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Taylor Hanson- #WCW

A photo posted by TK (@winkeyface36) on

So excited to have gotten my official stage shots back! That is some #motivationmonday right there!! I am so grateful to have shared the stage with a super dedicated, and hard-working bikini competitor, @jamieaut . I cannot wait to take the stage with you again. We make a great team! I also cannot thank @brutalirongym enough for putting up with all my questions and easing my anxiety while I transform into a better person, inside and out. Counting down the days til I pick a next show! Best experience ever. I am hooked. #operationweddingdress #lifteatflex #ocb #bikinicompetitor #brutalirongym #thestruggleisreal #motivation #girlswhosquat #bootygains #girlswithmuscle #girlswholift #trusttheprocess #xxfitness #girlswhopowerlift #bodybuilding #fitchick #fitfam #fitness #progress #notperfection #liftheavy #bikini #fitspo #mm #powerlifter #stillairinmylungsstillbloodinmyveins

A photo posted by TK (@winkeyface36) on

Questions & Answers:

Q. How long have you been lifting and what got you into becoming a bikini competitor?

A. I started lifting in August 2013, and I fell in love. It probably helps that my gym is a unicorn of a gym. Most people who are members are either competitive bodybuilders, strong man/woman, or power lifters. They are an amazing influence, which comes into play later. Going to the gym 5-6 times a week was never a challenge for me. I love to lift heavy, feel strong, and get that “high” that only smashing a new personal record could bring; however, I also wanted to look good doing it. Eating well and healthy is pretty easy Monday through Friday. I can prep and bring all my meals to work, and resist any temptations that exist. During the weekends though, my diet would fall apart. After being encouraged by a few members of my gym, I decided to prep for a show. I figured giving myself a hard set goal of being on stage in a very revealing bikini is what I needed to get my diet into check. I did not expect to end up finding my passion in the sport.

Q. What is the hardest thing about contest prep?

A. Everyone likes to think that giving up alcohol or eating the same foods day in and day out is difficult, but I like it. I love structure and routine; I am very much a creature of habit. I would say the most challenging part of contest prep, is always having your meals prepped and ready. If you wanted to go out to the bar with friends, or what-not, you have to bring your Tupperware with you, and also decide if eating your meal cold is worth it. Want to go to the mall and buy new clothes? You have to make sure you are either home in time for you next meal, which for me is every two to three hours, or you bring a lunch box, food, and silverware with you. You always have to be prepared. One time, I forgot (only) one of my meals at my house during contest prep. I could not find a substitute meal, so I left work early to make sure not to miss meal. I have eaten cold fish, cold 96% lean ground beef, and cold sweet potato on the beach before. You just always have to be prepared.

Q.What advice would you give to girls that want to hit the weights but don’t know where to start?

A. Do not be intimated by the free weights. Walking into the free weight section of the gym can be overwhelming. If you are overwhelmed, ask a worker at the gym, or a friendly looking gym member for help. In my experience, people would much rather take the three minutes out of their day to assist someone, than to watch someone potentially injure themselves doing something with incorrect form. Also, Google can be your best friend. There are tons of videos on YouTube that go into detail and breakdown the form of any given exercise.

Q. What keeps you motivated to continue on the fitness journey?

A. The influence I am starting to notice that I have on my friends and family is the most motivating and rewarding thing. Since starting my fitness journey, I have had so many people reach out to me and ask, “You look really great, and I want to improve my health. What are you doing?” Knowing that I can positively influence other people’s lives just by doing what I love, lifting and eating, is the ultimate motivator. I have even helped my parents clean up their eating habits. It is the best feeling in the world to be able to watch your loved ones take better care of themselves, just because you decided to get your health back on track. I have fitness goals for myself, such as winning first place in contest one day; I just hope to continue to positively influence other people while I chase my goals.

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