Issue #45


by Juan Carlos Lope

2008 Olympia Photos and Results

2008 Olympia

2008 Atlantic
City Photos, Results and Review

20 Questions with Cover Model Jackie Roberts

Stina Telhammer (Sweden) Interview
by Anne Pietila

Jackie Roberts, Karen Choat, Amy Pierro, Jenna Boyer, Deanna Harvick

Video Interview with NPC Figure Staci Garcia

Ask Misty Green
by Misty Green

Video Interview with NPC Figure Jennifer Jane

by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview
with NPC Figure Whitney Larson


Interview with Stina Telhammer (Sweden) by Anne Pietila

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

1. Could you please introduce yourself shortly to us?

My name is Stina Telhammer and I am 25 years old. I am a happy girl and at the moment I am really satisfied with my life. I was born in a small town called Sollefteå but right now I live and study up north in Sweden in Umeå together with my boyfriend an our dog.

I do live close to the nature and that is important to me since I love to be out in the nature and forest to take long walks with my dog Selma. For fun I love to go to the movies! And no movies without my large popcorn! Right now, these are the stuff that I prioritize in life - school, my dog, my boyfriend and of course, my training.

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

2. When and why started you competing in figure?

I have always been an active girl, when I was younger I did sports like soccer, basketball, horseback riding and cross country skiing. However, as I grew up and became a teenager other stuff got more interesting (boys and parties) and I quit doing any kind of sport. When I found myself being bored during the evenings doing nothing after school I started to take aerobic classes and soon I moved in to the gym. I remember that I used to love that feeling of being really pumped up and it was so much fun when I saw results and changes on my body.

After High School I moved to U.S. to work as an au pair and I continued working out there. Soon I had a personal trainer and he was the one who first suggested me to compete in figure. I was not sure at first, I never thought my body could ever look like the girls I had seen on pictures and in magazines. But I was curious so I came in contact with Beverly International who helped me with my diet and training. In nine weeks I was ready to get up on stage on my first competition.

My first diet was really rough and it was so many times I thought about giving it all up. But when the day of the show came and I got to get up on stage and show everyone what i had managed to do I was so happy and satisfied and all those thoughts of doubt was blown away. That was just a great day.

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

3. And your first show was actually NPC show in the States? Could you tell about that show, how was it and what kind of memories do you have from your first contest?

My first show took place in the spring of 2004 in Ohio and I really did not know what was going to happen and I was there all by myself, no coach. I had been training posing in front of my mirror at home and I had my suits sewed up. Except that, everything was new. I was glad to see more people that was going to compete and everyone was just so friendly and talkative. Soon I became relaxed behind the stage but when our class got ready to get up on stage I was so nervous that my whole body was shaking. I had no clue what was going to happen up on stage except for the quarter turns.

After prejudging I was so so scared to eat anything before the finals in the evening. I remember I did not know what I was allowed to put in my belly! So I just kept on eating my beef and grapefruit like a had done the last days. Everyone else had gone off with their families - I guess to enjoy some good food!  Today, I would probably have had some carbs too. It was a strange feeling, I was allowed to eat again, after I had been on such a restricted diet for so many weeks. You can read more about my competing in the States here:

Today I generally believe that person’s first diet can be quite tuff and many people does not know what they are getting themselves into. It is a new experience for one’s body and one’s mind and when the diet is over it can be hard to understand what really has happened. It takes a couple of diets before one get the hang of it. I still grow as a person with every diet I do and learning to know my body.

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

4. After that you had pretty long pause in competing. Why? What did you do during that time?

In the summer of 2004 I had been living in the U.S. for two years and I missed my family and friends, I hadn´t been home at all. So I felt that it was time for me to move back to Sweden. Looking back today I believe being on a diet, study full time, take care of my american families’s kid and take care of the household for them became too much for me. It was that spring I started to think about moving back to Sweden. I missed living by myself and just have myself to take care of.

