Candice Perfect Interview
MP: What sparked your interest in health and fitness? Can you explain the changes you needed your mind and body to adapt to after beginning to weight train. Was this a hard process?
CP: When I first started weight training it was because I just wanted to get back in shape. During my college studies I had let myself get very out of shape because I didn’t have time to commit to anything other than school and work. I had been active in sports from a young age and it was hard for me to watch my fit body slipping away. I began going to the gym with a friend who had experience competing in bodybuilding shows and she got me familiar with all the gym equipment. She kept encouraging me to compete in a show and forced me to push myself while working out. I will admit, at first it was hard for me to even make it to the gym. I would have to say the first real stroke of motivation for me was when we took my body fat percentage … and it measured at 26%!! I really could not believe it. I knew I was out of shape but had no idea it was that bad! Due to my naturally petite frame I had become a skinny fat girl, but had no intention of keeping it that way!
After that reality check I became serious about going to the gym and began doing my own research on workout techniques and nutrition, and also began looking at pictures of IFBB Pro competitors. I wanted to look like them! After beginning to diet and train consistently I noticed the changes in my body almost immediately. The physical adjustment wasn’t hard for me since I love food and it gave me an excuse to eat more often. I found the mental part to be more challenging since prior to working out my diet was far from healthy. Sometimes I would crave my old carb and fat laden meals so bad but when I thought about all the hard work I had been putting in it was easy to decide against sabotaging it. When I’m not preparing for a show, I do have cheat meals. I usually do this on leg days after an intense workout. This helps with the mental aspect of it. Although it has been challenging, there is nothing more rewarding than being back in shape.
MP: You are a lifelong Alaskan resident but are moving to Los Angeles next month. Why did you decide it was time for a change and what will you miss most about Alaska?
CP: Alaska is a beautiful place and it will always be home for me. Unfortunately, the opportunities I am interested in pursuing require I go elsewhere. Alaska is so disconnected from the rest of the states that the only option is to move since commuting is impossible. I am moving in order to obtain my Master’s of Public Health degree from UCLA. I am applying for fall 2013. I also intend on pursuing opportunities in the fitness industry. It’s actually kind of strange for me to think about moving since I have only visited a handful of places in the lower-48 and have certainly never lived anywhere else! I’m nervous and anxious but also very excited at the same time.
MP: You were the first person in your family to graduate from college. Describe your experience in college and what did it mean to you?
CP: It was the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done in my entire life! And when I say hard, I mean really, REALLY hard. I dropped out of high school when I was 17 (half way through my junior year) and began working full-time to support myself. I never really considered college as an option because I didn’t have rich parents or a trust fund to pay for it—I considered it an unreachable goal. At age 21, I was bored, complacent, lazy and unfulfilled. I discovered that I had a passion for alternative health care after working as a licensed Aesthetician (skin care therapist) for a of couple years. After contemplating many different programs, I decided I wanted to become a registered dietician. I knew this would require a high school diploma, so I went and got my GED. I applied to an out of state school for the RD program (since Alaska didn’t, and still doesn’t have a Dietetics degree). I decided I wasn’t ready to move for school since I had no way to support myself or pay for college, and lacked the confidence in myself that I could be a successful college student. I waited another year trying to figure out what I wanted to do.
I finally decided that I wanted to pursue my childhood dream of becoming an attorney. I knew this would require much hard work and dedication in building my undergraduate transcript and resume. After enrolling in my state University for a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science I knew I had to do something that would make me stand out from all other law school applicants. Statistics show that the average undergraduate student takes 6 years to complete their degree. The amount of credits my degree required would have taken me 5 years if I went full-time only during fall and spring semesters. I am probably the most impatient person you will ever meet and this whole 5-6 year thing wasn’t doing it for me! I decided I wanted to finish college as early as I possibly could so I sat down and basically memorized all the classes I needed, as well as their pre-requisites. I looked at past year class schedules and contacted different departments at the University for their class schedules as far ahead as they had available. I planned out pretty much my entire undergraduate class schedule during my first semester. I enrolled more than full-time status every single semester… yes, including summers! Just a note, full-time is defined as 12 credits (or 4 classes) and I enrolled in 6 classes every single semester (except in summers when 5 classes was the maximum). In addition to this rigorous course load, I took as many upper-division classes as I possibly could; about 65% of my classes ended up being upper-division.
