Athletic Women Magazine Blog

Features, News, Coverage on Athletic Women

Month: May 2018

Dee Kela – From Physique to Bodybuilding

Let’s start with your stats.

I’m Dee. I turned 37 not long ago! I am 5-9 tall and off-season weight right now is around 200 lbs. I just started prep for the next show and aiming to get down to 165 lbs. Last time three years ago my contest weight was 152 lbs.

This is biggest I’ve ever been and lean off-season!

I am aiming to get into women’s bodybuilding that is doing a comeback in my country!

Dee Kela Smiling

Dee Kela

What is your profession or job?

For the moment I am independent entrepreneur, I love helping people so I coach athletes, but also just normal people to help them with healthier lifestyles and nutrition.

I have education in cooking and hairdressing, but the last 10 years I’ve been an entrepreneur.

Also I do volunteer work whenever I can. I love helping people and animals without asking anything back!

How many languages do you speak?

I speak fluently English, Russian, Spanish and my mother language is Finnish, but also I do speak a bit of Danish and Swedish.

Where do you live and what countries have you lived in previously?

I was born in Russia (that is why I know the language) and raised in Finland since I was eight, but I have lived independently in US, Spain, Denmark and also travelled a lot in those countries.

My dream would be making a career in US or Canada. My country is very small and with very limited options for being self-employed too!

Impressive Lower Body in Jeans

Impressive Lower Body

When did you start lifting weights and training?

I was 18 when I first went to the gym. I don’t think I knew what I was doing and I might of trained back thinking I’m training chest (embarrassed now), but hey, we all start somewhere.

At that time I met an older, experienced bodybuilder and he taught me everything I know about lifting. He was a very old school type of lifter from the sixties.

I have had of course some short breaks from lifting for different reasons. The longest one was almost one year while I was battling with some health issues in 2009-2010.

Were you athletic growing up and did you play any sports?

I was very athletic back in school. I was a fast runner and I loved basketball. I was very active always!

Did you start in physique, or did you start in something else and switch to physique?

Currently I have had an almost three-year break from competing to grow. I had some health issues that led to hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, but now I just started prep and we’ll see how everything goes. I could compete after this upcoming summer.

I actually started in WPD. I’ve always had a big build and I want to aim high! I love WPD because it is very feminine and also beautiful. Normal people don’t see it that way, but I think we are all beautiful in the way that we choose to be and whatever is a passion for us, that’s what we should do, not what someone else’s beauty standards are.

Double Biceps Flex

Biceps Flex

What is the personal appeal to you of being a strong, muscular woman?

I love everything about it. It’s not only being strong physically, but it takes one mentally strong person do be able to do what we do and to work hard every single day. It’s not only muscle growth, it’s also growing as a person for me.

I know that this sport has changed me so much to be a better person. I’ve become so humble, so grateful and so proud of myself and how far I can push myself despite setbacks and despite falling. I’ve learned to be so patient and respect my body the way I thought I never could.

“I’ve learned so much about myself as a person, so this is not only about muscle growth, it is mental growth too.”

I’m sure you get noticed because of your physique. What’s the strangest question someone has asked you or the strangest incident you’ve experienced?

I do get stares at the gym and sometimes even at my own gym even though I’m still very feminine.

When I lived in Spain, there weren’t many women that worked out where I worked out, so many times very bluntly I was asked if I was a man or transgender. Sometimes people are very mean. Just today a total stranger called me transexual steroid B, just because I made a comment about something.

But then there is also so many followers and good people that are inspired and ask me to help them. Random people write to me about how much I inspired them to lose weight or not to give up and those are things that I do this for. They warm my heart and make inspire me to work harder.

It is sad that the world is very judgemental because of the choices that we make without hurting anyone and just living our life as we want; but I’ve learned that people will judge you anyway. You are living for yourself not them. I hate negativity and drama so I don’t usually mind these things and just do my own thing, but if I see someone else being bullied I step in.

What are some of your best lifts?

I don’t lift as heavy anymore. Bodybuilding is not powerlifting; it’s more about keeping the lifting form through all the reps without losing the technique. But sometimes I do try if I still have it, so my best squat PR is 330 pounds and same goes for the deadlift. Bench press is not my best thing,so there is nothing to be proud about; but for example, leg press is 770 pounds.

Muscle and Curves Side Shot

Muscle and Curves

What’s one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

I am a stage one ovarian cancer survivor. I was very very lucky and I am so grateful to be alive.

I was diagnosed at 28, but I was very lucky and went through one surgery and then I had to have a training break for almost one year. It was a hard time in my life, not because of the cancer, but because of not training. I got depressed and I got out of shape, so I had to rebuild my body after all that was over. Took me two years to fix the damage, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

It is easy to be happy because you are so grateful just being here. I have been cancer free for seven years now.