After the show in the spring of 2004 it took me a while to get back to the gym, I just did not have any inspiration at all to work out and that feeling stayed with me for almost half a year. When I moved back to Sweden in the fall that year I bought my membership at the gym and started to work out again, not as intense as I used to. More to stay in a decent shape.

I lived in my hometown for a couple of years just to work, train and spend time with friends. I believe it was around New Years 2005/2006 that I really once again was hooked on lifting weights again and I was working out 4-5 days a week. That spring of 2006 I also decided to move to Umea to start studying and with my move my love for the weights got more intense and plans to compete again started to grow. However, I wanted to gain more muscles, so I decided which show I was going to participate in and then make out a plan how to get in my best shape. I had about 15 months to get ready for the show so I was well prepared on what I needed to do.

5. But the next time you stood on stage in the end of the year 2007 was pretty shocking – you looked fantastic with outstanding symmetry, your condition was awesome, you won the show and also got ”Year’s newcomer” – award.  How did you do that? Your thoughts of that show and your victory?

That December day was one of my best days ever=) Even though I had planned it for such a long time I was so nervous. I really did not know at all what to expect or how the other girls was going to look like. Everything was overwhelming and at the time I do not think I did understand everything, I just got up on the stage doing the best I could. Coming down from stage people came up to me telling me how good I looked up there and asked me who I was! I do think that I shocked a little bit! It was fun though, how many times during my morning walks had I not thought about how it would be to actually win? It all came true and it was amazing.

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

6. You continued shocking at Swedish MTGP show in this spring, but this time in a bit different way. You had made a BIG transformation, you looked like you had taken much size down and you was not that hard at all. Was this planned or what was the case? Some liked your softer and smaller look, some missed that awesome condition. Your thoughts about that?

Oh.. I was listening way too much  what other people thought of me and my physique after I had been on stage in December. Of course all the good things people said just slipped through my mind shortly and what I was focusing on was the critique that I got. You know.. ”she is to big or she is to lean”. Those comments actually made me think that maybe I won’t push myself so hard? So I kind of slowed down during my diet in the spring.

However, I had a really tuff spring in school too, all the schoolwork together with my diet actually made it a lot harder to be on a diet during the spring than what it had been during the fall 2007. In the end I just did not have strength enough to be where I should have been when I got up on stage.

After my show in April I did learn a few valuable lessons. First of all, do not listen so much to what other people think of you, I need to go after what I like and how I want my body to look like when I get up on stage. If I really want something I will have to fight for it and most important if something does not feel right in your guts, do not do it!

7. In the states there is all the time going on a big talk about judging criteria and should figure girls be softer or harder, smaller or bigger. What kind of figure physique you would like to see awarded in the shows?

I do think that figure girls definitely need to have muscle tone, otherwise it would look more like some kind of model competition and that is not what this is about. I want to see athletic and beautifully bodies, however, they still need to have that feminine look and not look masculine.

8. Who is your favorite competitor in pro/amateur scenes at the moment? Why her?

I really like Jen Gates, she is a beautiful woman, has a nice muscular development and has a great physique. She is really feminine and on stage, she is just amazing!

9. You have showed that you can achieve very hard condition. What are your main principles in dieting for the show?

When I am on a diet I know I have to stick with it to be able to get the results that I want, no cheating! My focus is that the diet is really over in a few weeks and what is that in a lifetime?

I do go in for what I am about to do, I plan my days after my meals and when I´m about to work out. My daily routines are extremely important, that way I know how to plan my days if something unexpected would come up. During the weeks in the evenings in the weeks I am never out seeing friends or anything when I am on my diet, usually I´m just too tired. However, I do believe that it is important to have some free time for fun and relaxation even if I´m on a diet, so if there is something I really want to do I always plan for those special things on Saturday which is one out of two days a week that I`m free from training.

10. In your opinion what are your strengths as a competitor and for the next shows what do you think you need to work on?

