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Steliana Oprea

If they can do it, we can do it too!

My first powerlifting challenge!

Hello again!!!

    Something really exciting happened in my life recently and I wanted to share it with you! So, when I started going to the gym my main goal was to build a better body, a body in which I would finally feel comfortable and more confident. My routine was mostly based  on a hypertrophy program although I liked gaining strength that came as a result and thus it was a benefit for me. But I mostly trained for the looks, so I would say that I was doing bodybuilding rather than powerlifting. For those than haven’t heard of powerlifting competitions let me explain what it is about in a few words. So there’s three main lifts that must be done with a proper form, following the judge’s commands. Those being 1.Squat, 2.Bench Press, 3.Deadlift. Each lift is one rep only. You get 3 tries per lift. The tries are not continuous, you have breaks between them. There are also 3 judges and 3 spotters. After you execute your lift, the judges raise a white or a red flag depending on whether you did the lift properly or not. In case you fail to execute the lift there’s three red flags as well. If there’s 2 red flags and one white the lift is not valid. That’s pretty much it.

    People always say that women are weak and that it’s not healthy for them to lift weights… Well, that is apparently a myth since a lot of women have proven them wrong! I had never really seen a woman lift a lot of kilograms since recently. I actually decided to participate in a powerlifting competition, the second Hellenic Powerlifting Challenge, since my partner was competing as well and he encouraged me to try it. I thought about it and I said “Why not?”. There’s nothing to lose and in the worst case one will just gain a new experience. My lifts are not that high but I was confident since last year the number of women competing was only 4 and they were all in different categories. That means that they all came first and won a gold medal! Of course their lifts were very good, for instance, a 48 kg woman lifted 95 kg at deadlifts. Impressive, right? I even found out that she is a mother!!! So, are women that weak after all? I think not!!!

    Anyway, the thing is that I’ve never been that anxious and stressed about anything in my life. It was the first time that I would compete in a sport, except of course for some volleyball matches when I was in school, but those don’t count because it was nothing official. I started feeling anxious 3 days before the competition and the bad thing is that I had to wake up really early both on Saturday (to go see my partner’s competition) and then on Sunday for mine. I had to be there at 8:30 a.m., so I had to wake up at 6:00! The thing is that I couldn’t sleep neither on Friday night nor on Saturday because of all the stress and the mixed feelings I had about it. On Saturday my partner came second among 4 people in his category. I’m so proud!!! As for me, I went on Sunday and I gave it my best. The stress had receded a lot and I met some great people there, like the 48 kg woman Danae Panagiotou, who came to compete again and made new personal records (she deadlifted 110 kg this year) , and other girls that competed for the first time, like me! There were even 2 teenager girls, the one 17 and the other one 18 years old that lifted a loooot (the one deadlifted 175 kg and squatted 150 kg and the other one 110 and 105 kg respectively). Not to mention another girl who deadlifted 182.5 kg and broke her PR as well!!! All women were impressive and great, both at the sport and as personalities, I take pride in knowing them and they changed my perspective of women’s capabilities! Each one of us was the only one in her category even if we were much more than last year, so we all won gold medals . Personally, competing in the junior (20-23 years old) category of -56 kg (I’m currenly 54) I made a new deadlift PR (80 kg, last one was 75 kg). My squat was 60 kg and my bench 37.5 kg. As I mentioned before, my lifts are intermediate and if I was to compete against all the other women I would have come last. What matters is that I challenged myself, I made a new personal record and I loved the whole thing!!! Great people, great organization, friendly environment, big dreams and new goals!

    All in all, I now changed my gym routine based on powerlifting. There’s an international and Hellenic powerlifting challenge on 21-22nd of May and I’d love to participate again and try to break my personal records! I was suggested to take advice from a simple book “5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximal Strength” by Jim Wendler. It’s an easy routine to follow and I hope that it will be effective as well. If anyone has tried it, please tell me what the results were.

    After all, strength feels much more satisfying that just looking good and I was never going to become a fitness model anyway. Showing off all the time with pictures of my body (especially in bikini) is not my thing.I also don’t approve all those supplements and pills that burn fat they have to take. Powerlifters sound better to me now.

Here are some pictures from the event:

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Curly-Afro hair with a pencil.

Since I have straight hair I’ve always wanted to have curls ( and those who have curls want straight hair, yeah, we all know that we are never satisfied with our hair ) . So, I’ve been looking on YouTube for a good tutorial that can give me the natural afro look without damaging my hair (or at least damage it less). Fortunately, I found what I was looking for and I wanted to share it with you people!!! Here goes the tutorial that I followed —-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwlpnAUX2ys

What I did differently is that, since I don’t have much volume, I brushed my hair when I finished the tutorial and the result was amazing!!! I also applied hair spray before and after brushing my hair.

Here are some pictures of the final result on my hair!

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Vintage nails.

First of all, I want to mention how inspiring Pinterest is for me! So, the other day I was looking for something classy and warm to do on my nails, but not too simple. Then I found this awesome design which is kinda summerish but with the change of the color I had the result that I wanted. Here is the original design from Pinterest and the steps to do it :

(Image on site)

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And here is the final result on my nails : 

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I used a small and very thin brush for the curves, a toothpick for the small dots and a pencil tip for the big dots. I don’t have a set of tools for nails so I improvise with what I have. I hope you like it and if anyone is going to try it I’d be happy to see the final result!

