ’13 Fitness America Las Vegas Weekend. Spending 4 days in Vegas with over 500 competitors all in one resort is the ultimate girl’s trip for me. I took 5th place in Bikini Classic and quite frankly I don’t want to regret missing all the fun preparing and going with my girlfriends!”
Ms. Bikini Universe Pro Jacquii Alexander always loved being active. Growing up, she was always doing something physical. Jacquii studied ballet for 12 years and participated in many school sports. She was in swimming, track, basketball, water polo, and snowboarding. Now Jacquii is preparing for the ’14 Fitness America show. She says, “. I love the Fitness America event in Las Vegas – it’s a massive event and there is always a big team of Australians there to compete. Winning the Ms. Bikini America title there as part of that Aussie team was a dream come true.”
’13 New Mexico Competitor Cyndi Lamica quotes, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” This is a quote she tries to remember daily as she has fought a few of her own. There were times in Cyndi’s life where she was skinny because she chose to buy ramen noodles for her 2 boys with the last few dollars of a single mom working 2 jobs. There was a time she was skinny because she was afraid to ask for anything extra at the grocery store growing up. There was a time Cyndi was skinny because even with food in the cabinets and fridge, she couldn’t stop to make time for herself. She says, “Skinny is a battle too, and is equally as upsetting as fat. Never wish to be skinny. Work to be strong!”
’14 Great North competitor Ann Mairs Farrah is ready to start training again. Ann was training hard, but took a break to spend more time with her kids. She says, “For me, my children always come first. I might not be perfect up on that Vegas stage in November, but I will do my very best to bring my very best!” Come see Ann Mairs Farrah at the ’14 Fitness America Show on November 21.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ms. Bikini Pro Jessica Vasquez tells us to not be afraid of lifting weights. She says, “Bodybuilding is a lifestyle and I love it! Ladies and Gentlemen don’t be afraid to lift weights. Over years of training with weights, incorporating cardio and eating natural foods I have earned the curves I have today. There is no magic pill!”
Sandy Sciutto-Cook is training herself for the ’14 Britain Show on September 13. She is a financial technology expert from Peru with a passion in health, training, and dance. Sandy recently discovered bodybuilding as her new passion and started strength training as of last year. Unfortunately, she met with some health issues caused by improper training and diet techniques which prevented her from training for a few months. Sandy learned from her mistakes and is back for more. She says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Yes, I have struggled with weight and self-image issues, but I am after no sympathy vote. I want people to appreciate and respect the mental strength, discipline and hard work that goes into the Sport of Bodybuilding, and inspire people. On the day, I want them to enjoy the show and make as much noise as possible!”
’13 Australia Bikini competitor Natasha Seeto puts great emphasis on symmetry. She says “You have to work with what you got. I’ve always had a butt and hips with a tiny waist but haven’t always had a set of shoulders to balance that butt out. Instead of wishing I had someone else’s body, I begun sculpting the body I wanted.This year has been all about building a nice frame through my delts and back to create symmetry. Take caution, beautiful broad shoulders will taper your waist! Now my waist looks even tinier!”
Nicole Cohn-Matthews is getting prepared for the ’14 Fitness America Show on November 21. Last year Nicole prepped for her first show at the ’13 Arizona show. Nicole was nervous and placed 5th out of 5 in the Bikini. She did not let that loss stop her. She used that loss fuel her motivation instead! Nicole went on the ’13 Fitness America show and placed 11th out of 35. Finally Nicole took on ’14 Fitness Universe show and placed 4th! She says, “Each time I learn something new. Every journey to the stage offers a new experience. I am pumped up for my next show and can’t wait! My prep has begun and I’m focused like never before. A big shout out to my team and support system! I’m ready! 100% committed! Let’s do this!”.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fitness Universe Pro Angela Gargano knows we all struggle sometimes. She struggles with confidence especially when she hits a speed bump in life. Angela does not look at these speed bumps as “failures” but as an opportunity to keep pushing forward for what she wants. She says, “For the next month, my goal is to transform not only physically in preparing for my show but also mentally. I will no longer dwell on the negatives in my life and will gain more confidence in myself as I take a chance in doing what I love and truly being happy.”
Figure Universe and Fitness Universe Pro Bethany Nelson asks, “What has your strong moment been this year so far?” She has been training her body to travel in order to get around without a car. Starting in February, Bethany has been walking and using the bus often. Starting in May, she has been biking every day for at least 4-8 miles. Bethany says, “Whether it is finishing school, participating in a tough mudder, paying off a debt, or competing in a fitness competition you should be super proud of yourself. You’ve done something! It’s nearly impossible to go through life just wandering about. Recognize your strides and you’ll be more motivated to tackle more! My body has grown weary but I’m fighting to get through this year and soon things will turn around. I have hope and people supporting me! Finish strong!”
’14 Ms. Bikini New England 2nd place winner Elizabeth Sousa is feeling proud of herself. Despite the challenges of the high heat and humidity and vacation mindset she managed to get her 5 days of weight training in this week. Elizabeth has become a regular at her gym and is often approached with complimentary messages and requests for training advice. Even though she is on vacation and would rather sleep through her alarm, she still gets up. Elizabeth says, “By 10:00 a.m. I’m home making pancakes for the family just rolling out of bed. I feel accomplished and excited to enjoy the rest of the day. No one has time for the gym, or building a new business, or learning a new skill. We have to make the time! It’s about organizing our thoughts, using some creativity and making some sacrifices to achieve success.”
