SPOTLIGHT SERIES- TANIA ATKIN | Status Fitness Magazine Official Website

SPOTLIGHT SERIES- TANIA ATKIN

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One of the reason I love my job is the fact that not only I get to work with inspiring, and dedicated people, but also witnessing and being part of preserving their fitness journey, and accomplishment along the way. Two years ago I met Tania competing at The WBFF Worlds Toronto, a year later I met her again at Fitness Atlantic. I was so happy to see her become a WBFF pro on that stage. It’s hard to explain, but feeling joy for the accomplishment of someone you don’t know is incredible. ~Ali Sohrab  

 

FITNESS MODEL: TANIA ATKIN 

 

BIO: I am French Canadian, an only child, married to the love of my life, Nathan Atkin, WBFF PRO, and I have two amazing boys, living in Oakville, Ontario. I have been in the fitness industry for 26 years. I am a Sports Specific Training Certified Coach, Certified Club Management Specialist, Program Director Specialist, Personal Trainer Specialist, Group Fitness Specialist, Pilates Expert, Ballet Barre, Certified Spin 

Coach: Reebok, Keiser, Schwinn, Certified Reebok Ripped Coach, Certified Kinesis Coach, along with several other specialty certifications in different fitness areas. I have a steady stream of personal training clients, I teach group classes and participate in clinics, freelance write, consult for fitness facilities and practice empowerment coaching for women. 

My work with empowerment coaching and fitness is very much focused on women who are ready and want to make a change in their health and physique, not just your generic personal training. We work on switching mindset and perspective, identifying obstacles, choosing the right path through knowledge, nutrition, life balance; I give direction, and make them accountable for their progress and success. Managing work, family, and competing can be tricky! What I have learned over the years, is that burning your flame at both ends, being overworked, overtrained and feeling resentful towards your schedule does no one any good; in fact, it has terrible physiological and emotional effects; therefore, I prioritize balance in my life. I truly believe that you must take care of yourself first in order to be a productive woman, mother and wife. 

 

I truly believe that you must take care of yourself first in order to be a productive woman, mother and wife. 

My clinical background is in psychology, which stems from practicing (CBT) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in intense clinical setting, working in very specialized clinical areas such as; Gender Disorder, Anxiety, Mood, Parenting, Suicide Prevention, Motor Vehicle Rehabilitation and Chronic Management. With such diverse experience, I can incorporate my clinical experience into my fitness practice as well as with outreach clients (in-home) to help my clients achieve optimum health, managing their fitness, nutrition/ supplementation, positive parenting, managing life stressors, and empowering them to achieve greatness. Currently, however, my husband Nathan Atkin WBFF Pro, and I have launched “Atkin Athletic” @atkinathletic. We are in the process of building and growing a brand exclusively online. Here we will offer male and female online coaching around the globe, along with several other helping services and products. We want to be global influencers for real people who want growth and change in their lives, driven by our extensive experience, knowledge and uniqueness, and with the use of physical movement.  We are building a helping business, for people to find their INNER ATHLETE IN LIFE. 

 

We are building a helping business, for people to find their INNER ATHLETE IN LIFE. 

 

 

  With my genuine fascination with the human body and the human mind, I use the knowledge and the experience that I have acquired over the last 26 years about fitness, health, anatomy and the brain and I design each class or training session to suit the needs of my participant(s), both emotionally and physically. It brings me joy to educate people on their personal boundaries, their fitness levels, nutrition, their goals, and their social and psychological attributes that contribute to CHANGE and EMPOWERMENT. If I’m not helping others in need or working out, I’m with my two amazing sons and my beautiful husband. I always train like an athlete, striving for constant progression, aesthetics, functional strength and mobility. Maintaining a feminine physique, with beautiful symmetry is always my priority. 

A large part of my fitness journey is rooted in my passion for teaching large group classes. There is something magical about motivating large groups of individuals, absorbing each other‘s energy and moving to the music in sync. I get so much pleasure from seeing people who at a first feel defeated at the back of the class slowly, week by week, progressing physically and emotionally and watch their self-esteem sore as they move to the front of the room and train by my side. My experience in the fitness industry is vast, all the way from teaching and training all through the GTA, teaching in our school boards, corporately for places such as; McDonalds and IBM, to being a program director for facilities such as; the University of Toronto Athletic Centre and training professionals athletes. All in all, fitness has always been my stability in life. It has been a source of income, pleasure and passion. Fitness has been therapy in my life. I knew that no matter what stressors were in my life at the time, I could always put on my running shoes and go train and in the end feel so much better and be able to think clearly. I have competed in women’s fitness earning several first place rankings and earning Ms.Fitness Canada 2000.  

