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Natural Professional Bodybuilder Athlete of the Year : Diana Hubbard

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Photos By Marty Gottlieb

When you see a person with an amazing physique your first reaction is always to drop your jaw in awe. Why so? Think of the first thing that comes to mind. Dedication. Will power. Discipline. Even obsession, in some cases.  These types of things don’t come over night. In fact, A lot of people who work out often still may not have the incredible physique that a bodybuilder has. The lifestyle simply takes more than an hour at the gym every day. It’s a complete lifestyle. Eating habits are different. Recreational activities are different. This type of life takes a firm choice. You can live a healthy life without being a bodybuilder. So why choose to be? It can be something as simple as seeing Schwarzenegger in a movie, being bullied as a child, or even a singular situation. Maybe you had a eureka moment. All I know is when I see it, I give my instant respect. Like a salute to a general in command.

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When I first saw Diana, the first thing I thought was intimidation. Not towards me but in general. I’ll tell you why. Women’s athletics is still a growing spectacle in all categories of sports. I’ll give you an example. The first bodybuilding competition was held around September, 1901. However, the first women’s bodybuilding competition wasn’t held until 1979. Nearly a century later.

The push away from the stereotypical house wife role, to “We can do it, too!”, came during and after World War II. Even though women had already started fighting for rights around the late 1800’s, the public campaign came around the 1940’s. Since most the men were at war, woman had to show that they had what it takes. Even when society tried to keep them boxed in. This push has elevated to the incredible stature that it is today. Watching women such as Serena & Venus Williams dominate tennis, or watching Amanda Nunes destroy the UFC women’s division has definitely been a treat.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

I even asked Diana does she think she intimidates men at all. She responded, “No, in fact, I think it makes them approach me even more. I think they love the discipline aspect of it.”. This is that part that definitely intrigued me.

So what actually drove Diana to sculpt her body into this amazing physique? There may not be a definitive answer but she did tell me an interesting story about a scar she had on her arm.

As I gazed at every unique muscle on her body I noticed a scar on her left arm. You can almost miss it in pictures if you don’t look closely. Being a journalist I always want to hear the inside scoop, so I asked her about the scar. She responded,

“That’s where most of my insecurities really came from now that I think about it. I hated that scar and I would hide it all the time. It lowered with my self-esteem a lot. I broke it in a freak accident when I was around 9-10 years old. I was high up on a swing and fell off. My elbow hit a rock and broke it. My elbow that is. Now a days I embrace my scar. I’m not embarrassed about it anymore and I tell the story with confidence. It makes me unique and I like that.”.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

This simple rock story may be the reason that she is rock solid today. Mentally and physically. Her life started off pretty normal, though. I mean, besides the fact that she was home schooled. In fact, she was home schooled from kindergarten to middle school, which she explained was a “huge culture shock”. Diana was into athletics early, as well. She played basketball throughout her school stint and was a stand out player. After graduating from Bloomfield Tech in 2009 she attended Iona College on a full scholarship.

Diana BBAL Stats

After a stand out rookie year, where she was the runner-up for rookie of the year, she slowly started to lose steam. She exclaimed that she has always been a shy person with low self-esteem. She believes this is the reason that she slowed down.

“So here I am, a D1 player who didn’t go pro or go overseas like “I’m supposed to”. I felt like a failure and had no choice but to look for work. A year later I decided to join a gym. I missed being active. I hadn’t realized that playing basketball year round was keeping me in shape and the sudden stop would make me lose it a little. I didn’t eat healthy, I drank, partied, and was overall unhappy. I was lost and beat myself up for years for not perusing a professional basketball career like most D1 players do.  For 3 years I went through tough hardships that included relationships, self-esteem issues, health issues, and more. I was tired of living with no purpose. I needed a change.”

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Around 2018 is when she regained her flame. She decided to challenge herself and compete in a bodybuilding show. She said she had it on her mind for 2 years before she actually took action. She didn’t feel like she was 100% focused and was nervous about doing something that would put her in the center of attention. Then she remembered the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”. This led to Diana hiring a personal trainer and eventually a nutritionist.  After 4 weeks on their plan she picked a show to compete in. She told herself no more hesitation, it’s go time!

