Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Part I ~ Meet The Girls of FFA!

Mornin' all!

As there are only a handFUl of days left before I hit the SAF and Physique Canada Stage...

I wanted to introduce you to my Teammates from Florida Fitness Aylmer who are competing as well! (This will be split into a two part series)

I have to say...

Each and every single one of these ladies have dedicated so much of themselves in getting stage ready that...

I wanted to highlight their journeys to the big day and share with you why it is they chose to compete!

Without a doubt...

All of these amazing women have worked really hard at getting themselves to where they are right now (it's definitely not an overnight thing) so...

I felt it was important to shed light on what all of this has meant to them as they finish up the last few days of their preparations!

So it is with great pleasure that...

I introduce you to some of the newest Girls of Team Florida Fitness Aylmer!

So let's get to it!


1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you chose to compete...

Josée Charron: I've been a competitive soccer player and track and field runner my whole life. To be honest, I've always had a big passion for fitness which, led me to become a Personal Trainer today. After playing in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division 1 at Kent State University in Ohio, I graduated with a degree in Exercise Physiology.

By summer 2011, I decided to take a break from playing soccer and by the time Fall 'kicked' around, I became intrigued by the idea of fitness competitions. From there, I started doing some research on them (while doing my Master's Degree in Biochemics at the University of Ottawa) and before you knew it, I would be getting ready for one. I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to start training for a competition now that I was taking a break from competitive soccer.

As I am now in the last week of my prep, I have to say that my journey in getting competition ready has had many more ups than downs! Through it all, I have learned so much about myself and my body. I've also discovered a new-found passion for figure/fitness competitions.

Karine Lamarche: I'm 29 years of age and I come from a fairly large family. I am the youngest of my three siblings! I work for the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and have been for the past four years.

I've always been pretty active but, as life got busier, I kind of put exercising aside. After noticing that my body was slowly changing (as in I was packing on the pounds), I decided to get back into the world of fitness. From there, I joined Florida Fitness Aylmer (after being referred to by some friends). Once I started following my exercise program and diet, I began seeing results which, was very encouraging.

Soon after, I made the decision to compete because I wanted a challenge, a goal, something to accomplish while making me a better person both inside and out. I find I am more disciplined when I have a goal to reach so, competing seemed liked the perfect thing for me to pursue! Now, here I am today, just a few days away from my very first fitness competition!

Marie-Pierre Dumont: Like many women, I wasn't happy with the way I looked after having a child. I've been slim all my life without putting any thought or effort into my eating habits (which was far from being healthy) and, my exercise level was bare to none. Honestly, I grew up hating every single sport you could name and the thought of going to the gym was a real nightmare for me.

As I approached 30, I realized my body was changing and at that point in time, I knew it was time for me to start taking care of myself....that being almost 4 years ago now. After meeting with Ken at Florida Fitness Aylmer, he gave me my first ever exercise and meal plan. At first, I was intimated by going to the gym but, I never gave up.

Throughout the years, I found a great interest in nutrition so, I started reading about clean eating and I started to experiment with food (which was perfect for me because I've always loved cooking). I also decided to jump in, 100%, into a lifestyle of health and fitness as I didn't want what I was doing to be a temporary thing.

As time went on, I moved to Montreal where I continued my training. As I became more serious about my health and my fitness, I began my studies in Naturopathy and Natural Nutrition (IRRSN). Upon moving back home (from Montreal), I came back to see Ken, which is when we started talking about the idea of me competing. I have to say, the trophies, pictures and the Girls of FFA themselves who were training for their competition always left me curious about the sport and, it also left me filled with admiration.

Soon after, I decided I was in need of a new challenge and that this would be a great way for me to push my training and nutrition skills to the next level. I can't say I knew what I was getting into but, I knew Ken was the best person to guide me through it.

Marie-Pierre and her son Quincy :)

Melissa Lalonde: I'm a person filled with energy and I'm incredibly disciplined. I'm also a little shy ;) I've always loved training (mostly at home a few times a week), but, I never felt like I got the real work out I was looking for, nor did I know how to get it either. I'm a Mom to three beautiful boys, so keeping things up at home and really knowing the how to's to proper training wasn't so obvious to me! 

I've always been one to surf the net and look through magazines that centred mostly around fitness so, I knew that one day I'd like to actually do what it I was always trying to achieve with my own workouts! That is, training hard and giving it my all! After giving it some thought, I signed up at Florida Fitness Aylmer where I was welcomed with open arms. From there, Ken got me rolling on a program and showed me what to do and how to do it based on the goals I wanted to achieve for myself.

Initially, I hadn't started at the gym to compete...not at all. But, once I started hearing and talking to the Girls of FFA and their own experiences, it became clear to me that is something I wanted to try out! I love learning new things and being challenged so, this seemed like a great goal for me pursue! I also wanted to experience getting ready for a competition and being on stage with the girls too!  

2. What have you learned through your journey to the stage?

Josée: I've learned that it takes a lot of dedication and motivation to prepare for a competition and that having a huge support system key in helping you through your down days! Additionally, I've learned to love my body as it is and to really appreciate every little achievement/progress I have made along the way! I've also learned a lot more about nutrition since I started on the road to competing in a figure competition.

