As Steve Jobs used to say “… most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Today the interview is with Marina Dekova, a lady that dared to oppose society’s opinion, and had the courage to go to a place where she feels good in her skin, where she feels happy and complete- the weightlifting room. Read the really inspiring and motivating interview and see Marina, just the way she is- positive, ambitious and hardworking!
Ines Subashka: Introduce yourself.
Marina Dekova: My name is Marina. I am 23 years old and I am from Pleven, Bulgaria. I have a bachelor degree in Economics. Though, I am the kind of person that looks for and follows her happiness and never put ups with the common “rules”, and that is why I found myself in lifting weights! It became my hobby and now it is becoming my profession- an instructor and personal trainer in one of the best gyms in town!
IS: How long have you been working out? Were you involved in some other sport before that?
MD: With free weights, from March, 2010. When I was in high school I did not participate in sports, I just played some handball, volleyball but nothing serious! For about four years I went to folklore dances, which kind of taught me to be disciplined and how persistence leads to results, as long as you want it bad enough and go after your goals!
IS: Do you follow a nutrition plan? If yes, how do you eat?
MD: I couldn’t call it a nutrition plan, because it is already part of my life and my day…it is part of who I am!
I follow intermittent fasting. I do not think of it as a plan, because I listen to my instincts– when I am hungry- I eat, if I am not- I won’t! There are days when I will eat in the morning, others I will eat only in the evening before I go to bed! I eat mainly fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, eggs, dairy, meat, rice, potatoes. I cook only with butter and I use olive oil for salads. I avoid bad fats.
IS: How did you eat before that? What kind of life did you have? Do you think that by following a nutrition plan you are “robbing” yourself out of something?
MD: I’ve experimented a lot with eating and starving, and after the long years with the classic low carb diets without fats, without any results, I got sick of it and I turned back to eating hamburgers, pizza, soda, junk food. I did not care what kind of fuel I provided to my body and I robbed it out of essential nutrients, which reflected my appearance! I looked older. I used to drink alcohol, smoked cigarettes, partied till late at night, and wasn’t active at all!
Just then, my mom came back home( she was abroad) and couldn’t even believe what happened with me for an year and a half! For about two years I had the typical life for most young people, but I didn’t feel good in my skin and I knew I had to change something. Unfortunately, I always found excuses, because I was scared of change and I knew that the road will be long and bumpy. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even aware exactly what I was supposed to do.
I did not have goals, I felt empty inside and my job, really overwhelmed me! Actually the problems began, when I started my job. Obviously if a person doesn’t follow his path in life, he can’t find peace and balance inside and the Universe is against him!
As far as the third question goes- yes, I rob my body from the poisons, because I love it not only on the outside but also on the inside!
When I hear somebody saying, how they can’t quit on eating junk food, I really wanna tell them that if they try real food, nutritious food, and keep on eating like that for a while, their taste buds will change and junk food want be a temptation anymore! It is part of the marketing of companies to make foods like that, so people will get addicted to it. I like it better to eat a salad with fresh vegetables, in combination with some meat. Or maybe some fruits! I rarely eat a dessert. If I do, I’d rather it be homemade!
IS: How does one of your workouts look?
MD: It starts with a lot of enthusiasm to go to the gym,or for my shift to end so I can workout! Every workout is a challenge for me, to lift more than the previous time, to make one more rep or to try a new movement. Every workout is different.
The first part is for some warm up, which is 5 minutes cardio, followed by stretching with some short circles of jumping, squatting, lunging, throwing medicine ball, exercises with a PVC pipe and tennis ball.
The second part is the main workout. I workout with compound movements. Most often I start out with movements that let me put on a lot of weights- squats,deadlift, bench press. I warm up with weights at about 40-50% of my max and then move up. The volume and intensity of the following exercises depend on my shape at the moment! When I am done with that, I take 10 minutes to stretch!
IS: How do people around you accept your way of life? Do they accept it or criticize it?
MD: I am a really positive person and I somehow do not see the negativity in people as far s my life goes.
I think that they want to be just like me, but they can’t or actually do not try hard enough! Otherwise I am surrounded by physically active people and nobody thinks my life is strange. To us other people’s life seems odd. But dear ladies, it doesn’t happen just by wanting, you need to take small steps forward so you can follow your goals, not just stay dreaming! It won’t happen by itself! That is a main rule not only in sports but also in life!
IS: What are your future goals, as far as sports go?
MD: I want to become stronger, have better endurance and work more on my balance!
IS: What advice would you give to people that claim they want to be healthy and fit, but always find an excuse why things won’t workout and never change their lives?
MD: In sport and in life people do the same things. For me this is lack of character. It is pure laziness – to want something, to feel bad in your skin but still not making any changes, and only making excuses to stay in the same place!
As you could give money for cigarettes, you could give them for better food, for more oxygen for your body…of course if you love yourself!
You do not need to workout with weights. You could always go out and run in the park or do some sprints. At home you could also workout, without taking too much time!
If there is a desire, there is a way! No excuses!
IS: What advice would you give to women, that are afraid of lifting weights?
MD: Just do it! You will be really pleased with the results and the transformation you will feel on the inside out!
IS: How would you finish the sentence “I workout because…”?
MD: I workout to be the change I want to see in the world!
IS: WIth this great, motivating interview I want to wish you Happy holidays! Have fun, be smart, follow your dreams and do not forget to take time for Tabata, while you are on the road!