DATE OF BIRTH:
SPORT & CLASS YOU COMPETE IN:
I was born in the Ukraine in a military family and moved around the former Soviet Union until 1991. I graduated from the Medical University in 2004 and worked as a physician until I moved to America in 2006. I worked very hard for 8 years trying to make a living in a foreign country until I finally got my Green Card and was able to pursue my childhood dream of joining the military.
After returning from basic training, I needed a new goal and motivation to keep myself in shape. I was also going through a separation from my late husband and needed a fresh start in life. I had a longtime friend who was a trainer and a competitor, and after talking to her, I decided to give it a try. I have never touched weights or played any professional sports before, so it took me at least 6 months to get used to the gym, find my own perfect time to train, and adjust to meal prep. One of the biggest obstacles I had to face was finding the right coach and my place in this sport.
Working out has never been an issue for me and has become a second nature by now. Eating clean on and off season is a challenge and something I am still working on daily. Since I have started my fitness and competition journey, I have changed a lot as a person. I am much healthier, happier, and stronger, and I look younger than I ever did before.
I still work in the medical field as a sonographer and I absolutely love my job. Before I got involved in bodybuilding, I used to garden a lot and still like to do it when I have time. I also love traveling and photography, decorating and fostering dogs as well as being involved in my church activities.
What are your fitness goals?
Regardless of where my competition journey takes me, my long term goal is to stay fit and healthy and inspire and motivate others to do the same.
Why did you start competing?
After Basic Training I wanted to keep myself in shape but didn’t know how. I was also going through a life crisis, was depressed and didn’t know what to do with my life.
What do you enjoy most about competing?
Watching my body change every time I compete. Getting healthier and better as a person and athlete.
Who inspires you and why?
Honestly, before I used to look up to different athletes and competitors on social media. But lately I get my motivation and inspiration from seeing my own progress and improvements. I also get inspired by people who have families, illnesses, or physical disabilities but still manage to stick to their meals and workout plans.
What are your favorite exercises and why?
I like training all body parts - the more variety the better for me. I get bored easily with the same workouts.
What is your favorite cheat food?
Sushi, wine and sweets.
What is your favorite health and fitness quote?
The 3 C’s of Life: Choices, Chances, and Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.
If you could give one piece of advice about dieting, what would it be?
Consistency and patience is the key. Also, listen to your body. No one knows it better than you.
If you could give one piece of advice to new athletes or people just getting into fitness, what would it be?
Be educated, do research, ask questions, and know how you’re supposed to look on stage in order to win. Make sure you have the right coach ( I cannot emphasize it enough) to guide you in a professional manner, taking into consideration your health and long term life and fitness goals.
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