In all of this, I believe it's important to be true to yourself, believe in your strengths and pursue your passion(s) in life, no matter what! I've learned to appreciate my family and friends so much more as they have sacrificed so much for me. I couldn't imagine doing this without their love and support! It's definitely a different discipline from soccer (that's for sure!) especially with those heels and different poses!

Karine: I think the most important thing I've learned throughout this journey is how far you can go if you put your mind and body to it. I've also learned that not everyone sees this journey as you see it and that no matter how much negativity you are (or may be) subject to, you have to turn all of it into positive fuel to better and further yourself. I have learned a lot about myself and I believe I have discovered my passion, my hobby and my lifestyle throughout this preparation to the stage.

Marie-Pierre: My journey to the stage has been one of the best experiences I have ever lived! Everything I've been working at and doing throughout the years have suddenly all started to make sense. I can't say this has been a huge change for me but, I've definitely learned to be a lot more disciplined (Ken definitely helped me achieve that!)

During my prep, I've had the opportunity to meet so many great people at the gym and I really felt like everybody was supportive! I'd like to note that Jenny (aka. PiNK) helped me a ton when it came to improving my self-confidence and that the FFA girls who are competing have also been so friendly to me! Every time I started doubting myself or feeling down, there was someone to cheer me up. 

Marie Pierre shooting a smile at her FFA Team Member and Friend, Lannie.
In all of this, I've learned to be more confident and strong but most importantly, I've come to believe in myself. Your body can do whatever you want it to as long as you put your mind to it. I can't say it's always been easy but whether it's the dieting or training, having a positive attitude is truly the key to success. I believe that I can and will overcome my fear of getting on stage too! (I've always been a shy and quiet person so I can tell you, through this experience, that this adventure has made me grow so much as person!) I'm really happy I decided to take on this challenge and I'm beyond grateful I chose such a great team to be a part of!

Melissa: I can definitely say that I've appreciated this entire journey to the stage! I've learned a lot of nutrition and the impact certain food can gave on our bodies when combined with training! It's been incredible watching my body transform from the day I started! WoW!!!

3. Has there been a quote or a saying that's been keeping you motivated/inspired along the way?

Josée: I don't really have a favourite quote as I tend to use a bunch of them! I must say though, a big inspiration of mine is Terry Fox. I draw strength and determination from his courage and selflessness.


Karine:  If I could pick one it would be "Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle" ~ Christian D. Larson

Marie-Pierre: "The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison" ~ Ann Wigmore

Last words?

Josée: I'd to to thank Florida Fitness Aylmer and the wonderful SuperFit (Ken) for helping me throughout this journey! I'm also thankful for meeting all of these beautiful girls who I will be sharing the stage with! (Including this wonderFUl blogger) ;)

Karine: I would like to thank all the FFA Girls for being so supportive throughout this whole journey. I'd also like to thank Ken for all his hard work at coaching me throughout my preparation. Lastly, I'd like to send out a big thank you to my friend Melissa Dube, she's been a huge help through it all as well as Matt and Anouk! :)

Melissa: I would like to thank the Florida Fitness Aylmer Team! You are all so fantastic! I'm so lucky to be part of such a great team!



Thank you so much for sharing with us your journey to the stage!

It's truly been a pleasure having gone through this preparation with you all and...

I can't wait to share the backstage and on stage experience with you as Team!

I am so proud of each and every one of you!

Great job Ladies!!! (We are almost there!!!)


Among these newest additions to the FFA Team...

We also have:

Chantal and

Who will also be competing again this coming weekend!

In my next post...

I will share with you a few of their words as they too prepare for the stage! (You can click on their names to read more about them until then!)

Question FU You...

Is exercising something that's always been part of your lifestyle?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*


  1. It's so nice to hear everyone's back story about how they got into competing. Thanks for sharing and GOOD LUCK to all the amazing ladies!

  2. Love it! Very cool to meet some of the other ladies, and I like the way you've out their stories forward. Good luck to all of you!

  3. how fabulous to share about your team mates!! youre almost into the single digit days left!! keep working hard!! spa love!

  4. Love seeing so many women from multiple walks of life coming together and succeeding. Thank you for sharing their stories!

  5. You are such a sweetie to share the stories of your girls of fitness! :-) Amazing ladies!!!! It is HARD WORK!!!!

    I have been at this for too many years too count now... even when I was fat as a kid, I was still in sports.. just ate too much & the wrong stuff... but got really into it in my 20's & have been at it since! :-)

  6. So many awesome ladies with great stories!!! :)

    Thanks for sharing all of them!

  7. Great stories! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Wow! These ladies are such inspirations! Thanks for sharing their stories!!!

  9. I love reading everyone's stories! It's so interesting to hear what motivated others to get into this crazy sport. :)

  10. Um, talk about a page full of motivation, inspiration, and kick-ass. Loved hearing about all of your girls. Can't wait to hear how the comp goes. :)

  11. Such a cool post about these fabulous ladies!

  12. so cool!!! Love it!!

    btw, I have to ask, fake n bake or spray?

  13. I loved reading about everyone! Such awesome and inspirational women!

  14. Good luck! This was so nice of you to share everyone's stories :)

  15. I thought I really was the only one who recalled and channeled TERRY FOX...


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