Bikini Competitor Stephanie Villers
How Did You Get Started?
"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Growing up I was always athletic and stayed involved in competitive sports. Whether it was track, softball, basketball, or dance, I was always in something. I was the only girl of four so I had to try to keep up with my brothers! During high school my focus and passion was on dance. I loved the discipline, the conditioning, the practice, the performing - I loved every aspect of IT.
Being involved in that has a great deal to do with the character I have developed for myself. It helped to cultivate drive, competitiveness, perseverance, confidence, determination and strong work ethics that I endeavor to exhibit in all aspects of my life, and instill in my daughter as well.
Between classes, competitions, and rehearsals, dance was my life. Because I enjoyed dance so much I never realized the commitment and discipline it required. I also never felt like I was exercising, but it was a great way to stay in shape. Once I finished high school and adult responsibilities came into play, my focus could no longer be dance 110%, the way it had been.
I began teaching dance & gymnastics, and loved being a role modeling and instilling a love for it into my students. I tried my best to stay in the sport as much as my schedule would allow. I went from dancing about 6-8 hours a week to only dancing about 2-3 hours a week. But it kept me active and I still loved it.
I can honestly say my daughter is the reason I ever stepped foot in the gym in the first place. Well not necessarily her, but more the 40 lbs I gained when I was pregnant with her. When I got pregnant with my daughter Bianca, it changed my outlook on exercise. All my life I never thought about making exercise mandatory to stay in shape. When I was first pregnant I was determined to only gain the 25 lbs that all the baby books said you had to gain to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Well at my two month check- up I was told that I had pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and needed to be monitored, put on medication, and put on bed rest until further notice. Although I was so active and loved to be on the go, I heeded the instructions, and was bored out of my mine on bed rest.
The blood pressure never really came down low enough to where the doctor was comfortable so I remained on bed rest, on medication, and being monitored weekly through my entire pregnancy. Needless to say it made for a long, restless, totally physically inactive 7 months. But it was definitely worth it, because at the end of it all I was blessed with a beautiful healthy baby girl!!
I had a beautiful brand new baby, but I was so unhappy with the way I felt about myself. Here I was, 28 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I was totally out of shape since I didn't do anything even remotely strenuous or physically challenging for the last seven months, and I didn't know what to do.
I always relied on my strict dance schedule, and now that I didn't have that, I had no motivation to do anything. I started to try to walk a little but I easily got bored and frustrated with that. Therefore, I decided to join a gym with my girlfriend as a last resort. I had no idea what I was doing! Although I had no specific regimen and I'm sure I did a million exercises incorrectly, I loved it! I was absolutely hooked. Going to the gym was my time; it was an hour that was all mine, where I didn't have to think about anything.
Over the next couple of months my body started changing. Although I didn't have the perfect regimen, I was consistent in getting there. By summer time I was back in my bikini and I didn't even know what I did to get there, I was just working out and doing my own thing at the gym.
I immediately thought to myself if I can get such great results not knowing what I'm doing, imagine how successful people can really be if they are educated on how to make the body respond. So over the next couple of months I started reading everything. I wanted to learn everything I possibly could. Health and fitness became my new passion.
I went a step further and got certified as a personal trainer, and went on to take more classes over the next few months (I'm telling you when I get into something I really get into something). I took a weight room fundamentals class, an advanced resistance training class, a stability ball class, and a basic nutrition class. I wanted to learn it all!
That wasn't enough, I was already starting to get bored with my workouts (if you can't tell I have a short attention span and my focus changes quickly). Well, as an adult my competitive spirit never died! I needed a goal, I needed a reason to workout hard, I needed to compete! In May 2003 that desire propelled me to take stage as a figure competitor. I have always been fascinated with bodybuilders and fitness competitors, their physiques, their discipline, their determination, and their competitiveness.
On May 10, 2003 I competed in my first Figure show - Nancy Andrews, INBF Northeast Classic in Worcester, MA and I was hooked! I went into the competition blind; just bought my suit off the rack, my shoes for $12 at Deb's, and I attended a seminar 4 weeks out with Nancy to learn how to walk in them.
I had never even been to a competition before, so I was in awe just to be there, to meet the other competitors. I did my nutrition and training myself, which was a great learning experience for me (shhh, don't tell anyone, but I ate granola bars, whole wheat English muffins, Detour bars, ketchup, up until 4 weeks out) - you wouldn't believe my diet - hey I didn't know - I just thought it was clean for me compared to the crap I use to eat, but oh man did I have a lot to learn! This is not competitive diet food.
