I was really excited to be asked to take part in writing a blog about healthy living for Perez Hilton. I have heard through the walls of the Diva locker room that Perez is an awesome guy… but what this Diva has taken notice of is how much he has altered his body. In my opinion, he has never looked better.
There are two things I never get sick of talking about: wrestling and fitness (and shoes of course). With this in mind, being a Diva in the WWE means that we need to be in tip top shape all the time for our careers and also for ourselves. I have to admit, the Divas look fabulous 24/7! Even when we are coming off of a 14-hour flight from Europe, we are expected to look amazing…and we do! There is nothing an oversized pair of Gucci sunglasses and an Alexander McQueen scarf can’t fix, right Alicia Fox?!
We strive to look our best so we can flaunt it all around the world in teeny, tiny hot pink spandex costumes, blinged out in the most decadent Swarovski crystals. (FYI: I'm the only Diva allowed to wear Pink. Take note: Dolph Ziggler.)
Most importantly, we need to be in amazing physical condition because there are only a handful of women on the planet that can do what we do. We are fine tuned athletes who have to be able to do it all in the most entertaining fashion! From wrestling, dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, high flying, modeling, acting, walking the red carpet, public speaking, charity work- you name it! If your name is Natalya or Kelly Kelly, shoe shopping for Christian Louboutins is also top priority. By the way, my Loubies are way cuter than K2's. Don't tell her I said that.
What I am trying to say is that looking good and feeling good is a way of life for us girls in the WWE. It’s something that is one of my proudest accomplishments: taking care of myself. What I have come to learn over the years is only YOU can change YOU. That is what Perez Hilton has also shown the world, that if you want something badly enough, you can put your mind to it and take control of your life. He is proof that you can do it!
Most people who are familiar with "Natalya" know that I come from a long lineage of sports excellence. I’m gonna boast a little because that’s my job as a Diva! To tell you all of my accolades and why I am so great! Seriously though, I am very proud of where I came from and that is a huge part of who I am today. My grandfather, Stu Hart is a WWE Hall of Famer…my uncle Bret Hart is also in the Hall of Fame as well as being a former five time World Heavyweight Champion. My father, Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart was a former NFL football player and national shot-put champion. He was also a tag team champion in the WWE. Even my great grandfather, Harry Smith, was an Olympic runner and won the New York City Marathon. I've got pretty good genes.
Thanks to my dad who is built like a rhinoceros, I also have to work even harder to fight those genetics at times, too. Too many heavy squats and I start getting quads that resemble Mark Henry’s “The World’s Strongest man” and that's not always the best for a Diva who has to wear pink spandex. No offense, Mark.
So as much as being “fit” is in my blood, the gym and athletics is only half the battle. I can also attribute a healthy lifestyle to great nutrition. Diet is a big part of it all. In order for my body to perform it needs the right fuel. Lots of protein and foods that are organic. My version of organic doesn’t mean the expensive area of the grocery store. Organic means foods that come from the earth. Things that grow like fruits and vegetable and nuts, too. I love fresh salmon and sashimi and a nice cut of steak every so often. In moderation I will have the odd dessert here or there. Greek yogurt is also a personal favorite. It is packed with protein and there are great low sugar choices out there. It’s a good alternative to protein shakes…which I get bored of if I have them two or three times a day. It's okay to cheat every now and then, too. If you don't, you're not human!
All of us girls have a routine that is personalized to each of us. A lot of it is comparable to what we do in the ring, too. Take a look at myself and my best friend, Beth Phoenix. Our style in ring style is based on power. We are the muscles of the Divas division and there is a good reason why we are considered thoroughbreds. Then there is AJ, she's a high flyer so her routine in the gym is totally different than mine. Eve is very versatile and she is usually a monster in the gym with all sorts of innovative exercises. I catch her practicing Jiu Jitsu all the time… trying to think of ways she can keep up with little old me, Natalya: the Submission technician. Keep trying, Eve!
As my training partner, Beth and I do our best workouts together. Having a partner in the gym is also great because it's just another way to push yourself. Beth is always motivating me to lift more weights and I always force her to add more reps and stop primping in the mirror during workouts! Then again, I tend to take pictures of us in between sets, because I love to capture all of life’s greatest moments and tweet them. This definitely gets under her skin and I love it!!
Beth and I specialize in Olympic powerlifting. We have a coach who we lovingly call "The Diva Life Coach." His name is Rob Macintyre. Rob is John Cena's personal coach and has trained many Olympians as well as various WWE talent. This man is brilliant. He has trained us to understand that the best workouts have to be about quality of form. Rob encourages us to stay positive, too. Setbacks can help you grow, as long as you keep pushing forward. Rob makes Beth and I feel like we can accomplish anything. If we squatted 250 pounds in the gym, who's to say we can't put Big Show on our backs? That's pushing it…but you get my drift!
Rob has taught me more about fitness than any other person I know. He emphasizes consistency not perfection. You gotta just keep on keeping on- and you will get results… But there's nothing Rob hates more than a quitter. Each person is really in competition with themselves to be the best YOU! We do so many cool exercises that get all the heads turning at the gym. My favorites are the Clean and Jerk, the Snatch, Deadlifts, Push Presses, Squats and Overhead Squats. These are some basic “Rob” exercises that really work a lot of muscles groups at once and especially strengthen your core so we can all have a six pack like Kofi Kingston. There is one exercise I hate: the bench press and Beth loves it. She has a record that is pretty astonishing…yet she won’t tell anyone. She forces me to do this with her and I usually hate her while we are doing this exercise! She keeps saying one day I will thank her…keep dreaming, sister!
That’s when I get Beth back…nothing like revenge with some long distance running. I am from Canada and the trails there are beautiful. I run every chance I get because it also frees my mind. Beth is my running partner, too. After about an hour in, she starts to ask when we are gonna turn around and I lie to her…”five more minutes!” 30 minutes later she is fuming and I am laughing and I just tell her to settle her tea kettle. She gets like an angry wombat. It’s priceless. After she thanks me, though! See how we push each other!
Growing up in my family, there was always emphasis on how important sports are and how being athletic is not just about being fit- but about having confidence and believing in yourself. It’s a mindset. I've also come to learn that beauty and strength come in different shapes and sizes and what is truly stunning about a person- is how they embrace what they have. That’s what being a Diva is all about.
I will never be a size two- and my body isn't meant to be that way… But I will always have curves and work it in the ring as if I'm Jennifer Lopez- because I know that what shines through is the light you have inside. You can bet your Louis Vuitton clutch that being "built in the front and stacked in the back" is all the product of my hard work at the gym and I wouldn’t trade my hard earned body for anything in the world. I am sure Perez Hilton would agree!
- WWE Diva Natalya