Hardbody Interview: Tara Scotti Returns to Competition

If you’re new to the IFBB competitive scene you may not recognize the name Tara Scotti. Those of you who have followed the Figure division know exactly who Tara Scotti is. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Tara for nearly a decade and she’s the type of friend that you can go months without talking to but as soon as you do it’s like you never missed a beat. When Tara told me she was thinking of coming back to compete, I wasn’t surprised. She’s a competitor and when she puts her mind to something look out, she means business. A lot has changed in Tara’s universe since we last saw her on stage. I caught up with Tara for an interview as she returns to the competition stage for the first time in nearly six years.

Tara competed in the 2001 NPC Figure Nationals (the first time figure was part of Nationals) and finished in the top five. She stood next to eventual Olympia champions Davana Medina and Jenny Lynn at that show. She stepped away from the scene for a couple of years but the competitive spirit brought her back in 2003. When she returned, she took home the overall NPC Eastern USA Figure title and locked her sites on turning pro. Tara competed at the 2004 NPC JR USA Championships and won not only her class but also the overall Figure title. In those days, only the overall winner was awarded IFBB pro status. She wasted no time jumping into the big leagues and ended up  fifth at the 2004 NY Pro Figure, her IFBB debut. Tara put together an impressive competitive resume with several top five finishes and notched a win at the 2005 Toronto Pro.

Fast-forward to 2012 and Ms. Scotti is BACK and she’s never felt better. She’s met the love of her life, had a baby and ready to return to the stage that started her pro career. Tara will be competing at the 2012 New York Pro Figure competition and she was kind enough to share what she’s been up to since we last saw her compete.

What’s up wild woman how the hell have you been?
Hi Isaac. So happy to be talking to you and Hardbody.com once again! Haha!

Still living in New York?
Yes, of course I am still a New Yorker!

A lot has changed since we last heard from you…
Ya think? So much has changed.  All for the best and all positive. What hasn’t changed is my love of fitness and my competitive drive.

One major addition in your life, you had a baby, how old is she?
Our little bundle of joy, Brooke, aka Brookie Cookie, is 8 months. She’s absolutely amazing. I am just loving being a mom so much.

Did you continue to train while you were pregnant?
I lightened it up but still hit stairmaster and elliptical daily. I never wanted to let myself go too much. I’ve seen how hard it is to grab hold of after the baby comes through friends & clients so I was always cognizant of it. I think whatever I did has contributed to Cookie having superhuman strength. That baby is an infant Hercules!

How did you diet/nutrition change during the pregnancy?
No weird cravings like I expected. I kept my diet clean for the most part but allowed myself my favorite treats like pizza and cheeseburgers once in a while. No alcohol. I have passed some of my diet and training tips to friends of mine that are expecting and they seem to be having a pretty easy go of it.

What was the most challenging part of your first pregnancy?
Hmmm… letting go of some of my control. I like things a certain way, orderly (some would even say mild OCD but I say nah) and a baby comes, or even before the baby comes, and you just have to let go of some of that control. The baby is first priority above everything. And the sleep deprivation is no joke. Even on nights when she’s sleeping longer, I’m up checking on her or staring at the monitor.

Will baby Brooke be getting a brother or sister any time soon?
Well first let me say that Brooke has a sister, Taylor who is 9 years old. Even though they are half sisters the bond and love they have for each other is full blown sisterly love so I don’t feel like Brooke will be alone in the world if I don’t have any more.  That’s my nice, long answer for “No way I!”

HAHA. Fair enough.

What advice would you give mothers out there in regards to staying fit after a pregnancy?
I’ve been able to help some clients greatly in this regard and they are loving me for my advice now. Don’t wait for after the pregnancy to stay fit. Keep your fitness a priority (albeit a smaller priority than non-pregnancy times) but make time for even a small cardio session. And absolutely do not use that time as an excuse for binging; you will regret it after.

Speaking of advice, are you still training people?
I sure am. We have an amazing home gym here at our house. I have a few clients come here daily and then one day a week I have a packed schedule of clients that I go to train at their homes. My mom watches Brooke on that day. I am very fortunate that I can be a stay at home mom & not really work at all right now but that’s just not me. I like generating an income & I love what I do so it’s a win-win situation. :). I have been fortunate enough to have the demand for 1-2 more days of training clients but I am easing into it.

When was the last time you competed?
Isaac! That’s like asking a woman her age.  HA, Seriously…. I think it was West Palm Beach 2006.

