Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Tameika Gentles

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Tameika Gentles
  • Age 30
  • Height 5’3
  • Weight 140 – 145 
  • Occupation: Human Resources

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Tameika) I was the classic story of the girl who had been overweight her entire life. Growing up, I was the fun, jolly, overweight friend that everyone loved! We’re of Jamaican descent and needless to say, being health conscious was never of true importance. We just ate great food and ate it well! Traditional foods were a huge part of our culture and lifestyle.

As I got older, the weight piled on. I went from being the cute chubby Tameika to becoming severely overweight. After my first year of university and gaining yet another 20lbs (forget the freshman 15), I’d reached 220lbs… what I called my breaking point.

After dozens and dozens attempts at weight loss it finally clicked. My breaking point was where I was at such a low, the only option left was to fix this.  I started with research. I was a great student and loved to learn. This was during a time when Instagram, blogs, and the wealth of information available today just wasn’t there. Ten years ago, I went to the library and took out books on weight loss. I studied the science of weight loss, caloric intake, macros, fitness, weight training and the psychology of obesity.  I was basically a sponge, absorbing everything I could.

It started off with deciding I was going to make my own food. As a student, that consisted of very basic and very affordable meals. But I knew making and preparing my own meals was a first step. Over time it evolved into making my meals fun, buying healthy cookbooks, and trying new recipes.

At the gym, it started with fitness classes! Through research, I knew how important strength training was. Initially it started off with just cardio, but I quickly learned that if I wanted the body I dreamt of, with minimal loose skin, strength training was important. Fitness classes taught me the basics; what a bicep curl was, how to properly squat, how to target different muscle groups. I couldn’t afford a personal trainer back then, so learning in classes was a perfect alternative.

My love for training evolved. It snowballed into the weight room and planning out my workouts. I loved the results my body was experiencing and was committed to seeing where I could take this.

After nine very dedicated months, I lost nearly 100lbs. The key to my weight loss was education. When I hit a plateau, I would figure out ways change up my routine and keep progressing. My family and friends supported me through this journey, but for me, education and research was (and continues to be) the key to my success.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Tameika) I tried time and time again to get this journey started and failed. The main problem was lack of patience and inconsistency. It wasn’t until I completely committed to this decision (my breaking point) when I didn’t look back. But before then, it wasn’t an easy journey.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Tameika) Start with the mindset of creating a lifestyle. If you do anything extreme, it will not last. Skip the fad diets and the short cuts and stick to the simple formula: Get moving and consume healthy food while monitoring your portions. Taking the simple approach may take longer, but you’ll surely be able to maintain it long term.
Also – connect to your “Why” … write it down and make it meaningful. Revisit your “why” regularly. If you enter this process with a deeper understanding of why this is the decision you’ve made, it’ll make the sacrifices worth it. 10 years post-weight loss I still revisit my “why” often.

 

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Tameika) I turn my favorite foods healthy. I have recipes for Healthy Pizzas/Pastas/Baked Goods. I know I am not the type of girl who can eat grilled chicken and brown rice every day. So, I find foods that cater to my taste buds whilst achieving my goals.

I also allow myself 2 cheat meals a week. I have since the beginning of this journey!

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Tameika) Breakfast: Fiber Rich Cereal with Almond Milk or Fiber Rich Toast with Nut Butter and Jelly

Snack: Coffee

Lunch: Fiber Rich Pasta with Protein or Protein with Potato/Brown Rice or Sandwich/Wrap or  a healthy fun meal I create (i.e. pizza)

Snack: Protein Bar & Fruit or Protein Green Smoothie

Dinner: Protein and Veg (a lot of Veg)

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Tameika)

Day 1 – Arms/Cardio

Day 2 – Stretch/Meditate/Yoga for 1 hour

Day 3 – Shoulders/Cardio

Day 4 – Stretch/Meditate/Yoga for 1 hour

Day 5 – Legs& Glute/Cardio

Day 6 – Back/ Cardio

Day 7 – Stretch/Meditate/Yoga for 1 hour

All lower body workouts are heavy weights/low reps… all upper body are moderate weights/ high reps

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Tameika) Legs! No Matter the day I always feel the intense burn

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Tameika) While doing cardio I listen to inspiring podcasts/sermons. Things that get me mentally focused. While lifting, I usually listen to 90s hip hop or Dancehall! On Spotify I just grab new playlists each day!

