Issue #11


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2005 NPC Fitness and Bodybuilding Nationals

2005 NPC Fitness and Bodybuilding Nationals Review

20 Questions with our cover model: Kristi Wills

Cover Model Video Interview: Kristi Wills

Journey to my Pro Card by Kim Seeley

Kristi Wills, Tami Ough, Yamille Marrero, Heidi Fletcher, Rhonda Riley and Kat Taylor

Plyometrics: A Great Way to Mix Up your Workout
by Misty Green

Video Interview: Alicia St. Germaine

Helpful Hints for choosing a Contest Suit
by Merry Christine

Video Interview: Heidi Gay

Fitness in Finland
by Kaisa Piippo

Egg Whites, Sweet Potatoes, Blah, Blah, Blah
by Katie Szep

Video Interview: Angi Jackson

Interview with Swedish Pro FBB Klaudia Larson

Watching my Figure
by Waleska Granger

Fitness Team BC Helps you (for these winter months)
by Linda Cusmano

Journey to my pro card by Kim Seeley

Kim Seeley

My journey for a fitness pro card started about 8 years ago. I can remember very distinctly the day I discovered fitness competition. I was standing in line at the grocery store and saw this gorgeous girl on the front cover of Oxygen Magazine. The cover girl, come to find out, was non other than Monica Brant. At the time, I am not sure I really knew what I was getting myself into. I really had no comprehension of how hard these women trained. When I started, figure wasn't one of the NPC/IFBB categories. I'm kind of glad it did not exist because I doubt I would be where I am today if that were the case. Funny, when I started out, I simply wanted to compete as a personal goal. I wanted to get healthy again, add some muscle, and just follow through with one show. Twenty some shows later, I had no idea I would be considered one of the sports elite athletes.

I knew it was not going to be easy, but at that juncture in my life I welcomed the challenge. I had some disadvantages. First of all, I had no training in any organized sport that would pave the way for a routine. No dance lessons, no cheerleading, and no gymnastics. (Luckily for me I have had the help of Kevin Creegan with the routine rounds). As a child I always dreamed of participating in organized sports. I was pretty athletic growing up. . . I was quite a little sprinter and was into the outdoors: swimming, horseback riding etc. but things changed for me as a teen. Which leads me to my next challenge. I have type-one diabetes. I was diagnosed at the age of 13 and shortly after my diagnosis, I remained pretty much a spectator for all organized competitive sports. I complied with doctor’s advice and “took it easy”. At the time of my diagnosis, doctors and diabetes educators were not really sure what to tell diabetic athletes. In order to stay conservative they often aired on the safe side. .. I really think at the time, they didn't know what to tell us so they always advised “don't” verses “do”. Thank God things are different today.

My biggest challenge above and beyond lack of skill certainly stems from my health situation. Today the word diabetes is quite common but despite its popularity, there is quite a bit of confusion. I can’t count the times someone has congratulated me on my weight loss and how I “beat” diabetes. Most people’s reactions are somewhat indifferent. She has diabetes . . . big deal . . .eat right, exercise, lose weight and you're fine. How can it be that complicated? That baffles me every time I hear it. What I finally realized is that society truly does not know the difference between type one diabetes and type two. Unfortunately, as a type one diabetic, I can’t “beat” diabetes. The fact is 18 million people have diabetes. .. but only 5% of that 18 million have type one . Type ones are typically not over weight and do not exhibit many of the typical traits found in type two’s. Our pancreas stopped producing insulin and the causes are still truly unknown. The latest research indicates possibly a virus. It can happen at any age at any time and at any fitness level. Type two’s are the main focus of today's media. They typically have issues with obesity and sedentary lifestyle but most type ones do not. I personally have never been overweight, nor have any of my family members. I am the only one in my family history that has type one. So toss heredity out the window.

So, exactly how does it affect ones daily regime? I’ll do my best to elaborate. It helps to get a basic understanding of what insulin's role is in our body. Insulin is the master hormone for ALL bodily processes. Its absence or lack there of effects every aspect of ones physiology. Insulin is often described as a “key”. . .a key that unlocks all cells to allow fuel in so that the cells can work properly. Without this key to open the cells, the glucose from food, stress and bodily processes will not be used and are released into the bloodstream. If not used correctly, the glucose is passed out of the body through toxic means. The glucose levels will rise in the blood stream at alarming rates and will do so until eventually the body feeds on itself to no end and will eventually shut down. If not treated with insulin, death is a certainty. Although this sounds pretty alarming, once diagnosed and put on a program, it’s one disease that is livable.

Kim Seeley

The most effective way to live a healthy life with diabetes is to take “control”. Control is a word described for individuals with diabetes. This is a gauge of how close you can keep glucose levels within normal ranges. If control is poor then repeated highs over time effects all aspects of ones health. Tissues do not heal, kidneys are on over load from spilling the glucose into the urine, the heart is at risk, the eyes are at risk, and circulation to bodily extremities is seriously affected. .. . On and on and on. Good control will allow an individual with diabetes to live a fairly normal life. Insulin is an extremely powerful hormone and finding the right relationship between food, exercise and just plain ‘ole life is complicated. The most important issue with diabetes is keeping glucose in the normal range. Deviations in schedule, or variations in daily routine can cause ups and downs in glucose levels that can adversely affect the diabetic. Tight control is needed for the best outcome. Perfect control is strived for but rarely is achieved. There are so many things that effect insulin needs: Food intake, ones stress levels; female’s menstrual cycles, illness, exercise regimen, muscle mass verses body fat, prescription or over the counter drug use, alcohol and many other factors effect insulin needs and glucose levels. I simply do the best I can. Sounds like all doom and gloom, huh?

