Many girls growing up lack self-esteem. Its an unfortunate common problem that many of us can relate too. Some women grow out of that ‘awkward’ stage quickly – realizing their natural beauty and feeling confident about themselves. While for others (many of us) it takes a few years and one moment of inspiration to change all that.
For this week’s Inspiring Woman Tania Chrzanowski – it took a visit to a friends bodybuilding show to realize what she needed to realize her inner beauty and gain the self confidence to make her the successful woman she is today. Find out more about Tania below.
Womens Ab Workout: Tell us more about yourself. Who are you? How long have you been training and what are your goals and aspirations in the fitness industry?
I am a passionate, loving, determined and goal-oriented 27 year old currently living in Springfield Massachusetts. Â I teach high school physical education, personal fitness and health and also bartend on the weekends. Â Â I am going on my third year training/competing in bikini/model shows in the fitness industry. Â I am a Savage Girl meaning I belong to a great group of people under the magic of Cathy Savage Fitness.Â My coaches and friends that I met through her program keep me inspired and loving what I do. Â I am constantly setting long and short term goals for myself as I believe it is extremely important to set them. Â My long term goals consist of improving myself from the previous year.Â To me it doesnâ€™t matter if I come in first or last place, as long as I am progressing I feel accomplished.Â My short term goals are more specific whether itâ€™s building strength or toning a specific body part it varies year to year.Â
Tania Chrzanowski: What were your reasons for deciding to compete in a bikini show?
When I was younger I had very low self-esteem. I fell into the stage that most teenage girls go through where they are never happy with how they look.Â For about five years I would not go in public wearing a bathing suit and I even felt uncomfortable being around my friends in a suit.Â As I grew older I went to one of my guy friendâ€™s bodybuilding shows and saw how beautiful these female competitors looked on stage. I told myself instead of wishing I was up on stage I am going to make it happen.Â I always had a passion for working out and would always spend my free time in the gym.Â So right then and there I set some goals for myself.Â A year later I did make it up on stage.Â I went from not wearing a bathing in public to getting up on stage in a bathing suit, in front of a crowd where I was getting judged on the symmetry of my body/appearance.Â Um WOW I did it!!Â Iâ€™m glad that day I sat in the audience watching I didnâ€™t brush it off saying oh I cant do that.. because at one point I did think I was crazy thinking I could actually get up on stage.. but I put all those negative thoughts aside and realized I could accomplish my goals if I BELIEVED I could.Â If you believe in yourself you can do anything!!
â€œThe longer you wait to decide what you want to do, the more time you’re wasting. It’s up to you to want something so badly that your passion shows through in your actions. Your actions, not your words, will do the shouting for you.”
WAW: To get into great shape, for a bikini show, you must be pretty particular about your training.Â How would you describe your training? Are you into body part training or full body training? Why?
TC: My training varies, I usually start off with body part training and as it gets closer to show I do more full body training.Â Through the Savage program we are given workout plans that are always challenging but fun. I am currently doing a lot of supersetting with my exercises.Â This year one of my goals is to tighten my glutes and define my abs so I do specific routines t argeting those muscle groups as well. Â Â It is important to have some sort of plan and to log your workouts so you can see your progression written out as well.Â I did kettlebells for the first time a few months ago and fell in love with them.Â They are great for conditioning and by the end of every workout with them I am drenched and feeling great!
“My mind, body, spirit are strong. I take time each day to rejuvenate and recharge, i breathe in strength and release my fears. i go after my hearts deep desires, i can accomplish anything, i focus on my goals and have the strength to make it happen
I choose to be unstoppable, i am strong, I am bigger than my concerns and worries, the strength of others inspires me, i trust my intuition.”
WAW: How do your workouts change as it gets closer to competition time?
TC: My workouts change by increasing intensity, more full body,Â more super setting, less rests, etc.Â Â They become more challenging because intensity is increasing and carbs are decreasing so my energy levels at times decrease.Â Full body workouts are fun because you are hitting all the muscle groups with various exercises so it never gets boring as you are constantly moving for the most part.Â Cardio sessions are increasing usually with split sessions. I will go before work in the am and then again at night time.Â Â Oddly enough this is my favorite time because I know showtime is right around the corner and I am so close to achieving my goal.
WAW: One of the biggest parts of fitness, whether training for a figure competition, as you have done, or just trying to lose weight and get a flat stomach is a DIET. What does your diet look like when getting ready for a show? What are three tips you can you offer women who are trying to change their eating habits/diet to get in shape?