Once I had my first born, I was back prepping for some fitness product infomercials, (an abdominal machine to be exact) and again I got the itch to go back to competing. But this time I didn’t want to compete in women’s fitness, I wanted to gain harder, so  I became a Brooks and Golds Gym sponsored Adventure Racing Athlete. Adventure racing meant being on a team of four people, racing anywhere from 4 to 36 hours, off road, navigating the terrain of Canada. The main sports included; off-road running, mountain biking, kayaking and repelling. I raced and competed for another four years, until I became very injured and Overtrained. In 2014, with the love and support of my husband and two boys, I decided to make a comeback to the stage and come out of retirement, hired a coach for accountability and work on my fitness career for good. And so here I am now, healthy, happy, wiser and a WBBF PRO Fitness Atlantic 2017, WBFF Worlds 2016, Third Place Fitness Diva +35. See you at the top! 

Some Fun Special Skills: Specialist in Pilates, Ballet Barre, Athletic Conditioning, Functional Training, Plyometrics, TRX trained, BOSU trained, Mudder Bootcamp, Tabata, HIIT, Bender Ball Method, Bender Ball Bootcamp, Reebok University, REP Barbell Group, Reebok Step, NHL Official and Player Off -Season Training, Functional Exercise Design, Resist-a-ball training, Core Functional Training with stability equipment, Med-ball Skills and Drills, Med-ball Cardio Class Design, Ball Powered Yoga, Trained in Yoga Flows, Fusion type classes, Double Step 

Training : Due to the fact that I have two children, work and administer a household, I do nothave the luxury of training multiple times during the day; therefore, I have to maximize my time each morning. I get up at 5:00 am daily, and set my intentions for the day, meditate, prep any food that is required, get any kids school stuff ready, have my pre-workout, gut shot, coffee, and breakfast, then train. My training is dependant on the phase I’m in; hypertrophy, volume, de-loading, prepping, vacation time, etc. When programming, I prioritize creativity, intensity, unilateral work and lagging body parts like; shoulders, glutes/hamstrings, vmo, back/posture, abdominals. Also, I do not limit myself to one particular type of training, I use several advanced bodybuilding training principals such as; giant sets, drop sets, metabolic sets, supersets, HITT, metabolic clusters, wave loads, plyometrics, intra set stretch, paused reps, hot yoga, pilates, ballet barre and outdoor training. As for cardio, I try to do the least amount of cardio that I can. My theory is to use nutrition as oppose to excessive amounts of cardio to shred body fat. I am fortunate that to lean out I do not require a ton of cardio to get stage ready. Generally, I use HIIT, plyometrics (15 mins fasted in the morning) or (12 mins) at the end of a workout, or plyometrics between each set to minimize rest time, put calories to work and to keep my heart rate elevated. My favourite types of cardio are; battle rope combinations, sled push/pull, banded stairs routines, dead mill sprints, box jumps, and burpees of any kind! 

See you at the top!

 

WBFF Prep Coach: Nathan Harewood of Domin8 @domin8 

WBFF Posing Coach: Audrey Kaipio, ``The Champion Maker`` 

Nutrition: I follow a macro-based eating scheme (Flexible Eating/ IIFYM), based on my goals. My macronutrients change according to my training schedule, for example, if I’m prepping versus trying to gain muscle or leaning out for a photoshoot. I use My Macro App to track all my nutrition. I have always incorporated holistic/integrative nutritional principals when planning meals, fuelling my body for what it needs to do or how it feels. My primary nutritional focus is on mitochondrial health and hormonal health. 

Supplements: As for supplementation all my preps and yearly regimes are fuelled by Hard Magnum, Progressive, Schinoussa, and ATP Labs. Some of my favourite products are: Opus, E-Brake, Volume, Drip Dry, Heat, Carne Diem, Acid/ CLA, Tonic, Synermag, ATP Zinc. My regime also consists of daily gut health, in the morning. I have designed my own gut recipe to meet my athletic and mitochondrial needs. 

 

What lead you to the WBFF Worlds Toronto 2016: I had come out of retirement and I had begun competing with a different association. In June of 2016, despite my incredible physique, I was not happy with my placements and or experience with another assocaition. So in discussion with my coach at the time, she and I agreed that my style and physique was very refined and more suited for the WBFF stage. At that point, I decided to do a quick, last minute 7 week prep and register to compete at the WBFF WORLDS 2016 in Toronto, placing 3rd in Fitness Diva +35. 