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She practiced posing in the mirror after she finished doing Lyft, which would be around midnight. She also followed her coach’s meal plan with precision. In July of 2018, merely 4 weeks after she began her training, she entered a Natural Organization called the INBA PNBA. There, she won first place in Figure Novice and Figure Open.  Crazy right? This woman was determined! This expedited success came from a determined work ethic. Diana says she wants people to push pass the thought that they are “too busy” to push towards things they want.

“My typical day, before my first show, would be to wake up at 5am to Lyft. Then I train. I go to work and after work go back to do Lyft. Afterwards, about midnight, I head to gym again to practice posing. This routine is almost everyday.”

Later that year, Diana became certified in personal training and holds two pro cards in Figure and Physique. She has since competed in 8 shows over the course of 2 years.

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Her most recent victory came Nov.16th at a big show In Las Vegas with the INBA PNBA, The Natural Olympia. She placed 3rd overall and was named the National Athlete of the Year by the same association. Seeing this amazing feat in such short time said a lot about her determination. When a person falls in love with athletics it requires a totally different kind of commitment. It’s a life style change. This brings some much fire out of people. It also makes you think more of your over-all health. A strange observation I made throughout the years is that the majority of people maintenance their cars better than they maintenance their bodies. Diana noticed herself slipping and not only bounced back but became something much better than before.

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League owner – Denny Kakos
( Above Coach Marc Tauriello & League President Denny Kakos)

“In the end, it all started with me just wanting to be active again. The gym became my happy place. It became an outlet for stress and distractions in the world. Never be afraid to fail, for failure is apart of success.” Diana expresses.

“Bodybuilding is an extremely tough sport, physically and emotionally. Despite it’s difficulty, I find myself loving every bit of it. There are a lot of highs and lows. Especially dealing with the strict diet. Can you imagine eating the same thing every day for months on end? The temptation to cheat is unbearable at times. You might as well forget about having a social life during the preparation. It slowly diminishes. Through all this, the workouts only get more intense. I love this mode, though. I can sense that’s it’s challenging me physically and emotionally. Anything that pushes me in this way, I feed off it. Just like in my basketball days. The fire I got when we played a tough team. When I missed a couple of shots but was determined to bounce back. Even when I made a bad play and had to sit on the bench and reflect on how to improve. I love all of that. What I love the most about this sport is that it taught me a lot about nutrition.  I will continue to eat healthy, have balanced meals, and diet naturally. I am a stronger woman today because I took a chance to go for something I wasn’t sure I was ready for, and made myself ready.” 

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(Photo Cred – Marty Gottlieb)

Here is a list of placings Diana has had throughout her career as a bodybuilder.

2018 East Coast Classic – 1st Figure Open , 1st Figure Novice

2018 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s – Pro Debut , 1st Place

2018 Natural Olympia – 9th place (world) (17 competitors)

2019 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s Classic – 3rd place

2019 Eastern USA Pro-AM – 1st Pro Figure , 1st Women’s Physique (Earned Pro Card in women’s physique)

2019 The Nationals – 1st place in Physique pro debut

2019 Muscle Beach International – 1st in Pro Women’s Physique

2019 Natural Olympia – 3rd Place , National Athlete of the Year

Diana would like to credit her Nutritionist, Mentor, and Coach Marc Tauriello (Extreme Gym, Nutley,NJ)  for her outstanding success thus far.

Today, Diana is still a full time bodybuilding and has plans to continue to have ground breaking success. She works and a personal trainer in between time. Congratulations on all of your success and keep striving for greatness!

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

Melanin & Chlorophyll – Similarities and More!

All our lives we’ve been taught that too much sun is bad for us. We’ve been taught about how cancerous it can be. How hot it is. The list goes on. Yet, we are hardly taught the benefits of the sun.

