November 30th, another birthday celebration held out of the country. Last year I celebrated my 40th birthday on the beaches of Mexico, and this year I'm in India where I've been teaching Bikram yoga to the Bollywood crowd since February. I started my day the way any fitness model would, answering e-mails from magazine editors, getting release forms from photographers, sending off training and diet protocols to clients, and researching some new exercises that I want to put into my next program. I have an important photoshoot coming up early in the New Year, so I will have to change my program from "building" to conditioning in order to be ready. I have about 8 weeks between now and the shoot, so I'll continue maintaining for two more weeks, and then start carb-cycling and increasing my total reps every workout.
Now that I'm into my 3rd year of modeling, it all seems pretty straightforward, but you still want to give your body time to respond in case you need to make adjustments along the way. I also just received notice that Inside Fitness ran a full-page coverage of the SAF Summer show and a friend of mine on Facebook sent me a phone upload of my picture. It's amazing how much coverage the SAF shows have brought me. I would have to sincerely say that more than any other federation I've competed in, SAF has brought me direct exposure in IFM, and has also connected me with key people in the Fitness Industry who have helped raised my visibility. I couldn't be more grateful!
This year I've been featured in Oxygen as a "Future of Fitness" model, and in IFM quite a few times for contest coverage, and as well I am now writing for IFM as an "Inside Expert." Another magazine inboxed me this morning to write a nutrition article for them, and yet another magazine asked me to model for a yoga and fitness article (I can't say who just yet, but it is literally a dream come true). And I've also started to get some inquiries for sponsorship from some really great people: organic products, ayurvedic products, etc. It seems that like attracts like . . . Hmmnn . . . maybe there is some truth in what they say about thoughts creating reality! Sticking to my guns about eating whole foods and promoting organics does seem to have generated a lot of interest in the community.
I also started my own blog writing about yoga, training and nutrition, and that has turned out to be something I really, truly love to do. I love sharing my journey and all the information I can with other people, and all-in-all I realize that I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life in the fitness industry and making a positive impact in my own small way. There are a growing number of people out there who support a "softer" approach to fitness. We aren't interested in popping "fat-burners" or taking drastic measures. We'd rather educate ourselves about sound nutrition and training principles, and stay healthy lifelong. Really, it can't just be about looking good for only one day out of the whole year and then hating your body the rest of the year. Every one of us is helping to create a new vision of what fitness is supposed to be about!
So, how did I spend the rest of my birthday? At about noon I blasted through an intense upper-body workout that focused on building my V-taper and increasing my shoulders and ab wall. I had an amazing foot and back massage (1 hour is only $10 CA), and then practiced a Bikram beginner class with all my amazing Mumbai students. The students brought cakes, so we had several chocolate cakes to choose from afterwards, and the night ended with a Skype call back home with my coach/boyfriend, Jean-Jacques.
Age is just a number, and has no bearing on how you look and feel. What has the biggest impact on your health is your attitude and emotions. If you wake up every day eager to see the opportunity in every difficulty, anything is possible and you will make your dreams happen!
Paz from Mumbai,