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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

Jul 10, 2020

In this episode Celeste talks with Liz Yisrael, a 3x Bikini Pro Champion who has competed on both the Arnold and Olympia stages, a mother, an army veteran, and a current logistics senior manager who has her Master’s Degree from West Point.

​Celeste starts off the episode by having Liz share with listeners her pre stage ritual. From there, Celeste first asks Liz about her history in the military and what inspired her to join the army originally.

Liz shares that she not only wanted to serve the country but saw the military as a means to help pay for her education, as she grew up in a household raised by a hard-working single mom. She ended up extending her original five year commitment in the military from feeling so inspired by the people she was leading and serving.

​The conversation then transitions to the most important things Liz learned during her time in the military and Celeste asks Liz about time management skills and how she incorporates discipline into her daily routine. Liz explains that commitment and attention to detail in her schedule is important for her to maintain the consistency with her priorities and leave no room for the excuse that something can’t get done.
Celeste shifts the focus to Liz’s role as a mother and asks Liz how her daily structures and priorities have changed since having her daughter, Madison. Liz mentions how she made an effort post-partum to take time for herself away from her daughter without any feelings of guilt and explains how she got back into training post-partum, what that process looked like, as well as the approach she took during her pregnancy in regards to monitoring training and diet.

Liz shares that she approached her pregnancy diet similarly to how she would an off season, yet allowed more leniency with “going over her macros” if she found herself hungry at the end of the day. Celeste then asks Liz about the difference between her preps and off seasons and Liz explains why she prefers macros over meal plans and why that method works best for her.
Next, Celeste brings up a topic that is not typically mentioned or talk about openly by competitors - the decision Liz made to drop her sponsorships during her time off. Liz explains the reasoning behind why she likes working with the sponsors she has and what brought about the decision to drop her sponsors while taking a break from competing.

From there, Liz dives into what drove her decision to take time away from the stage and Celeste asks Liz to share whether or not she felt she made improvements to her physique during her pregnancy. Liz then gives listeners some insight as to her competition plans for the 2020 season, as well as the goals she has for returning to either the Olympia or Arnold stages. Also, having stepped foot on both prestigious stages, Celeste has Liz talk about her experiences as well as the differences she’s noticed between the two competitions themselves.

After sharing insight and perspective on competing as a pro, Liz shares how she found bodybuilding and what motivated her to dive into the world of competing. Liz shares her early successes taking the overall in her first amateur competitions which led her to pursue nationals, yet that her road to pro was not an easy one. She explains how she had to climb the placings in various national shows, what she learned along the way, and what changes she had to make that finally led to her achieve the top spot and earn the coveted pro status.
Next, Celeste asks Liz about her preps: the approach she takes, what she endures during prep, and how she transitions from lifestyle lean to competition lean. Celeste also asks Liz how she maintains her health while in a prep and Liz mentions what she has changed or added to her routine over the years. Liz then answers a question from the listeners of whether she had noticed a difference between her preps pre- and post-baby. Since currently being in her improvement phase, Liz shares with listeners her favorite exercises for glutes, hamstrings and shoulders.
Switching the focus of conversation to a more personal note, Liz shares more about her husband and the transition he had to make when they were still dating and she started to lead a more “competitor lifestyle.” Aside from competing, Liz pursued other personal and career goals as well. Celeste asks Liz about those goals and how it felt to accomplish those goals, both personal and competition related.

Although she had to juggle long distance with her husband while trying to sell one of their houses, Liz was glad she took on a promotion at her job at Target Headquarters and Liz shares how she ended up at her current job being that she received her Masters Degree in Environmental Management. Wrapping up the episode as always, Liz shares her best advice for newbie competitors and girls on their road to pro.
Episode Time Stamps:
[1:30] Liz shares her pre stage ritual.
[2:45] Celeste asks Liz what inspired her to join the army.
[3:50] Liz shares what made her sign onto the military for another 3 years after finishing the initial 5 she had agreed to.
[5:40] Celeste asks Liz more about her background in gymnastics and cheer at West Point.
[7:00] Liz talks about how she manages her time and incorporates discipline into her daily schedule.
[8:50] Celeste asks Liz if caring for her daughter, Madison, has made her schedule more difficult or harder to manage with the structure that Liz likes to maintain.
[10:20] Liz shares why it was so important for her to take time for herself post-partum and explains her transition back into training.
[12:40] Celeste asks Liz how she monitored her training and macros throughout her pregnancy.
[14:15] Liz explains the difference between her off seasons and her preps.
[15:50] Celeste asks Liz why she decided to drop her sponsors when she took a break from competing and during her pregnancy.
[17:30] Liz shares her reasons behind taking time away from the stage after competing in the 2018 Olympia.
[19:00] Celeste asks Liz if she feels that she made any improvements during her pregnancy and about her 2020 competition plans.
[23:40] Celeste asks Liz about her different experiences between competing at the Arnold and competing at the Olympia.
[25:30] Liz talks about how she got started in the world of competing.
[29:00] Liz explains how she went from overall wins at her first few competitions to climbing the placings over various national shows and what finally got her to achieve that pro status.
[32:15] Celeste asks Liz about the process and approach she uses to get from lifestyle lean to competition lean.
[35:00] Liz discusses if there’s been differences between her preps pre- and post-baby.
[36:30] Liz shares her favorite exercises for glutes, hamstrings and shoulders.
[38:50] Celeste asks Liz if her husband had to make adjustments to his habits or lifestyle when Liz got into competing.
[40:20] Liz talks about other goals and ventures she’s pursued outside of just her competition goals.
[43:50] Celeste asks Liz how she ended up in her current job after getting her Master’s in Environmental Management.
[48:20] Liz shares her advice for new competitors and girls on their road to pro.