Our April cover model, India Paulino, had an impressive year. The IFBB Bikini Pro won three IFBB shows last year, placed second at the 2012 Arnold Classic, and placed third IFBB Bikini Olympia. So it’s clear that India, a BSN athlete, knows what it takes to slim down and shape up, and can help us do the same!
Recently, this fitness champ took the time to answer some questions about her contest prep, what keeps her motivated, how she relives stress, and even her volunteer work with animals. But for much more with India, be sure to check out the April issue of FitnessRx for Women, where India is featured in “The 21 Best Lifts for the Perfect Body.” This workout program comes with a free poster, and it will help you get a tight butt, shapely arms, and sexy arms and shoulders! So pick up the April issue of FitnessRx today!
Lisa: How does it feel to be on the cover of FitnessRx Women for a second time?
India: I am feeling a lot of the same feelings again. It’s a mixture of excitement, appreciation, a sense of accomplishment. I feel humbled. It was so crazy great the first time and to get it a second time— I’m at a loss for words.
Lisa: How is your prep for the 2013 Arnold going?
India: Prep is going great. I’m training my butt off, but I feel good and relaxed. For me, it’s all about staying positive and having faith. Also, knowing that all you can do is work as hard as you possibly can and everything else will come as it’s meant to.
Lisa: What are some of your top moments from last season?
India: Placing second at last year’s IFBB Arnold was a total shock for me, being that I was a rookie. It was awesome, though, and definitely an experience. Winning three IFBB Pro shows and making top three at the IFBB Bikini Olympia were also moments I will never forgot and am very grateful for.
Lisa: Do you have new goals this year? What’s your plan for achieving them?
India: I am constantly setting new goals for myself. It’s what keeps me going. I love challenges. As far as achieving them, I will do what I always do and that is give it my all, not stopping until I accomplish them. Anything is possible! I say “bring it” to any obstacles that get in the way.
Lisa: The article you’re featured in the April issue of FitnessRx is the “21 Best Lifts for the Perfect Body.” Why is weight training important for women to stay in shape?
India: Weight training is what helps build muscle and shape our bodies. A lot of women believe that if they lift weights they will get “big” like bodybuilders, but it’s not true. I lift weights five times a week and I’m a peanut compared to a bodybuilder or even a Figure athlete. Weight training helps burn fat, tone and tighten and build the beautiful shapely legs, arms and butt we all dream of. Don’t be afraid of weights, ladies. Give them a real chance and you’ll see just how much you’ll love the changes you will begin to see.
Lisa: In the April issue, one of your “Best Lift Tips” is to work out in the morning. Do you have any advice for people who’d like to work out in the AM, but just aren’t morning people?
India: Yes! My advice is, MAKE yourself a morning person. Force yourself to wake up early, and get your butt in the gym. If you think about it too much, you won’t do it. Make the decision to get out of your current “I’m not a morning person” mentality. Set your alarm and GO!
Lisa: What are some of your favorite “clean” foods?
India: I love sushi and I drool over protein pancakes made with BSN’s Lean Dessert Protein. YUM!
Lisa: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
India: I typically eat five to six small meals a day. My meals consists of either white fish, chicken, lean ground beef, turkey, sweet potato, vegetables, oatmeal egg, whites and some fruit.
Lisa: Do you have a favorite healthy recipe?
India: I’ll have to admit I’m not much of a cook. The good thing about that is that it keeps me out of trouble and on my diet! I usually burn things when I attempt to cook because I forget about them LOL. It would be cool, though, to be able to invent different recipes. I guess I’m just not passionate enough about cooking to try to be good at it.
Lisa: How often do you have cheat meals?
India: It all depends on what my body looks like during that time. If I have a competition coming up and I am on track, I will have a cheat meal once a week unless I am too lean, then I would have two. On the other hand, if I have to drop a few pounds, then I won’t have one at all.
Lisa: What are some of your favorite stress busters?
India: Meditation and stretching with breathing techniques are definitely my stress busters.
Lisa: How do you define confidence?
India: Confidence is being secure with who you are, not being afraid to stand up for what you believe in. It is believing you are beautiful inside and out, but remaining modest. It is knowing that you are strong enough to handle any obstacles.
Lisa: Where do you find strength and motivation?
India: I find it in my faith and belief in God.
Lisa: Tell us more about your work with animal rescue.
India: I am a huge animal person, so whenever there is anything I can do to help an animal, I do it. I help out at Pooches in Pines, which is a nonprofit organization that assists in finding permanent or foster homes for animals that are found on the street. The program has helped so many cats and dogs, it’s amazing. It breaks my heart to see an animal get sent to Animal Control knowing the possibility of it being put down is huge. I’ve already decided that I will build a pet sanctuary in my backyard in the future. I will take in injured animals and animals that unfortunately nobody wants.
Lisa: What do you like to do to relax and have fun?
India: I love hanging out with my family; they make me so happy and it’s always a fun and relaxing time with them. My pets are like my children LOL! I spoil them so bad and that’s always fun, too. Oh and I can’t forget dancing; it’s my favorite.
Lisa: What’s next for you?
India: I recently got signed with BSN, which I am thrilled about. I will be making several appearances with the company this year in the United States and internationally. As far as competing, I will be going back to the IFBB New York Pro in May to defend my title and I can’t forget about the IFBB Bikini Olympia. It’s going to be a good year and I’m really looking forward to it.