Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WNBF Pro Jillian Teta Interview

When Jillian Teta contacted me about an interview I just had to look at her picture to know I wanted her to do one. But then I found out she works with Jill Coleman and the Jill Fit team, and then I really wanted her. They are a great group of girls who I highly respect. Learning a little about Jillian, I can easily see she is an asset to the team and a great representative for them. Jillian is clearly capable of so much, and I am excited to see what she does on stage this year.

Q: First, Jillian, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank YOU so much for this opportunity. The work that you do is amazing and I really appreciate you taking the time for me.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Originally I am from just outside of Boston, and most of my family lives there today. I went to Boston University, getting my bachelor’s degree in Biology and master’s in Environmental Biology. I spent 4 years living in Seattle during medical school, and now I live in North Carolina with my husband and a bunch of pets.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was a very active child and loved to play outdoors. When I got to high school, I played field hockey and ran track, which was my true love. I ran both winter and spring track. That was when my love of sprinting began, and I was pretty good at it. I also loved to ride horses.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: In high school, strength training was part of our training for track. However, after college and medical school, I was feeling stuck in a rut, spending too much time in my head. My sister-in-law, Jill Coleman, offered to train me for a figure show. I credit her with getting me back into a consistent training schedule.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I am one of those people that can be tremendously lazy, but also enjoys really intense workouts! For me, the most difficult part was nailing down consistency. Once consistency was in place, I was able to see results fairly quickly. I think my sprinter days helped me greatly all of those years later. I was able to add size where it had to go fairly quickly. Over several (4-5) months of training, I was able to add about 10 lbs of muscle while at the same time reducing my waistline. My glutes have been extremely stubborn, and have taken much longer to build and change. My body is always a work in progress.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Again, I have to give credit to Jill Coleman and JillFit. Jill encouraged me to do a figure show. I never thought that I would be able to get up on stage, never mind win! Through this process, and with the help and guidance of Jill and many friends, I’ve realized the only thing that ever holds me back is myself.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Overall, yes. Initially some of them did not understand what I was doing – was I going to be using steroids? Looking like a man? Was it a stripper thing? But once they realized that this was something I was doing for my physical and mental well-being, and saw the positive ways that my body changed, they were very supportive!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: That is a great question! Realizing that you are standing on stage is pretty shocking! That, “wow, I did it!” feeling. The most surprising thing is how quickly it is all over. You spend months and months prepping, training, eating, getting your mind right – and then, poof! – it is over. Something I really enjoy about competing is all of the awesome ladies I get to meet. There is a great camaraderie that goes on backstage. Everyone is in the same boat, and I love the support we can give and get from each other.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Sure! In the past year or so, I’ve competed with the NPC, INBF and FAME. I qualified for nationals with the NPC and plan on doing a national or junior show this upcoming season. I won first in Figure and first in Muscle Model at FAME Carolina's. Last June, I competed in the Figure category of the INBF Natural Atlantic, hosted by Damian Fisher, and won first in my class and then went on to win the overall. This landed me my WNBF pro card. I am making my pro debut this May in Virginia, and am very excited about it.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I think my legs are my best feature. I have always had very muscular, well defined legs with a good sweep. I credit my early years of sprinting for that. My toothy grin is pretty nice too.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Training shoulders is something I enjoy, and they are the body part I have been closely monitoring and working on building. I just love those super heavy push presses! Sprinting is my love, and I love track sprints and plyometrics as well.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: When I am not in contest-mode, I select my weak areas and train those heavier than other body parts, using combinations of heavy weights and slow sets with lighter weight, circuit based training to get a great burn and stimulate muscle growth. Sprinting and plyometrics are really my only cardio. In the off season, I ensure that I stay lean with a high veggie, adequate protein diet, but allow myself more nuts and fats, fruits and some cheese. This process has been really interesting for me, as it has taught me that I do not do very well on grain products, so I tend to avoid those all the time.
For contest prep, I switch it into fat-burning mode to uncover the physique that my trainers and I have been working to build. This entails more frequent meals, more veggies, clean carbs from veggies, and trimming out certain foods like dairy, fruit, bars, etc. My training always involves weights 4-5 times weekly, and the closer I get to the stage, depending on how I look, we may layer in incline walking. Sprints and plyometrics are always there!

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: Definitely positive. Seeing a physique competitor in person vs. looking at their stage pictures is actually a bit different. People comment on how “tiny” I look when they see me in person, because stage photos don’t really give a frame of reference, so all they see is muscles. When people see me in my normal every day clothes, and that I am not a hulking monster, they want to know what I do to get that look!

