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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

From Cloudy Days to Picture Perfect, Alexis Scott – Model

In 1927, a man by the name of Fred R. Barnard coined the phrase, “A pictures’ worth a thousand words”. Despite Alexis’s breath taking looks and stunning physique, a picture simply isn’t enough to describe her fight down glory road. Often times we see that art mostly comes from those with a story to tell. A story which may be hard to describe in words. It may also come from people who’ve been through trauma or pain and have a desperate need to express themselves. Getting people to see beauty from the beholders perspective is the essence of what makes art touch people in a very prodigious way .

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At times, I feel that models may not get the full credit they deserve when it comes to making the firm decision to follow this career path. Putting yourself in the public eye to be judged from head to toe takes great courage and confidence. You have to really learn how to love yourself regardless of what people may say. Some models even try pushing the boundaries of the social standard to what beauty is. Even if there was a time that they didn’t feel “pretty” according to that standard.

Let’s be honest, life has a way of trying to discourage you from being what your heart says you are versus what society expects from you. The movies and tv shows always paints the picture to make it seem as if the underdog is loved. In actuality, the love seems to only come when the underdog gains momentum. Gaining momentum, for someone that has been through tough times, takes day after day of convincing yourself. Uplifting yourself. Staying positive. Defeating odds. Taking leaps of faith. This is the story of Alexis Scott.

Alexis, was born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. She was primarily raised by her aunt whom she had a very close relationship with. Her aunt took her in after realizing that Alexis’s mother was battling with a drug addiction. Even though Alexis was never supposed to have unsupervised visits with her parents, the aunt did want her to have some kind of relationship with them. Even though the decision to let Alexis have unsupervised visits with her parents came from the aunt having a tender heart, it ended up back firing. The aunt ended up losing custody of Alexis because of an incident that happened between Alexis and her father. At the age of 13, Alexis made a courageous decision that would send her life spiraling. She decided to speak up about the abuse which came from the hands of her father. Alexis would often spend holidays and summer breaks with her parents. This is when the abuse happened. She built up the courage to tell a best friend that she was sexually abused by her father. What she didn’t know was that the government would take her away from her aunt and place her in foster care. This didn’t seem to make sense to her. Fortunately, she was taken in by her best friends family.

Approximately 6 months after she was taken in by her best friend things started to get a little rocky. The family fell on hard times and ended up losing their place of residence. Alexis, along with her friends family, found refuge with acquaintances, family and friends periodically. Most times having to sleep on the floor due to lack of space. Once again, Alexis had to make a courageous move. She decided to run away and would eventually be taken in by her half uncle from her mothers side. Going through so much at this tender age you would think it would distract a young mind. Even make them resort to crime. I asked her “Do you think being in foster care inspired you in any way?”.

“It definitely did not inspire me. Sometimes I often wondered why I didn’t have a “normal” life instead. The only thing I can say came from this is that it made me eager to get my own place. My case worker always said “You either age out of the system or graduate. That’s the only way out.”

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Her soon to be way out would come, to her surprise, once she learned she was on track to graduate high school early. It seemed that the chaos only made her focus and excel tremendously academically. A complete oxymoron. During her middle school stint, Alexis took an Algebra 1 course along with an English test that would count towards high school credits. That, along with taking some summer courses, started her advancement. Alexis noticed on her own that she had enough credits to advance. When she brought this to her guidance counselor they suggested she duel enroll. Seeing that she was so close to completion she decided to take the advice to duel enroll. After a little more hard work Alexis would be on track to graduate high school at the age of 16.

Her uncle, who she lived with at the time, agreed to let her stay at his home until she graduated high school. You would think that a teenager graduating high school early would be good news. For a teen with no where to go and also not being a legal adult made things a little interesting to say the least. She found a job and saved up money so that she would be prepared if she had to move. Choosing colleges would prove to be difficult. If the college didn’t offer any type dorm or living situation Alexis basically couldn’t go. She wasn’t old enough to sign a lease yet. I’m assuming this problem was the deciding factor in her choosing to attend a local college. Her next battle would be with the court system. She basically had to be emancipated in order to be considered a legal adult. Through an extensive battle she finally convinced the court that she needed to be a legal adult so that she wouldn’t be turned back over to foster care. Also, so she could sign a lease and pursue a college degree in her own place. So while most teenage girls were stressed about boy crushes and fitting in with the “cool kids”, Alexis was living a much more serious life. Though, she hadn’t realized it yet. She was simply relieved to have a place to call her own.

Shy, alone, battered, to say the least. You’d wonder how this timid girl chose something like modeling. Well, she didn’t. She was chosen. When she first applied for the scholarship with a modeling school she was certain that she wouldn’t get picked.

“I was smart…but I had tattoos and no money. I didn’t even think they would be interested. Some how I was chosen and accepted for their scholarship. If it weren’t for me getting accepted I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to go any where and model”

Thus, her modeling career was born

 

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Alexis’s first real gig came from Feroce Magazine. The article was titled “Misunderstood”. The opportunity came from a friend she met at Seabreeze High School. With great help from her husband (and manager) and her photographer Tyler Jenkings, she was able to create a professional presence for herself. With a professional backing she was able to build up enough confidence to pursue modeling full speed.

 

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Life was starting to look promising for the young lady. Yet, it gets better. At the age of 20 her boyfriend of 7 years, Xavier Scott, decided that he wanted to be with her for ever. He proposed to her. They would get married  in August of 2018. It seems that for her the storm had passed and the sunshine has come out again.

Currently, Alexis is a college student and a freelance model. She says that her main goals are to one day walk the run way during Fashion Week and also being picked to star in a major movie role. Seeing what she has overcome so far, nothing is impossible.

It was remarkable seeing how this young lady stayed positive through it all. I asked her did she have any advice for anyone that has endured a rough upbringing but wants to remain positive about the future.

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“Just keep going, and most importantly, get help! Some people are ashamed of what they have gone through or either too proud. No matter how good a person may seem we all need to heal properly. No matter what it is you go through, don’t be afraid to tell someone. I am very grateful for the METOO movement. It is allowing people to speak up more than ever. For those who feel like they won’t be heard, just remember that there is someone, somewhere, that’s willing to listen and help”.

May God bless you on your journey, Alexis.

Special Thanks :

Photographer : Tyler Jenkings

Nail Tech : Sarah Mai

Husband : Xavier Scott

Friends, Family and Followers

Contact Info :

Instagram : @darkskinnedalexis

Facebook Business Page : Alexis Ann Scott

Facebook Manager : Xavier Scott

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