Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kelli Green Interview

Kelli Green's journey to the stage came in steps. Step one was being athletic at a young age. Step two was when in order to battle illness Kelli was told to start living a healthier lifestyle, which led her to improve her diet and begin going to the gym. Step three was going to a show as a spectator and realizing being on the stage is something she wanted to do. The fourth and final step was actually getting on stage, which she did for the first time in April, and took 2nd place in her first show. I expect there to be more steps in Kelli's competitive career, but these first four steps have her on the way to doing some big things in the sport.

Q: First, Kelli, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You're welcome Jason!!! Thank you for considering me to interview for your site!!!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born on January 27, 1982 and am an only child from my mother. I live in Naperville, IL. I have two dogs, a mini Schnauzer named Toby and a pug named Abbey. I am an Assistant Store Manager for Vitamin Shoppe and have worked there for almost two years. Before that I was a pre-school Teacher. I am going up for a promotion in August to become a Store Manager and am really excited about that! I am Italian, Irish and Bohemian. I am very close with my family & have amazing friends who all have been so supportive! I am currently training for my 2nd bikini competition!

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I played all kinds of sports when I was younger but excelled in volleyball and track in high school. When it comes to watching sports, I am a huge baseball fan!

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2003. I was told by my doctor in order to control my illness I would need to change my diet and start working out. For years, that was a struggle to do because honestly I love eating (and not always healthy choices) and I was always too tired from my UC to work out. I always made excuses and would never stick to a workout routine. I was in and out of the hospital for years but I finally have my illness under control!
I was given the *Diamond Workout* by LL Cool J to start off with. I felt silly going alone to the gym so I would drag my friend Amanda and Liz there with me. After awhile, going to the gym started to become a routine and I was looking forward to going!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I was always athletic in high school and college but had no clue what I was doing in the gym. I started training at the beginning of January for my competition and started seeing results in a few weeks. I went from eating whatever I wanted to and not really working out to being on a diet plan and working out everyday. Let's just say I went through a few meltdowns while training! LOL

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I have a lot of friends who compete and was interested in doing a competition myself. But I am a very shy person and don't always follow through on goals I have for myself. I went to my first bodybuilding competition (NABBA promoted by Brooks and Nicky Robertson), in November 2010 with my friend Kristina and was hooked!!!!!!!! Sitting in the audience, I realized I wanted to be that girl on stage and not the one sitting in the audience wishing I be on stage. The next step was training and picking a show to do! I don't believe in New Years Resolutions but I made this one mine!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My family supported me from day one when I said I was going to do a show. Some of them didn't understand the competing part of it but still supported and encouraged me every step of the way. Some of my friends did not understand why I wanted to do a show. They looked at me and thought I was already skinny. But it was a personal goal I was to achieve and setting outside my comfort zone. I lost a lot of friendships during my training but realized that the ones who stuck around, were all that matters and I love them!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I did not know what to expect! I went through a few meltdowns adjusting to the diet and working out when I was sore and completely exhausted. I just figured I would have to watch what I ate. I did not realize I would have to weigh all my food and count my macros for every meal. I also had a hard time balancing the busy social life I once led to barely being able to go out. I finally adjusted half way through my training.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2nd place short bikini divas for John Hansen's ABA Natural Illinois Bodybuilding and Figure Competition - April 9, 2011
Currently training for bikini division for Darlene and Rob Mayo's NABBA USA - Illinois Cup - June 9, 2011

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My abs....and this will sound cocky but my booty!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love legs day! Just about any leg workout will make me happy! :)

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My diet and workout routine altered throughout my training. I just maintained daily communication with my trainer Tyler Mayer on my weight, what my macros were for each meal and how I felt. He lives in AZ so progress pictures were sent weekly too. Contest prep varied depending on my results. This time around, we are taking a little different approach with peak week.

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! I work at Vitamin Shoppe and all my customers knew I was doing a show. They would come in weekly to check up on my progress and even after my show to see how I did. When someone new found out I was doing a competition, they were shocked because they thought I was already skinny. I received a lot of FB messages from friends who said I was motivation for them to get into the gym and some wished they had the dedication I did. I am VERY proud of my best friend Cassie and Kristina. Both these ladies have worked extremely hard in the gym and have changed their lifestyles. They keep me motivated!

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Did you have to starve yourself to lose the weight you did?" - I really had to educated a lot of people on nutrition and making health choices.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Just because you lift weights, you will not look like a dude. I had a lot of people think when I said I was doing a bodybuilding competition that I was going to start looking too muscular. I had to start just telling people it was a bikini show. Then saying that, they thought I was going to wear a one piece "bathing suit" and stand in front of a car.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is seeing all the hard work paying off, especially stepping on stage and hearing people cheer my name. The worst part is not having a social life or even really time to myself. My only down time was laying in the tanning beds after a workout!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I have a few friends who are Optimum Nutrition Athletes & Competitors: Jacqueline Zediker, Beth Peshia and Cristina Vujnich. I turned to them for advice during my contest prep. I really admire IFBB Pro Bikini Competitors: Jessica Lawrence and Amanda Latona!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pancakes! LOL - I would have protein pancakes on my carb load days! The entire time I trained, I craved pancakes from IHOP. Right after my show, I couldn't wait to have a burrito from Chipotle!

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: No matter how hard the diet and training is to keep her head up and keep pushing through!

Q: Do you think its becoming more common to see women using the weights in the gym as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Yes and No. At my gym I see a lot of women lifting but when I talked to friends or customers about training, they would never want to lift because they think they will get huge. I feel much better after I have lifted then when I just did cardio.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Is texting a hobby? Haha. Spending time with family and friends. I also have my own scrapbooking business! I love going to baseball games and country concerts in the summer!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Kelli Green.
A: I wake up at 5 or 6am, eat breakfast, go to the gym to lift or do cardio, go to work for 8-9 hours, come home and eat, then go to the gym to lift or do cardio (depends on what I did earlier in the day), eat again and go to bed

Q: Describe Kelli Green in five words.
A: Caring, Honest, Sweet, Hard working and Friendly

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I will be 30 in January! Some people are surprised when I tell them my age. They think I look 19!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Less then 4 weeks to my 2nd show and then we will see after that! I have been told I should try NPC competitions next.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like to promote the next show I am doing: Darlene and Rob Mayo's NABBA Illinois Cup -June 11, 2011 ---- COME OUT AND WATCH A GREAT COMPETITION!!!! :)

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Kelli Green the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes! They are getting a hardworking competitor. Someone who makes this sport fun and exciting! they can contact me on Facebook or

Q: Kelli, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this? Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much Jason for asking me for this interview! I feel really honored and I really appreciate what you are doing to promote real women athletes! I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who supported me during my training but especially to the ones who stood by me, understood and supported what I was doing: My mom, my prep coach Tyler, Jenni & John, Cassie & Tom, Lisa, Amanda, Kristina, Ryne, Lauren, Deanna, Liz, and my co-workers/customers at Vitamin Shoppe! XOXO


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