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “Wow, you must run for miles” I know that many physique athletes probably spend a lot of time jogging or doing middle-duration, middle-intensity cardio in their contest prep. For me, I don’t jog! You may laugh, but it’s true. I love their faces when I tell them that I don’t run at all. For me, it’s walking or sprinting.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: As a healthcare provider, the most common misconception is that this is somehow an unhealthy lifestyle. Living a lifestyle that promotes lean body composition is one of the best things that you can do for your health and well-being! That includes on the mental-emotional level as well. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishing a goal that you never thought that you could. It is extremely rewarding and empowering and makes you believe in yourself and your own inherent power to change and be who you are and who you want to be.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is the inspiration I get from the accomplishments and achievements of others and the feeling of reward I get as I get closer to and achieve my goals. I really enjoy the give and take of that. Surrounding myself with people who are supportive and who share similar goals gives me tremendous energy, whether I take home a trophy or not.
The worst thing, without question, is giving up bacon and vodka :-)

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I have so many! I admire anyone that has the guts to say – “I am making this change, I am doing it for me, I am GETTING IT!” Everyone has something in them that I admire; each one of us is uniquely amazing. In my personal life, the competitors I admire are my JillFit family: Jill Coleman, Tara Ballard, Emily Saunders, Sara Johnson Baker, Kelley Vargo and all the girls we train. I read all of the interviews you post and am continually inspired by them. I greatly admire Gina Aliotti, Jennifer Nicole Lee, Ava Cowen, Alicia Marie, and of course – Arnold.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: One word: bacon.

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: If she wants to get on stage, I would tell her to find someone who has experience training competitors (and preferably with stage experience themselves) to evaluate them and generate a unique, tailored nutrition and training program. Then I would congratulate them on making that amazing choice for themselves.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women working in the gym with the weights and not just doing cardio and things?
A: Actually, that is an interesting question, and yes, I do think that, I do notice more and more that women are picking up the weights and walking away from the cardio machines. Whenever I see women in the gym at the weight rack, I always try to make eye contact and smile at them :-) I think this is an uplifting trend and I hope that I continue to see even more and more women picking up those weights. Let’s get it ladies!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I thoroughly enjoy medicine and the human body and learning about all aspects of health. My husband and I also have a vegetable garden that we really enjoy tending to. I love playing with plants and flowers and get a lot of enjoyment from the outdoors and nature. Cooking is one of my passions as well and I love experimenting in the kitchen creating healthy dishes and treats. Recently I have started with piano lessons, which have been very interesting. It helps to balance out my brain. Reading is the ultimate indulgence for me.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jillian Teta.
A: I wake up, kiss Keoni, and go outside with my dogs. Depending on the day, I will either go train or make breakfast – egg whites and spinach with salsa – it is a die-hard habit for me! Then, I see clients at our clinic all day. I am lucky enough to work for my family and myself – we have our own clinic and fitness company. After work, I will either train or, in the off-season, come home, pour a glass of wine, and make dinner. In the evening, I like to read and listen to music and relax…or blog or write.

Q: Describe Jillian Teta in five words,
A: Humane, Open, Healthy, Loyal and Alive.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I feel like I am an open book sometimes, so I am not sure about surprises, but I consider myself very lazy. I love to sleep, have a hard time waking up early, and struggle with maintaining consistency in my training schedule.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: The IFPA Pro Bowl is coming up quick (May 7) and that is when I will make my pro debut. I also plan on competing in some local shows this year, though have not pinned them down, and would like to do one larger, non-local show.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: If there is anyone interested in competing or just changing the way you look, please check out our website at www.jillfit.com to see if you think we could help you. We are a group of competitors, fitness models and trainers that have a wide range of expertise and experience and can help you develop a sustainable, individual plan for your body goals. We can help teach you the tools to maintain a beautiful physique for years to come.
Recently, JillFit has also released a comprehensive Do-It-Yourself Competition Prep e-book. We are super proud of it and thinks it really stands out. You can view the table of contents of the book on our website.
You can also find me at Metabolic Effect www.metaboliceffect.com and The Naturopathic Health Clinic of NC www.nhcnc.com

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Jillian Teta the athlete and competitor?
A: Certainly I am always looking for sponsors. As an athlete and competitor I understand the physical and mental discipline it takes to achieve your goals, but in a sustainable way that creates a very healthy lifestyle. I understand that success must also come with humility. My contact information is: jillian@metaboliceffect.com

Q: Jillian, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much and you are quite welcome. These questions have been interesting to think about. My parting thought is this: we all have the ability inside of us to become the people that we want to be. The only thing that holds us from our goals and our happiness is ourselves. You can literally shape who you want to be – you can become that person, you already are that person.


  1. I have been reading your blog for some time, but must say this is the 1st one that truly caught my eye. I just mentioned jillfit.com on my blog the other day because I enjoyed what I had read on her site and now to see you feature one of her athelets was like icing on the cake. Thank you for what you do and the insight you provide through your blog. Keep it up!

  2. Jillian is such an inspiration! I am so lucky to also be able to call her my friend :)

  3. If you search I have other Jill Fit girls interviews with Tara Ballard and Emily Saunders. Both are very good. In fact last year Tara wrote a weekly contest prep jounral for me as well. And thanks so much for the compliment

  4. The NCR (Neurocranial Restructuring) she does for clients is awesome. Her friend Hillary Lampers, ND does my NCR. It has done wonders for my face and skull It took 10 years my facial appearance. I'm in my 50's and people usually guess me to be in my 40s.