I ended up completing my Bachelor degree in 2 ½ years!! I enrolled in my first ever college class in May 2009 and graduated in December 2011. In addition to maintaining my 3.87 GPA, I participated in many extracurricular activities including serving as Student Body Vice President and Founder/President of the Pre-Law Society of UAA, among many others. I also continued to work in order to support myself. One summer I worked two jobs, put in 65-80 hour weeks, and completed 15 college credits! I literally did not sleep that entire summer; I survived on two naps per day and one full night of sleep per week. I also graduated with various Honors: Magna Cum Laude, Departmental Honors, Leadership Honors, Seawolf Leader Award, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Sigma Alpha.
MP: You are planning on applying to UCLA’s Masters of Public Health Program for Fall 2013 entry. Why is this something you want to do?
CP: I always intended on going to graduate school. An undergraduate degree is not enough for my personal satisfaction. My original plan was to go to law school but I have since reconsidered and believe a Master’s of Public Health to be a better fit for my immediate and long term goals, both personally and professionally.
MP: You recently started competing in bodybuilding shows. How many shows have you competed in? Describe your first show, and what was your best finish?
CP: I have competed in 3 bodybuilding shows. My first show ever was the IRON MAN Magazine/LA FitExpo Naturally Bodybuilding Championships and I placed 4th! Going in I had no idea what to expect and honestly didn’t even expect to place. I was so nervous on my way to the venue that I started thinking maybe I shouldn’t do it. I don’t really have stage fright but I began questioning whether or not I was good enough to compete. Once I was backstage and prepping to go out all my nerves had calmed down. Surprisingly, once I walked out on stage I didn’t even notice the audience because I was so busy focusing on posing and concentrating on what was going on! During the night show (finals) the announcer called my number to stay on stage for comparisons (which meant I had placed!). Since I hadn’t expected to place, I had to ask the backstage organizer if they had called my number before I walked back out because I thought I’d heard it wrong!
My most recent show was the NPC Los Angeles Amateur Grand Prix where I took 2nd place! I will be competing at the NPC USA National Bodybuilding Championships in July in pursuit of my IFBB Pro Card. I am also very proud to say that I will be competing on the Olympia stage in September in the FLEX Bikini Model Search as the June 2012 Online Contest Winner!
MP: What has been your proudest accomplishment in fitness to date?
CP: Well until this week it was my placing in the Amateur Grand Prix! Of course this is still one of my proudest moments, but this week I won the FLEX Magazine Onlne Bikini Model Search!! I am the June finalist which means I’ll be going on to compete for the overall FLEX Bikini Model title in September on the Olympia stage in Las Vegas!! I am so excited to not only be competing for such a prestigious title, but also to be able to walk across the same stage of the IFBB pro competitors that I admire so much.
MP: You are a member of Team EDGE. What is Team EDGE?
CP: It is a professional fitness team coached by Ingrid Romero and Joe Discuillo. Ingrid is the 2011 Arnold overall bikini champion, a 3 time NPC overall champion, fitness-cover model and columnist. Joe is a fitness and nutrition expert. Together, they make the best team that we could ask for. They do all the girls’ nutrition and show prep for NPC national qualifiers and nationals. The team is relatively small and tight-knit. All the girls are so supportive of each other and we’re all friends. I love belonging to such a close group of girls! For more information, visit Ingrid’s website: http://ingridromerofitness.com/team-edge/packages/
MP: Describe briefly what goes into your training and dieting?
