Monday, August 23, 2010
Luwannah Lamas Interview
Take a look at the pictures of Luwannah Lamas and see how amazing she looks. Then consider she weighed almost 200lbs at one point, and see how even more amazing it is. Her dedication and determination is inspiring to say the least. New to competing, I expect you are going to be seeing a lot more of this beautiful woman.
Q: First, Luwannah, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you, Jason for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the awesome fitness family on your blog! We truly appreciate what you do!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Absolutely, my name is Luwannah, named after my best friend, and mother. My father, David and mother recently celebrated their 32 year wedding anniversary, and are currently living in Wisconsin. I have a fabulous sister, Tanya, who is married with 2 little boys. I was blessed with an amazing family, whom I love, I could not ask for anything better. I am a born and raised Texas native, and call the Houston area home.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been an athlete Jason. I started playing sports earlier than I can remember. I grew up playing soccer and volley ball as a child, and as soon as they were offered in school, I tried a little bit of everything. (Insert laugh here) Notice I said “tried” some not as successful as others.
I played volleyball, tennis, and ran track and cross country in junior high. In high school, I tried volleyball, and softball, but really stuck with and excelled in track, cross country, and power lifting.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was kindly told by my volleyball coach sophomore year that she loved my passion for the sport, and heart for the game, but unfortunately my skill was not where it needed to be. I was advised to put more time and effort into power lifting because I had qualified for state my freshman year. I guess that was the beginning of my lifestyle change, and when the gym became my second home. I haven’t stopped working out since.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: As an adult, my training and strength caught on rather quickly. I have always been a strong girl. The results of weight loss, on the other hand….not so much. I have lost a total of 89 pounds, and there was absolutely nothing easy about that! Regardless of my activity levels or the sports I played, I had struggled with my weight throughout my teens and early twenties. In my early twenties, I started working in a gym at the weight of 185, eventually getting up to 197. And I am only 5’1 so you can see why that weight can be a problem (smile).
So I am very blessed that I had a few trainers adopt me as their friend. They taught me a lot and helped me tremendously in achieving my results.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
Competing, WOW! – I am not sure where the initial spark of interest originated from. I think it happened by accident. I was training one day when a trainer friend of mine came up to me and asked me what show I was getting ready for. At that time I had not even entertained the idea of competing. I had never compared myself to someone like that; someone who looked as amazing as “those girls” did. I was just getting in shape for myself. As time continued, so did the curiosity, and eventually the curiosity turned into a goal. Now I am happy to say that it is a goal I have finally achieved.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My friends and family have been great through this whole process. I am not sure they understood what I was doing at first, and my father was a little apprehensive because he feared I was going to do bodybuilding, and he didn’t want me to get too muscular. But once everyone saw pictures of previous competitions, and they understood what I was doing they supported me 100%.
Q: Was competing what you expected? did anything surprise you about it?
A:For the most part it was what I expected, although there were a lot of surprises along the way. Our bodies are so complex, I learn something new every time. I am sure I will continue to learn more as time goes on with this next show, with the goal to eventually minimize the surprises.
Q: Can you share your contest history?
A: I competed in Bikini at the 2009 State Championships in Stafford, TX and placed 3rd.I also competed in both Figure and Bikini at the 2010 Ronnie Coleman Classic in Arlington. I placed 16th out of 32 girls in figure and placed 3rd out of 31 girls in bikini to qualify for Nationals.
Q: Do you feel Bikini competitors are becoming more accepted by other competitors?
