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STEPHANIE MATTHEWS
FIGURE | 2012 ARNOLD CLASSIC AMATEUR CHAMPION
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Only two years on the Figure scene in Oregon and already Stephanie has made an impact with class wins in a couple shows and now a class win at the 2012 Arnold Classic Amateur Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Stephanie is both a wife and mother of one and stil finds the time to take her physique to the next level. Do we see another IFBB Pro in the making coming out of Oregon by way of Canada?

1. When and why did you decide to start competing?
I set the goal almost 10 years ago but after I had my son my  priorities changed and my needs went on the back burner. Now that he is much older and last January I finally felt that I was in a great place physically and emotionally to begin the chapter of my life. I wanted to compete for so many reasons but mainly I was tired of hating my reflection in the mirror. I spent many years overweight or ‘skinny but fat’ and I wanted to finally be happy in my own skin.

2. What makes you want to go farther in the sport?
My coach Kristi Tauti has always pushed me pass my limits which is great because I am pretty low key. My husband inspires me everyday by his own amazing career and just who he is morally as a human being. I would not be on the stage without his constant encouragement and enthusiasm for this sport.

3. What type of training do you implement during contest prep and the in the off-season?
I prefer to stick to the basics unless I am getting board. I enjoy a mix of Dumbbells, Machines and Barbell exercises. If my coach notices a certain part of my physique is lacking then we will increase the frequency or training style. We analyze my body frequently and makes adjustments, it’s truly amazing how we have sculpted my body over the last year.
 
4. What is your favorite type of dieting meals and what is your favorite type of cheat meal?
I love oatmeal, fruit , Cinnamon and protein powder while dieting. One of my favorite cheats is going to Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant and having a bit of everything. Going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do with my family so we have all had to make that sacrifice during the contest season.

5. Who are some of the people that have helped you along the way to get where you are now in life or in the sport?
My family and friends have been so amazing. I am still surprised by how many are following my journey on my website and  the excitement that this sport brings to them. Watching my husband’s success in the Canadian Football League is also inspiring to me. His support and faith in me is special. Our 8 year old son is my “Other Coach” and he keeps my diet and workouts in check. He is the real athlete in my family and we all encourage each other to be the best we can be.

6. Who or what inspires you to strive for more in the sport?
The ability to demonstrate to our son the way to live healthy, dream bid and make sacrifices, through my actions keeps me motivated. I enjoy being able to create my own future and do things I enjoy in life. The ability to maintain my priorities as a mother and wife by doing something else  I love as a career is very rewarding. My teammates at I-Physique and my original trainer Hannah Ringholm are such a huge part of my journey, they keep me motivating by how they all demonstrate how they balance a healthy busy active lifestyle.

7. What is next for you as a competitor?
Next is Emerald Cup, I try not to look too far ahead otherwise I tend to get anxiety from over-analyzing the future.  Mini Goals work best for me. I do hope to get my Pro Card in the future and that is always in my thoughts when I train but I want to enjoy every show, the girls backstage and the moment. Too much pressure takes the fun away and I have always said once this is no longer fun, I’m going to walk away.

8. What is your favorite memory good or bad while prepping or competing?
So far I have only had good memories at shows. My first show will always be special. It was something that was on my bucket list and I did it. It was such a great feeling because I am extremely shy. Once I got such positive  feedback  from the show, it was shocking and motivating. I guess I didn’t see the potential so that was a great. How pleasant and nice everyone involved with the show is really great, I was so scared and nervous and the same girls I compete with made me feel so welcomed.

9. Any website you would like to plug, facebook, twitter, personal site, etc...
Follow my journey and like my Fan page at Stephanie-Matthews.com and look for products out in the future! Read my blog, check out my YouTube videos, and follow my tweets! Thank you for all the support!

10. Anything you would like to say to all the visitors to NPC Oregon?

I recently lost my dog one week before I went to the 2012 Arnold Sports Expo, having only one child he was my “definitely other” child. After a battle with cancer we had to let him go. Loosing a family member put everything in perspective for me. Be the best at what ever you choose to do in life, stay positive, enjoy the moment, and tell the people you love that you love them everyday. Appreciate life, because life it is a gift.

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