Why do I want to feature an inspirational person in my newsletter?

I want to feature people like Leigh-Ann who have crossed my path and touched my life, inspiring me toward greatness. Too many of us fail to see greatness in ourselves. Somehow, it doesn’t seem to matter what we have achieved; we often need others to point out to us how we excel. People display “greatness” by their attitude, their lifestyle, their choices, their actions… I want to recognize the people in my life who lead by example.

How did I meet Leigh-Ann?

I’ve met Leigh-Ann while going to Can Fit Pro conference in Vancouver in December. I took the first ferry and saw someone that I knew that was with her. At first I was a bit intimidate by her beauty and strong physique but she definitely sweet talked me, lol. Often we can judge people by their appearance, thinking they are superficial, but we don’t know their story. Leigh-Ann story is amazing, she is a strong woman inside out. She is a role model and has so much to offer to other. She strikes me as a down to earth, strong, beautiful, open-minded, perseverant woman. Big congratulation to Leigh-Ann, she just became N.P.A.A. Pro in the fitness model category. Enjoy reading!

What motivates you to exercise?
When I work out, I feel this amazing sense of strength, both mentally and physically, it empowers me and helps me center myself. Being in the gym, pushing forward, gives me this natural high that I can’t seem to find anywhere else. Fitness has changed my life in so many ways. It’s enabled me to achieve goals that I could never have imagined reaching. The gym is definitely my church. I am so grateful for the fitness family that I’ve been adopted into. The support and friends that I have made in the gym, have been so positive and have always helped lift me up. I am definitely inspired to help others in return. I love it when people come up to me and let me know I have inspired them when they’ve wanted to quit! I believe that working out is eighty percent mental and twenty percent physical, it’s all in your head. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re absolutely right!

My favorite exercise in the gym:
That would have to be lifting free weights. I love the empowering feeling of strength I get from lifting. I find most women have the misconception that to loose weight they should do cardio. Although cardio is great! You actually burn more calories with more muscle at resting periods. Meaning, while you are sleeping, you are actually burning double the calories if you put in a solid workout before. I also believe you don’t have to look masculine with muscle. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I look manly at all when competing with a shiny bikini, spray tan and the long nails. I believe you can look very feminine with having a lot of muscle as a woman. I also love incorporating hot yoga into my routine. Starting my day with an early 6:30 a.m. class really centers me and helps me stay focused so I can channel all my energy in the right direction.

My Biggest accomplishment:
The greatest achievement as of late would be receiving my N.P.A.A. Pro Card in the fitness model category. Becoming a professional bodybuilder hasn’t been easy. Doing my first competition 5 years ago in Kelowna took a lot of nerve, but I would have to tell you, I am now addicted.

What is my superpower:
Well I definitely don’t feel like I have a superpower all the time. Working out in the gym always has its ups and downs. It is what you do with those downs that defines you. It’s a lot like life in general, you have a down, you can stay down, be depressed got get back up and push yourself through it. I believe anybody can achieve their goals in the gym. We all just have to beat our own self limiting thoughts. Planting positive seeds, being proactive and telling yourself you can is ninety percent of the work in the gym. I find having a likeminded great group of positive friends is a great catalyst which helps push me through. If you have people in your life that are positive and always telling you that you can, chances are you’re going to do it. I love positive energy, I enjoy encouraging others including my eight year old son, not to give up if you want to be good at something. It takes failures to succeed in this life. So many times I’ve wanted to quit before a competition. I would have a mini meltdown but then I would remind myself of what I would tell my son. I love coming home to him seeing me with new trophies, it’s priceless. To show him that if you don’t give up, you can accomplish anything. When I’m feeling down and want to give in, he always reminds me that “no matter how hard it gets, if you want to accomplish your goals, you can’t quit!”

Favorite dish:
Well I love creating my own masterpieces in the kitchen. Since embarking on this bodybuilding adventure, I have really turned my diet around. What you eat is so important as to what you’re going to get as your striving for it. I’ve become quite the mad scientist in the kitchen. I’m big on egg whites, salmon, seeds, veggies, oatmeal and I make various dishes with all the above. I really enjoy taking a recipe and turning it into a healthy one. Pumpkin pie with an almond crust or as crazy as it sounds pizza into cauliflower crust pizza. “If it’s not green, it’s not clean!” Protein balls are always fun, quick, easy and they always get better with different twists. They are always very easy to bring with you on the go so that you don’t have to eat any of that unhealthy fast food in desperation.

Favorite Cheat:
I think when you stat leading a healthy lifestyle you really don’t crave sugars or unhealthy oils etc. When you feel so good in eating healthy you really feel the effects when you don’t eat healthy. You have to balance everything, I would say if I do cheat sometimes I love to have that sinful sushi with tempura and sauces with a glass of red wine. So yummy, but hold the white rice please. I only do brown.

Goals and dreams:
Well like I said I find eighty percent of the work in the gym is your mind. I think the rest becomes a lot easier when you find your inner strength. For that you need to work on your mind as much as your body. In 2017 I want to practice meditation more and being mindful. Do more in personal development and practice more on being centered. Outdoor adventures are great with friends, I really love being in nature, it’s such a positive feed for the body, mind and soul. I would also like to compete in April for my Pro card Elite or go to do a competition in the United States for I.F.B.B. In doing that I love helping others go through their challenges of doing their first competition. We have a great group of girls that go to these competitions together. A lot of times I feel I wouldn’t have been able to compete without them. The support I’ve received from the bodybuilding community is awesome. We are not competitive with each other, we travel together, tan, eat, etc. Our little family, helping one another and sharing big memories together in our lives.

Advice for newbies:
Make a clear goal, visualize it and know why you are doing it. Do something small everyday positive to work towards achieving that big goal! Don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. The more challenges and barriers you have to go through to get there, the sweeter the victory!