 

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Tameika) Outside of a multivitamin, no supplements over here. I’ve been able to lose the weight (and keep it off), maintain muscle mass, and build my ideal body without it so don’t see the need!

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Tameika) My knee brace and lifting belt! Given I was overweight my whole life my joints are weak. They always have been. So using a brace for running helps to protect them. The belt helps me to stabilize as I lift heavy and push myself.

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Tameika) I love anything Italian, a good burger, and I’m a sucker for sweets!

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Tameika) While I’m most known for all things health and fitness, travel is a close runner up in terms of passions. I moved abroad to Hong Kong almost 3 years ago and have been traveling monthly to a new country/city ever since!

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Tameika) I’m also a certified personal trainer and offer online programs that are customizable to my client’s lifestyle!

 

For more information about Tameika’s online programs and plans check out her website www.tameikag.com/services. You can also follow her socially

Instagram: TameikaG

Facebook: Tameika

Twitter: TameikaG

Snap Chat: TameikaG

Website: TameikaG.com

 

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Carla Fields

Tell us about yourself

  • Name: Carla Fields
  • Age: 56
  • Height 5’5
  • Weight 135
  • Occupation: Carla fields fitness INC

 

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Carla)  I graduated from Tuskegee University BS Accounting 1982, spent 10 years in corporate America until  I met my husband David Fields. I’ve  always  been active, but lacked direction. In comes my husband a Business Hair Salon owner looking to expand into Total Wellness….  Hair , Nails,  Massage and Fitness. He introduced me to his trainer and in 3 months I was competing at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC).

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Carla)  My struggle was within, and emotional, wanting to be my best and healthy.  I struggled to listen to my body, feed it what it needed. Some days I went too hard too strict. It seemed the workout/nutrition piece was a balance of understanding what my body needed based on exertion, while still being able to enjoy life. I had to Find My FORMULA (FMF).

I  had some emotional problems and working out was my safe haven. It seems to balance my hormones, mood, make me more ZEN, create a calming effect, it’s my drug. I have to have it, even on a bad day when I think I’m not gonna work out…. I do. That’s when I figured it all out, this is my calling. It’s what I’m supposed to do.


What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Carla)  My advice for those who struggle to reach your goals is to GET HELP! Visualize who you are, and what you want! Put  in place a plan of action, and take the necessary steps to get there. Stay focused, make a personal commitment, get a workout buddy,  think of  the rewards….  more energy, look and feel good, live long, age gracefully, be proactive against the BIG 3: Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer.

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Carla)  Diet and Nutrition are critical, its 75% of the battle. In order to reach your goal, you must Find Your Formula, and each individual has a unique formula. It took me over 15 years to FMF, but once I found it, everything fell in place… youthful, strong lean body, no mood swings, healthy organs operating optimally, feeling good.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Carla) 

Breakfast:

Green smoothie (Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Celery, Banana, Protein powder, Ginger, and Cayenne pepper)

Snack:

Cottage Cheese, and a fruit or Protein bar (Gnld)

Lunch:

Protein: Chicken,

Carb: (1/2 cup), Pasta, Sweet Potato, Quinoa, or Brown Rice, Corn and

Cruciferous Veggies: Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Green beans, Greens, Cabbage etc.,

Snack:

Veggie cup and a protein 

Dinner:

2-4 Veggies salads/beans and a Protein

Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Carla) It used to be legs, but now at age 56 it Core/ Abdominals

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Carla)  My music ranges from Technotronic Radio  to Gospel.

 

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Carla)  I take can be found my clicking the GNLD link at the bottom of my webpage www.carlafields.com

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Carla)  Oreo Cheese Cake, and my Special blend of Trail mix (cashews, almonds, dried pineapple, papaya, cranberries, pistachios, raisins )

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Carla)  I’m Intense, I don’t know how to give up…. even when I try. I have one speed… Go!

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Carla)  Don’t get in shape for an event or an occasion, Stay in Shape for Life!