TC: I donâ€™t like to call it a diet as people usually fall in and out of â€œdietsâ€ and diet just to lose weight. I like to call it a change of lifestyle.Â My nutrition plan consists of eating 5 or 6 meals a day usually eating every three hours.Â You will find protein in
all of my meals with either some sort of fruit, veggie or carb.Â As I get closer to show time I usually rotate my carbs usually having a high, med, low day. or just a high low day.Â All clean and healthy foods and I make sure they are foods I enjoy eating otherwise it is easy to follow off track. I prep all my meals in advance and place them in tupperware so they are ready to go. so I donâ€™t give myself timeÂ to think about what I want to it because it is already there waiting for me.
Three tips would be:
- Eat in moderation:Â If you struggle with eating clean all the time or losing weight allow yourself treats/ things you crave but in small portions.Â Have one serving verse eating the entire bag of chips or entire carton of ice cream.Â You can also start off by cutting/exchanging things in your nutrition plan. Record your food intake for a week and explain it.Â Are you drinking soda, eating foods high in fats/sugar. Simply cutting these foods out of your nutrition plan or replacing them with healthier choices is always a start
- Have a plan:Â Map out your meals and make a list of what you need at the grocery store.Â That way you go in and get what you need and donâ€™t find yourself wandering to aisle you donâ€™t need to be in. (avoid temptations)Â All the good foods you need are along the border of the grocery store (fruits, veggies, meats, carbs)Â avoid the individual aisle
- Read food labels:Â This is really important. Learn how to read and understand them
WAW: When trying to get really lean spending time doing cardio becomes second nature. What does your cardio routine look like when getting ready for a show? How much time to you spend doing cardio and how do you change it up so you donâ€™t get bored of the same routine?
TC: Cardio at my early stages of show prep usually starts around 30 minutes five times a week.Â Week before show usually can be at 60 minutes 7 days a week.Â I am always doing some sort of interval or H. I. T. training.Â I am a big fan of the step monster aka step mill.Â LOLÂ I love doing intervals on it as it kicks my butt.Â Most people donâ€™t enjoy cardio so you have to make it fun to get through your cardio sessions.Â I usually make up games/ competitions with myself during cardio sessions.Â Or if you are really dragging to do cardio, make cardio dates and get it done with some friends!Â Â I also love spinning classes, and sprints on the treadmill listening to my favorite music!
WAW: How do you mentally stay focused on your diet and training and not give into â€˜bad foodâ€™ cravings, especially trying to find time between working and working out?
TC: â€œIf you really want it, you will have it. If it means enough to you, it will happen.
For if you really want it, you will find a way. You’ll stop making excuses and start making it real. The obstacles you encounter are not there to prevent you from reaching your goal. The obstacles are there to make sure you really want it.â€
â€œThe things you crave may satisfy you momentarily, yet they cannot fulfill your deepest desires. By giving in to your cravings, you’re actually pushing yourself further and further away from what you truly wish to have.â€
The above quotes are a few of my favorite quotes that I have posted in a few places at home and work.Â We all have our good and bad days. When I am having a bad emotional day I try to refocus and remind myself of my goals and what I want to achieve.Â If I see myself â€œlosing itâ€ I talk to myself LOL, take a deep breath and keep reminding myself how bad I want to reach my goals.Â I am also a big fan of writing down my thoughts.Â For example when I ate something I wasnâ€™t supposed to I wrote down how I felt afterwards.Â So when I feel tempted (which I see as obstacles) Â I go back and re-read my thoughts.Â I am one of those people who think that when others say â€œthere is no time to workoutâ€Â it is an excuse.Â In season I am up at 4am in the gym getting ready to attack my day or if I know I have a very long day coming up I will make it my off day. I feel soo much better once I get my workouts in! Â It is all about planning/making a schedule I cant emphasize that enough.
WAW: Whatâ€™s next for you this year?
TC: I am so excited for this year!Â I am 15 weeks out from my first show which is in April.Â I am going to compete in the New England Fitness America Pageant. I also qualified for Nationals last year so I will also pick a NPC Bikini National show to compete in as well.Â I am just going to continue doing what I love to do and keep reaching for my goals!
â€œEnthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic! Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.â€
WAW: Where can we find more information out about you?
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