• We talk to figure competitor Tiarna Mitchell

She's fun, she's fit, she's on her way to FitX's Pro Qualifiers for a chance to compete in the IFBB Pro Grand Prix and today she talks to us!

What inspired you to start training?

It was 2003, I was 28kg overweight and I hated it.

I can remember sitting on my couch turning to my partner at the time and saying, "that's it, I'm going for a run". He light heartedly laughed at me, but I did it.

I ran… well, jogged (sort of) for 3 minutes and nearly died!

Since that day I never ran less than three minutes and every time I pushed further - I could never go back on that time. In 6 week I could run 5 kilometers.

Do you remember how you felt after your first workout?

Oh my god, I though "what have I become?", but in that moment I discovered all the motivation I needed to succeed.

What motivates you go to keep going to the gym?

If it's not my next competition it's a habit of the lifestyle.

Nobody I know is ALWAYS self-motivated, but the second you think about it, giving yourself the option, it's all over. No one I ever knew felt bad after a great workout!

What are your fitness goals and aspirations?

There Is one thing I will achieve, and that is to walk off the stage no matter the placing and feel like I could not have eaten better, trained harder, or been more consistent. If I can come off knowing I gave it my all, and I'm in the best condition I could possibly be in, how could I not be happy with that?

What does your current weekly training routine look like?

I used to train like a bodybuilder, but my figure is changing. Now I change things up all the time, I like to keep my body guessing. There are areas that need work and there are areas that could do with less, so I just constantly look and change things. It helps with the motivation too.

A secret love of mine is CrossFit. When I have finished competing I will most certainly be more involved in that.

Do you follow a specific diet?

I am prepping for the FitX IFBB show in March 2012 at the moment, so it's pretty bland! You know the usual: eggs, egg whites, chicken, fish, steak, oats, green veggies and salad! Luckily I love it!

What is your favourite cheat meal?

Hmmmm, nothing surpasses a Parmi with chips and a good brewski! Rare, but essential!

Do you take any supplements?

Just the usual, protein powder, BCAA's, at the moment, but that will change as I get closer to the show. I have always relied more on food for nutrients. It's very important to me to have respect for my body.

What do you feel are the best ways to maintain a social life without hampering your results in the gym?

Well when I'm prepping it's easier to not have one, but in general it's important to find balance, which can be a VERY hard thing to do.

Be smart, know yourself, enjoy life, but always remember what makes you happy within yourself whether it be feeling alive, not being bloated, having heaps of energy to train or even just running around after kids.

What do you know now that you wish somebody had told you when you first started training?

You have so much more potential than you know you have. If you want something, go and get it! Be wise, be helpful, never burn bridges and be a truthful solid person.

I am happy to say that the values I have today are a direct reflection of the path I have chosen and the choices I have made.

Want to see more of Tiarna Mitchell?