“Sometimes we think only instant progress is acceptable. But there’s this beautiful thing called imperfect progress. It’s okay to have setbacks. Just keep moving the line forward. Change will come. And it will be good.” – Lysa TerKeurst
Alexa Robertson is a full-time nurse practitioner, mom of four, and just completed her second season of competing in the NPC where she placed top 10 at Jr. USA’s. Her “imperfect” journey and inspiration started here with FitnessRx for Women, and she is now a fitness role model for her daughters, friends and social media following. I caught up with her to find out how she got started competing, how she balances everything, what motivates her, some of her fitness/nutrition tips, and what her future plans are.
RC: Hi Alexa! Thanks for taking the time to do this. To get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Alexa: I grew up always involved in something! I started with piano at the age of 3 and performed at Carnegie Hall in NYC at the age of 5. I also danced and twirled the baton, and was a feature twirler throughout high school. I went to the University of Georgia then medical college of Georgia, where I received a bachelor of science degree in nursing. I worked as a labor and delivery nurse for a year before returning to college to obtain my master’s degree as a nurse practitioner. I was married to my first husband at the time and we went through several unsuccessful infertility treatments. I was then blessed with my first daughter through the beauty of adoption, and then, 11 months later, God blessed me with another surprise when I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. It was a difficult pregnancy with several weeks of bed rest and also a lot of weight gain.
Approximately two years after the birth of my second daughter, I began walking and following a healthier diet and subsequently lost approximately 50 pounds. I also went through a divorce from my first husband. Then, four years ago, I was blessed to meet my (current) husband Chris and his two daughters. About a year after we married, I told him I wanted to do something about this “flabby skin” on my arms (like a lot of women!). We joined a gym and he started teaching me about lifting. I was instantly hooked. I kept a log book and read everything I could about lifting. About a year after beginning, I started becoming interested in competing.
RC: Wow, that’s incredible. What types of workouts did you do when you began to lift?
Alexa: I would tear out ALL of the FitnessRx for Women magazine workouts and put them in a binder to follow. I followed them to a T! It was amazing— what a difference it made! The athletes in the magazine really inspired me as well— especially Juliana Daniell, Gennifer Strobo, Nicole Wilkins, and Amanda Latona. I love all the workouts in FitnessRx for Women magazine!
RC: Awesome! I did the same thing when I was training for my wedding and honeymoon… What inspired you to make the jump from just training to competing in the NPC Figure division?
Alexa: Honestly, flipping through FitnessRx for Women is one of the biggest reasons I decided to compete. I loved the way the girls looked, their perseverance and strength, and the way they were all working to achieve a goal. I am a very goal-driven type of person and this fit my personality so well. I discussed it with my husband Chris, and through a friend that used to compete, we got in touch with coaches Mo & Jim (Newman). I began competing last year, so I just finished up my second season competing. I’m very proud of competing in Miami this past November at Nationals, and receiving first callouts as well as a top 10 placing at Jr USA’s in Charleston, SC! I plan on competing again at the beginning of May 2016 at the NPC Palmetto Classic in South Carolina and then the end of May at the Jr. USA National Show in Charleston, SC.
RC: Congrats and good luck! With four girls and a full-time job, I can’t imagine how you balance it all… What does a typical day look like for you?
Alexa: My daily life is a whirlwind sometimes…
• I start my day at 5:00 a.m. with a devotional/prayer, 30 minutes fasted cardio, and then breakfast.
• I wake my family up around 7:00 a.m. and start getting them ready for school while I get ready for work.
• At the same time, my husband prepares the remaining five meals of my day (which is a HUGE blessing— couldn’t do it without his help and support!!).
• 7:45 a.m: my husband takes the kids to school while I finish getting ready for work.
• 8:15 a.m: I leave for work.
• 9 a.m.-5 p.m. most days: I work as a nurse practitioner at Meadows Surgical Arts, a comprehensive women’s care office in Commerce, GA.
• Depending on the day, one of my girls will have gymnastics practice, baton practice, yearbook staff, 4H, or Awana church activities in the afternoon. My husband Chris and I go to the gym in the afternoon, while the girls are at their activities, to lift.
• In the evenings, we eat dinner, do homework, fix lunches for the kids for the next day and try to relax a little before going to bed!
• When we don’t have gymnastics meets on the weekends, that is our down time. We really try to devote Sundays to worship and family time! Also, I spend Sunday afternoons preparing and planning for the week ahead. I have found this makes a huge difference in the week to come for myself and my family!
RC: Quite the impressive whirlwind! What do your kids think of you competing? Do they come to your shows?
Alexa: My kids absolutely LOVE me competing!! They love the prep part and they love making sure I’m sticking to my prep diet! I’ll never forget when I called McKinley the night before a show from Outback restaurant eating french fries (under my coach’s instruction) and she said, “Mama…don’t you know you have a show tomorrow?!” I couldn’t stop laughing!
My kids have been to two of the five total shows I’ve competed in. I can hear them yell “Go, Mama” while I am posing over the entire audience. It makes it all worth it!! They encourage me to always do my best and I love how I can encourage them in their respective activities to always give it 110 percent. I am a person who believes in “walking the walk and not just talking the talk!” I want to always lead by example in all I do.
RC: That’s funny she knows french fries are not a normal part of your diet. What type of meal plan do you follow?
Alexa: I follow a meal plan established by my coach. It is a macro plan based on protein/carbs/fat ratio. I am a terrible cook— my husband does most of the meal prep. One of my favorite meals is my daily breakfast during my quiet time: egg whites, oats and coffee.
RC: Do you have anything you’d like to leave the FitnessRx for Women readers with?
Alexa: My favorite quote is: Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” This holds true daily for me in faith, relationships, career and health. It’s amazing how much my faith has grown and increased in depth throughout my fitness journey! I hope that with my journey I can inspire women that no matter what their goals are, they can reach them! I strongly believe that a positive mindset will get you wherever you want to go in life.
RC: Thank you so much for sharing, Alexa! Best wishes to you in 2016!
You can keep following Alexa’s journey on Instagram @faithfamilyandfitness