I think that NPC is trying to set a new standard for bikini competitors. I think the largest shock I encountered at my first competition was the lack of respect the bikini girls showed in their posing. I entered the competition with NPC and physique in mind. I expected to compete against a group of in shape/toned/ and beautiful women, but most of the girls on stage were simply un-modest, girls you could see on the beach, and they looked like they had never stepped foot in a gym. This year, there were new rules and criteria we had to meet as competitors. Our bikinis have to have more coverage, and our posing is more restricted. By having all the competitors posing alike and in a less disrespectful manner, the judges were able to compare our physiques more effectively. I feel that with the new standards they have set this year, it will help the bikini division get more respect as an actual “fit” contest. This year the girls I competed against were in great shape, and had excellent bodies; if we can continue to BRING IT, and prove we train hard and diet as well, we will slowly gain that respect from the other competitors.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I feel like my most heard compliments are my abs and my legs. When people see my pictures, those are the first things to grab their attention.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I enjoy working out period. I love everything about it, even cardio.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I would like to think that I eat clean for the most part. I do enjoy happy hour with friends a lot more than I should, and I enjoy a lot of junk food, but I never stop training. When I am getting ready for a show, the drinking stops, and I follow a really strict diet. I count my calories, carbs, fats and proteins, you know all the extremes that come along with contest prep.
Q: When someone sees or hears you train and compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? more positive or negative?
A: I think most people are shocked at first because they always expect muscular, bulky girls to compete. Then when I explain the divisions I compete in, I think it’s more of a positive feedback. In most cases they admire my dedication.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “What did you take?” I am tired of people assuming that I have cheated in some way to achieve the results I have. I worked really hard, and have sacrificed so much to do this, I get offended when someone tries to take that away by thinking I have taken something to help.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: (Laughing) when out of shape people eat bad around me, and offer me food, I normally respond by saying, “No, it’s not on my diet”. They always have the same response, “you’re so skinny, why are you dieting?” or “I wish I was as lucky as you and could be that skinny”. I wish I could make people understand that I am not skinny or lucky. I am a person that chooses to work really hard to stay in shape, and that I constantly struggle with my weight and watch what I eat to stay like this.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is the people I have gotten to meet. This industry has people from several diverse backgrounds, and I am very happy with the new friends I have gotten a chance to meet.
The worst part is probably the schedule during contest prep, it can get pretty overloaded and I tend to lose balance in my personal life.
A: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire several competitors, everyone works so hard to step on that stage! Just getting up there shows a lot about a person, and the dedication they must possess. If I had to name 1 person, it would be Natalie Hunt; she has a wonderful story (nataliehunt.net) and continues to motivate me in several ways.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
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 say to make sure she is ready for the commitment, and to make sure that the people in her life support her. It can get tuff, and most people do not consider how it will affect the people in their life. Also, just remember…..it’s probably not him, it’s carb depletion! haha
Q: Do you get a lot of friends asking for diet tips?
A: Every day, all day, people I know ask me how I lost all my weight, and they ask what they can do. I try to help them out where I can, but my knowledge is limited, so I normally refer them to a trainer friend of mine.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Absolutely! I am very interested in fitness modeling and promotions. I recently did a photo shoot with Dan Ray, to get my portfolio started.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love the beach, any time I get time off, you will find me at the beach or near a pool. I am also going back to school to get my bachelors in business.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Luwannah Lamas.
3:45 alarm goes off
4:30 arrive at gym
6:00 leave work
7:00 school or church depending on the night of the week
9:00 get out of school or church
9:30 climb in bed, take a deep breath and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow. And Of course, I find time to fit in my 7 meals throughout the day as well.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: The fact that I used to weight almost 200 pounds.
Q: Describe Luwannah Lamas in five words.
A: God Loving, Competitive, Outgoing, Hardworking, Ambitious
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
I have plans to do the Texas State in October, all in the Houston Area. I also hope to compete in the South Texas Classic in San Antonio in September.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Luwannah Lamas the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love sponsorship opportunities. They can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook. I am an outgoing competitor, and I will continue to place God in the center of my life in all that I do. Anything is possible with enough determination and drive, and I feel that I posses both of those qualities. I love to motivate people to change their lives towards a healthy lifestyle to feel better and look better. I look forward to being a positive role model to anyone I can help, by sharing my positive energy, my story and knowledge.
Q: Luwannah, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Jason, I want to thank you again for giving me a chance to get my name, my life, and my photos out there. I think what you are doing for us in amazing and I cannot thank you enough!