Crystal Cunard Interview
MP: What sparked your passion for health and fitness?
CC: I was a very active kid but I think it really started in junior high. I was always really thin when I was younger but in junior high I struggled with my weight after my Mom passed away. I remember wanting to be able to wear a bikini so I got my Dad to buy me the old Arms and Abs of steel, Legs of steel and Buns of steel videos with Tamilee Webb. I still remember the old school visor she wore in those videos! I did a video every day and within a few months, I was no longer the chubby girl. I started weight training when I was in highschool and the gym has been a part of my life ever since.
MP: When will you make your pro debut as a WBFF Pro Fitness Model? How are you getting physically and mentally prepared for this?
CC: I will be making my Pro Debut at the WBFF World Championships in Toronto on August 27th. I just realized that it’s only 20 weeks away! It sounds like a lot of time (5 months) but any competitor knows that 20 weeks goes by fast.
The mental and physical preparation really go hand in hand as I find if I’m not in the right mental state, I won’t be as strict on my diet or won’t push myself to go to the gym that day when I’m feeling really tired.
Physically I’ve been preparing for a while now, trying to make the most of my offseason. Since my Pro debut is starting to get closer I’ve been cleaning up my diet and started morning cardio a few days a week to start leaning out. I like having a lot of time to get really lean, I think it’s easier on my body (and mind).
I’m a very driven and goal oriented person so mentally I don’t find it very difficult. I know that I’ll be competing against a very high caliber of fitness competitors, so if I want to do well I have to put in the work.
MP: Describe your typical gym day?
CC: My typical gym day starts in the morning before work for 30-45minutes of moderate intensity cardio. After work I go back to the gym to do weights. Depending on the muscle group I’m working out, it can take an hour to an hour and a half.
MP: If you could pick only one exercise that has had the best reward for you, what would it be and why?
CC: It would definitely be walking lunges. I absolutely hate them but they are such a great exercise. I’m always working on developing my lower body since this is my weak area. Walking lunges hit all the major muscle groups; glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
MP: What are some of your preferred supplements?
CC: I’ve very lucky to be sponsored by BioX Performance Nutrition which has a great line of supplements. I use BioX Complex, and Isolate whey protein on a daily basis, as well as their Once a Day multi vitamin, Nitro Power (pre-workout) and Nitro Rush (post-workout).
MP: What's your favorite quote? How does this bring meaning to your life and career?
CC: One of my favorite quotes is “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door” This speaks to me as I know that success does not come easy; I am a strong believer in hard work and making opportunities for oneself.
MP: What is the most gratifying aspect about being a fitness competitor?
CC: As any competitor knows, preparing for a competition takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice. Once you meet that end goal and step on stage, it feels amazing!! The feeling of accomplishment makes it all worth it.
MP: How do you balance your time between being a chartered accountant and a pro fitness model?
CC: It can be a challenge but I do enjoy being busy, it keeps me going! For the past two years I have been preparing for competitions during tax season, which is the busiest time for accountants and means long hours. Often this leads to not having much time for a social life as my days consist of working and working out. It’s really important to stay organized. I usually prep my meals a week in advance on Sundays and make sure my lunch bag and gym bag is packed for the next day before I go to bed.
MP: What was life like growing up on Vancouver Island, Canada?
CC: Growing up on Vancouver Island was amazing; I was surrounded by lakes, rivers, mountains and the ocean. My parents enjoyed the outdoors and were strong believers of being outside on a nice day rather than staying indoors. As a kid I loved doing anything active outside and I still do! Mountain-biking, running, hiking, swimming and snowboarding are still my favorite outdoor activities.
MP: What is your best advice for a woman looking to get in shape?
CC: My best advice would be to set a goal. With a set goal in mind, whether it be an event, being beach ready, or even a fun photo-shoot; it makes it much easier to stick to a routine and stay focused. Without a goal it is often too easy to get in the mind set of “oh well I’ll just start tomorrow”. We’ve all probably heard the expression “tomorrow never comes, so start today!” Setting a goal makes you accountable and will help you gain the motivation needed to stick to a healthy routine.
MP: What do you look for in a man?
CC: I don’t feel like a have a specific type. In general I have always been drawn to men that have a sense of humor. Laughing is so important to me and I can be a bit silly sometimes so this is key. Drive and ambition is also very important to me. There is nothing sexier than a man who knows what he wants in life and works hard to get it.
MP: What do you like doing in your free time?
CC: With the little free time I have, I enjoy spending time with friends whether it’s going out for dinner, hanging out on a patio or going to the gym together. I also like getting out of the city going out to the lake to relax.
MP: Who is your biggest role model? How does this person inspire you in all that you do?
CC: Good question; I have a few role models that I look up to you. In the fitness industry, my biggest role model is Jaime Eason. I’ve always been a huge fan of Jaime and was so happy to have met her and chat with her at the Olympia last year. She lives a healthy lifestyle and trains year round, which inspires me to do the same and not fall into the trap of getting really fit for competition and then letting it all go. She has also been very successful, which is no doubt a result of her ambition, drive and hard work, which I really admire.
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
CC: My overall goal is to continue to inspire, and be inspired by those who enjoy health and fitness. Professionally, I have recently changed jobs. After earning my chartered accountant designation this past year, I decided to leave public practice and have joined my family’s business. My goal is to continue to grow the business and eventually take it over in the next few years.
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