Interview with Amazing WBFF Pro Kristi Winger Szudlo
Q. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
A. I have a husband, two children-ages 5 and 2, and a full time job, so I have a busy morning that I need to get a lot done. I first set the alarm early so I can have some “me” time, which works MOST of the time. (With kids, you never know when they will wake up!) I try to get in at least a run on the treadmill or do sometime on my elliptical to get the blood pumping followed by some abdominals and weights if time allows before the family needs to all get ready for the day. I then get breakfast going and the kids up if they are not all ready, and get them off to their destinations and myself ready for work. This is the time I also pack my food for the day so I am eating the right type of fuel my body needs to stay fit. At the end of each day I will hit the gym for a full workout.
Q. How long have you been training?
A. I have been involved in sports or working out most of my life. I began training for fitness competitions since spring of 2010.
Q. What made you get into Fitness and Competition?
A. That is better answered by “WHO”. It was divine intervention I believe, it was just meant to be part of my path. I met a judge, Melissa Hall Little, at a national beauty pageant I was in. She was impressed with my post baby weight loss and she approached me after the pageant to suggest I consider bikini competitions. I had never heard of bikini competitions. She offered to mentor and coach me. We have become wonderful friends and she started me on this incredible journey in 2010. That has led me all the way to a WBFF pro card on 11/5/2011. Pretty Amazing!
Q. How many people have you encouraged into the sport since you started?
A. I could not even say! I have added new teammates to the most recent team I was involved with, Team Total Body Advantage. I know of 3 additional people who specifically decided to compete in the Fitness world due to my encouragement that I am following and I am actively encouraging on a continuous basis. I am also constantly encouraging people who reach out to me on Facebook for advice or who are looking for a pick me up to get them through their plateau. I enjoy encouraging people and seeing their success.
Q. What was your body like before you started training?
A. Ha, ha, well…….. I had just given birth to my second child via c-second after being on a mandatory bed rest for 21 weeks. I had gained more than 65 pounds so my body for the first time in my life was “a mess”. It was wiggly and jiggly. I set a goal while on bed rest because I needed something positive to put my mind on that I would get into shape and win the national pageant fitness division that I was due to compete in just 13 weeks after delivery. I did win the fitness division at nationals, and I also won the evening gown division and I was 1st runner up over all!
Q. How do you keep yourself motivated and on-track through the grueling dieting in the last few weeks?
A. It is undoubtedly tough. The food is boring, the body is weak if you are depleting carbs, and your mind at times is even feeling blank…..but my desire to win is greater. That is all I can say. I have the drive.
Q. How do you handle the stress of it all?
A. I tend to manage stress well. Anyone who works full time, has a husband and two kids, trains for fitness competitions, and is active in their church and charities must love to live on the go with a full plate! I am wired that way!
Q. Do you get more attention from the people now that you are in such good shape?
A. Of Course! As do all physically fit people. The true psychology (and I am speaking of the science) of how people are attracted to one another–including how we believe people are attractive, intelligent, honest, trustworthy, and even would make a good mate is largely based on the physical qualities a person has. It has been proven in scientific studies that an attractive person (facially) and one who is physically fit is viewed to be someone that is more favorable in all those mentioned aspects by a cross section of society than people who are less facially attractive or less physically fit. Interesting, huh? Google it and see for yourself!
Q. How many days a week do you work out?
A. 4-5 days a week Off Season and 7 days a week In Season. Defined as:
1 hour weights, 30 minutes of Cardio: Off Season
1.5 to 2 hours of weights and 45 to 1 hour of cardio: In Season.
Q. How many exercises per body part do you typically do in a workout?
A. 2 different body parts off season and 2-3 on season, always with cardio.
Q. How much weight will you normally gain during the off-season?
A. At the worst 5-7 pounds, which I can lose in 10 days tops. It has always been easy for me to drop weight. However, I usually only gain 4-5 pounds unless it is Halloween (Candy!!) or I am on a vacation and I am eating desserts and drinking spirits like the world might end tomorrow! LOL!
Q. How about tanning/makeup/hair preparation for a contest. Can you tell that I’m still overwhelmed?
A. I tan the day/night before a contest. I have a make-up artist I trust who comes with me and who does everything for me. I relax and am made to look my very best.
