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Roanoke Times Article

S2 E7 Mariana Belief Power and Beauty


Mariana Fernandes is a born and raised New Jersey girl, but this IFBB Pro athlete has tropical Brazilian blood running through her veins. Ever since Mariana was very young she has always been very active and attracted to this kind of lifestyle. At the age of 8, she became a part of a local dance company and pursued ballet, modern, jazz for the following 10 years of her life. However, when she got to Rutgers University she put her dancing aside and began focusing on her studies where she earned her degree in Psychology and a double minor in Public Health and Women & Gender Studies.

Nevertheless, in order to stay fit, she joined a local gym and began exploring different ways of staying in shape. At first, as any typical rookie to the gym, Mariana was completely intimated by the endless sea of equipment, which caused her to only stick to her comfort zone of treadmills and ellipticals. But with time she began exploring weight training and preparing for 5k races and obstacle challenges. When she began to realize how she was able to shape and mold her body to her liking she wanted to push herself even further. This was when she reached out to Bombshell Fitness and began preparing for her first NPC show. 

February 2014 marked that date she first began to seriously prepare for her first NPC Show. From the moment she stepped on stage she knew she had found her calling and completely fell in love with the sport. Mariana pushed herself not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well making her grow in ways she had never expected. Her first show was in April 2014 and by her 5th show on July 2014 she was on the NPC National stage and earned her IFBB Pro Card as well as taking the title of Overall Bikini Champion.

Mariana is determined to continuously push her limits to see how far she can go. Her heart is all about fitness, having fun, and being adventurous. She loves to be able to inspire others and the biggest compliment she can receive is when someone tells her that she was the one that caused them to change their lives for the better.


Mariana’s Facebook

Instagram: mariana.fernandes0507

E41 How to Master Weight Loss

One thing that is so absolutely amazing about becoming a fitness freak, geek, or athlete is mastering weight loss and weight gain.

Yes, mastering these things are possible. A while there may not be one single diet or routine that fits everyone in every state of life (ie, simple fix,) There are some steps to follow to gain control.

Step 1: Acknowledge where you are currently.

  • This includes weight, height, percent body fat
    • A pound of body fat take up more volume than a pound of muscle. So you can weight more a look better if you focus more on fat loss and weight gain than wight loss and fat gain. 

Step 2: Separate blame from character and apply it to food and exercise facts.

  • You are not to blame, however your food might be.
  • You are not to blame your current workout routine is.

Step 3: Take stock of what does not work first then what does work.

  • Because most people focus on weight loss they often waste time on the search for what works and not was currently is not working.
    • If the current foods or routine is not working for you find out which foods and routines are to blame and remove them.
  • If it doesn’t help you loss body fat is it helping you gain weight.
    • It as much about body fat loss as it is about gaining weight.
    • If you can find what helps you gain weight then you know what to remove to lose weight.   

Step 4: Try something new just for fun.

  • While this might not be your first choice of diets or exercises routines give something new a try. You can learn just a much from what does work as from what doesn’t work. Just keep learning and a don’t be timid to find out why it does or more likely doesn’t work.
Step 5: Finish the program.
  • Don’t start a program you really don’t intend to finish 
  • Finish the program even if you suck at it.
    • What you can learn by completing the program will count for more when you have completed the program.
    • Even if you suck at it; the confidence gained from completion will serve you more at weight mastery than moving on to something which may or may not be a more effective mastery tool.

Episode 15: JaVonte’ Ashford Diamond Cut Muscle



JaVonte’ is currently a college administrator, coach and natural bodybuilder competitor that has figured out how to balance achieving his own personal goals along with helping others achieve theirs. His ability to work over 50 hours a week and still stay dedicated to his physique has caught the attention of and inspired many. He recently signed to Diamond Cut Supplements as an athlete where he will help market and promote their brand.

Instagram: natural_jla