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When did you start living the healthy lifestyle and why did you choose to do so?

In 2010 while I was in Iraq I realized that I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. I was smoking and drinking a lot prior to my deployment. Given my family’s histories of high blood pressure, thyroid issues, heart problems, and cancers I decided I needed to turn my life around. That deployment I stopped smoking started working out and running.

When did you decide to compete?

Some friends of mine were competing and I went to their show and was bitten by the bug. This was in 2013.

What shows have you done and how did you place?

I did the 2014 NPC Schakbuilt Muscle Blast Championships in Charlottesville VA. I placed 3rd In Novice. I did not place well in Open, however, I learned so much about myself with this adventure that it didn’t matter.

What motivates you?

Honestly proving to myself I can do something, and of course feeling sexy in my own skin. Thanks to Coach Michelle, I feel that way again about myself.

What is your favorite healthy recipe (can you provide the recipe below)?

Hmmmm I love to make so many delicious things….Well I’ll give you two, a treat and a meal.

For my chicken I like to grind chicken breast to ground chicken. Then I will take chopped onions and jalapenos and throw them in a pan with a little bit of smart balance spray. Then add Flavor God Garlic and once they are cooked put them in a container. Then I cook the chicken and weight it out. Then I add my veggies to it. It’s simple and easy. You can also add the Bacon Cheddar popcorn seasoning to it.

For a treat:

Protein Cheesecake Recipe

  • 12oz Fat Free Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 10oz Non Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1-2 Tbsp Stevia
  • ¼ Cup Almond Milk
  • 1.5 Scoops Whey Protein (I like to use Chrome whey vanilla ice cream or Iso28 vanilla ice cream which you can get from one of the American Muscle Supply reps or at www.chromesupps.com)
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract (I like to use Capella drops Cheesecake flavor  http://capellaflavordrops.com/)

You bake it at 325 for 20 minutes then 200 degrees for 2 hours but have to keep a close eye on it because protein burns easily

This is a combination of a few recipes I have dabbled with online to find the consistency and flavor that I personally like.

What is your favorite exercise?

I love training legs. One of my favorites is the Single Leg Deadlift Triple Threat.

Who are your role models?

May sound cliché but honestly Michelle Johnson is one of my role models. She proves that you can evolve and grow as an individual. Through her whole career she has grown to be a well-developed individual and diverse in many different aspects of physical training and nutrition. She is always learning something new to share with her students.

My other role model is the new IFBB Nicole Reynolds out of Charleston, SC. Nicole and I were both deployed together in 2010 overseas. This extraordinary woman had been through some tough times and is a single mother of a beautiful daughter Kylie. Her and I used to train and would take some classes together in the gym overseas. We also were part of the JR. Enlisted counsel in our deployed location. We have stayed friends over the years and I have watched her grace the stage in both bikini and figure. She finally won her Pro card this past July.

 What is your favorite quote?

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – Henry Ford

Tell us one random fact about you.

I am addicted to education. I am currently trying to double up on my Masters in Management information systems with a 2nd Masters in Project Management.

What was something you learned that was inspiring or different for you? Something that was a “light bulb” moment that demonstrates the uniqueness of the program.

Honestly there have been many for me. I think one of the main ones for me is how my body was just swollen and inflamed from poor dieting, and how we slowly maneuvered around it to help drop the swelling and moved forward with the body construction. Just a few simple changes really helped and the diets she had me follower were really easy to maintain.

What have you learned from competing and the coaching you received with Michelle?

I’ve learned that this lifestyle is not about really being on stage. It’s about a healthy mentality and balance in life. Being on stage is great but rushing into something you may not be mentally ready for is a path that could be destructive to your life and physical well-being. With this prep we are not rushing and are allowing my body to change naturally. I am still making changes daily but these changes will be easier for me to maintain after a show verse rushing into it head on recklessly and unprepared mentally.

What is about the coaching that you love and have learned about?      

How honest Michelle is with me. If she feels I need to push harder she tells me, if I am doing well she makes sure I know because I can be kind of hard on myself. She is always supportive of me mentally as well as with my fitness goals. She more than just a coach she is my mentor, I love to learn from her and try to incorporate as much I can in to my own life.

 Any Final “Thank You’s” or a message to those who want to compete

I want to thank Michelle and the rest of my teammates and coaches for being supportive of my goals of competing in bikini. It’s been a long road but every day we make progress!