Everything we go through in life prepares us to be what we’re supposed to be as human being.

What three words best describe you?

  1. Genuine
  2. Kind
  3. Hardworking

Do you have any secret hidden talents?

I actually love music and I used to play piano. I do sing too, but it’s not as good as I hope. So I sing only for myself 😀

I cannot get a good workout if I didn’t have my music at the gym. It is a must.

Three things you can’t live without?

I can’t live without goals and dreams. When you stop having them, you’re basically dead inside. You’re never too old to set one more goal, or never too old to dream to become better.

What person or people inspire you and why?

Anyone who has been through a lot and fallen, but managed to get back up. Anyone who never gave up on their dreams. Anyone who has hit rock bottom and managed to keep a positive attitude in life and always sees good in every situation.

Those people are rare warrior souls. One of them is my mother. She is the most genuine and loving person I know, even after everything she’s been through in life. Hi ma! 😉

If you could be a A) WWE Diva; B) UFC cage fighter; C) UFC ring girl; what would you choose and why?

Hmm…well… I would be a very bad diva because I’m not a diva type of person. I’m a very down to earth and humble kind of person. I would suck at cage fighting because I don’t want to punch anyone even if I could get paid. So I guess I have to take a ring girl, because you didn’t gave me more options. 😀

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

I have a sarcastic sense of humor and I am always always smiling.

If you would like to train or work with Dee, contact her at fitnessbydee@gmail.com

Follow Dee on Instagram

Dee Kela in One-Piece Back Shot

Dee Kela in One-Piece

Emerald Cup 2018 – Amanda Caresse

Amanda Caresse – Figure G Champion 

Biggest obstacle on the road to the Emerald Cup stage and how you conquered it?

The biggest obstacle I faced and endured was self-doubt. You want to believe you have what it takes. You want to believe you can win first place; but personally wanting to stay humble with myself, I was trying to find that balance of, “I have what it takes and I WILL WIN,” and “If I don’t make it, it wasn’t meant to be, I will be okay.”

I learned along the way that it’s okay to think highly of yourself! It is okay to tell yourself you are the best and you will win this. I believe that is the only way you can achieve what you want: to SPEAK IT TO LIFE.

Throughout this show and process I learned there is POWER in my words and there is POWER with the thoughts I choose to let obsess my mind. You either believe in yourself or you don’t. If you can be honest enough with yourself and confront those thoughts and feelings, you will see what you truly believe, and then you go from there. I believed I could. I told myself I could. I spoke OUT LOUD the things I WILL accomplish… and I did.

The law of attraction is powerful. Just make sure you are attracting the right thoughts.

Amanda Caresse Emerald Cup Figure G Champ in Posing Outfit

Amanda Caresse Emerald Cup Figure G Champ

Emerald Cup highlight moment?

Being on stage with some of the best amateur athletes in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, the placing was amazing and such a humbling moment, but the fire I felt being on stage is something I still can not explain.

Not to get too spiritual, but the best description I have tried to put into words was that the heat from the stage lights and the fire inside of me kind of meshed into one, like I BELONG there.

I had no nerves. I felt completely calm. I had a job to do and I knew how to do it, so I felt very confident. I lived this moment in my head over and over. I would see it as I woke up and see it as I went to sleep. Visioning how I wanted to FEEL at check-ins, around other competitors, from backstage, to pumping up, to lining up before stepping on stage and being on stage going through my quarter turns. I LIVED it in my mind over and over.

For new competitors, I strongly recommend this. It made all the difference to my stage presence because I felt ready.

Speaking of my stage presence, I OWE it all to the guidance of IFBB Pro Vanessa Naesheim who was the Emerald Cup 2017 guest poser. She coached me for weeks going into this show.

Amanda Caresse Facts & Figures

Age: 23

Height: 5-8

Competition Weight: 146 lbs

Off-Season Weight: 175 lbs

Number of Years Competing: This was my very first show.

Occupation: Military – Air National Guard; Civilian – Whole Foods Market Produce Team Member

Emerald Cup Interview on YouTube

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Go here to read about physique overall winner Claudia Diaz and her Emerald Cup weekend.

The Emerald Cup

The 2018 Emerald Cup marked the 36th edition of this venerable show. Produced by the husband and wife team of Brad and Elaine Craig and the rest of the Craig Productions crew, the show features a full slate of muscle and fitness spread over Friday and Saturday.

Emerald Cup on Facebook

Emerald Cup Official Site

Emerald Cup on Instagram