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Angela Adara

I AM ALFA because I am a survivor of abuse. I am a woman of strength and integrity whose purpose is to inspire others to believe.

Photography by: ALI SOHRAB

Hair and Make up By: SHANNON PAYNE

Fitness has not always been a part of my life. It wasn’t until my late 20’s when I decided to change my life and use fitness as a way to work through some of my tragedies. Turning to fitness has changed my life. I have competed in over 9 shows all with 1st and 2nd place rankings. In the past 5 years of my fitness ambitions I have also been published in over 8 magazines and am working on more! I have also had photoshoots with several top photographers in North America, worked for supplement companies as well as clothing lines. My passion is to make a difference in the Fitness Industry as a fit over 40 woman, and the opportunity to share my fitness journey, to inspire others through my writing and to impact lives through my interactions with others. Fitness is not just me focusing on my physical body. It has been the one thing that has allowed me to overcome several tragedies and dark places in my life.

I AM ALFA because I am a survivor of abuse. I am a woman of strength and integrity whose purpose is to inspire others to believe.

When was the most alfa moment in your life, and why? Where do I begin? As a young girl, I was always the one who was hiding. I was quiet, always self-conscious and never felt I was good enough. I accepted God into my life when I was in grade 3 and this helped with my sadness. I was always sad. I was scared of my own shadow. At a very young age and through my teenage years I was severely mentally and emotionally abused by my stepfather. It was so severe that I was a prisoner in my own mind for several years. I felt dirty. I felt I was a horrible person. That I was no good for anyone. I could not accept love and I found myself in my 20’s getting into an abusive relationship.

The cycle started all over again through my college years. I felt so unworthy of love and the more I tried to seek it the worse it got. I started to cut, and to this day I have scars on my arms and legs. I was crying out for help but felt so alone. My mind had me trapped from all the abuse. I felt that no matter how open I was, how loving I was I could not be accepted for me. I was severely depressed and my questioning for a deeper meaning in life never left me. My faith in God never left me. I still continued through my everyday life goals regardless of all the pain. I went to University for 6.5. years, obtained two Bachelor Degrees and became a teacher. A job that fulfilled me in every way. During this time, I had met my husband. We married in 2005, but the marriage started off terribly as my brother who I had not heard from did not show up for my wedding. In fact, we never heard from him. It has been over 15 years he has been gone. My grief for the loss of my brother was extremely difficult. I could not be a wife, nor could I love myself. Everything in my life was falling apart. I did not love myself, my brother was missing and my marriage was emotionless. I had jumped into a marriage hoping this would take away the sadness my life always held.

In 2007, I turned to fitness to grieve the loss of my brother. At the age of 27 I did my first competition with FAME. I remember stepping on stage for my first show and praying into the heavens “Pete, this is for you.” I placed 2nd and 3rd in this show and shortly after did one more local show where I placed 1st in my category. I knew I had a talent, but shortly after I rebounded. As a first-time competitor, I had heard this happened to many, but did not anticipate this happening to me! I just didn’t know what was next and I felt lost. My husband and I decided to have a child.

It wasn’t until 7 years later when my child was 4 that I felt the passion for fitness surface once again. I was struggling with depression and my self-identity was only as a Mother. I often felt alone and that the very person I wanted to become felt out of my reach. My marriage was on the rocks and unhappy. In 2014, I said: “Enough was enough” I turned back to fitness and gave it all I got. I put my whole being into this sport! At the height of my fitness career. I was hit hard with bullying in my workplace. It was such a traumatic experience for me. My anxiety was extremely high. A parent wrote me a terrible letter and other parents shamed me for doing what I loved. They accused me of being a bad role-model and I was reported. I could not understand why I could not be who I was. I took a leave off work and hid for a year. I hid from local shops and stores and never went into the school. I was constantly in fear. All I did was train and compete and take care of my son. It destroyed me. But regardless of all the pain, my fitness career kept going. I was placing high at every show and my love for the sport burned brighter. I ended up getting certified as a Personal Trainer within this time and my goal was to make this my new career.

During all this time, my marriage was suffering. It was not getting any better. My husband and I were on two different paths and no matter what we tried, it just wasn’t working. I had to go back to my job a year later for financial reasons. In the summer of 2018, I competed at two more shows and finally got my sought after pro card with the IFBB Elite. Everything in life was going amazing I thought. But my home life was in ruins. 2019, my marriage of 15 years fell apart. Regardless of how amicable it was, the divorce itself was painful. It was during this time that I ran from everything in my life. My passion for fitness, my writing opportunities, all shows, all social media platforms. I hit the lowest part of my life. I hid from myself for a whole year.