Rebecca Heck is proud to have placed 2nd place at the ’13 Ms. Bikini Universe Master division. She will keep working hard and creating more goals. Rebecca believes every goal met is a stepping stone to the next goal being set. She says, “Stop telling yourself you can’t or don’t have time to do one healthy something just for you. We all have time for whatever we make time for. Start making time and healthy choices just for you! You will be better for it and so will everyone else in your life. Believe & Achieve!”
Patti Kimball placed 3rd at the ’14 Ms. Bikini Universe Show in Florida. She was thrilled to have made beautiful friendships with people that have similar interests in fitness and supported her. Patti adds, “Keep it real and keep it simple! Do you realize how your mind can make or break your goals? Make it up and go! My mind is clear on my goal and everything I put into it is showing! Personal bests for me across the board is driving my motivation through the roof!! Be the driver of your destination.”
Katie Stevens is readying for the ’14 Fitness America Show. She is excited and grateful to be traveling to Las Vegas to compete with some of the World’s best athletes! Katie says, “If you are persistent you’ll get it; If you are consistent you’ll keep it. The hardest thing to sometimes remember is you’re not competing against anyone but yourself. You are your own competition. Work hard, stay focused and day by day you will only improve.”
After eating at different restaurants, having cocktails, celebrating, plane rides, being delayed in airports for 2 days,’10 Ms. Bikini & Figure America Champion Lori Harder is ready to relax. If she had it her way she would sit on the couch, eat chocolate, pizza, pop chips and watch television reruns all day. Despite that, Lori came home to a coaching call that she had booked knowing she would need it. She wants to feel energized, happy and she wants more for herself and the people that rely on her. This means Lori will have to do the tough stuff to get the really good stuff. Lori says, “You have to prepare for times like this and have a cut-off date. Make sure you have appointments and goals and anything else that gets you back!”
Last year, ’13 Ms. Bikini Texas winner Alina Adams made a determination to compete for the first time in the Texas show. She was happy with her overall win but the road to get there was difficult and depressing. After the show, Alina said she was exhausted and started eating horribly and skipping the gym for three months. She knew she could not allow her lifestyle to continue on as is and made another determination to compete. Alina stepped out of her comfort zone and joined Aaron Zambrano’s and Lauren Stogner’s training program. Alina could not be happier when she started training. She says, “Not only did they show me that I can enjoy prepping for a competition and there isn’t just one way to get ready for a show, they have become life coaches and wonderful friends as well. I have new friends that are like a family to me and an awesome support system that I’ve never had before.”
Jana Kovacovic is preparing for the ’14 Fitness America Weekend show this November. It is an emotional event for her, because she lost 22 lbs. for the ’11 Ms. Bikini America show. Jana says, “In 2011 it was just a fun experience to finish my weight loss goal. I did not expect I would enjoy challenging myself with fitness competitions in the following years.” In 2012 she got first place in the Ms. Bikini Classic division at the Fitness Universe Europe show.
Figure Universe Pro Michele Welcome has been practicing yoga and has done some on-the-fly workouts at the outdoor track. However she has not done weight workouts for a couple of months. The workout was quite humbling. Michele mentally prepared herself and knew she would not be at the conditioning level and strength she was at before. She was curious how her performance would be since the first day, being farther away from the goal, is always the hardest. Michele then thought back to 2010 when she went through a similar situation. Then she won Figure Universe™ Natural Pro status in the ’12 Figure America™ show. Michele says, “Just like then I’m taking it easy, doing what I can, and not looking to do a quick fix to achieve the results I want. Real results take time and a balanced nutrition. Life has its ups and downs. As I dust myself off from a year of deep depression and personal chaos, I’m not too proud to hold 10lb dumbbells while wearing my “Kill it with Drive” tank top and rock a leg workout when at one time I held 40s doing the same exercise. Keeping it real because that’s the way I roll. Day 1 – the hardest day – is over.”
’14 Ms. Bikini Universe Masters Champion Ann Hubbard had an amazing half day of sunrise, Starbucks, surf and sand in Florida when competing at the ’14 Fitness Universe Weekend. Keeping the weight off has always been a challenge for her. However, when the pounds start to creep up on Ann, she gets her head in the game. She stops focusing on food and starts focusing on moving. Ann says, “I am not a size 0 or even a 2 model like many fitness models. I am just me! At just over 5’3’’, I normally weigh between 115 lbs./125 lbs. on/off season.” When Ann was a Drill Instructor she told her Marine Corps recruits, “It is mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it won’t matter!” Fitness is and has been her lifestyle for over 25 years and at 48 she feels great!
’14 Ms. Bikini New England Competitor Cynthia Gerome does not complain and puts in an effort to change. She knows it is a long and difficult process but finds it all the more rewarding. Cynthia does not believe in any weight loss commercials on television. She believes workouts, proper nutrition, some determination and a goal is what will help you succeed. Cynthia says, “I can promise you I have more drive and determination than the average person. I care about myself enough to make a change in my life for the better and I can only go up from here.”
One year ago Ranee Araby made it her goal to compete in the ’14 Figure New England show. She is happy & proud to say that she did it and made it happen in under a year. The ’14 Figure New England show was her first competition and now she is hook, line & sinker. Ranee says, “When you set your mind to something, establish a goal & really commit yourself 100%, guess what? You conquer! Believe in yourself, do the work & trust the process. No matter what your goals may be in life, and they will happen!” Ranee now has her sights set out on the ’14 Fitness America Weekend Show in Las Vegas in November.