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Fitness Inspiration

Fitness Inspiration


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Barbie Steinsholt-Thomas has to be one of the most inspiring individuals I have met in my lifetime, both off and on the stage. What this woman has accomplished is no less than extraordinary, and her story should inspire all of us to be the best we can be. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

---What inspired you to consider competing?

First of all, I am a competitive person by nature. So, that part just comes easy...having that competitive spirit I mean.

I always read all the fitness magazines and DREAMED of doing what those amazing women do! I guess I just had doubts as to whether or not I'd be accepted as a fitness competitor or if I even qualified to compete because of the fact that I don't have arms!

I finally called up our NPC head chairman here in AZ to talk to him about it and find out if it would be allowed! That whole conversation got a little funny, but that's a story for another time. ;)

Anyway, with his approval and the encouragement of some friends and family, I decided to give it a shot! I figured that the worst thing that could happen would be that I didn't win, but seriously... many people who compete don't win, especially not on their first go 'round! So, I entered my first show in July 2003!

---How did you learn about the diet and exercise practices to get you contest ready?

Honestly, my first few shows, I tried to go by what the competitors in the magazines said they did. I also had some help from my trainer at the time, who is very knowledgeable.

Through the years, I've learned a lot and met a lot of people who are always eager and willing to help a gal out.

---What is your contest diet and exercise program like?

During contest prep, I do cardio 6 days/week, twice on most days.

I do legs twice/week, but I also throw in a few plyo workouts throughout the week.

As long as the weather is nice, I like to go to one of the nearby high schools and take advantage of the track and the bleachers. Bleacher workouts are awesome!

Since I compete in Fitness, I have to practice practice practice my routine as well!!

As far as diet goes, I basically follow a diet Dave Palumbo gave me, but I've tweaked it a little bit to include a few complex carbs and fruits. I do eat five meals/day, and I drink about a gallon and a half of water too.

---What is your proudest moment of your competition journey?

I'd have to say my proudest moment was at my last show, in March (2012) when I placed 5th. This was a victory to me because I finally placed ahead of someone!

In the past I've always placed dead last. Sometimes that meant 2nd place if there were only 2 of us, and other times it meant 17th. There were a few times I placed first, but I was the only competitor in my class.

This time however, there were 6 fitness competitors, and I was placed fifth! It may be a small victory, but it's still a victory!!

---What were your biggest obstacles to achieving a competition-ready physique?

I don't think I really have obstacles in that regard, partly due to the fact that I can be very creative when I need to be. I obviously am not really able to train my upper body much though.

I think the toughest part for me is the routine. Believe it or not, I have limitations! lol There are three mandatory poses that I am unable to perform. There's no way around that either.

I try to showcase what I CAN do and never mind what I can't do because there's nothing I can do about it.

---Considering the unique nature of your story, how do you feel the fitness community has received you?

At first I got a lot of strange looks, and people wondered what the heck I was doing there. However, once they saw me perform, their attitudes and thinking changed.

For the most part, I've been accepted very well.

There are some who aren't very accepting of me competing, but I'm not here to please them anyway. I simply pay them no attention.

---What words of wisdom would you like to offer women who are considering competing?

I would tell them to go for it! Give it all you've got!
You'll be so proud of yourself once you've accomplished that goal.

Find someone who knows what they're doing to coach you through your prep. Otherwise, you'll get people coming at you from all directions telling you what you "NEED" to be doing, and it will begin to get very confusing. Listen to your coach:)

Also, try not to be nervous once you get on stage...have fun, be confident, and just do your thing!

Author: Kristin Shaffer

Member Comments


Wow, read about her yrs back and you just reminded to Be Strong and WORK IT, How God Intended!!! Love this Lil Firecracker!!

As a fellow fitness competitor, I must say that you are perhaps the most inspiring individual I've ever come to know of. Congratulations to you for all of your success. Keep working, keep pushing, keep progressing & keep smiling! It would be a true honor to take the stage next to you someday! Again, congratulations!!!!

Barbie -- wow --- wow -- WOW! I cannot come up with the words on how impressed I am and inspirational you are! Thank you for sharing your story, you are incredible!

No excuses for me! I love to read about people like this!

Wow! Such an inspiring story. What motivation Barbie found in adversity, and what a positive attitude she has. She is a wonderful example for all of us.

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