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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

Mar 5, 2021

In this episode, Celeste talks with Tina Denoff, proving to us that at any age, at any time, and with any other obligations you can still prioritize yourself. She is a mother of two and has 3 fur babies as well living in sunny Florida after years of Michigan winters. Priding herself as a natural athlete this competitor started her journey in the NPC in 2019 and just went pro in October 2020 at teen collegiate and masters nationals winning first in her bikini masters over 50 class and 2nd in masters over 45 

Celeste starts off the episode by asking Tina if she has a specific ritual she performs before hitting the stage. Tina shares the many rituals she has that all play a crucial role in her daily life and throughout the various stages of her prep. Celeste mentions the importance of precision with habits and rituals not just daily but leading up to show day.

Next, Celeste mentions Tina’s commitment to implement the habit of “rest, reconnect, and listen” and has Tina share how she plans on prioritizing that goal. Tina discusses the importance the gym has in her routine and how, although it is a hobby, she is lucky to be able to compete yet that she must remember the importance of also setting aside time to be present with her family. Next, Celeste asks Tina if this is a lifestyle she had always led or something she came to adopt. 

Moving forward, Tina opens up and shares that finding the gym was an accident. She talks about her past as a runner and how an ice skating injury which resulted in ACL surgery ultimately led to her finding resistance training, as her doctor had recommended she not return to running.

Tina discusses how she  started researching and changing up her diet on her own as something to help with inflammation issues she was experiencing post surgery. Then, somewhat by chance, she found that combination of her new diet and light resistance training at home sparked her interest and she found herself signing up for her first gym membership, and then hiring a trainer.

She explains the feelings she had while watching her physique begin to evolve and progress with the more time she spent in the gym. Tina also shares a time of personal hardship and the gratitude she felt for the community her gym has blessed her with.

After seeing how her body was changing, Tina started to be asked if she was going to compete. Those questions inspired her to research the sport and from there she contacted her first coach. Together, they both decided it was time for Tina to start training for her first competition.

Tina mentions that she “started from zero,” learning the basics such as “what is a macro?” and how to properly train for a show. After sharing her beginnings in the sport, Tina dives into the details of her cringe-worthy story from her experience at North Americans, her first national show. She mentions how the day was “off” from the beginning and what unraveled from there. 

Tina shares not only the mishaps from her admitted lack of attention to detail in preparation for prejudging but how she eventually made it to the stage. Tina recounts, from start to finish, every mishap and mistake that she encountered and overcame, but also shares the main takeaways of what the experience as a whole taught her. Among those mistakes included one of the biggest any competitor could make - missing her class for finals.

Upon turning to the hotel room with feelings of both disbelief and disappointment, Tina found herself in a difficult place mentally, debating whether or not she should continue to pursue her pro card in Orlando the following month. She felt conflicted, having prepped for so long and not wanting to continue without the support from her family.

Celeste asks Tina about her decision to go ahead and compete in Orlando and what she did to prepare her mindset for this next challenge after all the difficulties North Americans presented. 

After sharing her experiences in Orlando, Celeste asks Tina what she has been focusing on since winning her pro card. Tina shares how she has approached her improvement season and what she is planning in terms of her pro debut.

Celeste asks Tina more about why she chooses not to share progress photos unless she’s in a cutting phase and the strategy and reasoning behind it. Next, Celeste asks Tina about her family’s thoughts on competing, and how she told her family and friends about wanting to embrace this new lifestyle.

From there, Tina talks about the nature of her relationship with her husband, and how they consciously make time for one another and prioritize their relationship, despite being quite opposite.

Tina also discusses the areas of life in which she feels she lacks balance while in prep and acknowledges that while bodybuilding is a hobby that she values dearly, she needs to make the experience both enjoyable for herself and for those around her.

To conclude the episode, Tina shares her best advice for native competitors and for the girls on their road to pro and then shares how listeners can find and connect with her further.



Time Stamps:
[0:50] Celeste introduces Tina.

[1:30] Tina shares her pre stage ritual.

[5:50] Celeste asks Tina how she practices her commitment to “rest, reconnect, and listen” and how she prioritizes this goal daily.

[8:10] Tina shares how she came to adopt this lifestyle.

[11:40] Tina talks about her first experience joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer.

[14:30] Tina shares how the gym helped her out of a dark time in her life.

[17:00] Tina shares her experiences of finding her first coach and training for her first show.

[21:00] Tina shares her cringe-worthy story from North Americans.

[32:00] Tina talks about how she missed finals at nationals. 

[37:30] Celeste asks Tina if she was able to talk to the judges despite missing her class for finals.

[40:30] Tina shares how she felt after processing the emotions of what happened at the show.

[42:35] Celeste asks if Tina felt like she had lost her chance at a pro card if her family didn’t support her to continue competing.

[48:30] Celeste has Tina share where her mindset was at going into nationals in Orlando.

[53:15] Celeste asks Tina what she’s been focusing on since earning her pro card.

[56:45] Tina answers why she decided she won’t share progress photos until she starts her next cut.

[60:15] Celeste asks Tina about her family’s opinion on her competing.

[62:00] Celeste has Tina open up about the nature of the relationship she has with her husband.

[65:30] Tina shares in what areas she feels she lacks balance when in prep.

[69:50] Tina gives her best advice to novice competitors and girls on their road to pro.

[75:20] Tina tells listeners where they can find and connect with her on social media