I love my job for many reasons. Working with inspiring women who challenge and push themselves to accomplish more than they ever thought possible is a big one. Hillary Skahan is one such woman.
Hillary decided to compete in a Figure competition this year and I was honored to be her coach. She’s a dream client — motivated, does everything I ask of her, sticks to her plan exactly as prescribed, and because of it, she gets amazing results.
I always say that I can’t take the credit for my client’s success because I wouldn’t want to take the blame if they didn’t follow what I tell them to do. So all the credit goes to Hillary for what she’d accomplished this year!
After getting to know her over the last year, I realized that she has a lot to offer other women who are looking to achieve their dream body. Whether their goal is a Figure competition or learning to balance being a wife and mother while keeping that “hot mama” figure, Hillary’s advice can be priceless.
She’d just completed her first season of Figure competitions, so I thought now would be a good time to pick her brain and share her advice and secrets.
Hillary’s Advice To Beginners:
I was always a very active and competitive child while I was growing up. I participated in sports year round and learned very early that you have to set goals and prioritize your time if you want to succeed. When I went off to college, I got into running, thinking that a daily run on campus would keep the college pounds off and create a sexy, toned body.
I met my husband — who currently is a strength and conditioning coach for a professional organization, and turned away every time he told me to quit wasting my time running so much and spend more time in the weight room. Instead of taking his advice to heart, I actually decided to run more! I ran a few half marathons and marathons throughout my twenties.
Eventually, I obtained my personal training certification through NASM. I was already reading a lot of my husband’s books and journals as well as watching his training DVD’s, so I figured I might as well get my license and learn more about the body and how it works.
After completing the certification process, I started to lift weights more routinely but kept running five to six days a week.
While I was pregnant with our first child, I continued to run and walk throughout my pregnancy. I stopped lifting weights as suggested by my Ob/Gyn (I wasn’t having any complications, but was simply told I should stop doing it).
After I gave birth I knew something had to change. My body wasn’t anywhere near what I envisioned a “hot mama” to be!
One of my strongest attributes is commitment to a plan. If I’m given a plan and told to eat this at such and such time, I willdo it! I won’t question it, I’ll just do it. I knew I’d be much happier the next day if I had planned and prepped all my food ready to go with me in the morning.
My suggestion for those who are getting ready to step on stage is to talk to the other competitors backstage. You’re all there together, a little unsure of what to expect and definitely nervous. Making conversation with the girls will help pass time (which can feel like an eternity!) and you might pick up some ideas for recipes or share training tips.
I remember spending so much of my prep feeling like an outsider in society. People were constantly questioning everything I did.
But backstage, for one day, you’re actually surrounded by a bunch of girls who have gone through the same things you did for the last month! It’s definitely nice to laugh and commiserate together.