Becoming a mum completely changed my mindset, I wanted to get fit and healthy to ensure my kids follow in the same footsteps. Around the same time I decided to start my fitness journey my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer, I found exercise really helped me to cope with the stress and heartache I was going through watching my mum deteriorate, she sadly lost her battle with cancer in July of this year.
What sets you apart from other athletes?
I like to keep things as real as possible; I’m a full time working mum so juggling training and competing on top of that is no easy task and I never try to make it out like it is. I also think people respect the fact that I always put my family and career first, yes I’m passionate about fitness but my most important things in life are being a good mum & wife, providing for my family and setting the right example for my kids.
How would your best friend describe you?
Probably as superhuman, I’m extremely driven and push myself well beyond the realms of what people would consider ‘normal’. The main things people use to describe me: honest, hardworking, optimistic, intelligent and down to earth.
What are your personal long term and short term goals?
Short term: continue to compete in hope of gaining my pro status with the WBFF
Long Term: I want to run the NYC marathon one day before I turn 40.
Who inspires you and why?
This has always been a hard thing for me to answer, I’ve always been my own motivation, I’ve never tried to be like anybody else. I do take small snippets of inspiration from others but tend to piece these small bits together to inspire myself as opposed to allowing someone else to inspire me.
What is your favorite Type of workout?
I definitely love a heavy leg session in the gym, nothing beats the feeling of complete and utter exhaustion and having to hobble to the car unsure if I can even drive
What keeps you going on the hard days?
My kids keep me motivated, knowing that they look to me as an example makes me never want to fail them. Whenever I’m lacking motivation I think to myself “is that the example you want to set?” and almost instantly a switch flicks and I leap into whatever it is I need to be doing.
What are your favorite times to use your Gripped Headphones?
I love just zoning out with my music and going for a run, I’ve come from an endurance running background so I could quite happily run for hours on end just listening to music in the fresh outdoors – pure bliss!!
What has been your favorite moment throughout your fitness journey?
I was struck down with the vicious flu 1 day out from a comp last year (state championships), I pushed on despite not being able to talk, burning up with a fever and coughing and sneezing like crazy, needless to say I couldn’t even pump up and my body wasn’t reacting well at all. I went on stage for my first division of the day and rightly so I didn’t place, this was my 5th comp and the first time I hadn’t placed. I came off stage with my achievement medal and found my husband and kiddies waiting side stage for me (I didn’t think they were even coming to the comp so this was a huge surprise), my son was beaming with pride and said “yay mummy you got a medal”, I told him it wasn’t a winning medal and he said “but I still think you’re a winner” - this was a very valuable lesson for me that no matter what I’m setting the right example for those that matter (my kids) and that in the eyes of my loved ones I was winning at everything I did. The national titles were 2 weeks after this comp and whilst I knew my family were proud of me regardless of the outcome on the day I worked as hard as possibly could in that time to bring home a winning medal for my kiddies, I managed to win an Australian Title, which is one of my proudest achievements to date.
What’s a random fact that many people wouldn’t know about you?
I was born in Macedonia but came to Australia with my parents when I was 2 years old. Up until I started school I barely spoke any English other than the little bit I had picked up from the TV.
What has been your biggest challenge through your fitness journey, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been losing both of my parents this last year, my dad died suddenly and very unexpectedly at 65 last year, then I watched my mum fight a losing battle with terminal cancer for the next 12 months, dying at only 68 in July this year. There were many days I just wanted to cry in bed and give up but I didn’t let stress and sadness/ grief get the better of me, I used my training as a coping mechanism and got through what has been the hardest time I’ve ever experienced in my life.
What advice would you pass on to someone in their own fitness journey?
Start off slowly, it needs to become a lifestyle so make small sustainable changes rather than completely overhauling your life overnight as you won’t stick to it – trust me, I know from experience!
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I currently weight train 5 days a week, 3x lower body & 2 x upper body. I also have 2 active recovery/ cardio days
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
breakfast (post training, I train fasted each day): protein oats with berries & peanut butter
lunch: chicken & salad or vegetables
afternoon tea: rice cakes with tuna and veggie sticks (carrot, celery, cucumber)
dinner: steak & veggies
dessert/ pre-bed snack: chobani yoghurt with protein powder – so delish!!
During comp prep my calories range from 1800 – 2000, the only main difference during my off-season is bigger portions and the odd glass (or two) of wine with dinner, so I’d be closer to 2500 calories in off-season
What's your favorite place to eat?
At home, I love cooking and enjoying a healthy meal with my family
What is your Favourite Quote?
The body achieves what the mind believes – this has been a longstanding mantra of mine, since changing my mindset I’ve achieved more than I ever thought possible
What are your hobbies and interests outside of fitness?
Does doing laundry count haha, outside of work, family and training I really don’t have time for much else. My weekends are spent taking my kids to their gymnastics & swimming lessons or going to the park to play, there’s nothing I’d ever rather be doing than seeing them smile & laugh; we always try to be
What is your favourite exercise to perform and why?
Deadlifts - there’s just something about being able to lift more than double my body weight that leaves me feeling quite euphoric and invincible, best feeling ever!
How many pairs of shoes you own?
If I told you this I’d have to kill you!! Jokes aside, I honestly don’t even know myself, I have easily over 10-15 pairs of gym/ running shoes and probably 20-30 pairs of heels, but it’s never, ever enough…. If I could have things my way I’d buy myself a new pair of shoes every week and have a whole room in the house as my ‘shoe room’, and yes, I’m well aware I have a problem ;p
If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Burrito Bowl hands down – my absolute fave that I never get sick of.
What type of music do you listen to?
I have such a diverse taste in music!!
Training/ Gym: Dance/ Pop/ EDM
Running: Trance/ Metallica/ Skrillex/ The Killers – just depends on what mood I’m in and how far or fast I plan to run, trance makes me run faster but metal makes me run further.
Walking/ Light cardio: House/ Top 50 charts
Cleaning the house: Old school, Eagles/ Elvis/ Dire Straits
Are there any foods they don't enjoy that they force themselves to consume?
Nope, other than anchovies and licorice I pretty much eat everything. I’d never force myself to eat anything I hate as there are so many other options out there.
What is the worst injury you have ever had?
Hip Bursitis – I got this after running a half marathon when my daughter was only 10 weeks old, my tendons & ligaments weren’t quite back to normal post pregnancy and I put way too much strain on my body than what I should have. Lesson learned the hard way that's for sure!
What is the last movie that you watched?
Small Foot – I don’t watch tv or movies generally, the only exception to this is a family trip to the cinema, we watch whatever animated kids movie is out at the time as my kiddies are only 3.5 & 5 years old.
What is your most unusual talent?
Hmmmm, I really don’t know if I have any unusual talents lol