 

For information on whats new with Carla check out her website www.CarlaFields.com or her IG page @CarlaFields

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Mykal Harris

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Mykal Harris
  • Age 27
  • Height 5’4
  • Weight 160 
  • Occupation: Bartender, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer

 

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Mykal)  I had always lived an active life growing up. I played basketball and danced. When I quit dancing after my junior year of college, I began to notice a few extra pounds. But things got worse when I moved to Murfreesboro. I was working at a restaurant, stressed from school, and put on 20+ lbs in 6 months. I didn’t even recognize my body anymore. So I changed my diet, hired a personal trainer, began doing hot yoga, and it became a lifestyle.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Mykal)  I work in the restaurant industry, so I am always around delicious food. I struggle with anxiety and depression, so eating out of impulse and stress is sometimes a problem. Lastly, it’s possible to burn yourself out on the lifestyle. At one point I was training several people, teaching yoga, teaching group classes, and attempting to train for a competition. I got sick of seeing the inside of the gym, and had to take a step back. Now, that I don’t live in the gym, I look forward to my workouts every day.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Mykal)  Never stop looking for motivation. Get on Pinterest or Instagram, scroll photos, and save inspiring images or quotes. Find a workout partner or someone to hold you accountable. Get into a routine, but make it enjoyable, and try new things.  Celebrate your progress, and remember how you felt before you began. I was miserable when my diet slipped and I stopped being active. I was more exhausted, I didn’t like the way my body looked and felt. Remember what made you get started.

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Mykal)  Nutrition is everything. I often tell people who ask me for advice to start there. If you changing your whole life seems to overwhelming, start with trying to eat better. I cannot achieve the body I want or feel like I want, while eating trash. I like to keep my meat intake down and eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I strive to drink a gallon of water every day, and I opt for seafood over chicken. Beef and pork are rare. Eating this way gives me the energy to execute my busy lifestyle and my workouts.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Mykal)   Ideally,

Breakfast: Oatmeal or fruit (apples/bananas)

Snack: Protein shake after a workout

Lunch: Black beans or 6oz fish/chicken and steamed veggies with brown rice, vegan chili,

Snack: Raw fruits/veggies  and yogurt, or a smoothie, sometimes another shake

Dinner: 6oz protein (preferably salmon!), steamed/roasted veggies or a big salad

Snack (if necessary): Grapes or yogurt and granola

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Mykal)   When training for competition, I do a different body part each day. During the off-season, I enjoy full body workouts and mixing cardio and weights.

Example:

Warm Up: 10 minutes of cardio on the stairs, the elliptical or running

4×10-12 Back squats

4×10-12 Glute kickbacks

4×10-12 Lying leg curls

3×20 Abductor/Adductor

5-10 minutes Walking Lunges

3×20 Hanging leg raise

 

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Mykal)  Legs! Legs! Legs! Glutes, hammies, quads. I could do legs every day!

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Mykal)  I don’t have one. I subscribe to Pandora One. If I’m lifting, I like Young Money, Future, or Rick Ross Radio. Anything to make me feel like a badass. If I’m doing cardio, I like pop music like Ke$ha or Katy Perry.

 

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Mykal)  I sometimes take a fat burner called TNT for energy, because I can’t take pre-workout. Otherwise, I just use vegan protein powder. My coaches will be giving me supplement regimen during competition training. This will include a multivitamin, probiotic, omega 3,6,9, and the fat burner.

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Mykal)  Headphones, arm band, and gloves. I don’t like a lot of extra stuff, I’ll lose it!

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Mykal)  Definitely pizza or sushi

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Mykal)  I study foreign languages for fun.I have a B.A. Spanish, studied Portuguese for a year, and took a semester of Japanese and Italian for elective credit, and spent most of high school devoted to Latin.

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Mykal)  Never give up. My health and fitness journey has not been a straight shot. I have regressed and had setbacks. It happens. Someone once told me never compare your private life to someone else’s public life. So while social media is a great place to find inspiration, it only tells the story a person wants you to see. So if you fall off the wagon, get back on. If your diet slips, pick it back up. If you don’t know your ultimate goal, just keep moving and you will find it. All the pieces eventually fall into place, if you keep working.

