Friday, September 17, 2010
Jamie Stiles Interview
Beautiful, great physique, tons of potential, great attitude. That is a description of Jamie Stiles. Jamie has only competed once so far, but she won the overall in that show. Her attitude about fitness and proper nutrition is one of the things that makes Jamie someone to root for. Not only competing wise here either. She has the looks to become a respected Fitness model too. I hope you will all read this and see why Jamie Stiles is quickly becoming one of my favorite people in the industry and someone you are going to hear a lot about.
Q: First, Jamie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you very much for having me Jason!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Well, where do I start? I was born in California, but when I was five my family moved to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, where I spent my childhood. Lucky me right?! Then we moved to Florida when I was twelve, and I have been here ever since! I have an awesome brother and parents, a sweet nephew, a wonderful boyfriend and a house full of animals. Life is good!
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was always an active kid with running around playing, but I never got into any sports until my sophomore year of high school. I played soccer for 3 years and loved every second of it. However, if I could go back in time I would have played more sports like volley ball and joined the weightlifting team.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: After high school I kind of let myself go and gained some weight. A friend of mine got me to join her gym, and I was instantly hooked!
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I like to think that I picked it up in a sense of correct form and basic exercises pretty easily, but I didn't completely understand the concept of increasing weight or building muscle mass. Back then I was working out to lose weight, no other reason. Even so, working out made me feel incredible and I was hooked. I didn't see the results I wanted until I had been in the gym for maybe 6 months. The head trainer at the gym I was in was extremely knowledgeable and gave me a lot of information on nutrition and how to eat correctly as far as multiple meals throughout the day, simple and complex carbs, how to combine protein with carbs and healthy fats. You know- the basic stuff! As soon as I changed my eating habits, my results were immediate.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I came across a copy of Oxygen Magazine that featured Monica Brant on the cover. I was so impressed with her physique, and I wanted to be like her. I immediately subscribed to Oxygen and was just in awe of these figure and fitness girls. I knew then that I wanted to compete in figure (I'm no gymnast so fitness was not an option for me). At the time though, I was going through a lot of changes in my personal life so my dream was put on hold for a few years. It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I made the decision to just go for it! My boyfriend and I talked about me getting doing it, and my best friend Oliya Melnichuk , who is a national level bikini competitor, gave me that extra push. She asked me what the hell I was waiting for. So I went for it!
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My boyfriend James has supported me 110% without question! He has been there for me every step of the way, and I couldn't ask for a better support system. My best friend Lee (Oliya M.-Lee is her nickname) of course supports me, and it is so awesome to have someone that understands what it is like to go through the training and dieting and everything that's involved in the sport. Her boyfriend Walter has also been great with helping me with the diet, especially pre contest. My family does support me for sure, though they don't always understand everything involved. For example, my mom is always worried that I am not eating enough or not being healthy because I am so lean. (I just remind her that there is no way I could have any sort of muscle mass if I did not eat enough!)
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Well, I have heard a lot about competing from Lee, and I have read a lot about it as well, but of course actually doing it is a little different. I did not expect to feel so grouchy and emotional the week before! No carbs makes Jamie a VERY cranky girl!! Also, I actually have stage fright and usually dislike being put in the spotlight, so overcoming that fear was a huge accomplishment for me! All in all I had so much fun the day of the competition, and it was over way too quickly!
Q: Can you share your contest history?
A: Well, I am extremely new in the sport, so I have only competed once so far. My first show was the NPC Central Florida District Championships in June of this year, and I won first in the open figure tall class, and won overall as well! So I'm off to a great start!
