Monday, August 23, 2010
Maria Lalous Interview
First I must apologize to maria Lalous. Her interview is one of a small handful that somehow got misplaced and this should have been posted long ago. That being said I am happy to post it now. Maria is someone with so much potential. An amazing physique, incredible beautiful, and such dedication, she has everything needed to be a star. She is new to competing, but one day soon, Maria Lalous is a woman everyone in this industry is going to know,
Q: First, Maria, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for asking me! From everything you have told me so far, I think it is a phenomenal goal that you are supporting women in bodybuilding and fitness, and I am very happy to be even a small part of it!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Athens, Greece until the age of 10 years
when we moved to Montreal with my parents and older sister. Currently
most of my family is back in Greece! I live in Montreal with my 3 year-
old daughter (single mom) an working full-time as a genetic
counsellor. I recently got my certification as a personal trainer with
the aim to eventually switch careers full-time to training women and
helping them take control of their body and life. I also recently
fulfilled my lifetime dream of competing as a fitness model and
figure, and continue to prepare for more competitions this year :)
Q: Before the gym were you an esepcially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was in ballet since the age of 3 years and gymnastics for a few
years. Since moving to Montreal, I always played sports on weekends
with friends, but never in school teams due to by shyness and stage-
fright! I hated being watched!
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: At 16 years I started having problems with my knee, and through
physiotherapy we stared lifting some weights to strengthen the muscles
around the knee, and soon enough I was hooked!! I was also extremely
skinny in high school (although I ate everything in sight), so I
figured weight-training would help me gain some mass to make me look
less skinny :)
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before
you started to see results?
Q: Weight training came natural to me, and soon was able to start
lifting heavier weights than just 5 Lbs with my skinny little arms. As
for my body, I think it was a slow progression of change over the years.
Q: You recently did your first show, competing in Figure and Fitness
Model at UFE Chaos. What made you deicde to compete?
A: It has been my ultimate dream since 16 years when I first started
training! I always wanted to have beautiful arms rather than skinny
little bon arms!! The past year and a half there were a lot of
obstacles and difficulties in my life, which together wih the weight
gain and change in body shape due to my pregnancy (gained >77Lbs) , it
didn't help my self-esteem and self-view, so I decided to take
control, do what I love best, throw all caution in the air and finally
follow my dreams!! And it has made me the happiest I have ever been in
my life :-D
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the
A: My family doesn't really understand why I am doing this. They
confuse being fit with being skinny, I hear comments like "you are
anorexic" ,"you are too skinny", "you look like a man"... I can assure you
that someone who is going through any type of eating disorder does not
eat as much as I do! As for friends, my close good friedns that love
me know how long I have wanted this, and regardless what their own
personal beliefs about the female body is have been very supportive!
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Yes! It was everything I had expected! I think mostly I surprised
myself! As I said earlier I have stage-fright and do not like being
watched, but as I walked on that stage something just "clicked" and all
the fears went away, I forgot about being watched, and I had more and
more fun each time I entered the stage!
Q: Did you knwo right away it was something you wanted to keep doing?
A: Definitely! It just clicked! I had so much fun, on-stage and back-
stage (not to mention all the goodies you get to eat that you have
deprived yourself of for so long!!). As soon as the show was over, I
was thinking about the next one ;-D
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I would say my shoulders. And recently my abs! I just cannot
believe after so much weight gain with my pregnancy I was able to have
my abs in better condition than before!
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise.
A: Hmmm, that is a tough one. I think my biceps and shoulders, they
just pop out right away. An exercise, I would say hamstring-glute
raises! It is a killer exercise but boy does it work well!!!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do
> you alter it for contest prep?
A: I train generally 5 times a week, split program. Do some cardio,
but keep it to a minimum because I have so much trouble gaining
weight! My diet is very simple, I mainly eat the same thing every day!
Seven meals consisting of meat / chicken / fish / egg-whites and LOTS
of carbs. Closer to comp I start carb cycling and then deplete for a
day or two.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the
first time, waht is the most common reaction? More positive or
A: Funny enough, strangers are very positive, but surprised! I still
have a very petite physique, so when I take off my jacket and see my
arms, they are very surprised!
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or
> comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "You must train a lot" OR "How many days a week do you train?"
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and
compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: The diet we do is not unhealthy! My diet is complete and healthy,
not to mention MANY more calories than the average woman! When people
see you get tighter and more muscular they think you are not eating!!
Or that you do not eat everything, which in a way is true! I will not
eat pasta every day (as much as I would love to!), but my carbs come
from fibre-consisting foods, such as sweet potatoes and oatmeal!