Tara after the 2005 Pittsburgh Pro

You’ve decided to come back and compete in the 2012 NY Pro, what made you decide to come back?
Kevin. He reminded me how big a part this was in my life & although I have an amazing life & couldn’t be happier- he flat out asked me if I missed the sport & thought I should dust off the clear heels at least one last time. After doing some soul searching, I felt that I could come back with out sacrificing any time from my family which was hard for me in the past.  I have balance now. I am in the best shape of my life. Never felt better or more comfortable in my skin. I am excited. And it feels good to be excited about the sport and competing again.

For those that may not know, Kevin is your husband…
Kevin is my soul mate & the love of my life.

Has he been to a show and knows what to expect on you getting all painted orange err golden brown?
He has been to shows & has worked out with top bodybuilders in the past as they trained for shows so he gets it.  Kevin also used to wrestle and fight so he knows and understands competing as an individual and the psychology behind it.  He is amazing. This is the first time he is seeing me as an oompah loompa. 🙂

Why did you stop competing when you did?
At that time in my life I was competing non stop.  Not really an off season. One show to the next. I had won a pro show, competed at the Olympia twice, I felt my placings were always quite respectable. I wanted to exit the sport with my head held high. I didn’t want to be that person who stays too long at the party. I was exhausted physically & mentally. I must also add that I was not in a great place personally & I see now how that was a big factor in me exiting the sport. My life fell out of balance toward the end.

What’s been the biggest obstacle for this prep?
Being tired. Being a mommy is tiring. Lol. But seriously, and ironically – this has been the easiest prep I have ever had. I am  fortunate to have an amazing gym here at my house so when I put Brooke for a nap, I go down & train.  And after she goes to bed I do my cardio. It also helps that Kevin is so supportive & doesn’t mind eating grilled chicken and asparagus 7 days a week. 🙂

Do you follow the industry since your time away from the stage?
No, not really.  I am grateful to have made the great friends I have made over the years but since my last show I really do not know any of the new competitors.

Physique you admire most past or present?
I have always been a Monica Brant fan. She’s one of my good friends in the sport. Her longevity & marketability is inspirational to me.

What’s the goal for New York?
Lol. I started off my training with the mindset of “I’m only doing it for me, not too competitive, blah, blah,blah” but as you can attest – that’s just not me. Hehe. So now I’m all about qualifying for the O. Hehe

Will this be one and done or are you planning on going back to Canada where you won your first pro show?
Let’s see how this one goes & then ask me again.I think I have a great efficient routine right now and I am feeling great!

What type of diet/nutrition are you following?
A very different one from years past. Eating clean but less. Not every 2 hours. More like breakfast, lunch & dinner & a extra shake post workout. My days of carrying around Tupperware are behind me. I’ve built my muscle base years ago. It’s easier to maintain muscle then to build.

Any supplements you’d recommend to women?
I have found a couple of supplements that have helped me maintain my focus and stamina post having Brooke and a great multi-vitaman as well. I like to feel natural and not rely heavily on caffeine. Let’s see how I place before I go recommending my secrets!

IFBB Figure Pro Tara Scotti

So we won’t be seeing you in bikini or women’s physique but Figure, right?
Yes, Figure.  If it were a few years ago I’d probably give physique a try but I am leaner & smaller these days so I am a perfect fit for the current Figure division.

What do you think of the new divisions, since they weren’t around in your day?
Ummm… I think Physique is great. Even though I am a lot smaller these days, I am and always will be a fan of female muscle.  That bridge between Figure and Female Bodybuilding was much needed.

Are you on Facebook / twitter or you still hanging out on myspace? 🙂
HA.no myspace, wise ass. On Facebook but under a pseudo name that I have just for family & close friends. Some imposter schmoe has my TaraScotti name and uses my photos on facebook  & it’s been quite frustrating to get it shut down. It’s creepy & annoying that some weirdo is posing as me. I am working on getting it closed and hopefully having him punished somehow. Kev was a law enforcer and his peeps are looking into it.

Thanks T! All the best and welcome back!
Thank you Isaac.  Always great chatting with ya!
Competition History:
1998 NPC JR. USA Fitness Overall
2001 NPC National Figure Championships (Team Universe) Tall 4th
2003 NPC East Coast Figure Championships Overall
2003 NPC Eastern USA Figure Championship Overall
2004 NPC JR. USA Figure Championship Overall
2004 NY Pro Figure Championships 5th
2004 IFBB New York Pro Figure- 5th
2005 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro- 4th
2005 IFBB Atlanta Pro Figure-2nd
2005 IFBB California Pro- 4th
2005 IFBB Toronto Pro- 1st
2005 IFBB Charlotte Pro – 5th
2005 IFBB Olympia- 14th
2006 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro- 4th
2006 IFBB Colorado Pro- 4th
2006 IFBB Olympia- 19th
2006 West Palm Beach – 3rd

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