Bikini competitor known to our members as Stablesgirl overcame a lot to get on stage. In 2007, she was thrown from a horse and suffered a back injury that placed her in a body cast for several months. After a long recovery, she decided to get in the gym and start training. Seven months into her training, she stepped on stage for the first time as a competitor. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this incredible woman over the past year and enjoyed taking the time to interview her.
OliciousLife.com: Let’s start out by learning a little bit about you. Where were you born and where do you live now?
Stablesgirl: I was born and raised in Ohio, but I live in Atlanta now. I’ve been here for ten years and I say “y’all” so I’m officially southern.
OL: How does your family view health and fitness? Did this carry over from childhood, or did you have to learn a new approach as a adult?
SB: Growing up, I didn’t eat healthy, but I didn’t eat terribly unhealthy, either. My parents didn’t give us sweets often, and we ate fast food even less. However, if I didn’t want to eat my veggies, I wasn’t forced to; my mom always just said she wasn’t going to make anything else. I ate a lot of bagels and cereal. On the fitness side, I was always an active kid. I took gymnastics and was a cheerleader in junior high, high school and college, but I never did any weight training.
OL: What has been your greatest fitness/health accomplishment?
SB: Getting on stage for the first time in October of 2009 to compete in figure was a huge accomplishment- even though I was the skinniest girl on stage! I felt so proud of myself for pushing through the challenging diets and workouts and showing off all my hard work. Then a few weeks ago I took the stage for my first bikini competition. I loved every minute of it and plan to stick with the bikini division, as it seems to suit my personality and body type.
OL: When did you decide to start training and what encouraged you to do so?
SB: In 2007, I was in a serious horseback riding accident. I was thrown and landed in a seated position, shattering my T12. I was in a body cast for a few months, and weighed less than 100 pounds. I hated being so weak. Once I recovered fully, I wanted to push myself to be even stronger than I was before my accident. I joined a gym and began strength training in March of 2009.
OL: Who is the biggest influence/support in your life and why?
SB: My mom and sisters cheer me on constantly. My mom had a heart attack last year and now goes to cardiac rehab. She says thinking about my training encourages her to keep going and keep strengthening her heart, which is awesome. My sisters are both working out now as well.
OL: What has been the biggest challenge with your fitness and dieting goals? How do you stay focused?
SB: No doubt about it, my biggest challenge is making time to prep my food! I don’t enjoy cooking and I work really long days. When I don’t pack food I end up hitting a fast food place, or skipping meals entirely. I have to force myself cook on Sunday nights and get everything packaged for the week. If I can make myself do that, I’m golden.
OL: Where do you see yourself in the future of fitness?
SB: I am 100% addicted to working out and eating healthy. I have my moments of weakness with the diet, but I know I will stick with this lifestyle long-term. The benefits of how I look and feel keep me focused and hungry for the next goal — not the next super-sized order of fries.
OL: What is your favorite clean eat?
SB: Strangely enough, oatmeal. And to think I used to hate it… Now I love it, especially when it’s dressed up with bananas and honey.
OL: Do you have an irresistible cheat?
SB: One word: chocolate.
OL: What is your favorite workout day? Why? Describe a typical training regimen in that day.
SB: Shoulders and chest. It’s a love/hate day because I love shoulders and hate chest. But the shoulder exercises I love are military presses, lateral raises, arnold presses and front raises. Lately I’ve not been counting reps so much; I’ve just been beginning as heavy as I can with each exercise, and moving down in weight when I’m exhausted.
OL: What do you always eat before and after your workout?
SB: It varies a little, but it’s usually oatmeal before I work out, and either egg whites and salsa after, or sometimes a whey protein shake. Oh, and I just started taking Jack3D before my workout.
OL: Do you have any favorite supplements? If so, what are they and why do you take them?
SB: Speaking of whey, that’s my only standard supplement. I love it because it’s quick and easy and helps me hit my calories for the day.
OL: What is the best compliment you have received since you started training?
SB: A stranger came up to me and said “I have to know. What do you eat?” She went on to tell me that I looked healthy, natural and beautiful. I could have hugged her. Actually, I think I did.
OL: Do you have any websites, blogs, or event dates you would like to share or promote?
SB: Nope. I’m actively searching for my next challenge.
OL: Is there an event in your life that you can attribute to your success?
SB: My accident is what kicked everything off – and once I saw progress I was hooked.
OL: What is a quote that inspires you?
SB: If you don’t focus on your booty, no one else will 🙂
OL: Is there anything else you would like to share to help empower other women?
SB: I think women get overwhelmed when they think that in order to succeed in fitness they have to change everything — start working out hard, lifting heavy, measuring and weighing food, buying supplements…. but I want women to know they don’t have to jump in at that level. If you’re just starting out, start slow.
Pick something you know you can change and tackle it. Kill a bad habit. Create a new good one. I still consider myself a newbie in this process. I don’t lift as heavy as a lot of the OL women do. I don’t weigh my food and I don’t have exact macros I’m trying to hit every day. Maybe one day I will get to the point where I do those things, but for now I’m satisfied with the positive changes I’ve made, and I’m moving forward at the pace that works for me.