My name is Tania Clark. I am 48 years old and a pro figure competitor with the WBFF (World of Beauty and Fitness and Fashion).
My decision to embrace fitness was about 3 years ago. As a previous weightlifter in my 20’s I wanted to get back into the gym. Battling hypothyroidism and just feeling lousy every day I knew something needed to change. After getting back into a routine of lifting and changing my diet, I noticed drastic changes in just a few months. What was most shocking I look even better now than in my 20s, which is mainly due to better nutrition. After meeting my coach, Greg Hasberry with Elite Figure and Fitness, who encouraged me to try competing, my journey started and I have never looked back. Being involved in figure competing takes dedication and at times challenging yourself beyond what you think you can endure. I refuse to use my age as an excuse and promise myself each day I get out of that bed to push hard and give 100%. My coach has taught me to be patient, muscle does not grow overnight and it takes time to build and develop your physique to achieve your goals. Greg has also taught me that we compete with ourselves and not to compare ourselves against others. I always let that resonate in my head when I am on stage which allows me to shine bright and no matter the results
I have given it my best. Each person possesses a unique quality and we should embrace those outstanding qualities and showcase them with confidence and pride. When you can understand that then you will be unstoppable to achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. After two years of hard core training, in May, 2014, Orlando Florida I was awarded my pro card, figure division, with the WBFF at the age of 47. I actually could not believe it!! I had to keep pinching myself. My dream just became a reality!! Wow!! How many times in your life can you actually say those words? Hard work and dedication pays off and when you reach that goal it is the best feeling you can ever imagine! Your passion will shine through you on how much you enjoy living a healthier lifestyle and to be an inspiration to others that are looking to make that change as well.
I am extremely passionate about nutrition! My fan page focuses on holistic nutrition. My belief is nutrition starts in the kitchen. Its back to basics just like my mom and grandma cooked when I was a child, nothing processed just good whole food cooking. My nutrition is primarily the Paleo diet, which is a diet that consists of protein in each meal like organic beef, chicken or fish. Also healthy fats like cooking with ghee (butter), lard, bacon grease, and coconut oil, I also consume nuts and seeds, like almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins just to name a few. I love making my own trail mix and use different nuts and dried fruits. Also I enjoy good carbohydrates sources like organic oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown or white rice. I did realize certain foods were still causing digestion issues, so after figuring out those types of foods I eliminated gluten and dairy which has helped me tremendously!! I always had issues in my past, but had no clue the cause until I made that change. I keep my cheat meals to once a week and I eat 5 to 6 times a day. My cheats are some yummy sweets and I do enjoy an occasional red glass of wine. You need to enjoy your favorites and allow yourself that indulgence and not deprive yourself. Also by eating frequent small meals daily keeps your metabolism high and blood sugar level so you do not have those crashes leaving you extremely hungry which then leads to overeating. The way I look at nutrition is fuel for the body. You want to nourish it with the best foods to give you maximum results. Remember nutrition is 80% and exercise 20%. The nutrition must change along with a workout program to get the results you desire.
My future plans are to help others achieve their goals in weight loss by feeding your body with proper nutrition. I want to inspire, motivate and help others with what has helped me personally achieve my fitness goals. Our food today is not the same food we consumed as kids. It is full of chemicals, artificial ingredients and also over processed that just continue to negatively affect the health of many Americans. Education is key to help others understand how to shop and cook again. It starts in the kitchen and not at a fast food restaurant and not in a box or can. Need to get back to basics in eating and my goal is to spread that news by sharing my cooking recipes and nutrition tips with all my followers. Many people today are fighting obesity, heart disease and diabetes due to the modern conveniences of fast food, refined sugars, soda and over processed junk in our grocery stores. I am extremely passionate about helping others change their eating habits for a lifetime. I hope eventually one day we can convince food manufacturers that we do not want artificial ingredients, GMO’s (genetically modified foods) or over processed ingredients that leave no nutritional value. We have to continue to be a strong voice and not give up!! Our body is our biggest investment and need to fuel it with good whole foods to stay strong healthy and to feel good each and every day.
Planning is another key ingredient to a successful change in your eating habits. I cook and prep my food weekly and it takes all the guess work out of what to eat each day. If you have it planned chances are you will follow it since you went to great lengths to cook it yourself and you know exactly what you are eating. I think many people have a hard time with this step, but if you plan ahead and design some really simple recipes then you have just made a huge leap to a positive change in your health goals.
One of my aspirations includes developing my own Paleo cookbook in the near future. It takes time and a lot of testing in the kitchen, but very excited about this project. I usually spend many weekends testing and really enjoy creating my own recipes. Below I have included a yummy pumpkin and blueberry muffin recipe I hope you will enjoy!
- 6 eggs ½ cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup canned organic pumpkin ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup real butter or coconut oil (melted) ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup raw unfiltered honey 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup fresh blueberries 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (divided)
- (1 tbsp in the batter and 1 tbsp for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease your muffin tins with coconut oil or butter.
Whisk all your wet ingredients together except blueberries and mix well. Next you will need to sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together until well blended. Then fold in your blueberries. Next spoon about ¼ cup into each muffin mold and bake for about 30-35 minutes. It should yield 12 medium size muffins. Once done, pull out of oven and sprinkle with the other tbsp. of coconut palm sugar for added sweetness. Enjoy!!
I feel so blessed to be at this point in my life and very thankful! My goals are to help and to inspire others, especially women my age. You are never too old to chase a dream whether to get on stage or just to improve your overall quality of life. I have a wonderful family, job and coach and wonderful teammates that are always supportive. I want to thank the WBFF, Paul and Allison Dillett for allowing me to represent their organization. I never thought in a million years I would be writing this bio and how far I have come and still yet to go. Also, I huge thanks to my coach, Greg Hasberry with Elite Fitness and Figure, for training me and believing in me. He is passionate about health and wanting the best for all of his competitors. Greg is like family to me and I am so thankful he is in my life and is constantly guiding me and my other teammates the value of success. I have so many wonderful friends and teammates that are constantly supporting me as well as each other to reach their goals. You definitely need that support system in your life that will help you thru your fitness journey. Also I want to thank my wonderful husband Joe who supports me 100% and is always giving me encouragement and is extremely proud of me. Also my daughters Abby and Brooke that are equally proud of me and I hope that it gives them inspiration to chase their dreams, because they do come true!!
In conclusion, as individuals we all have dreams and to turn that dream into a reality is an absolute joy that cannot be duplicated. Wherever the road my lead you, I say go for it!!! You have nothing to lose other than not trying it at all. You just have to get up and get to that start line of that race and go!! Needless to say I have my challenges just like everyone else, but I get up each day full of new goals and hopes that are waiting for me to accomplish. We are never promised a tomorrow, so embrace each day and live your life to the fullest!!
I invite you to my facebook fan page and other social media sites to get more great nutrition tips and recipes!!
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