“It’s important to learn how to stay fit and healthy because your body is the one body you get for the rest of your life to take you through the rest of your life.”
Tanya Voshell is the owner and founder of fitgirlnation.com, NPC competitor and personal trainer in New York City. She is truly following her passion, and inspiring thousands of others along the way. I was able to sit down with her and find out more about her story, what motivates her, her training and diet regimen, and one of her favorite recipes.
FitnessRx: Hi Tanya! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me and share your story and fitness tips with FitnessRx for Women. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself currently?
Tanya: I’m 27 years old and moved to NYC five years ago for a job in accounting. About three years ago, I discovered bodybuilding and found my passion in fitness. It was how I envisioned myself living for the rest of my life— meal prep, training and the results. So, I got my personal training certification through NASM and am now focusing on my personal training career. I really have a heart to train females to help them treat and see their bodies in a healthy way. I train at TMPL Gym in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City (owned/run by David Barton).
FitnessRx: You are a career switcher, which is awesome! What prompted you to make the change from a “safe” job into an ever-changing industry?
Tanya: Fitness and personal training do require a lot of initiative, and accounting is safe. But I didn’t love accounting and didn’t see myself doing it in the future. I felt it was taking away from doing the thing I saw myself doing long term. I figured the sooner I made the switch, the sooner I would know it is the right thing for me, and get established for the future.
FitnessRx: That’s really admirable. You also own a really popular website and clothing page for girls into fitness— fitgirlnation.com! What is your inspiration behind that?
Tanya: It was one thing I wanted to do because I’m always working out and training. My goal was to create something that’s fun, affordable and represents something. My company represents ALL females being committed to being healthy and active. I’m also really excited because Fitgirlnation is in the works of having a percentage of their profits go toward an organization that is geared to teaching young women about health, exercise and nutrition.
FitnessRx: I’ve noticed on your Instagram that you are very open about your weight, which can be sensitive for most women. What inspires you to share it? What message do you try to portray by sharing it?
Tanya: To me, I was never overweight but always wanted to be twiggy skinny like most other Asian girls. I want to show that you can’t just go by the number on the scale. It’s misleading. It doesn’t tell you how much fat or muscle you have. You can be losing fat and gaining muscle and not seeing the scale move. I think measurements and photos are the best indicators. For so long I was focused on the scale, but now it doesn’t matter much.
FitnessRx: I love that, and it is really inspiring. You also do NPC shows. How long have you been competing in the NPC?
Tanya: This is my third year. I’ve competed in seven shows and am nationally qualified.
FitnessRx: What is your current goal in fitness competitions? When is your next show?
Tanya: My top goal is to attain an IFBB pro card. But, I honestly really like competing and the spirit/discipline of prepping for a show. Doing shows helps me stay in really good shape, which I really like. My next show is May 14: NPC Eastern Seaboard, then June 4: NPC Atlantic States.
FitnessRx: Those are close, so what does your training currently look like?
Tanya: I get my workout plans from my coach Asia Mendoza with Bombshell Fitness. I spend two days on upper body (back/bi, shoulder/chest/tri), and three days of leg training (a full leg workout, glute-focus and plyo day). Cardio is two hours a day right now for show prep. I also have two rest days.
FitnessRx: What do you like to do on your rest days?
Tanya: I actually really just like to rest! Recently I got really into “Leverage,” and have been watching that. I really enjoy my rest days and really try to recover and reset so I can go hard that week. I take a break from my fat burners as well.
FitnessRx: Rest is so important. In addition to your training, what does your typical diet look like?
Tanya: I also get my meal plan from Bombshell Fitness. I eat six meals a day and each one has approximately 3 oz of protein (fish, steak) with a healthy carb (sweet potato/rice/oatmeal) and a healthy fat (coconut oil, olive oil) and some vegetables (broccoli, spinach, etc).
FitnessRx: Sounds pretty standard and simple. Do you have a favorite recipe/meal that you make?
Tanya: I really like sweets. So, when I crave sweets, I like to make my own protein bars:
1.5 cups prebiotic fiber
1 cup nutmeal (ground-up nuts in a Magic Bullet)
2 scoops protein powder
Then mold into balls.
To get really creative, I’ll add ¼ cup dried fruits or dark chocolate chips.
FitnessRx: Those sound yummy! What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Tanya: Find your own reason to compete not solely relying on winning a competition. If you find the right reasons for competing, you’ll never be disappointed. It can be really hard to put in all the time/effort/money and not get the results you want.
FitnessRx: That is great advice! I totally agree. Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
Tanya: Follow your dream and passion, and work on refining that thing that you are good at doing. Growing up, we’re told we need to be well-rounded, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I think you have to be really good at the thing you love to do.
FitnessRx: Also great advice! Is there anything else you would like to share?
Tanya: Body image is something we grow up around as girls and we are surrounded by images of skinny models, and that is not a realistic goal. The most important thing to learn is to be in control of our own bodies and know how to shape our bodies through food and training. It’s important to learn how to stay fit and healthy because your body is the one body you get for the rest of your life to take you through the rest of your life.
For more on Tanya and Fitgirlnation