Holidays on Greek islands!

This summer I had the pleasure of visiting two different Greek islands, Lefkada and Halki. The first one is in an Ionian island and the latter is in the Aegean sea. Clearly, the two islands are completely different from each other because of the different seas in which they are located. Specifically, Lefkada is a quite big island full of green and the sea has a very light blue color with almost white sand on the beaches. On the other hand, Halki, being located in the southeast Aegean sea, is a quite arid island, having almost no green at all, and the sea has a more light green color, but it is mostly mixed( green, blue, dark blue) due to the black seaweed on the sea floor. The sand on the beaches is almost white as well. Some other differences now that are not related to the location of the islands are the number of tourists that visit them and the facilities that they can provide. For instance, Lefkada due to its size is populated by a lot more people than Halki (which has a population of 478 citizens) and thus a much larger variety of activities that one can do. Its city has a lot of bars and restaurants on its coast for entertainment as well as many shops. The prices are quite reasonable and the number of tourists in the summer is very large! As for Halki, I think that it is an island for people who want to relax and spend time with their loved ones (families or couples). You won’t find a lot of tourists so it’s a very quiet place with beautiful beaches and a small port that is almost the only inhabited spot on the island. You will find small but wonderful beaches with clear as diamonds waters through which you can see every little fish or rock at the bottom of the sea. There are a lot of rooms to rent for tourists at a good price and nice local restaurants by the sea where you can eat traditional Greek food or fresh seafood.

For anyone who is interested in going to Halki for holidays, you can ask questions or book rooms at this email: RossiadisJ@gmail.com

You can find more trip and travel ideas on http://tripandtravelblog.com/ 

 

Here are some pictures of Lefkada from my holidays there. I stayed only 3 days so I didn’t have the time to take more pictures unfortunately.

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And now some more pictures from Halki. I stayed there a whole week and I really loved it!

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kania

Some details about me for curious people like me.

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  • First Name: Steliana-Maria
  • Last name: Oprea
  • Born on: 2 February 1994
  • From: Sibiu, Romania
  • Lives in: Athens, Greece
  • Studies: Sociology
  • At: Panteion University of Athens, Greece
  • Height: 164 cm
  • Weight: 54 kg
  • Hair color: Brown
  • Eye color: Brown
  • Languages: Greek, Romanian, English
  • Currently learning: French
  • Hobbies: Painting, Drawing, Working out, Crafting, Cooking

If there’s anything else you would like to know, don’t hesitate to ask!

 

 

 

Summer nails !

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Alina Ceusan

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Palm trees summer nails

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Bella Falconi

Bella Falconi is a fitness model that I totally admire. She has graduated in Nutrition Science Cert and she is the owner at VFlex Nutrition® (Vitaflex Group). In addition, she is now a certified personal trainer and a mother to be.

Stats:

Age: 28

Height: 5’2” – 158 cm

Weight: 115 lbs. – 52 kg

The special thing about her is that she changed her life dramatically from a junk food lover with low self-esteem to a healthy and strong woman. She even believed that diets were for crazy people, or at least that’s what she said in an interview for simplyshredded.com. She also thought that working out is too tiring for her and that she could not commit to such a lifestyle. I think that this statement rings a bell with many of us. However, she changed that…she decided that she wants to build her dream body and be finally healthy, good-looking, and confident. And she succeeded! Now, she loves herself like never before and just like she said to simplyshredded.com : ” I realized that self-esteem and self-love have opened many doors in my life, professionally and personally. I turned into a stronger human being and found peace within.” So, I think that the lesson she gives us all is that with a healthy body comes a healthy mind and, if you want these two, it’s only up to you to gain them.

Her current training philosophy is same as mine: “I am always focused on hypertrophy. Slow moves, less reps and more weight. Concentrated movements and a couple of supersets. I always like to vary the grip and angles, from week to week.”

I think that hypertrophy is the best for girls because you gain muscles and strength at the same time and it has the best results on aesthetics.

Last but not least, she is going to be a mommy soon!!!! Of course this fact didn’t make her stop working out and that is the best choice for her. Working out while pregnant has been proven to be extremely beneficial for women. Clearly, she does not lift much weight now and she follows her doctor’s advice for her baby’s health. It is quite admirable though that she didn’t give up her healthy and active lifestyle. She specifically said “I can’t afford to be in a comfort zone. I am always seeking improvements and I know there’s always something to learn, to add, and to improve.”. I think that this is the kind of mother I would like to become one day!

All in all, I admire her body and her way of thinking as well. She is trying to motivate others all the time and the way she treats herself shows a great self-respect, thus respect for others. Recently, she posted a picture of her before the pregnancy and now with the round belly and she wrote as a description something that moved me:

“Now and then. The beauty of living and embracing two completely different stages of life. The art of seeing beauty in two completely different bodies, two completely different approaches in life. The beauty of embracing yourself however you look like because that’s still you in the mirror.”

Here are some pictures of her…

 

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And some pictures of her while pregnant:

 

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