I AM ALFA because I take charge of my destiny like the way I did when I found out that I had a rare condition called Breast Implant Illness.
Photography by: ALI SOHRAB
Hair and Make up By: Eleni Banakas
Born & Raised in North Vancouver, I relocated to Calgary in 2011. My Gramma raised us our whole lives to show respect, be kind, work hard and stay humble. After moving to Alberta, I started an Extension Company called Weave Life Inc and now am the Official Extensionist for Alberta’s 2020 Bodybuilding Shows. Currently I am a Competitive Bodybuilder with the Canadian Physique Alliance and believe that anything is possible to achieve or overcome if you put your mind to it. Empowered women empower women and that’s all I want to do moving forward!
I AM ALFA BECAUSE I’m strong and independent myself but I believe that true strength lies in empowering others to believe in and become the best version of themselves.
What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you? Fitness taught me that through consistency and tiny steps you can cover long distances; maybe longer or harder distances than you ever thought possible. We have one life to live and by taking charge of our destiny, grinding it out at the gym day after day, we can achieve greatness, even if at the start we feel small.
When was the most alfa moment in your life, and why? This Summer I became very ill. After multiple hospital visits, and an 11 day stay, I found out that I had a rare condition called Breast Implant Illness. I thought I wasn’t going to make it, that I would never compete again, never get married or ever set foot in a gym. The truth is I gave up. Briefly.
I decided the moment I was out of the Hospital that that wouldn’t be my story. Through my immune system shutting down, I had dental surgery, then developed pneumonia and eventually a mild pericarditis. The first week back home I did 5 minutes of cardio out of breath. I kept telling myself I can do this and visualizing it. Then I did 10, 20, reached out to my coach.
That first day back at the gym I curled 5 pounds when I used to do 25’s only a few short months earlier. I cried. Not because I was ashamed but because I was damn proud.
What’s next for you?Currently I am 23 weeks out of competing in Figure at the Vancouver Pro Show!
Please share up to 5 things people don’t know about you.
I grew up from a young age without parents & was raised by my Grandmother.
I started Tae Kwon Do when I was 5 years old and have a black stripe.
I love animals; specifically, squirrels, and will legitimately cry if I see any hit by cars.
By the time I was 12 years old I was a gifted artist and poet; winning multiple contests and an Artist for Kids scholarship.
Please name up to 5 Alfa people you know.
What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about life? I think my ultimate lesson or tip would be: Have Compassion for yourself & Choose Again.
Often, we fail at fitness or achieving life goals because we will never match up to our expectations. If we have a snack not to plan, or drink, or not train enough, we use it as an excuse to fall. When you fall, I say “when” because you will fall, FALL FORWARD. Keep going, because the accumulated results of you trying will still add to up to more than giving up wholly. Have Compassion for yourself. Often, we would never talk to others the way we talk to ourselves.
In the long run, we will have friends and family not support us or we may have terrible thought lives that tell us we will never measure up. The beautiful thing about being human is that we get to CHOOSE AGAIN. When the option comes to believe the lies of the past again or choose the future. We can always say no. The negative is not for me anymore; I choose FREEDOM instead.
What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about Health? I would talk about transforming your thoughts & your body, and I start with Meditation. Visualize your future life; even if it seems too good to be true. Smell the new car smell, look out your huge West Vancouver window, feel that rock hard six packs, swim in that Turquoise blue ocean in Aruba. The more you accept differences in goals, the more your thinking will change to allow those things to become a reality.
Journal: You know when we get stuck at Chapters looking at the pretty journals? Actually, make it your mission to fill one; even if it’s a sentence a day or your food diary or a goals list; let it be your therapy; get it out!
Have an Attitude of Gratitude: I like to daily write down five things I’m grateful for. Be specific. Having gratitude even in the worst of times or sickness will help you make it through!
Be Human: Eat that chocolate cake! Haha, yes, I said it. Extra cherries on top please! We are human and we only live once, so yes, mainly be healthy but also live a little. I have weekly cheat meals to keep my social life going & take the edge off and you should too!
Love your body for the right reasons: You have two feet that work, a heart that pumps, lungs that breathe. Sure, maybe you have that little “lump of love” right below where your glutes meet your hamstrings but guess what?! You can run, and hike the Grouse Grind, have arms to hug your kids! Love you body for working, for fighting that cold; your body shows up for you EVERY DAY so show up for it and send it some love!
Find your Tribe: This one is key. If you are always the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Find those people that have more than you or push harder or dream bigger, those people whose morals align with yours, and wholeheartedly love them. Once you find a safe tribe, even if it’s only two people, never let them go! The top 5 people in your life will be where you are in 5 years!
Be Kind: This one is simple. Kindness is free; sprinkle that stuff everywhere.
Your top favourite quote
Keep your chin up; if you don’t, you’ll never see the stars.
Where people can find you?