This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Daniela Bečková.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Daniela Bečková, I am 28, married and I have a 5-year-old daughter. I work as a fitness trainer and I am a professional contestant in the bikinI fitness category. Besides my family, I love my work; I especially enjoy helping women who, in my opinion, have nowadays a difficult position in our world because there are really great demands made on them concerning their appearance, career and family.
I took up fitness when I was working as a fashion model. Due to permanent starvation I developed a great yo-yo effect. However, I really needed to lose weight because of my work so I was able to work again. This time I wanted to lose weight in a healthy way, so I found a trainer – my future husband. He put me in the fitness world and I fell head over heels in this life style.
And because fitness has become my great life passion, I decided to help other people and while being on maternity leave I started working as a trainer as well as getting ready for my first competition. I have been training and competing up to now. In September 2016 I made it into PRO division BikinI Fitness.
Where does your motivation come from?
I am motivated by each step forward. I enjoy looking forward to any challenge, every training which makes my performance better and better. I enjoy the hard work. As a trainer I am also happy when I see that there is a sense in my work, that my work helps and motivates other people to better performances.
When I look back, to my beginning with fitness and when I see what a long way we have made with my team, it is incredible. However my daughter is my greatest motivation – I want her to see that if a person works hard on their body and mind, if they manage to get over a failure with ease, then they can make great things. I want to be strong for her, I want her to see the value of work and want her to know that the things we do today will be reflected in our tomorrows.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion – what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
There were many stumbling blocks, failures and disappointments along the way. But I can say that these obstacles motivate me and push me ahead. I cannot imagine that I would give up anything; I would not be able to live with myself. In my opinion a person, not only in fitness but also in their whole life, should fight as long as they have at least some strength.
Personally, I can say that I did not have problems following a strict diet or working out hard, actually the opposite is true. The most difficult thing for me was to overcome some of the relations within our sport. Fortunately, I was surrounded by the right people and I held them close. Loyalty is really important to me and I am so glad that I am surrounded by people whom I can trust, namely my husband Zdenek Beck as well as my trainer Vladimír Pajič. I am really grateful to both.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
I think that self-care should certainly not be exaggerated and anxious. Each of us should realize that life is not just about appearance, and our success and happiness do not reflect it, so keep everything in moderation.
On the other hand, our self-care reflects our respect for ourselves. If we did not appreciate ourselves why should others appreciate us? I also disagree with the trend of our times when a certain type of appearance is presented and who we are and what position we deserve is judged according to this type. Everybody should feel well. Especially women are very influenced by what is presented to them on social networking sites and in mass media in general.
However, this does not always reflect the truth and does not guarantee happiness. I do not really like this and I would like to change this opinion at least a little bit and show women the other side of fitness.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
Women worry that if they do strength training, they will look like men and they will gain a large amount of muscle. Therefore some of them avoid strength training on purpose and spend hours and hours doing cardio workouts.
They often tell me that they want to strengthen their bodies but they do not want to gain muscle mass. However they cannot be firm without muscles. Women do not have a disposition to gain excess muscle mass and to build a firm female body with feminine curves is not a question of training one month, it is really hard work, requiring discipline and a lot of workouts, mainly strength workouts.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behaviour.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
On one hand this is a reflection of our times and this attitude is based on what is presented to women as ideal, on the other hand it is their ignorance and fear of food. Losing weight is not about starvation, actually the opposite is true, it is about having sufficient amount of good nutrients divided during the day and about sufficient physical activity.
There is not much science in it as a lot of women would think. Every day I meet women who suffer from a deficiency of proteins, quality carbohydrates and good fats and on the other hand their diet is rich in fast-acting sugars and large amount of bad fats. It is sad, because many of them are stuck between starvations and overeating, and yet losing weight and maintaining a beautiful figure without starvation could actually be rather easy and comfortable.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
During my entire career I have realised, and it took me quite a long time, that there is too much of a good thing and also that going into extreme does not do any good. In my opinion we should find a balance in every aspect of life.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
Frankly, this is a thing I keep fighting with. I am a little bit against myself and my extremist personality. Sometimes I do well but there are also weeks when I am not able to balance family, household, work and fitness and then I get the feeling that it is too much. However, the most important thing is to never give up.
How do you stay productive?
I’m a bit of a workaholic and I cannot stop working. And even though I am sometimes really tired, I cannot go without work. It fills me up so much, that it is hard for me to wind down.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Slow down; think a lot, and then act. I am a very impulsive person and due to this personality trait I have made a lot of unnecessary mistakes.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
At the moment it has been a month since I underwent surgery and I am slowly getting into a regimen. I try to get complex carbohydrates in the form from rice, buckwheat and potatoes, proteins from meat, fish and eggs, and fats from avocados and nuts.
Currently, my training consists of easy circuit training where I always exercise the entire body and I work out 3 times a week. Supplements which I use at the moment are probiotics, multivitamin and multimineral. However, when I workout full time I always use the essential amino acids and glutamine.
What are your biggest life goals for the year?
At the beginning of my sport career my goals were winning medals – I considered them to be signs of success, however on my way towards my professional division I have learnt that success in sport and life satisfaction are not the same. My goals for 2017 are to be able to stand on stage in a nice form next to the great contestants and be proud of myself and our team.
And what is most important to me professionally? To help women to look and feel beautiful so they can be satisfied with their body, to help them stop comparing themselves with fitness models and stop trying to fit today´s ideal of beauty.
I would be really pleased if I saw them working hard on themselves. I would like them to be disciplined but realistic, able to accept their limitations and take pleasures in every step forward.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?