Another is to tell me of everything that I am eating that causes
cancer! I am an MSc and know very well how to read scientific
journals, and keep up with research quite a lot, but I also make sure
to go directly to the source (the published research paper), rather
than listen to only the media, because sometimes information is
misleading! o, although I appreciate people's concern, sometimes it
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: There are so many amazing things about competing! The way it
changes you and your view of yourself, the amazing people you meet
along the way, the benefits on your health due to exercise and diet,
and the fact that you set goals with yourself all the time!
The worst and only bad part of competing... it just costs soooooooo
much money! It is a VERY expensive hobby, and as a single mom I only
have myself to rely on!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: WOW! Now that is a very tough Question, there are sooooo many people! I
would say my coach, Gregory Ulysse - he is such an amazing person, and
has been my number one supporter! He took a regular girl and is slowly
turning her into a figure girl ;) He literally transformed my body and
gave me "ME" back! Josie St-Amour, is so sweet and supportive and you
would not believe how strong she is for such a petite person! She can
squat more than most men in the gym, and has the most killer legs!!
One of my closest friends Robin Macgowan, who competes with the WBFF
as a fitness model! She is just about one of the sexiest, most
seductive yet sweetest and beautiful women you will meet in your
Ladies, such as Jacquiline Curl, who take charge of their life and
lose the weight, change their lifestyle and actually compete in less
than a year after she lost the weight!! Her determination and drive
Models I have not had the opportunity to meet yet, such as Emily
Sterling, Lyzabeth Lopez and Miryah Jade Scott... and the list goes on
and on! They just have the most beautiful physiques I have ever seen!
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: YUM!! Yes, I would say pasta!!! Followed by dessert ;)
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: Set your goals, find a coach that can help you, you can talk to
honestly an that will listen to your concerns! But mainly set your
goals, believe you can do it and just go for it!
Q: You are very beautiful. Is fitness modeling something you want
to get more involved in?
A: LOL! Thank you! I do not actually think of myself as beautiful! There
are so many gorgeous women in the fitness world that it makes your
head spin, and you easily become just a regular girl in the crowd!
But, yes, I do want to become much more involved in both fitness
modelling and figure! I think it is such a healthy and amazing way to
inspire young women about themselves and body -image! It's not about
having the perfect body, as many may think. It is not superficial! It
is about being "your happiest", healthy and doing what you love!
I hope to be my daughter's role model to have an active, healthy
lifestyle and be happy!
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: It's difficult to maintain other hobbies as a single mom working full
time and training! My favorite past time other than the gym (which is
my "me time") is spending time with my daughter, reading to her,
playing, chatting with her about her day and mine in an attempt to
demonstrate/ develop an open/honest relationship between mother and
daughter, and making puzzles with her!
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Maria Lalous?
A: LOL! HECTIC! Get up at about 5am, shower, make breakfast, get dressed
and ready, wake up little one, eat breakfast together in bed (we love
staying in bed to eat!), get her slowly ready for daycare (she loves
cuddles in the morning before leaving house), grab the dog and
stroller and bring her to the daycare and the dog back home. Run off
to work, see patients, run to the gym usually at lunch hour, go pick
up daughter after work and spend the evening together playing, until
bed-time ~10pm. THEN is when I will cook all my meals, her food, do
some left-over work for the office, chill for a bit and head to bed,
usually around midnight!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Probably that I am actually much more sensitive than I seem to be
from my "tough" exterior!
Q: Describe Maria Lalous in five words.
A: Honest, Loyal, Caring, Shy, Stubborn, Traditional
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or
A: Yes! So far I have planned to compete at the FCPAQ May 29, 2010; WBFF
Quebec, June 19, 2010; (NOTE: Maria has since done these and done very well) and depending how those shows go there may be
two more added to the list ;)
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I am a Can-Fit Pro certified personal trainer, so anyone who is ready
to work hard can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so what are they getting in Maria Lalous the athlete and competitor?
A:Sponsors are always great! This hobby is quite expensive! My sponsors
would get an honest, all-natural athlete who works hard in everything
she takes on in life! They can expect me to be loyal and help them
achieve their goals in the process!
Q: Maria, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. ANy
> last words before you go?
A: Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview! It was my first
and quite painless ;) And good luck to you in all your goals!
Thank you to all my friends that support me through this, and the most
amazing coaches a gal could have, Greg Ulysse and Josie St-Amour! I
love them dearly!
I look forward to meeting many more beautiful determined women back-
stage in all future competitions!