 

To keep up with Mykal and learn more about her upcoming Vlog/Blog called MelaYoga follow her on instagram @themelayogi 

 

Carla Fields Fitness

Carla Fields is an accomplished certified personal fitness expert with more than 20 years of practical and competitive experience. She started helping people achieve their fitness goals in 1991 as a fitness instructor for the YMCA™, Main Event Fitness, and Australian Body Works. Carla currently has her own facility, Carla Fields Fitness, Inc., located in Lithonia, Georgia. She emphasizes lifestyle changes through strength training and cardiovascular conditioning along with weight management by proper nutrition planning. She specializes in body sculpting, fat loss, and increasing energy. What sets Carla apart from other trainers is that she gets results. She works from both a psychological and physical standpoint to encourage you to stick with the program. To keep up with Carla and set appointments with her at Carlafields.com.

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Nicole “Nikki” Griggs

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Nicole “Nikki” Griggs
  • Age 36
  • Height 5’4
  • Weight In Contest Season approx. 115 lbs; Off Season approx. 135-140 lbs
  • Occupation: Analyst at a BioPharma Company and Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist

 

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Nikki)  In 2007 I lost the love of my life suddenly to cardiac arrest, he was 27 years old. While grieving I felt that I had lost all control of my life. I was drinking, smoking and neglecting my health.  In 2010, with the support of family and friends, I decided I needed to start caring about myself again. I realized that I needed to start living again, not just existing. I decided to focus on exercising with the goal of losing excess weight in the fall of 2010, I decided to change my eating habits for good in the spring of 2011. I was 30 years old at the time. My first major fitness goal was to complete a 5K so in addition to strength training I used the Couch to 5K program to help build endurance to run. After doing really well in 5K and 10K races for 2 years, I decided to set a new goal/challenge for myself and began competing in bodybuilding competitions in 2013.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Nikki)  In the beginning I got discouraged because I was running and working out but not seeing much change on the scale. This was because I had not yet changed what I was eating. After doing some research, I began to understand the importance of nutrition and how the foods we eat play a major part in what we look like. That’s when I began seeing results. This motivated me to keep going and also motivated me to become a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Nikki)  Don’t give up even if progress is slow. Slow progress is still progress and quitting won’t speed anything up. Keep your “why” at the forefront of your mind. Revisit your reason for why you wanted to embark on the fitness journey in the first place. There will be times when you don’t feel like eating clean or working out but that has nothing to do with your “why”. If we only did things when we felt like doing them we wouldn’t get much done.

 

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Nikki)  I believe the key to achieving any fitness goal lies in nutrition. Whether your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle or combination of both; what we eat makes all the difference. Personally I believe eating more whole, unprocessed foods is ideal for overall health. A tip I share is to focus on the food located along the perimeter of the grocery store, not the aisles. Along the perimeter you will find fresh veggies, fruit and protein sources. Keep it simple.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Nikki)  I eat between 5 and 6 meals a day, a typical day looks something this:

Meal 1 – Omelet and Plain Oatmeal

Meal 2 – Baked Cod & Veggies

Meal 3 – Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato & Veggies

Meal 4 – Grilled Salmon, Brown Rice & Veggies

Meal 5 – Baked Cod & Veggies

Meal 6 – Casein Protein Shake or repeat of Meal 3 or 5

 

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Nikki)  I’m in the gym 6 days a week for approximately 1.5-2hrs. In addition to lifting I also do cardio 4-5 days a week.

Day 1 – Chest

Day 2 – Legs (Quad focus)

Day 3 – Rest

Day 4 – Back

Day 5 – Legs (Hamstring focus)

Day 6 – Shoulders

Day 7 – Biceps + Triceps

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Nikki)  This is a tie between Back and Legs, I love both equally! My favorite back exercises are Pullups and T-Bar Rows. My favorite leg exercises are Squats and Glute Bridges as well as Deadlifts which hit legs and lower back.

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Nikki)  My playlist is very eclectic and contains rock, r&b, pop, hip hop, electronic, jazz and more. Lately I have had Bruno Mars’ latest album, 24K Magic on repeat.

 

 

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Nikki)  I do take some basic supplements like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Multi Vitamin and Fish Oil. I also use BCAAs during workouts and occasionally have protein shakes.