Q. What is your philosophy on diet?
A. Protein, protein, Protein–60/70%, veggies are all green, carbs are low.
Q. Any holiday eating tips?
A. Eat like it is not a holiday. Halloween is my enemy….hahahahaha
Q. What about working out while you are on the road?
A. It is a must, never make excuses. You have to keep challenging your body.
Q. Do you believe in workout programs like Insanity or P90X?
A. I think they work for some people; however they are just not for me.
Q. What competitions have you participated in and what were the results?
A. First show ever-Ms. Bikini Universe National/Intl Show-13th place- June/2010
Ms. Bikini Carolina Nationals – Winner – 8/2010
Ms. Bikini Midwest Nationals – 3rd place – 10/2010
Ms. Bikini America National/Intl Show-12th place- Nov/2010
Ms. Bikini Universe National/Int’l Show. Top 10, 6th/10th- June/2011
WBFF- Boston National/Int’l Show-3rd Bikini Diva June 6/2011
WBFF- Boston National/Int’l SHow-7th Fitness 35 and 7th Tall 6/2011
WBFF – Edmonton, Canada National/Int’l- 6th Bikini Open 10/2011
WBFF- NE Show- 4th Fitness Model Open 11/2011
WBFF- NE Show-1st Place Fitness Model Masters- Pro Card Winner!-11/2011
Q. What do you wish you had known before you started doing shows?
A. My first show my tan was waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy to dark. All you could see was my blond hair, eye balls, and white teeth! LOL! I wish I knew how to properly tan! Live and learn right? It made for some great jokes I could make about myself! Each competition, I have learned a new “trick” helpful for my next competition.
Q. Looking back on what you have accomplished so far, what is one thing you would change if you could, knowing what you do now?
A. As they say, if you changed your mistakes, you then might change your successes, great friendships, and experiences you have had. So with that in mind, I will leave my imperfect “blemishes” where they are.
Q. What is one of the biggest sacrifices you’ve made, and was it worth it?
A. Training and competing does take a lot of time from my family. It is worth it as I see my son and daughter emulate exercises and talk about getting their protein in their meals for breakfast. My entire family is super proud of me when I compete and I know it teaches them great lessons about setting a goal, working hard for it and achieving it.
Q. What do you feel is the most important thing a bodybuilder/fitness/figure/bikini can have in order to be successful in this sport?
A. Self-respect and drive. It really is internal. You have to be your own best friend and not your own worst enemy. If you are not self-driven you can have the best coach, photographer, make-up artist, sponsor, suit maker, etc. but really success it up to you. Also, how you “put yourself out there” matters. So make sure you are always being your best in social media.
Q. Does your social life include others that are not into fitness or competition?
A. Of course, I have fantastic friends from high school, college, the neighborhood, work, church, my kid’s school, and friends from years past I enjoy very much. “True friends” are those you do not have to talk to everyday or even every month because they know you love them the same regardless. You can pick up right where you left off when you connect the next time. So as life is busy and I am training, they understand and I have no worries. I am blessed.
Q. Who are your favorite bodybuilder, fitness model, and/or athlete?
A. Chady Dunmore is someone who I admire and respect a great deal as a two time world champion with the WBFF. I am currently working with her on some projects and very excited for this opportunity. I also have a high regard and respect for the 3 time world champion with the WBFF Miryah Jade Scott. The WBFF brings the best of the best to the World Competition every year so their repeat wins are an amazing accomplishment for these beautiful and very bright ladies. I also admire Kim Dolan Leto and of course my first mentor into the fitness world, Melissa Hall Little. Frankly, there are many ladies and gentlemen who I have a deep respect for but simply cannot list them all, but they know I admire them because I do try to tell them.
Q. What is your favorite healthy meal?
A. I really love Salmon cooked on a cedar plank with a Mrs. Dash No salt seasoning and lemon squeezed over it, a side of asparagus, and for a treat–a handful of raw natural almonds.
Q. Favorite guilty indulgence?
A. A scoop of Organic peanut butter….OMG! YUM!
Q. What is your favorite exercise?
A. I LOVE to do shoulders and ABS.
Q. What is that one body part that you just can’t seem to bring up or make it look like you want?
A. I would love to add more bulk to my legs and gluts.
Q. What made you get into Fitness and Competition?
A. I am competitive and when Melissa Hall Little (as stated previously) said. “Girl, you could so do this and win”….. I was hooked.
Q. What is the best asset of your physique/body?
A. I am told it is my abdominals.
Q. What are your methods for breaking through a plateau?
A. I Switch up the songs on my IPod to be more exciting and also my routine at the gym.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. To be the WBFF World Champion, to be featured on some fitness magazines, and to be signed to some contracts! (Not too much, eh?) LOL!
Q. What do you want our readers to know about you that they couldn’t find out from seeing you on stage or in print?
A. I am grateful for all of the blessings I have received–my husband, my children, my job, my health, my extended family and friends, and I feel that any of the other successes I am lucky enough to receive are the icing on life’s cake. A gift from God. I live a faith filled life and know that I need to give back in order to receive, so my family and I do that gladly. If I never again have success in fitness, I still feel as though I have had so many blessing. No matter what, I will be open to what is next. I never thought bikini competitions were in my future as I lay on my back during my bed rest with my second child and look where I am today–A WBFF Pro. You never know what today or tomorrow holds for you! Dream Big!
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Kristi Winger Szudlo, Bikini Competitor & Fitness Model | Facebook