Everything You Missed At The 2017 Arnold Classic

Everything You Missed At The 2017 Arnold Classic

There are new kings and queens ready to defend their thrones.
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On March 3-5, fitness enthusiasts from around the world traveled far and wide to enjoy and experience the biggest fitness expo of the year - the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. One of the most exciting events each year is the Arnold Classic, where the best of the best IFBB professional bodybuilders come together to battle for the title. Here's a recap of our new reigning 2017 champions:


Cedric McMillan - Bodybuilding

Cedric McMillan (USA) put on 20 pounds to help him achieve his first Arnold Classic win. The judges' decision was unanimous and the check for $130,000 left in his hand. McMillan gave a history-making acceptance speech that will be remembered for years and years to come. In an interview with Tony Doherty after his big win, McMillan shared, "For me, this is, you know, where the hard work begins. Now that I know I can do it, I gotta try to duplicate it."

Ahmad Ashkanani - 212 & Under

Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait) is about to make a big splash in the IFBB professional bodybuilding league. After one year of competing as a pro, he's already won the Arnold. In 2016, he was the runner-up at the Olympia. There are only more wins and success in his future.

Harold Kelley - Wheelchair

Being restrained to a wheelchair hasn't stopped Harold Kelley (USA) once, and it never will. In a unanimous judge's decision, he won his second consecutive Arnold Classic title against competitors from USA, Sweden, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Kelley said to JM Manion in an interview, "It just hasn't sunken in yet. It feels awesome, man...phenomenal."

Ryan Terry - Men's Physique

Ryan Terry, an athlete from the UK, took his first win at the Arnold Classic this year after a 2nd place finish at the Olympia in 2016. Not only did he take out last year's champion, but also 34 other professional athletes in his division from around the world. He came in 5 pounds heavier since his last stage appearance, but kept the same look and conditioning. "It's the best I feel I've ever looked," Terry confided in Tony Doherty, "but there's still room for improvement."

Daniely Castilho - Women's Physique

Daniely Castilho, from Brazil, has swept up a career-changing win at her second professional show ever. Being brand new to the IFBB league, her accomplishment is monumental. Castilho took the title by one point but managed to rise above 30 other women. In her interview, she tells, "It's a dream come true. I didn't expect this!"

Oksana Grishina - Fitness

Oksana Grishina (Russia) is one of the most decorated Fitness professionals of all time. She's been unbeatable since 2014. Athletes from Canada, Uraguay, Germany, and USA fought to steal her throne, but yet again, Grishina proves she's the queen. In her interview post-win, she broke the news that 2017 is her last season competing. Instead, she's "going to help others live their dreams."

Candice Lewis - Figure

Candice Lewis (USA) rose above last year's champion and 13 other competitors to unanimously earn her first Arnold Classic win. After several 2nd and 3rd place finishes over the years, Lewis has finally taken the title. "It's a great feeling to work so hard and be the champion," she says to Tony Doherty. When asked if she has any advice for her fans, she says, "Just keep going. Don't let anyone stop you. When you fail at something, that's your cue to just get better."

Angelica Teixeira - Bikini

Angelica Teixeira (USA) not only surpassed the 2016 Arnold Champion, but also the 2016 Olympia Champion to secure her first Arnold Classic win. After a 2nd place finish at the 2016 Olympia to Courtney King, she stepped up her game and took the title by one point. She told Tony Doherty in her interview, "Believe in your dreams. I did everything. I followed my dreams, and look, I'm here today. You can do it, too."

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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