Interview with Amazing Figure Competitor Susan Ceklosky

Q. Lets start here, what is your name?
 Susan Ceklosky

Q. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
 I’m VERY routine oriented! My alarm goes off at 4 am and I’m doing my cardio by 4:25. Then I go to the gym to train and I’m normally back home by 6:30 am. I LOVE early mornings.

Q. How long have you been training?
 I’ve always been active but have been competing regularly since 2009.

Q. What made you get into Fitness and Competition?
 I actually competed in three Fitness competitions back in the year 2000. This was before Figure was even around! I always loved watching fitness competitions on ESPN and I decided I would give it a shot. After doing three shows that year, I realized that I wasn’t cut out for the gymnastics portion of the routines, so I stopped. I then focused on my business, got married, and had 2 babies. In the meantime along came Figure! Perfect! I wanted to try Figure so in 2009 I started training again and I haven’t stopped since. I love the discipline of training and dieting for a competition and nothing compares to the way I feel when I’m eating clean. 

Q. What was your body like before you started training?
 I’ve always had an athletic build, but in my opinion before I started training for figure, I was pretty boxy. It wasn’t until joining Team Bombshell and training under Shannon Dey that I’ve been able to achieve more of the V-taper that is more of what judges are looking for.

Q. How do you keep yourself motivated and on-track through the grueling dieting in the last few weeks?
 Eye on the prize baby! I also do my best to not let negativity enter my mind (like the words “grueling dieting!”) For the first couple shows I ever did I was miserable the final two weeks. After that I realized that it’s all about your mindset and attitude. I focus on how great I feel and look right before a show, as opposed to being annoyed by the dieting and working out.

Q. How do you handle the stress of it all?
 Time management and preparation! Getting up early is huge for me, it eliminates so much of the stress of fitting in workouts and food prep. Most of my working out is done before my kids even wake up. I’m also a big “to-do list” girl. My old school planner is always with me and I’m always making lists and crossing out things I’ve done. If I don’t schedule my workouts and meal prep then I’m all over the place and stressed out.

Q. What do you feel is the most important thing athlete can have in order to be successful in this sport?
 A good attitude and a good support system. My support system and team has been huge for me! If you don’t have one find one! I love waking up in the morning and checking out all the status updates on Facebook from all my teammates! If that doesn’t get a girl motivated nothing will!

Q. How many days a week do you work out?
 6 days a week….and on my rest day I don’t feel right!

Q. How much weight will you normally gain during the off-season?
 My coach says for figure competitors we shouldn’t gain more than 5-10 pounds in the off-season. I’m pretty good at pushing the upper limit (although it doesn’t feel good!)

Q. How about tanning/makeup/hair preparation for a contest. Can you tell that I’m still overwhelmed?
 I normally leave my tanning and makeup to the professionals! In the past I’ve done those myself and not only did they not turn out right, it caused me unnecessary stress. My hair I can handle but I feel it’s worth the money for my tan and makeup to be right!

Q. What is your philosophy on diet?
 Success is at least 70% diet. It’s amazing how what we put into our bodies not only determines how we look but also how we FEEL. Sugar for instance, it’s EVIL! If I ever give in to sugar cravings, not only do I pay with what it does to my body, but it affects my mind so much! I’m irritable, moody, sluggish…it’s not worth it for me! I also feel that the less I season my food the less I have cravings.

Q. What kind of workout program do you follow?
 Team Bombshell all the way!

Q. Do you believe in workout programs like Insanity or P90X?
 Of course! I’ve never personally done either one but I have a lot of friends who do and they have seen great results!

Q. What competitions have you participated in and what were the results (bikini/fitness/figure)?

2011 shows and placings:
2011 Natural Eastern USA Championships: 1st place open figure B, 1st place masters figure B
2011 NPC Pittsburgh Championships: 4th place open figure C, 2nd place masters figure B
2011 NPC Eastern Seaboard: Overall open figure winner, Overall masters figure winner 
2011 Team Universe: 16th place open figure D, 4th place masters figure C
2011 Masters Nationals: 7th place masters figure D
2011 Natural PA Championships: Overall open figure winner, Overall masters figure winner

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?
 I wish I would have gotten serious about competing a lot sooner!

Q. What is one of the biggest sacrifices you’ve made, and was it worth it?
 Definitely my social life. I was never one to pass up going out to dinner or Happy Hour in the past! It can be difficult when I’m prepping for a show to decline invitations to go out, but I remind myself how good I feel when I’m eating healthy and getting my workouts in. Seeing all my hard work pay off when I step on stage makes it all worth it.

Q. Is it not very hard to exercise and lift on such a low calorie diet? I am talking about the pre-contest diet. I know you follow a very low calorie pre-contest diet. Don’t you get hungry?
 Actually, my pre-contest diet is not very low calorie at all, I feel like I’m eating all the time and I’m never hungry! For me it actually gets easier the closer I get to a show because I’m getting so excited for the day to come. 

Q. Who is your favorite bodybuilder, fitness model, and/or athlete?
 I look up to IFBB Figure Pros Gen Strobo and Kristen Nagrani so much! They are two of my coaches for Team Bombshell and are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside! I would love to share the stage with them one day!

Q. What is your favorite healthy meal?
 I always look forward to my protein powder! I like to have it at night right before bed…I’ll make it into a pudding and crumble a rice-cake in it. It’s like having a chocolate peanut butter candy coated dessert!

Q. Favorite guilty indulgence?
 It used to be cupcakes and doughnuts…although I think I’ve trained myself to not want that kind of sugar anymore (just through my own research about the effects of sugar). So now it’s Pizza and Mexican food!

Q. What is the best asset of your physique/body?
 I get compliments on my shoulders a lot!

Q. What are your future plans?
 Keep on competing and continue to improve!

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?
 I’m a mom to 2 beautiful little boys. They are my world! A goal of mine is to set a good example for them. They know the routine: they know when I go down in my basement to get on the treadmill and they know when I go to the gym. I also own a Curves Fitness Center, and I am truly blessed to have a job that I absolutely love. In addition to competing, my passion is helping other women achieve their fitness and weight loss goals. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

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Comments (1)

  1. Zirunas February 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Susan is a very nice, down to earth person. And you wright it seems that she does have smile all the time.

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