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Nikki)  In the gym, I always have my notepad and pen, lifting gloves (www.g-loves.com)  and fanny pack to hold my iPhone so I can listen to music. I also love my isolator fitness gallon jug carrying case. (https://isolatorfitness.com/the-jug).

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Nikki)  I am a potato connoisseur! My favorite cheat meals most definitely include potatoes in some form; french fries are my favorite.

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Nikki)  I am introverted and shy. My shyness used to cause me great anxiety but competing has helped me cope and has even helped be a better leader at work. While I’ll likely always be an introvert, sharing my story or talking about fitness in the hopes that it may help someone, is energizing to me.

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Nikki)  You have the power to do and be whatever you want. Set goals, believe in yourself, get to work, stay consistent, don’t make excuses and never quit! Be a #goaldigger

 

To keep up with Nikki check out her website www.fitgirlnikki.com , twitter , instagram , and her Facebook page here

 

How to read a nutrition label

 

A brief history of the nutrition label

The idea of a nutrition label is relatively new in regards to how long packaged food has been around. In 1990 The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was passed, this provides FDA with specific authority to require nutrition labeling of most foods. This also required that all nutrient content claims and health claims be consistent with agency regulations (read here). On May 27, 2016 the FDA made some updates to the traditional nutrition label that we are used to seeing in an effort to help consumers better understand what all is included in the product before purchase.You can read more about that here. It is also important to note that produce that is not pre-packaged is not required to have a nutrition label on it.

Navigating the nutrition label

To read a nutrition label you can start at the top of the label. This is where you will find out what a serving size of the product is, how many servings per container, and two different measurement types of that serving size(grams, ounces, cups, etc).  Knowing this can help determine personal serving sizes especially if your macros do not allow for a full portion of the product. This is also important because all of the percentages listed out for the calories, macros, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and minerals will be per serving.  Recently more products have started including nutritional information for the entire package adjacent to that of the serving size. After the serving size of a product you will see the calories per servings.Next is the total fat of a product with the different types of fat that are included in the product listed below. If a product includes trans fat it is required to list it and the amount that it contains.  Cholesterol and sodium are listed after total fat and these three should be monitored when not consuming whole foods and limited in consumption in general.Total carbohydrate is next and is broken down into sugar and fiber. With these new label guidelines companies are now going to be required to label the added sugar inside of a food product. Because of this you may also see total sugar listed more under total carbohydrates with a break down of the sugars included in a product. The way fiber is calculated is scheduled to be updated as well but it may not be as noticeable. Currently the definition of what should be included in dietary fiber is being reviewed so that what is listed for dietary fiber is only fiber that is beneficial to health. Another change to the label is Vitamin A and C which are no longer required and are now voluntary listings. This change is because in the early 1990s when nutritional labels were being established American diets lacked Vitamins A and C, but now Vitamins A and C deficiencies in the general population are rare. The minerals Calcium and Iron are still required to be listed on the food label. These along with fiber are required to be listed on the label in an effort to get Americans to get in enough of these nutrients. The last thing to be listed on the nutrition label is footnotes about daily values usually including variations of a 2,000 and 2,500 calorie diet.

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Tracie Roberts

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Tracie Roberts
  • Age 33
  • Height 5’3
  • Weight 197 
  • Occupation: Corporate Customer Advocate

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Tracie) My story goes back to 2007 when I was first diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety, although looking back there were signs way before then. I struggled for years with medications, therapy, and alternative treatment methods. Due to my illness, my weight became out of control. In 2010 I got up to 269lbs and decided I had to change. I began working out and found this not only helped my mental status but I was able to drop 100lbs in a year as well.  Unfortunately, by the end of 2011 I spiraled out of control and gained all the weight back and then some tipping the scale at 286lbs. I stopped working out, was unable to find the right combination of medications and I was getting worse.