As of recent, I started sun gazing. It is a practice that has been dated back since ancient times. It’s a practice where you stare at the sun during sun set or sunrise. Most people might say “Wait, isn’t that harmful?”. Well, contrary to common belief, if done correctly it actually has great health benefits.

If you think about how plants use the sun then you can further understand how we can also. As children, we were taught about photosynthesis and how plants turn sunlight into food. Green substance in producers that traps light energy from the sun, which is then used to combine carbon dioxide and water into sugars in the process of photosynthesis Chlorophyll is vital for photosynthesis, which helps plants get energy from light.

This same process is essentially the same in how melanin works for us. If you never noticed, which I’m sure you have, only fair toned people get sunburned. That’s because they don’t have enough melanin to protect them from harmful UV rays.

Although these processes are very similar chlorophyll can withstand a higher dosage of UV rays. Plants sit under the sun light all day with minor to no harm. That wouldn’t be the same case for humans.

Why we should have plenty of chlorophyll (green plants) in our diets.

Studies have proven that chlorophyll, in its various forms, has been proven to fight carcinogens in the body and reduce cancer risk. It also helps detoxify the liver and can expedite the healing of wounds. On top of all that, some have attributed improved digestion and weight management to a chlorophyll routine.

(site Megan Madden , Verily Mag)

Follow my Youtube channel in the link below for more natural healing remedies and tips.

“Melanin & Chlorophyll” Video Link

Written by : Bruce Walton Jr

This Mom Stayed In Shape After 5 Kids!

Meet Venus Tutu! We stubbled across her after the picture below went viral!

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Of course curiosity flew around wondering how in the world did she manage to do it! Most women are concerned about how their body will bounce back after pregnancy. Their bodies endure so much between weight gain and the stretching of the skin. So I asked Venus what her post pregnancy secrets were. This is what she revealed.

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Venus was born in Liberia but moved to the states and was raised in Philly. She had her first child at the tender age of 17

“It was a drastic change for me, especially from my native background beliefs. Due to me having a baby so young and out of wedlock I became an outcast to my family. I went from having a roof over my head to being homeless/sleeping in laundromat bathrooms. I was still in high school, raising a baby with no knowledge of how to do so. I struggled a lot but my son kept me sane and pushed me to better both of our situation. He’s literally my life.”

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Being so young, Venus felt like her body didn’t suffer much. She bounced right back into shape. She humorously replied “My breast didn’t get the same memo”.  It wasn’t until her second child where she actually started to take fitness seriously.

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Venus explains that after her second child the “gym” was a trending thing at the time. It just so happens that it helped her stay in shape. Her wanting to workout in hopes of bouncing back after pregnancy didn’t happen until after her 3rd child. She explains how she focused on foods she saw the best weight loss results from

“After my 3rd baby my snap back wasn’t as quick. I still had some weight left on me. Once I noticed that I started going to the gym more and changed my eating habits(not entirely). I also discover the foods/drinks that made me drop pounds in days”

Venus’s grandmother birthed 14 kids and her body was amazing afterwards so she feels a lot of it had to do with genetics mixed with hard work. She says she loves her body. She lives to show it off as much as she can. She inspires the be a model at some point in her life.

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Her latest test was recovering from having twins! Especially since the previous child wasn’t even a year old yet.

This took a real tool on her over all energy levels. She’s explains thats the hardest part about staying in shape,at this point, was simply getting up.

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Venus understands the struggle of parenthood. Especially being a single parent. These are her words of advice.

“Take them kids with you ! Find a gym that has a daycare center inside and go workout ! Most mothers want to workout but can’t due to them not having anybody to watch their kids. So find a gym that has a daycare center and go ! You may not see results in days or weeks but don’t give up ! Pick certain days to work on certain things and stay consistent! You know it’s working when it hurts. Pain should encourage you even more! Build up your confidence and kick ass when you’re working on your body goals ! Please don’t go to the gym just to post pics on social media…focus on the goals you set”

If you want to reach Venus for business inquires contact her at

venusktutu@gmail.com

Venus Tutu on FB & IG

Written by Bruce Walton Jr