Musclemama87 proves that transformation isn’t just about changing your look. It is a complete lifestyle change that transcends through every aspect of your daily living. She demonstrates the super hero in all of us, reaching far beneath her outer beauty to share with us her inner strength and wisdom. I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know this near and dear friend a little better when I sat down to interview her for OliciousLife.
OliciousLife.com: Let’s start out by learning a little bit about you. Where were you born and where do you live now?
Musclemama87: I was born in Chicago, Illinois, but my dad soon joined the U.S. Navy. This moved us to Virginia, and then I was off to Bahrain and then Italy. After I met my husband in Italy, we flew off to college in Florida, and then he joined the Air Force which planted us here in Hawaii.
OL: How does your healthy lifestyle influence your home life? Is your family on board with clean eating and exercise?
MM87: My lifestyle has a huge impact on the household. My son rarely eats junk food, but its no problem for him since he prefers it that way. Every once in a while he will eat his cookies and M&M’s. As for exercise, my husband and I exercise everyday at 24 Hour Fitness and our son plays in the Kidszone..so we are one healthy family!
OL: What has been your greatest fitness/health accomplishment? How did you feel when reaching this goal?
MM87: My greatest accomplishment is when I walked across that competition stage for the first time in September 2009. I not only made it to the stage, but I stuck with the prep, and we all know how stressful that is. It was only icing on the cake when I placed first in my class!
OL: Were you active or an athlete as a child? If so, did this stick with you all the way through, or did you have a period when you were inactive? If not, when did you decide to start training?
MM87: In highschool I was captain of the varsity volleyball team. Although this was active, I struggled with bulimia and over-exercising. When I arrived in college, I didn’t do anything and gained more than that “freshman 15.” It wasnt until I reached a weight of 170, after I had my son, that I decided to stop complaining about my size and do something about it — the healthy way. I started training when he was about five months old. I refused to be a mom who used the “I had a baby excuse” to justify my weight gain. I look and feel better now than I ever have!
OL: Is your family supportive of your goals? If so, in what ways? If not, how do you overcome this obstacle?
MM87: Now, everyone is supportive. I did feel that in the beginning I had to prove myself to those close to me. I let all the doubts fuel my fire. I stayed with my dreams, lifted, and pushed myself beyond my envisioned goals. Nothing can stop me!
OL: What has been the biggest challenge with your fitness and dieting goals? How do you stay focused?
MM87: Food! Training lasts for a session throughout the week, but diet is 24/7. Eating clean “off-season” is no problem for me, but during comp prep is so stressful. It can be meticulous to determine your macros, measure, and time meals just to make sure you look your absolute best for your goal.
I don’t have access to a personal trainer or dietician, so I try my absolute best at reading my body and not second guess myself. I stay focused by eating for purpose, not pleasure. A meal only lasts a couple of minutes, but the results from that meal will last longer; that is what matters. THAT is what will get me to stage looking my best.
OL: Where do you see yourself in the future of fitness?
MM87: On the Olympia stage and on the covers, or inside, of fitness magazines (hopefully representing Gaspari Nutrition). Yeah, I know…I dream big! If you don’t aim high, whats the point?
OL: What is your favorite clean eat?
MM87: Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes. Doesn’t get any better than that!
OL: Do you have an irresistible cheat?
MM87: Cashews. Some may not count this as a cheat, but I can put away a family size container in one sitting. Go ahead and add up those calories, fat,and carbs and then you will understand why I don’t buy this during comp prep, period.
OL: What is your favorite workout day? Why? Describe a typical training regimen in that day.
MM87: What? Rest days don’t count as a favorite? Just playing!
I love leg day. I feel my strongest and can lift some large numbers..so its always a big boost for my “bodybuilder ego.” I either start on the leg press or leg extension. On leg press, I warm up with 250lbs x 15. Then its pyramid sets all the way up to 600lbs.
I do unilateral leg extensions, hack squats (up to 300lbs), sissy squats, pistol squats, lying leg curls, seated leg curls, standing leg curls, deadlifts, and calf raises. It looks like a lot, but I dont leave that gym unless every fiber in my leg is screaming!
OL: What do you do for peri-workout nutrition?
MM87: About an hour before my workout I will have oatmeal and a protein shake. Thirty minutes before, I will take a N.O product, and I drink Xtend a little before and throught my workout. After I am done training, I immediately take protein powder, aminos, and waxy maize.
OL: Do you have any favorite supplements? If so, what are they and why do you take them?
MM87: I cant live without Whey Protein, BCAA’s, Creatine, and Waxy Maize. I currently use Gaspari’s MyoFusion, which contains all types of protein sources, as it is important to make sure you gain the benefits from all types. I use Xtend BCAA powder. Creatine is taken for muscle growth, and Waxy Maize is ingested after workouts for restored glycogen J.
OL: What is the best compliment you have received since you started training?
MM87: “You look incredible! You should compete!”
OL: Do you have any websites, blogs, or event dates you would like to share or promote?
MM87: As we all know, fitness is a lifestyle, and for this I have surrounded myself in things that represent what I am about. Herbalife is a company that produces natural products for not only weight management, but also cellular nutrition, targeted nutrition (digestion women/mens/children health, heart health, healthy aging, and sports/energy), & outer nutrition (skin & hair).
I will be throwing my grand opening event here in Honolulu to extend my branch over in Hawaii. I am very excited about spreading these great products and benefiting the lives of others as Herbalife has benefited my family and I. Click here to visit my website; it’s great stuff, check it out!
OL: Is there an event in your life that you can attribute to your success?
MM87: Fitness is my passion, so Im sure that I would have stumbled upon it soon enough, but I can attribute the birth of my son, Josiah, to my success.
OL: What is a quote that inspires you?
MM87: “You’re either in or you’re out” -Ava Cowen
“Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life”- John F. Kennedy
“Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got” -Jim Rohn
OL: Is there anything else you would like to share to help empower other women?
MM87: We, women, are powerful beings. We carry life for 36 weeks, endure childbirth more than most can comprehend, are mothers, food supply (for those that breastfeed), life partners, friends, volunteers, personal chefs, maids, chauffeurs , nurses, cheerleaders, life coaches, teachers, students, and master multi-taskers.
We do all of this while maintaining the jobs we actually get paid for, all the while dealing with monthly hormornal inbalances, and the many stresses from our lives that come from just being a woman. My point is ladies, we do all of this on a daily basis and when most would think we are going to keel over, we always come out on top every single day. We are strong beyond belief and if you just remember that, anything is possible.
Women are superheros. Period.