FITNESS ACCORDING TO MINIME
A member spotlight interview by DF moderator LiftGirl
DF: Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do? What are some of your hobbies?
minime: I am 25 years old, and I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am originally from Ireland; I moved over here in April of last year and got married to an American man (Erik) who is the greatest guy in the world. Due to visa/work authorization issues I have not been employed here, but have just received my green card, so I am currently seeking a job. My area of work is IT (software development). My hobbies include going to the gym (of course), reading (mostly fiction, and right now computer books), snowboarding in winter and mountain biking in summer. I also enjoy various TV series including Lost, Heroes and the 4400.
DF: How did you find DiscussFitness?
minime: I believe I just googled “fitness website”or something similar and found DF that way. I was at a time when I was beginning to take my workouts more seriously and looking for guidance and support. I couldn’t have asked for a better place!
DF: How did you choose your user name?
minime: When I was in Boston a few years ago on an internship I worked for a woman who has remained a good friend throughout the years. We share many similar personality traits, as well as interests, and on occasion we would dress somewhat alike (not on purpose). Hence she called me her “mini-me” as a reference to Austin Powers.
DF: How did you get started in fitness? What inspired you?
minime: I first began to exercise when I was about 15 years old. My oldest sister (Melanie) was such an inspiration to me. I thought she was the cat’s pajamas and wanted to be just like her so I began to go to aerobics classes with her once a week and have been an exercise ‘addict’ ever since. I hope someday I can provide that inspiration to others.
DF: What are your fitness related goals?
minime: My fitness goals are constantly changing, but basically I want to be in the best shape I can be. I want to be strong and fast, flexible and agile. If somebody challenges me to a pushup competition I want to win. If someday I decided to rock climb I want to be physically up to the challenge. If I find myself hanging on the edge of a cliff, I want to be able to pull myself to safety. I want to run a five minute mile, deadlift 250lbs, and then do the splits.
DF: What is your diet like? Do you follow a specific nutrition plan?
minime: I eat well in general. I eat a lot of meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables and fruits, complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal and whole grain breads. I eat a good deal of fat, nuts, nut butters, butter & oil, egg yolks, etc. Previously I followed the zone diet, but I found it to be too low in calories and also a little too detailed (too many measurements). I am quite active right now as I walk a lot and snowboard at the weekends in addition to my gym workouts, and I found I was not getting enough calories. Right now I am shooting for 2,000 or more per day; I will usually have approximately 120-140g of protein, 170-200g of carbs and perhaps 70-80g of fat. I am not logging with any detail right now so these are approximate only. I try to have protein each time I eat, and also some vegetables/fruit and nuts. I do have “cheats” a few times a week : the last cheat meal I had was a half rack of BBQ ribs, half a chicken, broccoli, salad and fresh bread and butter. I could not finish all that meat though! I am also partial to desserts, which I will eat when the mood takes me, and I enjoy a light beer or two usually at least once a week. I do not deprive myself too much. I would guess my diet to be 80% clean unprocessed foods.
DF: What is your favorite food? What is your least favorite?
minime: That is a tough one. I have favorite foods that are healthy (oatmeal with almond butter, bran muffins, and dried fruits), and I have favorites that are unhealthy (freshly baked French or Italian breads, pastries, pancakes, cakes, cookies, chocolate). I do not like vegetables, though I am becoming more accustomed to them the more I force feed myself! Also I do not like fast food such as McDonalds, or pizza. I am a plain eater for the most part, so I do not eat foods that are in complicated sauces. I also have no desire to eat pasta or rice, which many people find strange!
DF: What is your exercise routine like? Do you follow a specific exercise plan?
minime: Right now I follow Crossfit as my exercise plan (www.crossfit.com) The plan is based around bodyweight exercises (pull ups, push ups, etc.), Olympic lifting and running/rowing. There is a WOD (workout of the day) posted in a 3-day on/1 day off format; sometimes I will follow the sites workout, and sometimes I will not. A workout for me could be 100 pull ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats (all done for time) one day, and the next day I might test my 1RM for deadlifts. My workouts are constantly changing and constantly challenging. I find it much more fulfilling and more effective than my old routine of chest/shoulders/tri one day, legs the next, etc.
DF: What is your favorite exercise? What is your least favorite?
minime: My favorite exercise right now is the deadlift. Click here to see minime’s deadlift video. My least favorite is the thruster (front squat into overhead press in one movement).
DF: In your opinion, what is the biggest fitness mistake commonly made?
minime: In my opinion, the biggest mistake commonly made is not working hard enough. People who do not push themselves cannot expect optimal results. I have seen so many women complain that their program is not working when the program consists of a set of 5lb dumbbells and 30 minutes on the elliptical reading a magazine.
DF: Whom do you admire in the fitness world?
minime: I admire anybody who dedicates themselves wholly to their sport, whether they are an Olympic competitor or simply making the best of themselves in the gym. Many Crossfit athletes have gained my respect with amazing dedication and phenomenal performances on the WODs. I think to myself, “I want to be that strong when I grow up” lol.
DF: There's no doubt you're in great shape. What challenges have you had to overcome on your fitness journey?
minime: One of the main challenges I faced (and continue to face) is a fear of gaining weight. As a woman I can’t help but feel the need to stay small. It makes it difficult for me to allow myself to eat as much food as my body may desire. When I was younger I had somewhat of an obsession with eating/over exercising, and I still retain some of the mindset that drove me to practically starve myself as a teenager. Becoming more serious about weightlifting was the catalyst for me to begin taking better care of myself. I now recognize that food is fuel, and to have a good workout my body must be fed well. As a result I am much healthier now, and the days of eating less than 1000 calories per day are over. Other challenges have come in the form of minor injuries, such as some shoulder problems and knee issues--I do not run long distances any more. I had some physical therapy and try to listen to my body when it says, “No more.”
DF: How do you maintain your commitment to fitness long term? In other words, how do you prevent yourself from falling off the wagon, so to speak?
minime: For me it is not difficult to stay “on the wagon” for the most part. I recognize that many have difficulty maintaining their commitment, but I love my workouts and the gym is my favorite way to let off steam, so to speak. I like being in shape and having the ability to be somewhat liberal with my eating at times, which are by products of gym commitment. It has also helped me greatly to now be a member of a gym that has a crossfit program. I have met like-minded people who share my passion for these workouts. And DF of course has been a constant motivator for me, knowing there are others on here who read my journal and are interested in what I do definitely gives me that extra push. Of course like anybody I have “down” periods where there isn’t a PR to be seen, and I just don’t feel like working out. But I have found that once you push yourself to get to the gym, afterwards you are then likely going to feel a lot better. Or I take a few days off and eat some cake.
DF: Thank you minime for taking the time to share with us about you and your fitness. For more about minime, and to keep following her progress, check out her Journal .