In 2013 I hit rock bottom and overdosed on a bottle of sleeping pills just trying to ease the physical and mental pain I was going through. After 2 days in the hospital and loss of some motor skills I was released but not to go home, I was committed to in-patient treatment at a mental health hospital in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I thought my life was over at this point but it ended up being a God send. I was able to be properly diagnosed with Bipolar Depression and began the process of finding the correct medication and methods to treat it. After six months, I was on meds that were working, completed a day program and developed skills that were helping me become Tracie again. At this time I decided to again start exercising again.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Tracie) Other than my struggles with my mental health I had the same problem I believe many of us have, starting and stopping. I would get emotional and mess up on my “diet” and quit. I am an emotional eater so I would yoyo between eating sensibly then eating everything in sight literally until it hurt.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Tracie) Your goal has to be bigger than just losing weight. I believe when you are specific and focused on this goal daily or even hourly you have a better chance of success. People talk about obsession as if it is a bad thing but obsessing over a healthy goal is a game changer.

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Tracie) As stated before diet has been one of my biggest obstacles. I Went from eating healthy during the day and being out of control at night to managing my cravings and eating a more balanced diet. I began by cutting portions then making healthier choices. I can honestly say now though the thing that has helped take me to the next level has been intermittent fasting. I currently eat foe 8 hours a day and fast for 16 This is a fairly recent change for me but bas completely transformed my relationship with food. I had to build up to the 8 hours but now that my body has adapted it is easy. I eat anywhere from 1500 to 1800 calories a day depending on my workouts. Now that I have more control over food when I do crave something I am able to have to without going overboard. I do not deny myself anything but at the same time I don’t crave junk very much anymore.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Tracie) I drink water all throughout the day. I try to do a gallon a day but honestly only get there half the time. Other than that I start my day with a preworkout, then coffee or tea later in the morning. By noon it is time to break my fast and I try to do that with fruit. I love oatmeal with any fruit in it, tuna salad made with nonfat cottage cheese, fish, and chicken. My green obsession at the moment is french cut green beans. I have salad occasionally but they get boring to me. I love trying new foods or finding healthy yet tasty alternatives to my favorite meals. I don’t eat certain things for certain meals. It is typical for me to have oatmeal with dinner.

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Tracie) I train early in the morning. I’ve never been able to eat before working out so training fasted is the norm for me. I lift 4 to 5 days a week and do strict cardio about 3 days a week but I do burpees in some form daily. A typical workout for me may be back squats, deadlifts, good mornings , and monster walks. I switch up the actually workouts I do for each body part weekly so my body doesn’t adjust.

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Tracie) I guess my sample workout was a give away because I love training legs and glutes.

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Tracie) Honestly I could just have all Beyoncé and I would be fine but I also like 90’s southern music. Some inspirational or empowering slower songs like I Rise by Andra Day or anything from India Arie

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Tracie) I take a pre-workout, multi vitamin and iron. I also make protein shakes when my protein is lower during the day.

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Tracie) All I really need is a mat and my bodyweight. Everything else is a bonus

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Tracie) My favorite cheat meals would have to be anything carbs and sugar;  from pasta and pizza to cake, pie, lemon bars or really any baked goods.

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Tracie) I have 5 kids and 2 grandchildren.

 

To keep up with Tracie you can follower her on instagram @traciestakeover

 

TIERTIME FITNESS

TIERTIME Fitness is the brain child of the Los Angeles, CA native, Tier Elera. With her signature phrase, “We Pickin’ Up!”, Elera encourages her class participants to leave their shame, judgments, and limits at the door.  The class was designed to tone muscles, develop core strength and increase balance for participants within all fitness levels. With power-driven original routines, participants reap the body shaping benefits of the sport of dance while enjoying the latest moves and tunes of the Urban, Hip-Hop, Latin and Pop genres.

Check out The woman behind TIERTIME

For more information on TIERTIME Fitness contact them at

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Email: Tiertimefitness@gmail.com

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Shonda Caines

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Shonda Caines
  • Age 36
  • Height 5’5
  • Weight 145 
  • Occupation: Certified Fitness Professional (Trainer/Wellness Coach/Run Coach/Fitness Nutrition Specialist/Weight-loss Specialist), Speaker, Vegan Personal Chef