It wasn’t until January 2020 I faced myself and all the tragedies I had faced. I stopped running. I remember like it was yesterday. I looked up to a large photo of me taken by Ali Sohrab at a National show and I said: “Angela, Get up. Get up. You know who you are!! You are a woman of strength, power and beauty. Get back up.” It was at that moment I rose. I rose up and I did what I always needed to do. I peeled back the layers of what made Angela and dealt with the traumas of abuse that always kept me a prisoner. I faced internally my childhood abusers and took my power back. I turned back to my passion for Fitness. I joined a new gym that my friend opened and reached out to all my fitness friends there. This community changed my life. It became a family. I found my purpose again. I rose as a Woman warrior. With every pain and darkness under my foot! God being my strength. For the first time in my life I now love myself. All of myself. Every single part of my being. I also have allowed God to love me without shame or guilt. I stand strong. I have no fear. I have no sadness. I am ALFA.

How is Covid-19 impacting your daily life? In terms of work, Covid-19 has impacted my teaching career greatly. Students are no longer able to come to school and us educators are now learning a whole new level of online teaching and working from home. It is very different and lots of learning. Creating websites, using online platforms, and bridging the gap between school and home. I miss my students. I miss my colleagues. In terms of social life, I am very close to my family and friends, and I found this Covid-19 difficult because we are not able to hold large family functions. I love my family and they mean the world to me.

If you had to choose one positive thing about isolation, what would it be? Since this whole situation happened, I chose to shift my mindset. Instead of thinking that my world is ending, I chose to look at it as an opportunity to spend more time with my son, and spending time in self-reflection.

How do you maintain your emotional, mental, and physical well-being while in isolation? Emotional and Mental, I continue to love myself daily. I say positive affirmations daily, and talk to the universe. I manifest great things to come. I stay connected to people I care about via facetime, phone, texting or social media. I also started a new vision board...dreams don't happen by just thinking of them. We need to put them into action. In terms of Physical, I exercise daily. I go for my hour long walk every day and do home workouts 5-6 days a week. I use a variety of methods, i.e. free weights, bands, tubes, hitt, hills outside, and anything to get my body moving! I make sure I get outside every day.

What would be your message to the world? Never lose sight of your vision. Your purpose. Your faith. This will always ground you. When everything around you is in chaos you will remain STRONG.

What’s next for you? At this point, I am still not sure. I am keeping myself very fit and photoshoot ready. When this whole self-isolation is over, I plan to do a few photoshoots and still stay in prep for a show. Just because my show is cancelled doesn't mean I stop having my head in the game! I want to make a difference in this world and I am open to endless opportunities that I know will come! I believe.

Please share up to 5 things people don’t know about you.

I play a little bit of piano. I have curly hair. I still get nervous at every photoshoot. I teach Sunday school. In high school, I worked at McDonalds and received Employee of the month twice.

Please name up to 5 Alfa people you know.

My sisters Alexandria Limberis and Racheal Shaw

Ann-Marie Clark

Kirstin Robinson

What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about life and health. Dream Big! Face your fears and love yourself. You are your only limit. Do not let the voices in your head stop you from obtaining the best! Trust God in all things.

What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about life? I would say overcoming mental barriers. You need to make it a daily habit of saying positive affirmations to yourself. Even if it’s one mantra. Say it as many times as you need to.

Stop running from the things you need to deal with. Stop avoiding issues that need to be resolved with others. Freedom only comes when we let go

Get active. Exercise daily. Sweat. Exercise is the number one thing to help with mental illness.

Visualize yourself as the best version of yourself. Create a picture of you overcoming whatever you are facing. What you look like, what your surroundings are. What picture brings you peace? Find it, create it and visualize it every time you face a barrier.

Get up. Even when you don’t want to. I follow Mel Robbins concept “The 5 Second Rule” Count down from 5-1 and literally change the thought process and make the decision to do the task that you are contemplating. No excuses. For example: You have to go to the gym. You lay there. You contemplate. Count down from 5 to 1 and GET UP. Make this habit and see your life change.

Stop focusing on the negative. Think positive. Control the controllable. We can’t control situations or people but we can control how we respond to them.

Your top favourite quote

“Be committed to do what it takes to have what you want.”

Where people can find you?

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