Jessica Perales - Figure Competitor Interview

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
February 2013

1. Jessica, How did you start competing in figure?

Jessica Perales: I met my personal trainer and good friend Juan Araujo and he convinced me that I had a physique to compete. I trained for 6 months and did it! I have been hooked since then!

2. How did you become so good at presenting yourself onstage?

Jessica Perales: Well I haven’t always been good. I look back at my first show and I looked like I was doing the Robocop on stage. LOL!! I am now working with the amazing Sheilahe “Flexxy” Brown IFBB physique pro and the incredible Greg Corriere, Gym owner at One2One. They are both Texas NPC Judges and are very knowledgeable.

I could not have made it without them critiquing and building my confidence to get my “swag” on stage.

3. What's been the most memorable moment of your career?

Jessica Perales: I have 2. The first one is my 1st NPC show is San Antonio Texas where I won the overall division in figure. I was going through a hard time in my life personally. I remember getting ready for finals and crying because my family members or friends were not there. Then I looked around me a saw the eyes of my two beautiful daughters Triston and Morgan. After and during the show I received a call from my boyfriend at the time. When I heard his voice on the other line those became tears of joy. I knew at that moment I had everything I needed right in front of me. The next memorable moment was my pro qualifier at Team U. I am usually a nervous wreck leading up to the show but I remember posing in my hotel room and feeling such a since of accomplishment and peace. I remember lying in bed the night before and looking into the eyes of the person I love as they filled with tears. All I wanted was to make everyone proud and at that moment no matter what happened I did.

4. What motivates you to train/diet and compete?

Jessica Perales: Training comes naturally for me. I love the way I feel when I’m in the gym. I enjoy lifting heavy weight & feeling the burn! The diet never came naturally to me and has probably been the hardest struggle. I battle myself all the time! However, I get my motivation from seeing the changes in my body and helping others along the way. Competing is the reward at the end. We all want to win but at the end of the day if I am better than I was before I have already won. I take those small victories and use them to make myself better. Click to read Jessica's diet and training regimens

5. What has been your toughest hurdle to overcome either in your personal life or competing career to get to the place you are today?

Jessica Perales: This is a hard one! I don’t like putting myself out there. However, without elaborating too much my toughest hurdle has been with interpersonal relationship that involves emotional intimacy. The overall human experience is so complicated. We have a general desire to belong and to love which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. These strong emotional attachments fulfill our need of belonging and the need to be cared for. Personally these things or lack thereof does affect all aspects of my life including competing. I try to use it to my advantage in training because at the end of my prep it me against myself.

6. Do you focus on building or maintaining muscle? What do you find more challenging, and why?

Jessica Perales: I am currently focusing on building muscle and it is a lot of work. Not only has my training changed but so has my diet. I never really had a problem building but maintaining those gains without the fat associated has been my struggle.

7. What are your methods for breaking through a plateau?

Jessica Perales: It was only after achieving success in my own muscle building goals that then led me to want to change myself and others overcome plateaus. Loss in strength, motivation, Decreased appetite, ect. You always want to make sure you create a healthy balanced lifestyle which includes proper nutrition, training and rest.
• Ensures proper recovery and muscle repair.
• Refresh and relax which can be taxed during heavy training sessions.
• Gives your joints and ligaments a much deserved break.
• Ensure your nutrition and training is harmonious.
• Dynamically changing your training regimen.

8. Stanford School of Medicine is recruiting 400 participants for a 12-month weight loss study. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a genetic predisposition to being more successful in weight loss on Low Fat vs. Low Carb diet. What do you believe the results of such a study might be?

Jessica Perales: I cannot even begin to tell you first-hand about this study. I’m sure really smart people better equipped to give nutritional advice will be better suited to elaborate on such information. My nutritionist is Dave Kalick out of Venice, California. This man is a genius and is so knowledgeable. The principles of nutrition are those of human biochemistry and bodily composition. Most conditions for which detailed nutrition advice is needed and requires medical diagnosis first. These include high blood cholesterol, diabetes, severe food allergy or sensitivity, high blood pressure, certain digestive problems, severe kidney disease, and obesity. Consultation with an expert can also be worthwhile for men or women, competitive athletes, and individuals who feel confused about nutrition. I give all authorization to my friend and nutritionist. (

9. What does a typical day look like for you?

Jessica Perales: A typical day is fasted cardio in the morning, breakfast and packing food for the day. I work as an Account Manager for a contract manufacturing company full time. My day usually ends at 5:00. I get my training in at lunch or after work depending on my schedule. Then it is off to the races with the kids and their after school activities, homework and dinner.

10. How has motherhood changed your athletic/sport life?

Jessica Perales: I have 2 little girls at home that are in competitive cheer, tumbling, power lifting and softball so evenings are packed as a taxi cab driver and homework in the evening. I stay extremely busy but I love every moment of it. These kids have defined me and made me the woman I am today. Motherhood is a balancing act between a full time career, athletics programs and my sports life. The one that it has changed the most is time management and proper nutrition. The kids want pizza and burgers but they are forced to eat as clean by default. If I don’t have bad food in the house to eat they can’t either. I can’t be trusted! However, I do realize they are kids and they do get cheat meals often. They also motivate and encourage me and help me stay accountable. A normal night at our house can easily be sitting around the dinner table talking about any and everything you can imagine. They are passionate about the competitive sport of body building in general. They can do bikini poses, quarter turns or all body building poses. (Most muscular, front double, lat spread, overhead abb, ect..) They are hilarious to watch! Motherhood is a life changing experience in itself! In addition to our competitive lifestyle we stay really busy.

11. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the sport?

Jessica Perales: I go to church and love feeding my spirit. Just like our body needs food and strength so does our heart and soul. I do volunteer work for a nonprofit organization called the ABLE foundation. The ABLE Foundation is Non-Profit organization created to help reduce the cost associated with competitive bodybuilding and other athletic events for handicapped individuals. Our ultimate goal is to help provide these athletes competitive opportunities, and in doing so, re-gain confidence and self-reliance. I also love traveling so I am usually on a plane to anywhere there is a show or a gym I can train at. This is my life and it is what I love.

12. What 3 things would you take to a stranded island?

Jessica Perales: I guess if I would someday find myself stranded on an island without having the luxury of packing first, I'm sure I would be wishing that I should have packed my kids, hunting tool such as a knife or gun and matches to cook.

13. What are your short and long term fitness goals?

Jessica Perales: My short term goal is to do fasted cardio 6 days a week. Long term goal is to build enough muscle to compete in the physique category this year.

14. Do you have any final words for your fans and the readers?

Jessica Perales: Competitor - the contestant you hope to defeat! If you think that competing in a competition is less strenuous, or requires less dedication than other competitive sports, think again. Find a good personal trainer and diet coach. They say this is a selfish sport so invest in yourself and get all the tools you need to succeed! My trainer is Juan Araujo and nutritionist Dave Kalick. I could not make it this far without them.

Ref pages:

Jessica's Athlete page :

Juan Arajo – Flex fitness personal trainer and owner.

Dave Kalick – Nutritionist, Venice California

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