My head trainer/boss at the time many of you may know Ted Curtin, cleaned it up for me four weeks out, not drastically though, he basically took out anything processed. It was a tough ten weeks, there were times when I was hungry, tired, moody, and just wanted to give up, but I'm glad I didn't because my hard work paid off, I ended up placing 2nd in my class, and was invited to a Pro show for that federation! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I'll never forget it!
Competing, for me is a new found passion in the industry, it has motivated me to stay focused and more involved, and has opened other doors for me in the industry.
Recent Competition Victory:
I took first place in the Figure Division of the Fame Beantown show held by World Natural Sports Organization on Saturday April 9th in Boston, MA!
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I like to change my plan often because I get bored easily - and I don't want my body to catch on and stop progressing. Unlike a lot of women I'm not afraid of the weights - God gave us muscles for a reason, I believe in using them!
More importantly than what I'm doing in the gym is my focus on consistency and intensity that remains of utmost importance. You can have the best workout plan in the world written by Mr. Charles Glass himself and if you don't get to the gym consistently and workout intensely it's not going to do you any good.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
I truly believe everybody's body is different, so what works for me may not work for you. You have to try different methods to see what fits your body. Nutrition is a constant uphill battle for me - because genetically I have a fast metabolism, which at first glance sounds like it would make it easier for me to diet. But all my life I ate crap and stayed slim, so eating healthy for me was not only new but a lifestyle change as well.
My dad to this day loves Reese's peanut butter cups, Pepsi, beer, and Pork Grinds, and he is a bean pole. Unfortunately eating healthy does not come easy for me, but I know how vital nutrition is to results so I have to work at it - hard - (damn cheese pizza!). My mom almost passed out when she first say me eat chicken, broccoli, brown rice, or two cups of strawberries and old-fashioned oatmeal - because normally I would opt for a bag of skittles, and a SUNKIST!
I believe for me everything in moderation is key. Of course I crack the whip closer to a show, but in general I try not to deprive myself. For my body, extreme deprivation is the worst thing I can do, because the backlash of that is detrimental to my self-respect & self-discipline. I know myself enough to know that if I'm on an extreme strict nutrition plan and I flub up and don't follow a plan to a tee, oh, I'm falling way off the ban wagon and cheating bad! I'm so hard on myself that I feel horrible. (Once, after dieting extremely hard for like 4 weeks, I downed a whole box of M&M Kudos bars, in a blink - I was so sick). Unfortunately, I have the type of personality that if you tell me I can't have something I just want it that much more, so I try to keep everything in moderation, and stay very active.
My main priorities are to make sure that my protein intake is high to fuel my muscles, and that I eat often so that I don't get hungry, because when I'm hungry I make bad food choices.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
I'm not really a supplement person, although I couldn't live without Whey Protein - it just makes your life a lot easier when you're trying to take in a good amount of protein.
Why Do You Love Fitness?
I love fitness because it's my passion, and it makes me a better person, a better mother, a better wife. When you feel good, you look good, and when you look good, you feel even better. My family and I live an extremely active lifestyle and without proper nutrition and training I would not have the energy to keep up the way I do. Fitness is such an immense part of my life and I love that my job is to get others excited to make it a part of their lives!! I want to inspire people to feel that fire or passion about life, women, and especially mothers to be proud of their bodies!
What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?
My #1 goal is this: To stay happy and healthy and always involved in the industry. Because I'm new to competing, I'm playing around with different federations to see which ones' guidelines are comparable to the physique I am trying to build, and the genetics that I inherited. I mean of course like most competitors our goal is to be an IFBB pro, and grace the stages of Ms. Olympia, but baby steps for me.
Modeling is also a new aspiration for me that I am fiercely venturing out into, I have to step a bit out of my comfort zone, but "Every challenge is an opportunity to discover who we are and see what we can be."
What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?
Stay true to yourself & compete for only you! Believe me, I am extremely competitive, but if you're all about winning, a bad placing can be so detrimental to a competitive spirit! Give it your all, look your best each and every time you step on stage and have no regrets!
Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?
I have so many favorites (too many to list). But I admire anyone who has ever had the self- discipline to diet, or the guts to step on stage. Most of all, I admire the underdogs of bodybuilding that keep going even when they are often overlooked, "ROCK ON" (We're always rooting for you)!
I will however mention one competitor who I've always admired, looked up to, and aspire to be like, and is definitely a favorite of mine. And that is Ms. Cory Everson. She was one of the first women who ever made muscles beautiful!
"It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn - which is what life is all about."
Bikini Competitor Stephanie Villers Photos