CP: LOTS of hard work and dedication. My diet is very clean and well balanced. One common misconception about a “diet” is that the person on a diet is being starved. This is simply not true. I prefer to think of my diet as fuel for my body to accomplish everything I demand of it on a daily basis. As an athlete I demand a lot from my body and it doesn’t make sense to not give it what it needs in order to do those things. I have a carbohydrate, fat, and protein in every one of my 6-8 meals. I also consume 200 carbs per day, on average.
I believe in obtaining the majority of my nutrition from real food. However, I do supplement with whey protein in addition to my regular meals. I work at a busy restaurant and sometimes don’t have time to scarf my food down. During times like this I will drink a protein shake instead of my regularly scheduled meal. I will usually eat the meal at a later time.
I eat primarily chicken, mahi mahi, tofu, and tuna as my protein source. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and eat salmon. I also only eat whole eggs. For carbs I primarily use Ezekiel Bread, brown rice cakes, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes (I prefer white sweet potatoes), oatmeal, and granola. I also eat a ton of fruits and vegetables including pineapple, bananas, apples, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, butternut squash, bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, and spinach. The healthy fats in my diet are primarily derived from avocados, almonds, walnuts, and peanut butter. The dairy in my diet is cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and assorted high quality cheese such as goat or feta.
MP: What is your best advice for a female looking to compete in fitness and bodybuilding shows?
CP: DO IT! I hear a lot of women talk about how they would like to participate in a bodybuilding or fitness show but never do because they either consider it to be out of their reach or they are unsure about their ability to commit to the training/diet. First of all, nothing is out of your reach. Secondly, if you make the commitment to yourself to do a show, then you will be forced to stick to the training and diet. So it’s a win-win! I think anyone even remotely interested in competing in a show should do it, even if only for their self satisfaction. You don’t have to compete with the intention of becoming a pro. Competing can be fun and give you a reason to stay in shape. Once you see the physical change you are capable of making it becomes an addiction. The best part about this is that it’s a healthy addiction that benefits you in more ways than just looking awesome!
MP: Do you take any supplements? What are your supplements of choice and why?
CP: I take glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM for joint and connective tissue health. I also take omega-3 fish oil capsules to make sure I’m getting enough. Sometimes I have to take magnesium with glutamine for the purpose of relieving muscle hypertension. My muscles tend to become hard as rocks when they get too tight and it causes problems in my glute/sciatic and hip flexor regions. Since taking this supplement I have definitely noticed an improvement!
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
CP: My immediate goals in the fitness industry are to earn my IFBB Pro Card and make my pro debut before the end of 2012. Once I earn my Pro Card, I hope to qualify and compete at Olympia and the Arnold Classic. A couple of my longer term fitness goals are to make a name for myself in the industry as someone who is dedicated to helping people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals; I will be looking to build a clientele of people willing and motivated to make a healthy lifestyle change. I am moving in July 2012 from Anchorage, Alaska to Los Angeles, California to pursue opportunities in the fitness industry. I would also love the opportunity to become a spokesperson. Although I'm still new to the industry, I intend to own my own brand one day. I love when I receive messages telling me that I’ve inspired or motivated someone. That is the best and most rewarding feeling in the world.
My professional goals are not as structured or planned out as my immediate fitness goals seem to be. I know that I want to be in the realm of public health but haven’t completely narrowed down which aspect of it I want to be a part of. I wrote my undergraduate senior thesis on the history of various public policies and the impact they have had on the food supply over the years which in turn has contributed to the increasing rates of obesity in the United States. My thesis also covered how various media influences and increasingly favorable portrayals of obesity have altered public perception of the epidemic. I am moving to Los Angeles to gain my California residency so I can obtain my Master’s of Public Health degree from UCLA. I intend to conduct research similar to the topics in my undergraduate thesis.
Muscle Prodigy Products
- Basic Information
- Related Articles
- Most Read
- Just Published