Height: 5′ 3 1/2”
Bodyfat: Guessing 16-18% BF % is not something I routinely keep a record of. At this point in the game, The way I “feel” is more important to me than a number.
Nationality: Italian, French creole decent. Also labeled a CAJUN
How Did You Get Started In Health And Fitness?
Shaking my head, in disbelief, was my first exercise! I was 30, with three kids, and kept asking myself: “Is my sexy-self history? Must I melt into the mold of becoming a frumpy mom and housewife? Will I never look and feel as good as I did when I was 20?”
My answer was a whole-hearted NO. That let me mash those myths, not just for myself, but for others. Its now 15 years later. I think its safe in timing to ask the pertinent question, “What has kept me going?” The self empowerment of proving I don’t have to go down hill, over the hill, or get stuck at the bottom of the hill has kept me going. I have since proudly branded myself “The New Forty”, became a grandmama and continue to live a passionate, healthy lifestyle knowing I encourage and inspire others to do the same.
What Is Your Best Accomplishment So Far?
Its tough to pick just one! How about top 5?
- Mother of three and grandmama of one!
- Opening GOFitness, my fitness studio in 2001
- Placing top 10 in a field of 74 at the Flex Model Search, at age 40.
- First cover, Natural Muscle Magazine 2007
- First layout, Ironman Magazine 2007
- First co authoring of a faith based book publication, “Launching Out” 2011
At 45 How Have You Managed To Stay In Such Incredible Shape?
What Advice Would You Give To Other 30+ Year Old Women Looking To Do What You’ve Done?
I branded myself as “THE NEW FORTY” when I turned 40. That was 5 years ago. Guess there is no lying about my age now? lol That was really the point. I branded myself to encourage others turning forty. Life, as previously thought, is not over the hill at 40. Its not being 50 and “looking” 40. or even being 40 and “looking” 30. That’s just window dressing. And, who likes doing windows?
The New Forty is about being authentic, being a wife, a mother, being a friend, being a sister, being a business owner and still being sexy! Its about creating a balance in your everyday routine, so that YOU have time to enjoy the things you love the most.
The New Forty is an attitude. Its a state of mind. Its about respecting that you are 40, and loving it! Remember that body you had at 25? Well, you can have a better body now. Remember all the energy and vitality you had years ago? You can get it back. The great thing now is you now have the poise and practicality …to put that energy to good use.
I enjoy life in a way I never did in my 20’s or 30’s. My new motivation is to be an example to all the people out there, who might have gotten too busy to realize that like if their 40’s and beyond can and really should be better than ever! You can embark on new things, its never too late, and you can be successful at them. After all you deserve to be happy and fulfilled at this stage of life. Think of all you have been through to get here. Its time to have a blast!!!!
What Is It Like Competing? Can You Describe The Experience?
My first fitness competition was in 1998. It was originally an outlet for me to exercise my love of performance.
I would later grow to love the process of getting ready for a competition, even more than the shows themselves. The discipline, goal setting and confidence gained filtered into so many other areas of my life. Each show gave me the opportunity to grow into a better version of myself, The growth I experienced bloomed from the inside out. As a coach, this is my philosophy. Beautiful bodies are only window dressing. True beauty and confidence is exuded from the inside out.
Top 3 Favorite Exercises And Why?
Favorite exercises tend to change over the years, especially if you have executed any consistency. Currently, my favorites are:
1. Leg Press: I like to work with weight goals. I have pushed myself to go heavy more recently. The payoff? Legs!
2. Pull Ups: It builds the best back ever and its fun to show off now and then! LOL
3. Hanging Knee Raises: This one has stayed a staple over the years. For me, I attest them to my 6 pack.
Favorite form of cardio?
Never been able to tap into that high that the “cardio junkies” get. So, I will confess, “I am not a lover of cardio, at all!” However, I manage to find ways to incorporate it since it should be part of a well rounded fitness routine. I like to take it out doors as much as possible (roller blading), weight train circuit style and more recently started doing HIIT.
What Is Your Diet Like?
My daily intake includes food items found in “Top 10 foods you would find in my kitchen” below.:: I incorporate them into 5-6 small meals spread out approximately every 3 hours through the course of my day.