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Shonda) After struggling with my weight from middle school and struggling through college, I decided to give it 100% once I finished graduate school. This was the only area of my life that I failed at and wanted to feel good about myself. With no medical health issues at 229 pounds, I wanted my outside to match my inside. I started to eat healthier while in grad school, and added exercise the last day of classes; I never looked back. It has been 9 years.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Shonda) Knowing my [why] for wanting to lose weight, staying committed and the courage to continue.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Shonda) It is crucial that you know your [why] for pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Expose what is hindering you? Identify what are some habits you need to address? Find accountability partners to support, but also hold you accountable. Write do the pros and cons of a healthy lifestyle. Purchase a wellness journal, take pictures, get measure, give yourself the space to grow, focus on your own wellness goals and be patient with yourself. Biggest advice: it’s impossible to out work a bad diet. Eat from home more than dining out. Track all solid and liquids consumed. Get girth measurement done every 6-8 weeks. The scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Incorporate weight bearing exercises at least 3-4 times per week. Add interval cardio to your workout plan 5-6 times per week for 45-60 minutes.

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Shonda) Reduce/or eliminate alcoholic and sugary beverages. Increase water and unsweetened herbal/green tea. Increase green leafy veggies, clean proteins, pseudo grains, root veggies, beans, legumes and peas. Decrease packaged foods of all sort (sweet, salty, pre-cooked, etc) Eat from the outside of the grocery store more. Choose whole fruits over those pre-packed. Increase one’s herbs, spices and no salt seasonings. Eat more veggies and proteins at night and less fruit and carbs at night.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Shonda) High fiber oatmeal.  Piece of fruit. Organic Quinoa/veggies/tempeh. Raw walnuts. Oven roasted butternut squash/Brussels sprouts/organic tofu. Green salad with seeds and plant protein. 10oz of water. Herbal tea.

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Shonda) As a Group Exercise Instructor it varies, I exercise with my students in intermediate –advance Athletic Conditioning class (lots of squats, lunges, running, curtsy lunge, walking lunges, squat jumps, jumping jacks, etc).

  • Example workout:

        Legs: Machine free-weighted circuit 24-30 lbs

       3 sets; 12 reps; 30 sets after each rotation

        Curtsy lunge; reverse lunge; squat jumps; 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Lateral lunge; sagittal lunge; high knees 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Gobblet Squat; split lunge; jumping jacks 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Travel lunge; Stiff leg deadlift; squat jumps 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Wall throws; sumo squats; jumping jacks 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

Favorite body part to train?

(Shonda) Legs.

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Shonda) Yes! Any soca or reggae music (Island Girl)

 

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Shonda) Currently, glutamine, BCAA (not daily).

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Shonda) My Fitbit.

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Shonda) Vegan wraps with tons of veggies; organic tortilla chips; no cheat meals (either I want it or earned it).

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Shonda) I ran an ultra-marathon 50 miler to celebrate my 9th 90lb weight-anniversary Nov. 15.

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Shonda) Weight-lifting makes me feel strong & sexy! I’m an endurance vegan athlete.

 

To keep up with Shonda and learn more about her vegan personal chef business EBN’s Vegan Cuisine check out her Facebook page here and her IG page @Shonda_Caines

 

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Natoshia Coleman

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Natoshia Coleman
  • Age 26
  • Height 5’3.5
  • Weight 120-125lbs Stage: 113lbs
  • Occupation: Administration and IFBB Pro Athlete