How was your experience on the WBFF stage? My experiences have been incredible, everything from the venues to the staff who organized and run the WBFF shows. The most notable things about the WBFF is being surrounded by the best athletes in the fitness world and feeling like you belong on the same stage. The competition is intense, but the energy is glorious. Paul and Allison Dillet have set the bar very high in the fitness industry and laid the groundwork for fair competition in each show, professionalism and camaraderie within the WBFF family. The thing that stands out the most to me with the WBFF shows, is that the competitors who wins, actually deserve to win. There is no favouritism or politics.  

 

The WBFF is simply “the best of the best” and I feel privileged to be a part of the WBFF family.  

 

What do your parents mean to you and what did they teach you: My parents are everything to me. They have taught me to overcome obstacles with perseverance, strength and resiliency. They have taught me to be independent, resourceful empathetic and patient. I have overcome more then my share of adversity, so for people who know me well, they know I’m not easily rattled. 

What separates Status from other fitness magazines: Status Magazine sets its standards higher than the other magazines. Status pays particular attention to details in their articles, which are always scientifically supported. Status provides readers with valuable and current information on trending fitness, health and wellness events. Status is not littered with advertisements, which is refreshing. Status prides itself in providing readers with inspirational transformations storied which is highly valued by people looking for a support system and reason to change. 

What would it mean to you to become a “Status Symbol” Becoming a Status Symbol would be a sincere privilege and I would value it with all my professionalism and charisma. It would just mean that all my tenacity and determination has paid off and now maybe I can mentor other women, especially those 35+ into becoming the best version of themselves. 

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be? My question to Mr. Rodney would be; why are you interested in featuring me in your magazine? There are hundreds of thousands of beautiful women, why me? What do I provide the industry with? 

What was it like working with your photographer Ali Sohrab for you shoot for Status publication? I met Ali, at the WBFF WORLDS TORONTO 2016. When we worked together at Fitness Atlantic he was so professional, patient, creative and works diligently to create my best looks. 

6 things people would not know about me: 

1.I was going to school to be a Forensic Pathologist, and I have Minor in Forensics from the University of Toronto. 

2.I am Buddhist and I study Japanese Buddhism 

3.I have my Captains boating license 

4.I have a son who is Dyslexic and so on top of my regular chores, training and work, I facilitate a specialized Dyslexia program to my son daily 

5.I lived in Mexico and participated in Archaeological projects when I was there 

6.I am PhD Candidate. I finished my PhD courses, but have never written my thesis 

Who do you wish to inspire? I am not here to inspire only one person or one reader. My aspiration is to showcase a real educated, fit, and balanced woman. It is my goal to inspire through my courage, strength and determination. It is to show others not to settle for “average” or “what’s supposed to be.” It is to be different and to challenge what is expected from others, it is to surprise people and go the extra mile to be extraordinary. Truthfully, I want to inspire the women right now sitting there thinking that they are not worthy enough. 

Who inspires you? My husband inspires me. Why? Because he pushes me to those really uncomfortable places, so change happens. He is there face of determination and getting things done. We are such strong team. He is loving and supportive no matter the circumstance, and his positivity is unbreakable. 

I want so badly to inspire the women who are battling with the negative self talk about what they can and cannot do. I want to inspire women to treat themselves with compassion and empower them through movement. 

My transformation story: I was your classic over achiever in all areas of my life, working to achieve perfection and maintaining a personality type A, cursed by excessive life stressors, children, and demanding work. After becoming successful in women’s fitness earlier in my life, my fitness career came to an abrupt halt after several years of competing. I fell very ill and I started experiencing some very unusual neurological, neuropathic (idiopathic neurology) / physical symptoms in my head, eye, neck, and face. My immunity was comprised in many ways and my body was in destruction mode due to stress, and I couldn’t get well. I was on a continuum of pneumonia ,viral infections and pain. After a preliminary MRI, I had a very well-known sports doctor (whose name I rather not mention) tell me, very unprofessionally and beyond his scope of practice, that I would never be able to train or compete again because I had multiple sclerosis (MS). He told me that I would have to stop working all together, take out all forms of life stressors, both physical and emotional, and succumb to yoga, walking and “mediating like a monk!” Well...as you can image, I was devastated. I felt defeated and helpless because all I knew was health and fitness, working out, competing and living on adrenaline.  

