From One Winner to a Future Winner... -
Written by Mandy Froude, 2019 Hot & Fit Winner

Being Inside Fitness’s Hot & Fit 100 winner has been extreme. That is the only word that comes to mind to describes how I feel; I feel extremely honoured, extremely proud, extremely accomplished, and it feels extremely surreal to me still.

The experience of being this past years Hot & Fit 100 winner has been a blast to say the least. I got the pleasure of teaming up with Bodylogix, as well as with so many other phenomenal companies and brands.

Alongside company connections, I have met a great number of people who I have developed connections and long-lasting friendships and relationships. I feel like I have a new family away from my home. For example, Terry Frendo, himself, has made me feel like family.

As so many know, family and friends are extremely important to me because friends and family are the people who help support, motivate and inspire you when you’re having trouble doing it for yourself. I am so very grateful for the people I have in my corner that push me to be the best that I can be and achieve any goal, no matter how big or small.

One of my goals for 2020 was to travel more and make it to the Arnolds Sports Festival, as I have never been. I wanted to go to watch the show and experience the expo. Throughout this part of my fitness journey I was lucky to have met two amazing make-up artists, Cherry Villanos and Monica Kalra who asked me to go with them as their make-up assist. I was over the moon to be invited to tag along for this adventure and lend a helping hand.

Unfortunately, a day before we departed for this trip, the Arnolds Sports Festival got canceled due to COVID-19. Thankfully, I still had the opportunity to go with them for the weekend, and I am so glad that I did; it is extremely important to surround yourself with likeminded people. Seeing and watching other competitors and elite athletes achieve their own goals fuels my own fire to succeed and work harder like nothing else.

To society, people with amazing physiques and exceptional fitness athletes just eat clean and workout, but it is so much more than just that. It is the winner mindset, the mindset of “can’t and won’t" is not in our vocabulary. The mindset is “I can and I will”, you will work and fight to achieve a goal, as if you were fighting for your life. As Eric Thomas said in his best motivational speech “When you say you don’t have time, you make time, you prioritize.”.

The reality of my life since I have won such an honourable title, outside of meeting amazing people and companies, is that we all entered a global pandemic. I think it’s important for me to share my experience in quarantine as it might help your mindset and motivate you.

With gyms being closed, I had to be innovative with my workouts in order to stay active while being home as I had minimal equipment. I was working out with bags full of books until I got my hands on resistance bands, and even still, there was only so much I could do with bands.

I’d be lying if I said it was fun all the time, I whipped myself a few times – you got to do what you got to do to get that workout in! For cardio, I was mostly running up and down stairs in my condo building, skipping jump rope and biking. As the weather warmed up, I picked up a new physical activity I now love, rollerblading.

When I wasn’t trying to figure out a new training routine, I was trying to educate myself by doing an ISSA (international sports science association) nutrition course online. Trying to keep my mind busy while my body wasn’t was pivotal in keeping myself occupied and motivated with a goal.

As the quarantine was coming to an end, I returned to work as a server in a restaurant. I also landed a position at a Labour and Employment firm as a legal assistant. This allows me to put my Bachelors of Arts Degree in Police Studies and Criminology to good use, while I still grow and learn in a legal environment; my goal is to still one day become a police officer. I balance two jobs, while making time to work out every day, trying to excel and succeed in every way possible. To be the best version of myself I can be.

One thing I have learnt since I won the title of Inside Fitness’s Hot & Fit 100 winner is that anything is possible if you set the goal, take the action and work towards making it a reality. My long-term goal is to work on my own brand and become an online trainer, while one day working towards becoming a police officer. I also still eat clean, follow nutrition protocols and strategic training programs as I am still working towards being an IFBB profession bikini competitor.

I want to leave readers with this: you will never know what you can achieve until you try, and you never know who you will meet along the way. With the proper mindset and dedication, anything is possible. You just have to work hard for it and do not let anything stop you or get in your way.

To the future winner of Hot & Fit 100 and all the other girls who are looking to win, keep going! This is an unreal experience; absorb all the opportunities and chances you get. Never take a moment for granted, appreciate anything and everything. Know that your hard work, will-power and dedication has gotten you here and even if you don’t believe it, you deserve it.

You ladies will be picked to be a part of the Hot & Fit 100 not just by your looks and appearance, but your personality and work ethic. So, once again, keep working, and you'll make it.

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