How did you get started in fitness?
It’s a very long story if you want full disclosure, but you can read my story in it’s entirety on my site (causefitness.com/bio), but the short version is that my parents got me involved in a variety of sports (as soon as I could walk I was already on swim teams, and on skiis, and in a tutu for ballet), but all I knew about fitness is that it was something fun to do recreationally. It wasn’t until my Junior year of college, after a very traumatic personal experience *see my story* that I really embraced and fell in love with weight training, and fitness and clean nutrition as a lifestyle. I’ve been falling more in love with it the more I’ve continued to learn about it ever since. It’s fascinating!
How do you stay motivated?
Day to day, I’m motivated by helping other people and seeing their lives change by the little ways I’ve inspired them. It’s such a blessing that it never feels like work! Seeing others motivated by what I do, also keeps me on top of my game. I want to continue to be the role model my friends and fans have helped me to become! I also keep inspirational pictures on my fridge and on my iPhone and computer wallpapers to keep reminding me – some of these inspirational figures are now my friends in the fitness industry and that’s so incredible – to me to be that proud of your friends! One of my biggest motivators is my best friend, Amanda Jarstad. We keep each other motivated and pull each other out of the holes we create for ourselves all the time. Everyone should be as lucky as I feel to have her. People aside, I also keep great music on my Pandora lists. And my biggest inspiration? Jesus Christ. If he could carry a cross up a hill after being flogged to near death, I can finish every workout strong, without complaint. God renews my strength daily, and that’s the honest truth. I love Jesus!
What’s the best part about being a fitness competitor?
I’ve always been a fan of a little competition, so that’s always a thrill, and I have been a performer (actress, model, singer) my whole life, so the stage has always been captivating to me, but my absolute favorite part of competing was something I realized 4 shows in…and that is the joy I get by encouraging the other women backstage who start to size up the other competitors and start to doubt themselves. Everyone backstage has put so much of themselves into preparation, that absolutely no one should NOT be having a great time! Everyone should realize how amazing an accomplishment that is and be proud of themselves. It should be fun and memorable! I get the chance to pray with them, lift their spirits and be a positive light in the stress and ego-filled room and it’s so fulfilling! Regardless of how I place, although you better believe I’ll bring my best to every show, the experience behind the scenes is the best part of competing.
What does your diet consist of?
Whole foods, non-allergenic, GI friendly, low sugar and low sodium, LOTS OF WATER and all-natural supplementation. It’s based on the principles of paleolithic eating, but with a side of sports nutrition for recovery and lean mass preservation.
Example day (i left out portion sizes to avoid the ‘one size fits all’ mentality…
1- Oats, egg whites, blueberries and multivitamin
2- Brown rice and flank steak
3- Brown rice, asparagus, and 99% fat free ground turkey
4- Oats and whey protein and unsweetened almond milk
5- Yams and chicken
6- Whey protein and unsweetened almond milk and asparagus with EVOO
What body part are you most proud of?
Shoulders and GLUTES! I’m a classic pear-shape by ‘nature’ so I have had to really work hard to build a smaller, yet shapely rear view, while building bigger and rounder shoulders for the hourglass and proportions I now have, so that said, I’m very proud of the years of solid, consistent and dedicated work put in to the success I know enjoy with those ‘problem’ areas. I’m even more excited to know that in time, God-willing, I’ll only continue to improve.
What is the biggest fitness myth you encounter in the fitness industry every day?
Oh, there are so many! How do I just choose one? Ok, my favorite to correct: MYTH: If women lift heavy weights, they will get huge and bulky and look like a man. I wrote a post on it on my site… actually more than one of my posts combats this myth. Read it here: causefitness.com/women-and-weights. But my favorite way to combat this myth when people ask, is to ask them if they think I look bulky. The answer is no. Then I proceed to tell them how much I can squat, deadlift, incline bench press, etc. Bulk has everything to do with your energy balance (ie. calories coming in in surplus to your energy needs). If you are eating to fuel your energy needs, but not in excess of those needs, you will NOT put on size. Lastly, I tell them that even if their goal IS to put on a little size, the bulk won’t happen over night, ever. Now get to the gym and RAGE on the heaviest weights you can pick up! We aren’t Bruce Banner, people!
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
An incredible steak or lobster dinner with red wine, or fresh sushi! I love real food. I don’t crave the things I used to. I know how I’m going to feel after wards and it’s just not worth it. I’d rather be so full from REALLY amazing REAL food that I’m outta commission for a couple hours, than be in pain from indigestion. BOA Steakhouse on Sunset Blvd. is where it’s at!
What are your 3 favorite exercises?
Rack deadlift, Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch, and Box jumps for height
What supplements would you use/recommend if any?
YES. Bio-Energetix. It’s evidence-based supplementation, is a brand built on integrity and research. BEX Supplements are all-natural, and align with the Cause Fitness brand and nutritional beliefs. I have worked hard to create a trustworthy brand with integrity in CAUSE FITNESS and because of that, I will only consider aligning myself with other brands and people who value the same things – BIO-ENERGETIX, You have to try these products for yourself. Read up on the (thorough) research behind each product too. They have nothing to hide. If you want pro-athlete results and the best quality on the market from a brand you can trust, look no further.
Do you like modeling or competing more?
I’ve always liked both for different reasons. Modeling lets you act out characters for still shots, but competing lets you perform on stage, show personality and then there’s the competitive thrill involved….so both, but I think I like the performance aspect of competing better than the impersonal idea of just simply being a pretty face with modeling. I’m an actress! I love putting on a show!
Top 9 tips for people who want to get in shape?
1- Get 8 hours of sleep a night
2- Drink 3L of fresh water daily
3- Avoid sugar
4- Replace most grains with greens
5- Take a multivitamin and fish oil
6- Never sit longer than 2 hours at a time – Get up walk around and stretch
7- Eat lean protein in every meal/snack
8- Set next day goals the night before, including scheduling your workout and laying out your clothes
9- Plan ahead (gym, meals, meal preparation and plan for the unknown/upcoming obstacles like social events) remember that a strict training program is necessary to improve body composition, but be sure to include a REST day from your training program at least 1x week
What’s next for you?
I just moved to LA from Seattle a couple months ago, so I’ve been busy re-building my client base in a new city, and establishing the platform I need to launch ‘Cause Fitness’ as a charitable foundation.
I’m a professional fitness model and actress, represented by Wilhelmina NY, and I’m part of a small theatre company in LA right now. I’m also part of the UFC Fit Team (coming soon!) so I anticipate further work with the UFC this year! Other than that, I’m working on a couple workout DVD projects, I want to get my PRO-CARD in bikini this year, and I’m honestly open to whatever God calls me to do. For the first time in my life, I have nothing and no one holding me back from my potential and I’m so excited to be part of the change I wish to see in the world! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of realizing your potential and I wish the same for everyone!
I’m currently seeking product/nutritional endorsements/sponsorships to help me pursue my competition goals, if our brands can compliment each other. Feel free to reach out!