The thoughts of living in a wheel chair and then leaving my boys behind was killing me. I spent countless hours crying and researching possible cure and naturopathic remedies and using every academic skill possible to find an explanation or solution. Despite the devastation that my body and mind was deteriorating rapidly because I supposedly had MS, I was not convinced or satisfied with the doctor’s unsupported theory about my health and future. He had no proof I had MS, no referrals to specialist, and no second opinions, nothing. Also, I have always been in tune with my physicality, and I did not feel as though I was clinically significant for MS. There was no way I was settling with an MS diagnosis! In my heart, I knew I did not have MS. I have been so in sync with my body and injuries all my life that I knew it had to be something else. I had been through a terrible amount of stress prior to this pseudo-diagnosis and I was certain it was not MS. So, I became my own medical advocate and began to navigate the complexities of our medical system with the help of my mother...So many phone calls, waiting on tests, waiting on answers, getting to see Neurologist, Immunologist, Autoimmune Specialist, Ophthalmologist, getting MRI’s, blood tests, scans and any other test that was available to me. I changed my lifestyle dramatically, went on an MS protocol, stopped training, sought out every alternative medical treatment I could for my pain and symptomology. 

 

Finally, after years of persistence, patience, hope and determination, I defied the odds and our medical system and I was able to get a very specialized test from McMaster University, Hamilton Hospital called the Evoke Potential Test. The EPT test confirmed I did not have MS. I still do suffer from severe nerve issues in my neck and symptomology at times. I truly believe in the process of life and that everything happens for a reason.The universe doesn’t throw things your way that you cant handle. Looking back, I have always been extremely driven to perfection in all areas of my life, which, lead to a lot of successes, yet, it lead to years of physical stress and emotional stress which manifested into adrenal exhaustion, nerve damage, emotional trauma and hormonal issued that caused serious physical symptoms. 

This experience has had such profound impact on the person I have become and has been the motivating factor in my life to change relationships, work situations, to live presently and lovely, and to stop sabotaging myself emotionally and physically. I have had a chance learn mindfulness and to clear out the debris from my subconscious so I can hear myself better. I have had to learn how to switch from “fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) to ‘rest and recovery(parasympathetic nervous system). I approach my life with gratitude and empowerment each day and I get to decide the things that happen in my life. I chase nothing! I have evolved into a seasoned athlete, mother and women. I train with a different type of passion and mindfulness then I did when I first started competing in 1996. I make much wiser choices and listen to my intuition. Making a comeback to women’s fitness in 2015 then in 2016 onto the WBFF World stage, at 44 years old, was one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my life, but I knew I had some much yet to show the world. I feel exhilarated because I defied the medical odds! I am by far, the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, and my physique is glowing with strength and beauty. 

 

Life Goals: I can say that I am starting over in my life to create a plateform for women to transform their lives. I aim to be iconic in competitive fitness, and a pioneer women’s fitness, and nutritional therapies for mood/stress management. I would like to take my endeavours to aglobal level. 

 

5 Lessons I have learned: 

1.Accept feeling out of control 

2.Be grateful for something everyday 

3.Look into your children’s eyes and model behaviour your want to see 

4.“Water the flowers, don’t water the weeds:” meaning give attention to the positive (flowers) 

only, and do not give the negative (weeds) any attention 

5.Believe in the process of life 

 

Advice for children who want to start training: I would explain that fitness should be age appropriate and fun for children. I would encourage setting goals, introduce the ideas of progressive skill development, foundations of strength, balanced and movement. I would also stress the role of sound nutrition as the basis to commencing training. Lastly, I would recommend being involved in both team sports and individual sports because fitness is the best medicine for the mind and body and fitness will direct children’s energy positively, rather then them getting involved in negative activities. 

Favorite Quote: “The past has gravity to pull you backwards even though the hands of time spin forward and you lose precious moments and opportunities retracing your fingers over old scars. Live now. Your scars make you beautiful. Character makes you strong." Author Unknown 

 

Facebook link: Tania Atkin 

Instagram link: @psychsporttan / @atkinathletc 

Twitter link: Tania Atkin 

About Ali Sohrab

Holding a Master degree in Stage and Lighting design, with 20 years delivering exceptional photography to clients, print publications, and organizations, has put Ali Sohrab as one of the top inspiring published photographers around the globe.

Ali’s signature lighting, his creative eye, and his mastery in body language, not only makes your photoshoot fun and exciting, it will turn your photos into a great investment towards your carrer.

To book or to learn more about Ali Please visit his website: www.alisohrab.com