Well, my best part as a fitness competitor are my shoulders, they just respond to any stimulation when I´m working out them. I have always had wide shoulders but when I was younger I hated them. Another strength I have in my sport is that I do not have so much trouble to build muscles if I want to. I started to work out since I wanted to be more skinny, but soon I realized that I rather had a talent to build muscles and when I realized that it became a lot more fun.

Something I do need to work on with my body is mainly my glutes!! I do not like my little but at all and I´m working on it to get a little bit more tighter, it is hard but I´m really trying to focus on it. Something else I have been practicing is my posing on stage and I really hope that it will look better when I get up on stage on the Swedish Nationals.

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

11. So you are now on your prep to Swedish nationals. You had also a chance to participate in World championship qualification contest, but instead of the World Championships you chose Swedish nationals. Why?

Of course it was really tempting to try to qualify to the World Championships, it did cross my mind several times. But when I got down from stage in December my new goal was to participate in the Swedish Nationals 2008, and why rush? The World Championships will still be there next year. Believe me, I will get there one day, since it is one of my greater goals.

I´m still in the beginning of my fitness career and I like to set up goals to work toward, I do feel that when I achieve goals that I have set up I always grow as a person and it is like realizing that it was not that hard. You can reach your goals!

12. What kind of Stina we will see on stage in Swedish nationals?

The Stina you will get to see on the Swedish Nationals is more like the one that got up on stage in December, that is the way I like myself the best. Hopefully I have improved my physique and the weaker parts of my body a little bit. I do like the shape and size I am in right now and I have practiced my posing so I hope I get to do my very best up on stage.

13. Do you have other contest plans in this autumn? And what about your expectations and goals in becoming shows and feelings just before?

If I place 1st or 2nd on the Swedish Nationals I will have a chance to compete in the Nordic Championships in  Island two weeks later and that would really be something!. The week after the Nordic Championships there is another show in Hungary that we have been looking at too, but nothing is decided yet.

Photo: Alex Danielsson, BODY Magazine

14. During the last year have been competing now quite often – in december, in the spring and now again. What motivates you to train, diet and compete again and again?

I love to train and I love the feeling of adrenalin pumping through my veins, it makes me so happy. I need that feeling of being really exhausted after being out running. To compete in figure takes me to another level, I have to challenge myself and my body in a way that is really tuff for both my body and mind. When I get up on stage it is with the feeling that I have achieved something for myself.

Another important factor is the people in my surrounding. For me, it is really important that they do understand what I am doing and support me through my diet and training. I have wonderful people around me who are always there to help and push me through those days when everything just feels like crap and that makes a big difference.

15. You told in Swedish BODY magazine something about your long-term goals. You also mentioned going back to the States and maybe also turning pro. Could you please tell about these things to us too?

I definitely want to go back to the States and competing there is absolutely one of my greater goals. I just love that country and the people are always so kind. Turning pro would be a dream come true but there is a long way to go and you never know how that way would look like. But, I mean, who doesn´t want to be among the bests in the sport they love?
I do believe that I would have more opportunities and possibilities to practice my sport in U.S. and to make the best out of myself since the interest ”over there” is so much bigger for fitness and figure than it is here in Sweden. If the opportunity to go over to U.S. to compete and train comes, I would not hesitate to take it.

16. What advice would you give to those girls who are planning to start competing in figure?

Patience is a key word if you want to get up on stage and compete. So many girls today dream of competing, they work out a lot, eat healthy foods and are really dedicated. However, never forget that if you want to put on muscles you need to eat more food than you use as energy when you work out. If you put your mind on it, the day will come when you get up on stage, if you just put your mind on it. Another thing is, never hesitate to ask for help, there are so many nice people out there who would love to help you.

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About the Author...

Anne interviews and coverage have appeared in Finnish BODY magazine and Pro Body Magazine. Anne is one of the best recognized reviewers in Europe. Her main focus is to give more publicity and coverage to the competitors and fitness industry.

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