Today’s QA post features a veteran of the stage and fitness world. Hilary Hagner from Houston Texas was gracious to answer a few questions I had regarding her career, her workout regimen, tips and tricks to get the body she wanted. If you have any questions for her please comment below. Here we go!
What made you decide that you wanted to be involved in the fitness industry?
I struggled with my weight as a kid. I got made fun of in elementary and junior high so much that I developed the nickname “Jumanji” (in reference the to the over-sized animals in the movie). The frustration with my weight led me to an eating disorder in high school and college. As a cheerleader for the University of Houston, I could no longer keep up with the training demands. My mind and body simply could not keep up. So, I went to see a Nutritionist. She taught me how to FUEL my body rather than just FEED it. I started training harder and got the body I always dreamed about. It led me to want to help others reach their full potential as well.
How long did it take for you to achieve your current physique?
YEARS! It took a long time for me to correct the bad habits that I had developed with food over the years. Back in 2001, I discovered Monica Brant in an Oxygen Magazine. I knew RIGHT THEN AND THERE that I wanted more muscle and to compete in Figure. It took until 2009 (after having two kids) to finally step on stage and compete in Bikini. I got 2nd place at my first show!! That gave me the confidence I needed to continue to shoot for my ultimate goal which was the Figure category. Just last year I stepped on the Figure stage for the first time and got 2nd place again! It has taken 10 years to get the physique of my dreams but it was worth the wait.
What is your most gratifying aspect of being in the fitness industry?
I can remember how great it felt when I was first taught how to lift weights and how to eat properly. I was liberated. I felt like for the first time that had control over my life and my future. To see people learn and be inspired to make themselves better for their families, work and etc is just one of the ways I feel so fortunate to do what I do.
What is your favorite feature?
Legs. I was blessed genetically with lean, cut legs. Now if only my upper-body would step it up!
Briefly take us through a typical day in your life. A few sentences is all I need.
Wake-up at 5am. Shower, Get Dressed and Make-up. I eat Breakfast and read my Daily Devotional by 6am. Drop my kids off at school at 7am. Work 8am-5pm. I train anywhere between 6-8 clients a day. I workout with weights for 1 hours and do 45-60min of cardio (all within my work hours). I get home by 6pm which right when my kids are dropped off at home and I prepare dinner. I strive to ALWAYS sit down at the table with the kids for dinner so we can chat and enjoy each other. Then its book and bedtime by 8:30pm.
What foods should I really focus on if my goal is fat loss?
I like that this question is asked what you should I “focus on” and not “get rid of”. The keys is balance, portion control, and moderation. Most people make the mistake of thinking that they have to get rid of all the things they love when really you can keep all those things but research how to eat them “cleaner” or eat them at the right times and of course measure out the right portion. When I’m not getting ready for a photo shoot or competition I have 1 cheat meal a week. Rather than going nuts at a local burger joint, I pull out my CLEAN EATING MAGAZINE and find 1 delicious meal that my family will love and a dessert that is rich and mouth-watering. I head to the grocery store and sometimes get help from the kids. They also enjoy cooking with me. They really enjoy it and I found that its a great way to get your “picky-eaters” to venture out a bit. LAST THING, because I allow a cheat meal once on the weekend, I eat EXCEPTIONALLY good during the week. No slip-ups!
In your opinion what are your top 5 fat loss tips that you recommend?
- Balance. You’ve got to balance Clean Eating, Cardiovascular, and Weight-Bearing Activity.
- Fuel your body every 3 hours. Its the only way to keep you metabolism revved.
- Drink lots of water. Keep your system cleansed.
- No carbs in your last meal. Big rule for me to staying lean.
- Stay away from the processed foods. Aka Anything in a box!
In your opinion what are your top 5 fitness tips that you recommend?
- Consult with a fitness expert before trying anything new. You want to make sure that you have proper form so you don’t injure yourself.
- Know your goal. If you want to add muscle to your physique then keep your cardio exercise low (15-30min). If your goal is fat loss then you may require 45-60min of cardio.
- Mix it up. There are plenty of Books and Magazines with a ton of information on exercises to target specific body areas. As long as they are for your fitness level, give them a shot and see if you want to add them to your routine.
- Listen to your body. If your are getting major “red flags” take a step back and think about WHY you are not feeling great about the exercise.
- PLEASE don’t think that you can’t get the body of your dreams just cause you don’t do Crossfit, Boot camp or any other intensive training program. Right where you are with the body you have, and the abilities you’ve been given YOU can reach your goals by finding the workout program that is tailored to you. MY promise!
Many women are afraid of weights as they believe it will make them ‘bulky’ Please set the record straight!
Ha! I love this one. I always find it so funny how women will carry a 50lbs purse and/or baby bag yet they want to workout with 3-5lb dumbbells. It is extremely difficult for women to gain muscle because we don’t naturally produce enough testosterone in our bodies. I love how weight training has helped sculpt my female clients arms over the years. I focus on shoulders, back and BUNS to give them the perfect symmetrical look…aka…makes their waist look smaller!
What did you do to stay motivated and not slip up, dealing with cravings, sweets, etc..? If you did slip up how did you manage to bounce back and continue on your journey?
During my contest prep, I like to think that I have a light twitch. Once I am in contest prep mode I just turn off all the cravings and thoughts of slacking off. Obviously thoughts pop in my head but I just remind myself of my switch. Prayer also helps A LOT. I read a Daily Devotional every morning and I ask for God to keep my heart and mind fixed on Him so Im not focused on the things of this world. In addition to that, I know that when I’m competing that I have a lot of people that look up to me. I like to take myself through such an extreme that they will say to themselves, “if she can do THAT, I can definitely commit to going to the gym 4-days a week”. Or something along those lines.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to have published 2 books (working on them right now). I hope to have made it on a least one Fitness Magazine Cover. Be an NPC Professional Figure Competitor. Hopefully in 5 years I will be on the Arnold and Olympia stage.
Any shout-outs you’d like to give? And where can we find you on the internet?
www.HilaryHagner.com is my site and I would like to say thank you to Adam Dunin for giving me to opportunity to hopefully inspire a few more people to get MOVIN’ and EAT CLEANER!!! I’m very honored to be asked to do the interview!