This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Candice Tirkot.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I’m extremely energetic and outgoing, I'm so passionate when it comes to health, fitness and helping other people achieve their goals. I started out at the gym like anybody else, I just went through all the equipments not knowing what was what and accepting that I was feeling sore the next day and that was good enough.
One day however I decided to get a coach and enter the IFBB bodybuilding competitions, it was through this learning over the years that I knew gym and nutrition inside and out. After some time I had surgery to enlarge my breasts and therefore I was out of training for a while, this spare time gave me the motivation to get my Master Trainer Certificate so that I was officially qualified to train people and give them all their nutritional advice they needed.
Fast forward to today and I'm now coaching people myself, both online and physically and I am also a sponsored athlete.
Where does your motivation come from?
I see pictures on the internet or people at the gym training and think yes! I want those abs or those legs, when I go shopping for clothes I think to myself some outfits would look nicer with more rounded shoulders etc. It has always been a dream of mine to become the Olympia Bikini pro so until that day happens I just keep grinding closer and closer to that dream.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
Risks of not being successful with my own business, opposed to working for someone else in a steady job having my own company meant that I needed to have enough income to support myself, this is always a risk in the earlier days of starting any business.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Self-care is so important, life is extremely short and you want to be able to live life to the fullest and happiest, taking care of yourself will ensure that you will have the energy to enjoy everything life has to offer!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception about women lifting weights is that women will get big and masculine like a male who lifts weights. The female body doesn't hold the same amount of testosterone that the male body does, limiting the amount of muscle that a women would build when lifting weights.
In fact the term commonly used "Tone" actually means to build lean muscle mass and reduce fat, this is not possible unless a woman builds some sort of lean muscle via lifting. The only way a women can look like a man after lifting weights is if they produce testosterone at an unusually high level or the sad truth is if an illegal performance enhancing drug has been taken.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
A lot of people think that not eating will make them lose weight, this might be true on some basis however it could possibly take longer and have significant negative effects on your body and here is why. Our body automatically goes into survival mode when you are not feeding it for a long period of time and thus it holds onto any stored fats to survive making it harder to lose stubborn fat.
People think losing weight is harder than what it actually is, think of our body as a car, you put fuel in it and it runs. Our bodies need fats, carbs, proteins, sugars, in order to function properly, its only the amount that people get wrong. Obviously consuming more calories than you burn will make you gain weight, however if you balance your food and burn more than you eat naturally your body will lose weight.
Not eating will also create that un toned and saggier look which most females are un aware of when they try to lose weight this way, amongst all of that our bodies need food to function and to stay alive.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
How successful someone can actually be when they put their mind to it, as a trainer we are given a guideline of the average person and the realistic goals. Throughout my career I have been blown away by some of the results that I have actually achieved from clients.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
I am only human, if there is a cupcake in front of me I will eat it and I'm sure the majority of people out there will eat it also, however in saying that I like to limit the temptations that are around me if I know that I have been eating rather unhealthy lately. It’s all about balance and knowing what you like.
Being organised is definitely a big thing when it comes to maintaining balance in your life, whether it’s food or when I exercise, I always stay on top of the important things so that when they are all done and out of the way I can let my hair down and have fun without feeling guilty. It also helps that when I know I have a lot to do the next day I make a little brainstorm in my head of how the following day should happen and create a rough idea of when I'm going to do everything.
How do you stay productive?
I stay productive by surrounding myself with positive vibes which keep me motivated everyday, things like going for a nice morning walk in the sunshine or doing something with friends will always keep me productive.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
Currently I am trying to gain lean muscle and lose fat, so my diet is relatively controlled at the moment so I can reach my goals. A typical day lands me eating lots of egg whites, lean proteins like fish and chicken, salads, vegetables. My carbohydrate intake at the moment is based around my weight training as I want to fuel my muscles and train with optimum energy in order to build that mass. So usually I have my rolled oats and protein before my training followed by a Whey Protein shake afterwards and some fruit and almonds to snack on.
When it comes to my training I always like to do some form of weights everyday except on my rest day, I have added in about 20 minutes of cardio afterwards just to speed up the weight loss process, however I have kept cardio at a minimum due to not wanting to lose any muscle that people tend to generally lose during their fat loss stages. The key to keeping your muscle mass while still losing fat is to not lose fat too quickly, still lifting as you would usually do because compound exercises burns more calories than cardio.
For my supplements at the moment I am taking a scoop of fat burner powder in the morning before I eat anything, during my training I have my BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids) this ensures that I can extend my sessions to push myself as far as I can go and the amino acids also help repair my muscles reducing any injuries or prolonging pain afterwards.
Straight after my training I will have my Whey protein shake, I use Whey over Casein because Whey is a fast absorbing protein which is what I want straight after my sessions.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Never give up no matter how hard things might get or how impossible things may seem, they are always achievable if you try your hardest, don't think of the end, just think that you’re everyday closer to your goal then the previous days.
Going into 2017, what are your biggest life goals?
I hope to grow my company and brand it out, writing an Ebook on exercise and nutrition will also be a key project that I will accomplish in 2017 also. For myself I hope to compete at an IFBB level and achieve a really good result but either way I will be on stage against a lot of other talented women and will be happy with whatever result I get.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!