Those of you that know me have seen me many times backstage testing my blood glucose levels. The most important tool for control is by testing. Each day I must test blood sugar levels through a pin prick blood sample. This is done 8 to 10 times a day. These tests are downloaded from my testing meter and sent in every two weeks to my physician during contest preparations. As cardio, food and body fat changes, so do my insulin rates. The measure of change is not always concrete, as there is no specific formula for ones genetics.

The following is an example of blood sugar readings, and their common side effects. As I stated earlier, these symptoms are not consistent with all diabetics. However it can give the layperson an idea of what it is like to live with this disease.

(240 & above) Dangerous readings: if left, coma is potential, muscle wasting is a certainty, supplemental insulin is needed.

(220 –240) Very Poor Reading: extreme lethargic, performance for routines would suffer, supplemental insulin is needed.

(180- 200) Poor Reading: elevated levels for longer than 2 hours at this point can potentially cause muscle wasting, water retention etc. Routine performances are average at best.

(160 – 175) OK Readings: not too risky yet. Not ideal, livable. Routine performance is above average.

(125-150) Ideal Pre-Routine Readings: typically feel fine and can perform well, body will look and perform at its best, possibility of hypoglycemia during routine is low.

(80- 120) IDEAL NORMAL RANGE: (non-diabetic range) will perform well but often is a borderline number for pre-routine reading, since it’s close to going low (Hypoglycemia).

(60 – 75) Low Reading: can function, can think, but is very risky. Most likely cannot perform a routine or at least not very well. Supplemental carbs are needed, early phases of hypoglycemia.

(40 – 55) Dangerous Low Reading: brain does not function properly, lethargic, energy loss, sweaty, disoriented, no routine is possible. Carbs are needed.

(30 – 50) Extremely Low Reading: convulsions are common, memory loss, and violence; Hospitalization is eminent if consciousness is lost. Glucagon injection will more than likely be needed.

Now that you have read how I feel and perform at certain glucose levels, I’d like to share with you some personal mishaps that occurred at the 2004 Jr. Nationals.

Kim Seeley

My Trainer and I decided that it would be a good idea to do Junior Nationals in June of 2004. It was going to be a chance to show my new routine and a tighter physique. I was fairly stress free. My glucose readings were between 90 and 150 the entire time up to prejudging. I had never had them so good before. I am usually a stress monster and they will skyrocket into the upper 200’s. So this was great. Prior to the 2 piece round, I tested my sugars and they were at 120. Wow this was perfect. I had the flexibility in my readings to do some high sugar energy foods to fill out so I grabbed the honey bottle and took in a few tablespoons. I felt good and had a decent outcome in the 2 piece round. Immediately after the 2 piece round I tested again and holy crap. I was at 350??? I tested again and still in the high 300’s. I didn't feel lethargic? Maybe I was just on cloud nine and it was from good stress??? But 350, this was not good.

The numbers don't lie. .. There was no way I could perform a routine with blood sugars that high. I’d never make it energy wise.

I found out that I had about an hour before the routines so I immediately gave an injection of insulin. I was careful to not give too much, as I did not want to go low either. I had enough time to get the levels within good performance range. I felt somewhat relieved that I had some time.

After about 20 minutes I began to feel funny . . .Had the insulin reacted that quickly? This was so strange. I actually was feeling low. There was no way I could be low; I didn't take near enough insulin to be low. Well, I tested and now I was at 50? 50? How could I be at 50? I tested again. .. And I was still 50. My head was spinning. I began to perspire. My Pro Tan was sweating off. I was dizzy , couldn't think . .. I begged the expediter to let me perform last instead of first. Something was not right. I completely freaked out. I sat by the stage and went through about 10 sugar packets until I was called to perform. Thank God for Rob Klein letting me go last. When my name was called I was at 70. It would have to do.

I made it through but it was a somewhat lifeless performance. What had I done? I ruined a wonderful opportunity to show my hard work. I bawled my eyes out and went back over my day’s routine to see where I made the mistake. I packed up my stuff and headed back to the hotel. As I packed my food, I reached for the honey bottle and the outside of it was very sticky . . . then it hit me. .. .I had not washed my hands after I took in the honey earlier in the day. I had honey on my fingertips. .. . and honey, as we all know . . Is pure sugar. I had errantly sabotaged myself. My readings were actually normal and the honey was picked up on the meter, thus skewing my results. Lesson learned. Wash your hands prior to testing!!!!!!!

I placed 4th in my class at Juniors and was actually pretty happy. I had never broken the top five at any national level show. Back to the drawing board. .. The big one was coming. The USA’s in Vegas was just a few weeks away. If I break top 5 there, I would be one happy camper. That was my goal. Just to be 5th one time at the USA’s. Well, I didn't place 5th. I ended up placing 2nd. I was in shock over the whole thing. I still am. The girl the doctors said shouldn't, did! The girl who used to watch on the sidelines is now the performer. Doom and gloom….. Hardly.

After I earned my pro card, I vowed to become a voice for diabetes education. I figured this was what I was meant to do. I have been given the opportunity to speak at conferences in regard to athletic training and diabetes management. I get countless emails from both type ones and two’s. I have had the pleasure of mentoring some up and coming type one diabetic figure competitors. There is so much you can do with a pro card beyond the 2 minutes on stage. It’s our day to day lives where most of the benefits unfold. Some girls journey ends with a pro card . . . but for me, my journey has just begun.

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About the Author...

Kim I first met her at the 2004 Jr. Nationals in Chicago, she brought in a great package at that show. Her next show was 2005 USA's in Las Vegas and there she obtained her pro card. Kim has always been a dedicated competitor despite her diabetic problems. She is an example of what the fitness world needs. Watch out January issue with her video interview.

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