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Natoshia) I changed my lifestyle at the age of 22. I woke up one day and couldn’t understand why my body would ache to the core, I had an attitude about everything and just didn’t feel like a 22 year old should feel in my opinion. I had always been active in High School never a top athlete but admired their dedication. I slowly stopped being so active as I got older, I had thankfully gotten out of a very toxic relationship and I needed something to get me back on my feet. There was a point and time where I wouldn’t eat for hours, I’d pop fat burners and go do cardio and thought it was ok. I was always told “oh, don’t lift because that will make you look manly and you’ll blow up, you want to be soft so men like you.” Nothing about my body wanted to be soft and curvaceous so, instead of beating myself up about it I listened to it. I embraced my body for what I had instead of what I wasn’t. I was on Bodybuilding.com all the time reading articles, googling, and then one day I saw this photo of a beautiful woman with muscle in a sparkly red bikini and that was it. That’s what I wanted to do. I did my first NPC show in 2013 ended up winning the overall in bikini and I was hooked. I was able to take the stresses of my day and push them out with the weight I was lifting in the gym. I would do all over again if I had to, no doubt about it.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Natoshia) Honestly, it didn’t take much to keep me motivated in the beginning. I was so focused on changing my lifestyle and building a healthy relationship with food I didn’t have time for doubts. It wasn’t until my fist national show that I really had my eyes opened. These women were DOING IT! Suits to the nine, bodies were ridiculous, every single woman was drop dead gorgeous and they all had a little strut. Me a first timer and self-proclaimed tomboy, had a decent suit, old shoes, weave might have been three weeks too old but it still looked decent, swore up and down I was turning pro until that moment. I for a moment doubted myself and it showed, I wasn’t ready. The mental for me was the biggest lesson. It wasn’t the discouragement that I would get from some family members in the beginning, or the old friends who wanted me to come out, or the people that said “just one bite, just one drink”. I knew my goals and there was no stopping it. The mental aspect of it though was and still can be tough. The relationship I built with myself was important to me. Balance is key.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Natoshia) Remember why you started and take it ONE day at a time. Having a major goal is great, it is just as important however to have those small realistic goals leading up to the major goal. I found that the small goals gave me direction and each week I was able to crush a new goal. Which, in my opinion, was great for my self-esteem for those days I wasn’t really feeling it. Whether it is to lift 5lbs heavier each week or lose 1lb a week or stretch 15 min longer each week make that small goal count. It helps more than you think and keeps you accountable. Also, make sure to give back to yourself when you deserve it. Don’t let your cup run empty.

 

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Natoshia) My preferred nutrition is a ketogenic style diet. I love fats, I love salmon and I love veggies. It brings me in really tight and I never have any mood swings with my prep because there isn’t anything spiking my insulin levels. My energy level is always high. It works well with my health goals as well because my family has a history of diabetes, heart problems, and cancer and kidney failure so preventive health is always number one for me. My meal sizes never change the closer I get to a show like they use to while carb cycling and I don’t pull water. It makes prep much easier in my opinion but everyone’s body is very different. My body runs much better on fats than on carbs.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Natoshia) I eat about nine times a day.  Usually fatty meats and a handful of veggies and supplementing protein shakes here and there. I always finish my day off with a fiber supplement for sure. It really fills me up at night when I have those late night cravings. The mango flavor of my fiber supplement does the trick.

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

  1. Plyo’s are usually my Thursday workout. Great if you need a hard workout in a short amount of time.
  2. Hot yoga is a huge part of my training now. I like hitting one session a week at least. Sunday afternoons usually.
  3. Beginning of the week is usually a heavy leg day with Glute focus
  4. Cardio is every day. Make it fun

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Natoshia)  I would have to say my favorite body part to train are my legs as a whole. I’m quad dominant so to stay balanced I have to modify my workouts. I like the challenge.

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Natoshia) Oh Dear. I literally just pulled up my last play list and still had to edit it.

  1. Beyonce – Formation
  2. Justin Timberlake – Drink you away
  3. Tory Lanez – Luv
  4. Beyonce – Crazy in Love (Live from London)
  5. Grace – You don’t Own Me
  6. Kanye West – Fade
  7. DJ Khaled – For Free
  8. Tank – #Bday

 

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Natoshia) Yes I do. I take the basics because the basics work.

For my Arnold prep:

Isolyze: Isolate Protein

Omegalize: all of my omega fats, very important to me

Artholize: This helps protect my joints and a great collagen supplement

Fiberlize: This fiber is amazing! I can’t tell you the difference it’s made in my gut health. It’s the last thing I take at night and it fills me right up. No cravings at night and I wake up with a flat tummy.

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Natoshia) For sure ear phones, music drives me in basically everything I do. I’d also have to say my bands and yoga mat.

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Natoshia) Oh the Good ole’ Burger and Fries! YUMM!

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Natoshia) I have a bikini obsession.

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Natoshia) If you do decide to check out the products I use for my prep at www.speciesnutrition.com  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! Save yourself a dollar or two and use my code “TOSHIA25” because sharing is caring. They are honestly great products that don’t mask what they offer. Also for any inquires please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at toshia.angel.fit@gmail.com.

 

To keep up with Natoshia check out her FB page here and her IG @Toshia_angel_fit