Occupation: Exercise Physiologist/Trainer/Wife/Mother of 4. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science, and recently completed a Masters of Healthcare Administration degree. Mother of 4 beautiful children-Bailey, age 11, Alexandria, age 9, McKinnley, age 4, and the baby, Elijah, age 2.

What got me started: I have always been athletic and started sports at a young age. I competed and enjoy everything from gymnastics, to softball, from swim, track and cross-country. I began running at the age of 12, so it has always been my first passion, and sport of choice, even throughout my college years. However, after foot surgery left me unable to complete my first collegiate track season, I turned to the weight room for an outlet. Although I had weight trained in high school for sports, I never seriously started lifting weights for a hobby or an outlet until that first year of college. One passion led to another and I became simply addicted to the weight room .I enjoyed seeing how my body transformed and reaping the duel benefit of becoming both a stronger runner and a faster runner. I first became interested in fitness and figure competitions when I was 18 but was clueless on how to get started and too self-conscious to even try. It took me 5 years to get the courage to try a figure show, or what was then known as Ms. Bikini America. What finally got me started was the birth of my first child. I was determined to stay in shape and continue a healthy lifestyle, and I refused to be one of those moms who just “let themselves go”. I competed in my first “show” just 11 months after my first child and made a top 10 placement. As mentioned, I was somewhat clueless about everything and felt blind going on stage. After some research, I set a high goal for myself and started seriously training for my first true figure competition after my second child was born. I competed only 5 months later. I placed in the top 5 and it was then when I was hooked. I went on to compete the following year of 2007 through NPC and the OCB organizations, making progress with higher placements. After taking a year off from competing, I came back to the stage in late 2008 with my best physique ever and was able to earn my IFPA Pro Card at the OCB Midwest States event held in Dekalb, IL. In the spring of 2009, I earned an NGA Figure Pro card. After taking the 2010 season off due to the unexpected pregnancy of my 3rd child, I trained hard and hit the stage only 7 months after giving birth. That show I won my 3rd pro card through the WNBF. I went on to compete the following month and qualified for the Word cup 2011. I took the 2012 season off due to yet another unexpected pregnancy with baby #4. I went on to compete 10 months after his birth and am now currently training to hit the IFPA Pro stage again and hopefully snag a few other Pro cards along the way

Hobbies: Aside from figure competitions, I enjoy helping others achieve their fitness goals, distance running, road races (5k’s, half marathons, marathons ,etc)swimming, and a new found sport-the triathlon! I also love cooking and baking, and of course spending time with my husband and children! I am a self-proclaimed health-nut chef and am always trying to find new, creative and healthy meals for my family. My children love to cook with me, so it’s always interesting in the kitchen!

What motivates/inspires me:My children motivate me to be the best I can be and to achieve my goals. I want to set a good example for them and hopefully one day, I will be the one that inspires and motivates them!

Why I love working out and competing: I am just an average mom who faces day by day challenges only motherhood can bring. The weight room (and running) is my outlet from everyday stresses of life. When I am working out, I am not a mom, not a wife, I am simply “me”, and a better stronger me because of it! Training for figure is an amazing adventure and it has helped fill the void of no longer being a competitive college athlete. It sets forth new challenges for me and motivation stems from simply, my competitive nature to strive and achieve the goals I have set in my mind. I love setting challenges for myself, and enjoy reaching and exceeding my own expectations.

How I stay physically fit: I do a multitude of activities to stay fit. As a busy mother of 3, I utilize all the time I can in the weight room and have donned myself queen of supersets, giant sets and 30 second rest in-between. My weekly routine is constantly changing,(due to my overwhelming urge to challenge myself daily!) but typically consists of splitting body parts as follows: Chest/biceps/Abs, Back/Triceps, Legs/shoulders/Abs. I take a day of rest and repeat the cycle so that I hit every major muscle group twice per week. I change the routine up frequently in order to keep my body guessing and I try to get in 6-7 days per week of Cardio. At least one or two of those days I incorporate a HIIT day. I also include a long slow distance day (ranging anywhere form 6-15 miles )at least once a week. I vary cardio activities from running outdoors with my children in the double-seater jogging stroller, to utilizing the elliptical, treadmill and bikes at the gym. On days that I can’t be in the gym, I have been known to use my children as my own personal weights! I am a firm believer of incorporating family and fitness, even if it includes fun time playground workouts!

Views on Nutrition: Have you ever noticed the first 3 words of diet spell DIE? That’s why I don’t have a “diet” per say, but rather my healthy eating habits are simply a way of life for me. I stay with smaller, well balanced meals of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. I try to eat every 3 hours to help keep my energy and metabolism going! However, I do believe that having  “cheat” meals on occasion is good for the soul, as long as moderation is kept in sight. It is very tempting coming off the stage form a figure show to just eat everything in view. That’s where moderation is necessary! My competition nutrition plan is similar to what I normally maintain; just fewer cheat meals and more proteins.  Good nutrition is important to me not only because I know it is good for the body, but it also makes me feel better to feel and know that I am more energized and prepared for my days of being super-mom!

Favorite cheat foods: Chocolate, Gummi bears, Mac & Cheese, any type of pasta!

Fitness philosophy: I’ve always viewed fitness as a 4-piece puzzle consisting of 1) Nutrition, 2)Cardio, 3) Progressive resistive weight training and 4) Desire. Any one of these if used alone, may work but if all 4 pieces are used in conjunction, it will work synergistically, to create the perfect portrait of health and fitness. Keep it fun, keep it consistent and make it a habit!

Goals: My goals are simple : To be happy and healthy, to be the best mother I can be to my children, to receive Pro-cards within several organizations, continue to meet and exceed my own expectations,to grace the cover of fitness magazines nation-wide and to serve as an inspiration to women and others who find it  hard to balance family, work and a healthy lifestyle. It can be done!