I grew up in Ukraine and eventually moved to the US in 2010. I was modeling at a very early age and traveling all over Europe. Life is not easy in Ukraine. Winter’s are very cold and lots of snow and summers are hot and humid. I always dreamed of coming to America.
How did I get started into fitness?
I was modeling for years and that’s not a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t eat right, stayed up late, and almost never did any working out. I realized I wasn’t healthy, and I needed to make a change. That realization was the beginning of my journey towards getting healthy, working out and eating well. I made a lot of mistakes at first, too much cardio, and not enough weight training. I did a lot of reading and listening to people that knew what they were doing. That’s when I really started to make progress.
What’s your fitness Specialty?
In general, one of the biggest mistakes women make is too much cardio and even when they do use weights, they lift way too light. Men in general lift way too heavy and almost never do any cardio. The only way you will ever change the shape of your body is from weight training. But you need a program, a plan of attack that makes sense. Getting in shape doesn’t happen by accident. It takes effort and a workout plan. You should know exactly what you’re going to do, the exercises and rep scheme for every workout before you enter the gym.
Preferred style of encouragement:
Close your eyes and imagine you’re already in shape. Imagine you’re healthy and happy. Imagine how you’ll feel. Say this every day when you first wake up, and before every workout... ”I’m in great shape, I’m healthy and happy and I feel great”. Do that every day, over and over, and before every workout and watch what happens not only in your workouts but your entire life. Be the master of your thoughts, train your brain just like you train your body.
If you want to meet people here’s my suggestion: Get a hobby besides just working out. Something you really enjoy. It could be anything, join a bowling league, learn to play an instrument, a foreign language, Skydiving, hang gliding, art, meditation, some sport other than working out, surfing, just to name a few things…
I have a friend who just started painting and drawing again after years and she’s really getting back into it. She’s going to art shows, art stores, and meeting new people as well. The people she’s meeting are interested in the same thing and that’s a good start to building good relationships.
Tracking my fitness goals:
I write everything down. I also have a heart rate monitor. My goal is to burn at least 500 calories per workout during my strength training. On some days, I’ll add the Stairmaster and burn another 300 calories. When I step into the gym, it’s all business. I have a plan of attack when I get to the gym. I know exactly the exercises, and reps for that workout. I also have a workout partner and that helps keep me motivated and keeps our intensity high.
What do I track?
I track my calories mostly, but also, I’m keeping track of my reps and exercises and those I write down. I’m also tracking the time it takes to finish my workout. I try and keep the actual workout to around 45 minutes.
My hero’s, mentors...
Chad Waterbury is one of the best. I know Chad and I’ve shot a few videos with him. He’s beyond knowledgeable when it comes to training and diet. I also like Ben Bruno. Ben introduced me to a great workout tool: “The landmine”. That one piece of equipment is invaluable. You can probably do about 50 different exercises with that one piece that costs about $75. One of the big things I’ve discovered is getting your mind “right”. If you improve the inside, the outside seems to care take of itself. I started meditating and it’s been so beneficial. My mind is clearer, I sleep better, and the negative thoughts have subsided. I’ve been workout out for years, and no matter how great shape you get into, eventually you’ll look in the mirror and find something wrong. If your mind isn’t right, that will always be the case.
The mind and body are connected. Get your mind right, and your life will change. If you want to explore this further: Dr. Joe Dispenza is one of the best. He has several CD’s and books on the subject. One CD set in particular “Becoming Supernatural”, I highly recommend.
My favorite food:
I like so many things: Sushi is one of my favorites. But when I want junk, I like some type of pastry with coffee.
Go to music:
I like so many different styles of music. I have a playlist and there’s such a variety of music ranging from Rock, Led Zeppelin, Queen, to Pop music like Sia, Rihanna, and so many more artists.
Three interesting facts:
1. I love rollercoasters. The faster the better. I get a thrill out and it’s exhilarating for me every time I ride a rollercoaster.
2. I love animals. I have three cats, a dog, and a pet squirrel.
3. I enjoy a good TV series. There’s so many I’ve seen over the years, “Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Weeds, Breaking Bad, Vikings, Black Sails, The Killing, Penny Dreadful, The Strain, Killing Eve, Sneaky Pete, Goliath, are just some of my favorites over the past few years.
This might sound odd, but getting control of my mind and stopping the negative thinking. For most people, it’s one of the most difficult things to do. People just can’t stop thinking. It’s an affliction. The constant stream of thoughts and most of those thoughts are negative either about yourself or other people. I’m better than I have ever been, I’m not the Buddha, but much better. It’s changed my life. I think clearer, I’m more creative, much happier and all my relationships are better. Mostly the relationship with myself is much better.
One skill I’d like to master?
I have been taking piano and singing lessons for the past year. It’s a great hobby besides just workout out. I really enjoy singing and playing piano, it’s fun and challenging. Singing is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But I’m enjoying the process, and that’s what counts. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to answer these questions. I’m wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday and a great 2019. My mantra: No matter what you do, have fun, laugh more, and don’t take yourself or your thoughts too seriously.