We're all so proud of Nadya A.! She completed her first bikini competition this fall! Adriana caught up with Nadya after the competition to ask about her experience as a first time competitor.
"Despite the challenges, I would haven't traded the experience of my first show for anything!" - Nadya
Adriana: What was your background? Started? Family lifestyle?
N: I was never much of an athlete growing up and I could probably count on one hand how many times I went to the gym in college! It wasn't until I graduated just over 2 years ago that I really developed an interest in fitness. Though encouraged, it was never a big emphasis in my family and the "skinny genes" run on both of my parent's side so weight was never something I had to be concerned with either.
A: How did you get introduced to fitness as a life style? Making it work with your9-5pm?
N: Fitness became something I could control - an outlet for stress and "me" time. Taking control of the way my body looked and what I ate, made me feel not only better inside and out, it gave me something to work towards and be proud of. Making it fit with my career, at the level of dedication and time that it requires, is challenging. It's a priority for me, however, so I make it work. I skip happy hours after work because i have to go the gym, I get up early to get my cardio in before I head to the office...basically, I make sacrifices for something I love.
A: Why did you decide to invest more (time money and energy ) into your fitness.
N: Because I reap all the benefits of it. My fitness is my hobby and for me, there's no greater feeling than putting on a tight dress and LOVING the way i look in it. I work hard and I'm proud of my progress. Aside from vanity reasons, however, the more I invest into fitness, the more I get in return. I keep pushing the envelope, setting and exceeding new goals - you're never done and I love that.
A: When did you know you wanted to compete? Why?
N: I had been thinking about competing for about 2 years before I decided to just go for it. The seed was originally planted in my head by my former personal trainer who was training for his first bodybuilding competition. I shrugged it off, thinking it was "weird" and that it "wasn't me." The more I got into fitness over the past 2 years, however, the more seriously I took the idea, knowing I would love the challenge. Family and friends shrugged off the idea, not accepting it, which honestly made me want to do it even more. I decided to compete for myself. This was my journey to push myself mentally and physically to a place I've never gone before.
A: What is the hardest thing for you in your prep for the show? What was the most challenges: your food, cardio, the workout the posing, the bikini fitting?
N: The hardest part for me was the posing and working on my overall stage presence. Having discipline with food and working out is easy for me but channeling my "inner sass" and feeling confident and sexy was not something that came easy for me. I have an introverted personality so it was somewhat of an outer-body experience. I convinced myself that I was not born to be on stage so undoing the mental blocks that I created continue to be a challenge that I'll have to work on taking down with time and practice.
A: What would you do different? Will you do another show? What do you want to remind yourself next time?
N: I would enjoy the process more. I let the stress of looking "perfect" and being the best I could be take over and I didn't really get a chance to absorb being there, being on stage, and most importantly, being proud of my body and hard work.
A: What were the rewards for you. How if/so with your confidence, your feminine beauty, your presence on stage and as you walk into a room/street. How was your physic change?
N: The biggest reward has been the experience of watching my body develop into what I've always dreamed of. People always complain about their problem areas but never really do anything about it and I am proud to distinguish myself from that crowd. When you look good, you feel good and knowing that I have 100% control over that is an awesome and empowering feeling. I gained the mentality and discipline of a competitor - something that few people can say they truly have. Regardless of what the future holds for me in terms of shows, I'm proud to know that that competitor mentality will never be taken from me and will drive continuous improvements and challenges.
A: How will you find a middle ground? Between Competition fitness and lifestyle fitness for you!
N: I'm still working on trying to figure that out. I'm learning competition fitness is not a realistic level for your body to sustain at - everyone has an off-season. Even knowing this, however, I have difficulty making the transition back to "real life" without feeling guilty about it, fearing of losing the body I worked so hard for.
A: What was your first cheat meal/drink? During your prep if you are allowed and after you stepped off stage.
N: PIZZA :)
A: What did you miss most?
N: Spending time with my dog. Skipping out on late nights, junk food, and drinking at bars was not something I felt I was missing out on as it was never a priority (even before training), but I was spending so much time either at the gym or in the kitchen cooking that I couldn't give my dog the time he needed...and if anyone knows me, they know I'm obsessed with my dog :) I had to forfeit a lot of my responsibilities and things kept falling through the cracks because my mind was constantly preoccupied with so much on my plate.