Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Megan Melone Interview
What is not to love about Megan Melone. Beautiful woman, great physique, and a love for what she does. She calls herself a perfectionist, and she practices what she preaches because she works hard to look as good as she does. I have gotten to communicate several times with Megan, and her outer appearance only tells part of the story. She is a kind woman, and very intelligent. She is someone who deserves attention, and no doubt she will get it. She is in search of her WNBF Pro card, and as long as she keeps doing what she is doing, there is no reason to believe she won't get that card. Here is an interview with a special woman, Megan Melone.
Q: First Megan, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: It's my pleasure.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I am 31 and an Elementary Music Teacher from Chicago. I am not married, and have no children, but I do have a Golden Retriever named Lily. I live with my sister, Amy who is also a figure competitor. It makes it easier to diet with another competitor in the house because there is VERY seldom junky food in the fridge.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I do not have a typical figure athlete story. I was never especially athletic, I was more of a musician and nerd, LOL!! I tried Volleyball and Basketball in elementary school, but was not very good, so I took up the flute and I was in band/orchestra all through school and college.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: In 2005 I was engaged to be married and 4 months before the wedding, I called it off. That experience was draining and depressing; so I began looking for a healthy means for which to vent. I followed my good friend Matt and my sister, Amy's leads and started lifting to blow off steam. It was a very difficult time in my life and I was lost, so the gym served as an outlet for me. Little did I know at the time, that I would fall in love with fitness.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A. I am an overachiever by nature, so I did a lot of reading and learning so that I could make the best use out of my time in the gym. I learned a lot that first year. As far as muscle growth, I saw that pretty quickly. I would say within 6-8 months, I looked like a completely different person.
Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: I had been in the gym for 1 year, at 5 days a week when I was approached by Mike Neumann (host of www.naturalbodybuildingradio.com) who was a trainer at my gym. He asked me if I competed and I jokingly said "no, should I?" He encouraged me to attend a local natural show. I went and I fell in love with the sport. I made up my mind, that night, while watching my first figure show that I HAD to give competing a shot!
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Initially, my parents had a lot of questions/concerns, mostly about the diet. They were concerned that it was not healthy or that I was depriving myself, however, when they saw how clean and healthy I was eating, they quickly embraced my new lifestyle. My sister is 100% behind me because she competes as well. She is a major source of inspiration and motivation for me. As far as friends, that has been one of the hardest things. Some support, some don't. One of the hardest things is hearing about people not only making criticisms to your face, but also talking behind your back. That has been really hard for me.
Q: Was the first competition what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: My first show was the NANBF Southern States Classic. I was told ahead of time that it is the largest natural show in the country and I wanted to do that show to see how I stacked up against the best of the best. So, I decided to enter the open at my first show,LOL. I wanted to be compared to the best (there's that over achiever thing again, haha). It was wonderful, the ladies were spectacular, one more beautiful than the next. I was intimidated, excited and yes, it was pretty much what I expected.
Q:Can you share your contest history.
A: I am fairly new to the sport. I have only competed in 2 shows, then took a full year off to make improvements, hired Dr. Joe Klemczewski as my coach and am currently seeking my WNBF pro card. My gains this past year have been awesome and I can't wait to hit the stage again.
Q:As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Shoulders, My sister and I both have great delts and I guess I have my parents to thank for their genetics.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train EVERYTHING, lately, chest and Bi are my faves.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I have a 5 day split for weight training with cardio 6 days (during contest prep). I lift heavy, heavier than some guys in the gym. As far as diet, I pretty much just listen to my coach, Dr. Joe. Currently, I am cycling my carbs and am getting fabulous results.
Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: It's a mix, some think it's very interesting, others snub it.
Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I have had SEVERAL women at the gym ask me what I am "on". I hate that. I don't understand why people assume that I am taking a fat burner or some drug when in actuality, my diet and cardio dictate fat loss. I train hard and build muscle through HARD work!! I am a proud natural athlete!
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women you train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I guess going along with the previous question, that you can get very lean without fat burners or illegal drugs.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is being on stage. I guess being a musician, that performance aspect really draws me in. The worst part is low-carb days,LOL, Kidding. I guess the way people act when they don't understand. Often times, people reject what they don't know and it's very difficult for me to digest.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire anyone who has the courage to compete.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: HA!!! Right now (7 weeks out) just about anything I shouldn't have sounds good. Cheesecake, Pizza, steak, Pasta, bread, LOL
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would have two pieces of advice actually, Educate yourself and DO NOT be afraid to lift heavy!!!
Q: Do you think it is more accepted today in society for women to weight train than in the past?
A: I think so, but maybe it is just because it's the "world"I live in. Seems like a lot of women are getting into lifting these days.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy music!! Everything from Opera to Hip-Hop. I love to cook and write.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Megan Melone.
A: I wake up at 5:30, eat, drive to work, eat, work, eat, train, eat.. come home and cook/pack my food for the next day, eat, and go to sleep. One day a week, I teach flute lessons and another I teach Choir at my school.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: There are actually 2 things. People would be shocked to know that I actually have 2 Titanium rods in my back and a spinal fusion. I had scoliosis as a child and in 8th grade had to have corrective surgery. It makes training difficult at times because I have very limited mobility in my spine. I constantly modify back and ab training because those require so much bending, which I am unable to do. Despite what some people might consider a disability, I refuse to let that keep me from reaching my goals.
Also, I am kind of a nerd, haha. I am a classical musician and have 3 degrees, one of which is in Flute Performance. I love philosophy and science.
Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: Favorite actor: Judy Garland. I love old Hollywood glamour. My favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.I even collect little things from the movie. It' s too difficult to pin point any 1 musician, I listen to a lot of hip-hop/rap/R&B now because it gets me going with my training: Lil Wayne, Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Gucci Mane, etc.. But flip a little further in my iPod, you will find Beethoven, Dean Martin, Celine Dion, Ben Folds, Elvis Crespo, Tiesto, and others
Q: Describe Megan Melone in five words.
A: Passionate, Well-rounded, Overachiever, Girly, Perfectionist.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yup, beginning in March, I have several INBF shows in which I will be competing, I'm seeking a pro card!
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Yea, I write for a new website which is empowering women everywhere to reach their fitness goals! We address nutrition needs, give recipes and fitness advice. Check it out: www.fitchickplanet.com
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Megan Melone the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, I am seeking sponsorship. I am very dedicated to what I believe in and have a lot of integrity. They can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via facebook.
Q: Megan, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I just want to thank you and encourage everyone to follow their dreams, no matter what obstacles get in their way!