Top 10 foods you would find in my kitchen:
- Chicken breast
- Ground chicken and turkey burgers
- Fresh green beans
- Fresh asparagus
- Plain non fat Greek yogurt
- Unsweetened almond milk (plain and chocolate)
- Brown rice
- Red kidney beans (Its a Monday staple in New Orleans weekly meal planning)
Fitness IS a philosophy, a state of mind. If it gets to be so ingrained that is’s just part of your life, then, you will always have time for working out and eating right. It’s just something you do because it’s part of you. It’s not a religion of course, but it has similarities.
Any Staple Healthy Meals That You Always Eat? What Is Your Favorite Cheat Meal?
I eat eggs (4 whites plus 1 whole) EVERY morning! Its what wakes up my palette! I add something different to them every day. Items include tomatoes, avocados, green onion, etc. I change it up daily. Variety in daily diet is a key element to CONTINUED success in clean eating.
My favorite cheat meal?
Anyone who knows me, knows I am aka the “Krispy Kreme Kueen” . I think that sums it up. I’m guessing I could make a “meal” of them if need be.
What Supplements Do You Use?
A multi vitamin/mineral supplement is my insurance policy. Even if you take special care to eat a balanced diet, many natural foods lack enough nutrition by the time they reach your plate.
I love protein powder supplements. They’re a simple, tasty way to boost your daily protein intake. They’re like a milkshake that’s good for you! For strength gains and rapid recovery between workouts, creatine is my favorite.
What Are Your Tips For Success?
This is my “Lets Get Back on Track” list. Great for begenners are those of us who fall off the wagon from time to time
Lets Get Back on Track: FOCUS on your health instead of weight loss with these ten. “Where the mind goes, the body follows”
1. G.Y.M. Get Yourself Moving!
Incorporate 30 minutes of “ daily activity”. Doing so improves mood, sleep and sex! Boost energy and combats disease.
2. Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast causes our metabolism to speed up, and therefore more calories will be burnt throughout the day. Eating a healthy breakfast helps to improve mental performance, concentration, and mood. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight.
3. Drink More H2O
Increases metabolism and regulates appetite. Increases energy levels. Most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration. Can prevent and or eliminate headaches. Shoot for ½ your body weight in ounces per day.
4. Eat Smaller Portions
Eating smaller meals will boost metabolism, discourage over eating, provide a regular influx of energy, and encourage more efficient calorie burning.
5. Switch To “Low Fat” Or “Fat Free” Versions Of Your Favorite Foods
Switching to low fat or fat free versions of your favorites will cut calories and unwanted fats.
6. Take FRIED Foods Off The Menu
They put you at RISK for: heart disease, diabetes, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, obesity, and acne. Also known to trigger: acid reflux and IBS.
7. Read Food Labels And “KNOW” What They Mean
Get in the habit of reading nutritional labels. Packaging can be deceitful. These 3 rank high on the list: Cereal, stick to serving sizes. Yogurt, check sugar content of your favorite brand. Scout out one with 10g or less. Packaged foods, check sodium content, the RDA amount is 1500-2000mg.
8. Eliminate ALL “The White” Flour And Sugar
Neither holds any nutritional value. Both have been shown to cause blood sugar spikes which can lead to metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
9. Food Journal
This can be your biggest accountability tool when it comes to what you eat. We are less likely to splurge when we have to write it down.
10. Partner Up
The “buddy” system is a powerful motivator and will help you stay the course.
Did You Make Any Mistakes When You First Started Out?
I don’t believe in mistakes. EVERYTHING we do shapes us. Its hard to label anything a mistake if it made you a better version of yourself, agreed?
What’s Your Favourite Body Part?
My favorite body part is the one I have changed the most through weight training, my legs. Legs are such a big muscle group and stubborn for hard gainers such as myself. Adding shape and size has equated to countless hours of dedicated and consistent exercise.
Your Best Tips For Losing Those Last Few Pounds?
When I want to get my leanest, I go to a 100% clean eating plan. I can get the extra leanness needed for a shoot or competition in a short amount of time because I stay fit year around. I take out any alcohol consumption, limit fruit to once a day and keep daily fat intake under 20 g per day. I also add in more circuit training and a few days of “am” cardio on an empty stomach.
Where Does Your Motivation Come From?
My motivation comes form knowing I can inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle. This motivation drives me to be my best.
Favourite Fitness Models?
I have been in the fitness and health industry for over a decade. Nailing down just one infleuential; rolemodel would be tough for me. Actually, impossible.
As I get older (and better), my appreciation grows for Rachel McLish. She is an icon and an ultimate example of timeless beauty for women. Rachel exemplifies we CAN be strong and sexy at any age!
Its not who you are that holds you back, its who you think you’re not.