About-Muscle.com talk with diabetic NPC bikini competitor Melissa Moziejko. After being diagnosed with diabetes in her junior year of college Melissa found a passion for fitness.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And How You Got Involved In Fitness?
I’ve always been very athletic. I played sports in high school and ran college track. However, in my junior year of college I was diagnosed with diabetes, which changed my life. My doctor, Eric Serrano, highly suggested I get involved with weight training, which helped me improve my times for track. He also put me on a very strict diet, which kept me off of insulin for 3 years. I can't thank him enough. After graduating from college I wanted to stay as active as possible as I am very competitive, so I started training for an NPC bikini competition. Being diabetic, I’ve always had to follow a strict diet, and weight lifting has helped my insulin sensitivity. I loved the changes I saw just after a few short months of heavy lifting. I did my first show in November 2012 and qualified for North American Championships. I’ve done two other shows since then and have become a sponsored athlete. I love the lifestyle of staying healthy and fit, not just for aesthetics, but also because it has changed my life as a diabetic.
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
What helps me stay motivated is the fact that I know the healthier I eat and the harder I train, the less insulin I have to take, and the possibility of being completely off of it in the future. Also, competing keeps me highly motivated as well. If there is a day where I am not motivated or do not feel like training/eating clean I think to myself "what is my competition doing? I bet they are not slacking." That right there will get me to the gym and back on track with my diet!
What Does Your Workout Look Like?
What Sort Of Rep Range Do You Use?
Rep range all really depends on the intensity of the week. Some weeks I may want to be higher intensity so I may go as high as 50 reps (50 calf raises, 25 single leg split squat on each leg, 50 weighted belt squats). Other weeks may be a lower volume week yet higher weights so I may do a pyramid system where I start with 12 reps and gradually increase weight and lower my reps as I go. Both help with building and insulin resistance.
Free Weights Vs Machines What Do You Feel Are The Pros & Cons and Which Do You Prefer?
I would definitely choose free weights. Nothing hits glutes like a single leg split squat or a glute bridge. However, I will use machines for lying hamstring curls or leg extensions. I feel that there are pros and cons to both. With free weights you can sometimes have a better sense of mobility which allows you to really get the extra stretch, especially if you are a more advanced lifter and understand the proper form. However, with machines you may have a tad more control over what you are doing.
What Mistakes Did You Make When You First Started As A Newbie?
I think the hardest thing for me as a new diabetic bikini competitor was trying to understand how my body reacted to certain types of foods and cardio. My first show was hard because I wasn't use to the bikini competition diet, let alone one for a diabetic. Also, diabetics don't respond to a lot of steady state cardio like a normal competitor would. My trainer had a great sense of what to do with me, but it was just figuring out the right amount of macros and types of macros that would get me lean, yet still have great definition.
How Often Do You Perform Cardio?
I do 9 sprints or push prowlers twice a week. For my sprints I will get on the treadmill, bump it up to a level 13, and go for about 15 seconds and then take 30 seconds off. For prowlers I usually use to 30 pound plates and will push as hard as I can on the low part across the gym and then go back with the high part.
Which Do You Prefer and Why... Steady State Cardio Or HITT Cardio?
Definitely HITT. As a diabetic, my cortisol levels spike higher with steady state, so sprints not only are great for leaning me out but also lowering my blood sugar and building my glutes and hams! I love sprints and prowlers.
What Are Your Personal Thoughts On Fasted Cardio?
I think fasted cardio can do wonders for starting up your metabolism, however too much cardio can do harm as well. If you are preparing for a show and need to lean out a little more, it's a great way to do that along with altering your diet.
What Does Your Diet Look Like?
My diet is extremely high in fat and very low carb.
Do You Bulk and Cut Or Do You Stay Lean For The Whole Year Round?
I definitely prefer to stay lean year round but sometimes we all need a good bulk just to build more definition. After my last show, I came in a little too lean, so I took this winter to bulk and it really helped add to my figure and curves. However, it is easier to stay somewhat lean year round just so you do not have to cut as hard.
What Do You Find Gives The Best Results When You Are Cutting?
Sticking to my diet is the number one and main answer. I respond well to very very high fats and low carbs and NO CHEATING! So that means following my diet to a T and lifting heavy! The harder I workout, the better results I get. I rarely ever do more cardio to cut.
How Do You Deal With Cravings?
I use to love sweets and junk foods but I know that when I eat them, I feel AWFUL so I try to avoid them as much as possible. If I'm really craving something I may eat a tablespoon of almond butter. I love my nut butters!
What Supplements Do You Use?
Obviously SLAP Nutrition products! Their whey isolate has 0g carbs, no sugar, only sweetened with stevia and no genetically modified hormones. As a diabetic that is perfect for me. I also use Alpha Omega 3 fish oil pills, glutamine, and L-Carnitine.
What Activities and Hobbies Do You Enjoy When You Are Away From The Gym?
I love reading and studying up on nutrition. There is nothing like reading a good health article and learning more. You can always enhance your knowledge!
What Are Your Favourite Supplements?
What 3 Exercises Have Contributed The Most To Building Your Physique?
Single leg split squats, weighted belt squats, and military press. Shoulders and glutes have always been weak areas for me.
What Is The Most Common Training Question People Ask You The Gym?
I’ve always had decent legs from track so mainly what exercises I do for legs. I always tell them SQUATS!
What Is Your Favorite Workout Music?
Anything that will get me up and moving! I love oldies rock, rap, or anything that has a great beat to it. Something that will get me in the zone! I love listening to all different types of music.
What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
Qualifying for North Americans, becoming sponsored, and lowering my insulin intake.
What Is Your Favorite Quote?
"If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."
What Do You Love About Competing?
I love meeting new people and being on stage! There is nothing like working your butt off for several months to get on stage and show how hard you have worked. It’s like the saying "If it was easy, everyone would do it."
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
First and foremost to get completely off of insulin. I would also like to earn my pro card and become published in a magazine to inform other people of the benefits of clean eating.
Who Are Your Favorite Athletes, Bodybuilders and Fitness Models?
I’ve always looked up to Amanda Adams, Nicole Nagrani, and Paige Hathaway. They are the perfect examples of a the look and lifestyle I want to go for.
If Someone Wants To Connect With You How Can You Be Contacted?
Twitter @MelissaConceta | Instagram @MissyMoziejko
I believe that once you conquer your mind, you conquer your body. I hope to be an inspiration to all athletes and competitors everywhere!