1. What or who do you credit for your start in fitness?

When I first started out this fitness "journey" I guess I could say I was inspired by many other women along the way. It actually started back in high school believe it or not, when I saw how dedicated my sister was to working out. She was always very athletic and at one point was doing two a days in the gym. That's what originally sparked the interest for me. As I got more and more into fitness I met some other inspiring people, one was a spin instructor and the other, my running partner. They are both insane when it comes to working out and will push you to the limit mentally and physically. My running partner and I remain friends today and she is one of my biggest motivations. She has done four marathons thus far and got me into weight lifting as well. She has been a wonderful support system for me always and continues to amaze and prove to me that I can do things I never believed possible. Then I got into competing through other friends back in Boston. I then learned how important diet can be because it goes hand in hand with training. After competing in my third show this summer, I have learned a lot about the industry and made many friends along the way who continue to inspire and share my passion. 

2. If you were stopped on the street and asked, “how do you stay so fit/healthy” what would your one piece of advice be? 

I would say that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. The game changer for being fit is diet, and I stress that to people a lot. No one is perfect but what is the point of busting your ass in the gym day in and day out and not properly fueling your body? It won't perform at it's peak when you need it to. 

3. Do you buy into the idea of “dieting”?

Kind of. Yes and no. I consider myself constantly on a "diet", but that's when we shouldn't refer to it as a diet. It is a lifestyle. Unfortunately you can't always have your cake and eat it too, literally, there needs to be self control. It's just about making healthy choices, not so much dieting. 

4. What’s the one unhealthy item you just can’t live without? 

I love ice cream and peanut butter. Now they are not terrible for you in moderation, but peanut butter is high in fat and when you can eat an entire jar it's most definitely not good for you. 

5. Where do you look for motivation? 

I used to look at others for motivation when I was first starting out. Seeing other people's progress, passion, and struggle is motivating. It lets you know that you are not alone, and to keep pushing because the results are so worth it. Now I look to myself sometimes for motivation. That sounds a little conceded but I don't mean it in that way. I think about how far I have come and the obstacles I have faced which keeps me going. I know that even in "off season" when I don't have low body fat and six pack abs, my motivation is that I am building a better body underneath the excess weight, so when I do lean out the results will be that much more satisfying. There is always a goal for me, whether long term or short term, you need to keep that goal in mind.

6. What are a 2 of your biggest passions outside of fitness? 

I love to draw, I wish I could do it all day everyday. I love it because it's relaxing and satisfying for me, just a mindless activity where I can really zone out. I also love animals, I used to be into horseback riding before I got serious about playing golf. I would like to go back to that someday because having a sport/hobby that involves animals is kind of cool to me. Since I am passionate about animals I hope to get back to volunteering at the humane society, it's nice to give back especially when you can do something you love as well. The only problem is I would want to adopt them all and I already have one to handle.