Issue #15


by Juan Carlos Lopez

Arnold Classic 2006 Photos and Results

Arnold Classic 2006 Review

Arnold Classic Expo Review and Photo Gallery

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro Figure and Steel Rose Photos and Results

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro Figure and Steel Rose Review

Finland's Boosman Fitness Classic Preview
by Kaisa Piippo

20 Questions with our Cover Model: IFBB Figure Pro Waleska Valle

Video Interview with Cover Model: Waleska Valle

Christian Podgorski: Bodybuilding Art

Waleska Valle, Amy Huber, Holly Powell, Danielle Rouleau & Liz Lozano

Getting a Figure Pro Card in Europe
by Annika Warg

Video Interview: NPC Figure Megan Payan

The Joy of Dieting
by Kaisa Piippo

Video Interview: CBBF Figure Roxana Kreklo

Roxana Kreklo Profile of a True Athlete

Tweaking that Figure Posing
by Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Model and Competitor Tina Jo Orban

The joy and dreadfulness of dieting – could you be making it one or another?
By Kaisa Piippo

“So how’s your diet going?”
“Well, I guess.. I’m just sooo tired, sore and bummed up all the time! I HATE cardio and my coach is making me do it until my butt is on fire…”
“Yeah, I know! I’m so low on carbs it’s making me crazy. I’m so depleted all the time I hardly remember my own name…”

Sounds familiar? Yep, I bet we all have heard that discussion amongst the competitors. I know, at some point of the diet it is hard, it is unbearable and we all hate it. But could it be that 90% of the time we make it hard because we think it’s so difficult, tiring and awful? We tell ourselves we’re low on calories so we must be tired – of course we feel tired, then. Mental power is something every competitor should use as a positive resource, not negative! By telling ourselves something and believing it can have a huge influence on how we feel and function.

On off-season so many of us dream of dieting and finally seeing what’s under the fluff. During the first weeks of the diet the motivation is high and dieting is fun. Then it starts getting boring: hunger becomes constant, workouts suffer from lack of energy and the chicken and broccoli meals make us dream of cheesecake and other joys of off-season. The diet becomes an enemy and the off-season feels like a distant dream. Often our partners, family and friends have to deal with an irritated and moody athlete… and wonder, why in the world was she so excited about the diet just a couple of months ago?

I believe it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible to enjoy the diet from the beginning to the end and take it as a challenge that will make you stronger – mentally AND physically. Believe in yourself and stop comparing yourself to others. This is your personal project and it doesn’t matter how other girls handle theirs. Comparing yourself to them will not make you get in contest shape sooner. Be confident in what you’re doing, trust your coach and do your best. If you make mistakes, let go of them and learn. Next time you will know better.

Make the diet fun! Do something that takes your mind off of counting the calories and thinking about cardio. Do things you enjoy. There must be other things in life than food that make you smile and laugh. Let loose: play music loud, dance like nobody’s watching and shake that booty! Go outside: play in the snow and enjoy the crisp winter air. Pamper yourself: go to the spa, get a relaxing massage and go shop new clothes (they will look awesome on your new, more fit figure). Think of every day as a small challenge you have to overcome. Every single day will take you closer to your dream. Close your eyes and think of the moment when all the hard work pays off and you stand on the stage under the bright stage lights… you feel confident, overwhelmed with joy and you respect yourself for doing your best and showing yourself you can do it.

I’m probably the last person to advise advanced competitors since I have never competed. Training and dieting is not something I have done all my life. Whether that makes me credible or not, I believe I have found the right kind of mind set that will make me a successful competitor. By successful I mean a person who has what it takes to dream, work hard and achieve the goals she has set for herself. I believe my dreams will come true, one day.

There will be days when you contradict the whole reasonability of your diet and wonder if your goal is worth all the hard work. On those days, remember this: a quitter will never be a winner! Make your brain your strongest weapon by learning how to focus and concentrate on what you’re doing. You can achieve whatever it is you reach for if you just work hard, stay determined and keep your mind positive. No matter what or how long it takes!

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About the Author...

Kaisa Piippo

I am an enthusiastic and goal-oriented 23 year old future figure competitor from Finland. Currently I'm getting ready for my first figure competition in April 2006 in Finland. I have been training for the competition for nearly two years. While preparing for my first show I have been living in hot and sunny Arizona. Since it's hard for a foreigner to get a permission to work in the States, I have been studying the fitness industry and lifestyle 24/7. It doesn't always take the competition experience to learn about the sport because being around it teaches a lot too! By all the knowledge I've gathered I now feel confident on stepping on the stage and learning some more about fitness, this time by experiencing the competition excitement myself.

So how to learn fitness in theory? For most of my knowledge I can thank Pakkotoisto.com, energetic NPC fitness athlete Katie Madden and of course the ever informative Hard Fitness!

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