I commenced weight training in my early 20s after moving to the city to follow my career as an Emergency Trauma nurse. This meant I had to forfeit my love for competitive National Level Equestrian and look for a new passion. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, which resulted in weight gain and consequently an eating disorder. It was only when I found exercise and training which improved my insulin resistance caused through my endocrine disorder (PCOS) that I was able to get on top of my hormones and achieve a physique I was proud of. Training quickly became a passion and some 5 years on after I began my weight training I took to the stage in my first sports modelling competition in 2011 and haven’t looked back since.
I am a big believer in finding an inner reason to maintain motivation because no matter how many times a coach pushes you to train or guides you with your diet; unless you’re accountable for your own actions you won’t make progress.
My motivation initially stemmed from my fear of weight gain caused through my condition PCOS, which hinders the glycogen uptake in your cells elevating blood glucose and results in weight gain and hormonal imbalances. However as I learnt more about my body, understood how my hormones reacted to various types of training, foods, sleep and supplements I begun to apply these to optimise my time in the gym.
I am now self-driven to see progress not because I feel I should be a certain size or shape to fit in, quite the opposite; I train because I want to look back and know I gave it 100% to improve on what I was yesterday, in hope to be a better me tomorrow.
I don’t ever do fasted cardio. I work on trying to maintain equilibrium between my digestive system, hormones and muscle cells by ensuring I eat 3-hourly to avoid insulin spikes even when prepping for a comp.
I do find plyometrics and explosive cardio a great way of shaping my legs fast, however being quite tall for a figure competitor I lose my shoulder mass and upper body easily if I run or do HITT cardio so low intensity cardio is my ideal.
I think the key to avoid binge eating due to sugar cravings is to avoid your body feeling deprived in the first instance. Once you change your palate from eating processed and sugar rich foods to cleaner food sources, I founds the cravings were much more controllable. I found eating slow release carbs such as brown rice, clean meats ie fish or chicken kept me feeling full and less likely to crave simple sugars.
Most people feel flat and have a lull around 3pm, which is when the sugar cravings tend to sneak in. For me this is when I aim to manipulate my carbs having a protein shake or pre workout meal with carbs included so as to fuel my cells ready to train and kick the sugar cravings. I admit I have a weakness for proto whey double choc haha always kicks my cravings if all else fails.
I love training back so I can never go past the lat-pull down machine, seated rows or the deadlift is definitely a favourite.
I enjoy training alone. I work in a high intensity environment and I use the gym as my time to unwind and relax so I love nothing more than popping some tunes on and losing myself in the iron usually to something heavy. Saliva, Disburbed, Cog and Rage Against the Machine are always on my playlist to get me in the mood for some heavy lifting.
In Oct 2012, two weeks before IFBB Nationals I was at work as an emergency Paramedic where I had a work place accident. This left me with a full labial of my right shoulder, an infraspinatus and supraspinatus tear and my bicep was detached holding by a thread to my humerous. Although I competed at Nationals I was very fortunate to place 2nd however through the tears of posing on stage and surgery a month later I was unable to lift with my upper body for 6months losing much of my mass. Some 18months later after having my tendons pinned I was finally able to lift overhead without pain so now the race is on to regain symmetry.
So amidst the 18 months since surgery I am now deep into my prep for March next year with hope of regaining symmetry and make the stage for the very first Australian Arnold Classic.
I tend to gauge my progress via the mirror. I know my weaknesses and I am working hard to rectify them. I do tend to take progress photos to compare against my current physique to ascertain if I am moving forward, though I sparingly use the scales as a guide.
I am in the midst of competition prep off-season sitting at around 72kg. My focus is to rectify my weaknesses focusing on thickness through my upper body. A basic run down of the present program would include:
I can never go past my two favourites Erin Stern and Amanda Doherty, both current IFBB pros. To me they encapsulate the entire vision of a figure athlete. They not only hold phenomenal physiques but have an air of warmth about them. They show that despite being the best in the world you can still be relatable, motivate and inspire others whilst still showing they are human with a quirky fun silly side.
My all-time favourite protein is double choc proto whey. Stack that with muscle milk and I'm in supp heaven haha
Occupation: Paramedic, ICU Emergency Trauma Nurse and currently a full time Paramedic Coal Miner
Height: 5’9” (171cm)
Contest weight: 64kg
Off-season weight: 72kg