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

Keedie’s Corner Company Review: Soaplistic Scents

By: Keidra Ponder

We recently caught up with Lovin Spirit, owner of Soaplistic Scents. She was very warm and knowledgeable of her craft, taking pride in providing an alternative relief for sensitive skin. You can find her vending at Atlanta Indie Market and various events throughout the Southeastern Region. Her passion for skin care is evident with her holistic approach to her beauty products. Soaplistic Scents creates soaps, lotions and detergents that are Paraben and  Formaldehyde free for customers with Eczema and Psoriasis in mind.

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When did you start Soaplistic Scents? Where was it started?

We unofficially started in 2012, at first it became a hobby for me, something I did for family only. I started in my hometown of Wilmington, DE.

Give us some background on you as an individual.

I was blessed to come from 2 families (my mother’s and father’s) that are extremely talented. My mother’s family, in my opinion, are really gifted in the area of cooking. Honey, they can COOK! They are also very career oriented with most lasting on their earlier jobs thru retirement….this really taught me stability. My father’s side is SUPER talented. There are so many artists in my father’s family that I cannot keep up with who does what but many are entrepreneur’s, they are cooks (oh yes, they can burn too), they are artists (singers, dancers, painters), they own cleaning companies, day care centers, do hair, all kinds of stuff…..so entrepreneurialism was embedded in me from both bloodlines and I’m ever so grateful for that. 

Screenshot_20180521-170543 Who are some of your influences in the business and in life?

My greatest influences are definitely my family and particularly, my mother who taught me independence, my father who taught me family values and my dear sweet Aunt Sug
(daddy’s little sister) who taught me strength and that I can do ANYTHING THAT I SET MY MIND TO DO!!!

What was the vision behind your brand?

I’ve always had my customers in mind. I have a lot of family members with eczema and I knew that the products on the ‘mainstream market’ were too expensive for many sufferers to purchase. I wanted to create something ALL NATURAL and attainable to ALL.

What material did you study to gain knowledge of your craft? 20180723_104417

I first began learning the process of making all natural laundry detergent. Believe it or not, I learned this on YouTube. This blossomed into my desire to make more natural
products hence creating, Soaplistic Scents.

What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome in the skin care industry?

The only hurdle I have had to overcome, as I choose not to call it a struggle, is to convince people that they don’t ‘HAVE’ to use commercial products exclusively. That they really
should do research on the ingredients that go into some of the commercial products and learn what’s best for their body instead of what they’ve been ‘told’ is best for their body. You’d be surprised at the insurmountable number of people that tell me that they can only use ‘this or that’ because the doctor said so and ‘this or that’ has chemicals that they probably know nothing about.

20180628_092323_001What are some of your highlighted achievements?

I would have to say that one of the biggest things for me is the number of customers that I have accomplished by word of mouth. Nothing like someone contacting you and saying, ‘so and so told me about your soap or your body butter and I really want to try it’. That’s invigorating! Another is, having a store owner contact you after you’ve given them a sample, randomly, not necessarily at their store and they contact you and say, “I have to have this product on my shelves, in my store.” That is an AWESOME feeling.

What are some unknown facts about Soaplistic Scents?

One unknown fact is that the idea of even making soap came after overhearing my niece talking to another family member about the struggles she faces with children with eczema. I actually only set out to find something for her that would work for her children’s delicate skin AND her purse. I stumbled upon a recipe to make my own laundry detergent by accident and thought I’d try it. I moved on to soap, from there. I found my niche’ and here we are today!

What is the current status of your Soaplistic Scents? 20180601_092013

We are still really in the beginning stages but we are consistently growing. Our social media exposure has grown TREMENDOUSLY in the past few months. WE still have a long way to go to achieve the heights we are looking to attain. 

Where do you see yourself taking Soaplistic Scents in the future?

Soaplistic Scents is ALWAYS working on the perfect recipe for Eczema/Psoriasis. We are striving to create a recipe that is recommended by physicians and pediatricians everywhere and hope to be able to make it affordable to ALL.

20180806_013447_001Any upcoming events or specials?

Absolutely! We will be at 2 different events in October; Rising Entrepreneurs Fall Expo on October 13th, 2018 from 3pm-8pm at 2101 Tula St NW in Atlanta. We will also be at the 3rd Annual Pamper and Shop For A Cure, also on October 13th, 2018 at the Newark Senior Center, in Newark, Delaware from 2pm – 6pm.

Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for our readers?

Absolutely, NEVER, EVER give up on your dreams. Don’t push your dreams to the back burner. If you thought it, it can be done, all you have to do is DO IT! And DON’T WAIT
until……whatever, do it NOW!!!!

Do you have any networking partners you want to shout out?

I want to give Atlanta Indie Market a shout out because though there are MANY outlets that give entrepreneur’s such as myself an opportunity for growth, my experience
was with them. They gave me the opportunity to show and share my skills with SOOOO MANY other artists and gifted entrepreneurs. It really opened my mind to the possibilities and helped me to seek even more opportunities. For that reason, I will always be grateful and push their mission to those that come after me. I also want to give a shout out to Laura-Lyn of De Ja Vous Antiques, in Austell, Ga for reaching out to me when I was unknown and asked me if I was interested in putting my soap in her store. That opened a lot of opportunities for me as well that she was unaware of. So SHOUT OUT TO BOTH OF
THEM!

 

If you would like more information on Soaplistic Scents follow the links below:

Website – www.Soaplisticscents.com

Email- soaplisticscents@gmail.com

Phone- 678-668-3612

Facebook- @soaplisticscents

Instagram- @soaplistic_scents

Twitter- @body_butta

 

 

 

Ballad “From me to you”

That alarm that keeps waking you up at the crack of dawn, yet you can’t find, yes it’s me. You are not going crazy but you are going in circles and I’m here to guide you. Why do you doubt my instructions? Ye of little faith, have I ever led you wrong? I have never said anything out-of-place or biased. I told you what not to say and you still said it, I told you what not to do and yet you still did it. I let you learn but when will you listen? When will you trust me? That thing you call intuition, the voice you call God, yes that’s me and yes I am you. You are me, yet you still questions my motives and trust others. When you fall I never say, “I told you so”, nope, that’s all you, but it’s all good. Life is a journey it’s about the experience. Until you learn to live in Harmony, you will stay on the same level re-learning the same lessons. Life is a gift, your presence radiates your energy, so stay positive, anguish is a mindset. You are divine light having a human experience, intentionally unbeknownst to you. Once you are in unison with your mind and body then we can be one. I live in the place where you dream and you live in mine. You are my thoughts manifested into this realm. Relax, trust me, love yourself and love others. Love is the only answer, love is your religion. Be a giver and you will never have to take another day in your life. You must learn to walk in peace before you can fly in light. It’s not about how to get over something, it’s about how to go through it and remain at peace. Don’t question your purpose and don’t give up on your day dreams. You were beautifully crafted by me, so don’t change who you are for the world, but change how you view the world. Everything and everyone is connected. Fear nothing, let the past go don’t let your ghost haunt you. Manifest your destiny and so it shall be. Conquer your ego, your addictions and your attachments, it is then you will come to rely on your inner chi. Don’t go out searching, yet go out exploring, store your memories for your higher purpose. Protect your energy and shed negative vibes to keep your temple sacred. Breathe and think before you react, matter of fact don’t react just understand. Vibe with your soul, listen to the frequencies and say less.

By: Keidra Ponder

This is a ballad from myself to myself. I encourage readers to have a heart to heart with themselves and share it with us. #BalladChallenge #Frommetoyouchallenge