Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tarna Alderman Interview
I remember the first time I saw Tarna Alderman. I was blown away by her. Such an amazing combination of physique and beauty. When I got know more about her I really became a fan. Tarna reminded me so much of me, just a little ahead of me. She was overweight and decided it was time to get in shape. Little did she know she would end up being a competitive bodybuilder. As I said the first time I interviewed her, I fully expect Tarna to one day be holding a pro card. Tarna's transformation is a bigger achievement than any pro card though. She is someone women and men alike should admire and look up to, I know I do. So here is what is now one of my all-time favorite interviews, with Tarna Alderman.
Q: Can you talk about what initially got you started in the gym?
A: I was overweight and decided to get my act together. I realized I was the only person who could make myself happy and took action on it. I got online and found some forums and magazines, did some research and saw what it was gonna take. For me bodybuilding was the most common sense way to lose weight.
Q: Going back to that first day in the gym, if someone told you that you would become a competitive bodybuilder, what would you have thought?
A: Haha I would have laughed. I wouldn't believe it. It was never a goal to be a competitive bodybuilder. It was just to be a size ten again.
Q: At what point did you realize you could compete?
A: I was at the Emerald Cup in 2009 and someone asked if I did compete. I was flattered and they said I should and I laughed it off. At the beginning of last year I was approached by a couple people who said I would do well. The more I dieted towards that goal, the more excited they got and they told me I had a future in it. It kept me going.
Q: You did the Emerald Cup in 2011 and took fourth place at middleweight. For a fairly big show, how satisfied were you?
A: I wasn't that satisfied. I knew I could look better. I wasn't happy but it was where I deserved to place I think.
Q: You said you could have looked better, what could have been better?
A: I flattened out a lot for that show. I tried to lose a lot of weight really fast. I was trying to make lightweight and was half a pound up from lightweight so ended up at the bottom of the middleweight class. In order to do that I ended up looking flat, I dried out to much an couldn't fill back up in time.
Q: You are in prep now for the Emerald Cup, is there a specific reason you wanna do that show?
A: Its a prestigious show, its kind of a big deal with the competitors in my area to win that show. How well I do there will determine for me whether I want to go to a National show in the future or hanging up the bodybuilding thing and focus on being happy and healthy and having a life outside the industry. A lot is riding on my placing there and how I look.
Q: So if you do well then the goal is a National show?
A: Yeah, compete at a National level. I have been told by people who have a better eye than I do, that a pro card is in my future. That would be cool, but I look at it and think down the road from that, what is that gonna gain me in life or to fulfill me as a person, a mother and a spiritual being. How much do I want to put into that, what sacrifices I am willing to make to go for that. If I do well I will at least compete once at a National level and decide things from there.
Q: That leads to my next question. When I did your first interview, I called you a future pro, and others have said that to. Does it mean something to you when others say that?
A: It does. Coming from being overweight and such an unhappy place with my body, I don't think I will ever look in a mirror and not see my flaws. So to have somebodies outside view, it is completely different from what I see in a mirror. So it does mean a lot. People everywhere say I should do it and it would change the face of women's bodybuilding. That would be cool. I would love to see that because I love bodybuilding and I think it has gone to a dark place in the industry. I would hate for it to be gone and left with just physique, figure and bikini because my body is naturally huge and there are women who wanna lose weight and do this and are told they will never get bulky. I am a perfect example, I lifted weights and I did get bulky. For me it was like, crap, what do I do. Then bodybuilding came into the picture and it was something for my body type. That propelled me even more into it. People are telling me I am special and that always makes you feel good.
Q: One of the reasons you are one of my favorite people is because we have a similar story. You mention always seeing the flaws, and I get the same thing. People say nice things but we see the negative. People don't understand that. Do you think its a case of if people haven't been through it, they will never understand it?
A: Yeah, I don't think you can make someone understand it. If they haven't been overweight, they don't know what its like to be overweight and hate your body. Its on your mind 24/7. During the weight loss its worse. You say "I lost ten pounds and still look flabby". So there are negatives as well as positives. My body doesn't look like it does on stage a week out from the show. Its the dehydration that pulls everything tight, the areas with stretchmarks and loose skin stay that way till I dry out. So I don't walk around feeling good about my body. So I don't think people can begin to understand.
Q: Looking at pictures from last year and current pictures, it seems to me, your biggest improvements are delts and biceps, would you agree?
A: I am excited to hear that because my delts are something I have been working hard on. My back width and learning how to pose has been huge. Working with Noel (Fuller), we did a completely different diet than the one for Emerald Cup last year. So I stay big and full the whole time. I don't lose a lot of pounds on the scale as my body changes. I think my arms are the same size, I was so flat last year that they just didn't peak as they normally do.
Q: You are at the gym, beautiful woman with a great physique. Whats the most ridiculous comment or question you have gotten?
A: Wow! People recently ask me to pose or flex for them haha. That's awkward when you are working out. There isn't a lot of ridiculous questions. The hard thing is people always asking what you eat. Its no secret, just being consistent and not expecting results right away. I guess a ridiculous question is "How many times a day do you lift", as if I lift several times a day.
Q: Prep is different, but during off season do you have a set routine you stick to, or do you change it up?
A: I train a body part a day. I might change my reps and stuff, but I have a back day, a chest day, a shoulder day. Never been much change in that. Sometimes I will do burn outs or drop sets or volume training. It depends on my energy level. I like to train legs so when I can I like to train those twice a week.
Q: When youa re in public, do you dress to show it off or hide it to avoid attention?
A: I would say both. it depends on how I am feeling. If I need an ego boost I will go sleeveless or if I just wanna get in and get out I will cover up. One of the coolest thing that happened is I was at Costco and a little kid just dropped his jaw and said "Oh my God dad", it was the cutest thing, so funny. So it just depends on how I am feeling.
Q: You are becoming popular with the people who follow the women's side of the sport. Do you realize it and what would you attribute it to?
A: I have been surprised at the amount of women who say I inspire them and have become a fan. I think that makes me feel better than any male attention because its not about having a good body or looking cool or sexy. its inspiration from my story. Its from doing interviews and talking and sharing the story. People see where I come from till now and it hasn't taken twenty years. I am a mother and have a life and do struggle and people relate to that. I think its important to talk about your struggles. Everyone has them.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: Noel Fuller, he has been steady, he is strong in his beliefs. He keeps my on tack, doesn't get worked up if I am losing weight or not. Nicole Berg, she has become a friend through this prep and she helps with my posing. Big thanks to her. My fiance Martin for putting up with me hahaha. My daughter of course, my family and God for always being there and being supportive. You for the interviews, always keeping in touch and being positive.