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Hmm, of course I am extremely analytical of my own body and am constantly trying to improve myself, but my best feature recently to me has become my rear. I have never had a really nice butt before, so I have to say I was extremely happy with it when I saw the pics from my competition! Of course there is always room for improvement, especially with such tough competition in the bigger shows.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Hands down, love to train legs! I feel like I have improved a lot with my leg work outs, and it is so important to work your legs hard to get your body in better shape all around. Of course, don't ask me that question in the middle of my leg routine- you might not get a nice answer! Seriously though, I feel like I get the most out of my leg work outs, because I can push myself harder than I can with any other body part. Favorite leg exercise is probably the leg press, because I can use the heaviest weight! I have to admit I feel like a total bad ass that I can leg press more weight than most guys at my gym!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Well, I am still figuring out what works best for me, so I am currently trying to change things up to help me build the most mass. What I have been doing lately is increasing my weight so I can go as heavy as possible for about 15 reps with each set, then finishing off the exercise with a much lighter weight to pump out 25-30 reps. I do maybe 4 sets per exercise. I split my routine so I work out 5 or 6 days a week, with one or two days of just cardio, or cardio and abs. I've been trying to focus on areas that need a little more development, like my shoulders, legs, and lats. Pre contest I add more cardio so I do it about 5-6 days a week rather than one or two to really help lean out. My diet is always very clean, so I never really have to change much like some other competitors might have to. The week before the show I cut carbs for a few days, then carb load and taper off a couple days out.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Hmm, well when I tell people about competing I usually have to explain exactly what figure is, but the typical reaction is positive. I rarely get a negative reaction. The occasional bad ones usually come from people that see me eating. People in general do not understand how to eat healthy, so they associate clean food with being on a "diet", which is then assumed that a lean person should not be dieting, so that is where the negativity comes from.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Well the most common question I get is about what I eat, then what I do to work out. It gets a little old having to explain over and over what I do, because it is not a one word answer!
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: For me, I wish people understood that I eat the way I do and train the way I do because I WANT to! If I skip the gym, I feel like I didn't accomplish anything that day, so having rest days is difficult for me. Also, I eat clean year round because I feel good when I eat healthy! I don't want to cheat, and when I do my cheat is probably not what others would consider a cheat. So the biggest thing for me is that people seem to get insulted or offended if I don't want to eat certain things or I bring my own food somewhere. Please don't try to convince me that one cookie or one drink or whatever it is wont hurt, or tell me I need to give myself a "break". I DON'T WANT IT! I physically feel sick if I eat it, so why would I eat it? Would you try to convince a vegetarian to eat a steak, or someone that is lactose intolerant to drink milk? Eating healthy seems to be considered unnatural, and processed, chemical filled food is the "norm". People don't understand and its even harder when you compete and your clean eating is more "extreme". I guess the bottom line is I wish people understood that the way we eat is what we choose, and will get us where we need to be.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is the satisfaction of actually doing it! You work soooo hard on getting your body into the best shape of your life, and you get to showcase it to people that can appreciate the effort, dedication and hard work you have put into yourself! The worst part I think is the emotional roller coaster you go through in the process! The week before in particular! The stress and carb deprivation can make a person feel like they are going crazy!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: There are several that I admire! Of course Monica Brant is the one who inspired me to compete from the beginning, but I definitely admire Jen Hendershott, Mindi Smith, Cheryl Brown, and of course my best friend Lee!
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: As I have mentioned, I rarely cheat, and if I do it may not be considered a cheat to other people! I LOVE natural peanut and almond butter, so to me that is a cheat! I have to be careful to not overdo it with the nut butters for sure. I do like to put flavored creamer in my coffee as well. The occasional dark chocolate is good too, but to be honest I could do without it. The peanut butter is where its at!
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: Eat right and lift heavy! Oh, and of course GO FOR IT!
Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women in the gym working as hard as men?
A: I think so, there is definitely more information available for women to learn about being fit, but you are always going to have the women that are afraid of getting "bulky" or "manly" looking. I think the biggest thing that people in general need to know is that it takes hard work, hence the term "work out".
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love going to the beach and being outdoors, especially if I can bring my little Chihuahua along!
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jamie Stiles?
A: Right now, it is very simple: eat, work out, spend time with my boyfriend, and homework!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I usually have people surprised that I lived in Hawaii! They always want to know why the heck I would move to Florida. Well, when you're twelve you don't really have a choice! Though I am glad I moved here.
Q: Describe Jamie Stiles in five words.
A: Passionate, Dedicated, Quirky, Silly, Caring
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Well I am going to do a national qualifier next, so my goal is to do the Dayana Cadeau Classic in October!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Jamie Stiles the athlete and competitor?
A: Absolutely! Getting sponsored is one of my goals, for sure! They can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Or they can even find me on facebook, at facebook.com/jmelicious. They can expect to get an athlete that is dedicated, appreciative, friendly, and passionate, and wanting to let the world know who supports her!
Q: Jamie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Oh no problem, thank you so much for this opportunity Jason! I know that great things are in store for me! Also to potential sponsors, you now know how to find me, so come and get me! :-)