Kori Di Stefano - IFBB Physique Pro

Kori: My decision to start competing was actually quite random. The very first step for me was to start liking to work out and that came about in a very painful way. My mother had just passed away from breast cancer and I needed to ďwork outĒ my sadness and anger. See, she died the day I got out of one of my own reconstructive surgeries from a double mastectomy, so I started running. Mostly as a way to try to outrun the pain; however, I found that it did not matter how far or how fast I went, I couldnít outrun my thoughts. One day, at the small gym in the condo complex, I picked up some weights and started lifting. They were very light at first, 5 then 10 then 15 lbs but what they all had in common was that I was able to stop thinking. I was finally in control of the pain. I couldnít stop the pain of her death but I could control the pain of the weights. I also realized that in those moments, I couldnít think about anything other than getting those weights up without hurting myself. It was my breath and those weights.

It became my meditation, my escape. A few weeks before my 40th birthday I got a trainer as I wanted to go to Mexico in the best possible shape. When I approached a trainer, I was told by her that she didnít do ďbodybuildersĒ and I laughed and responded that I am not a bodybuilder. While in Mexico, I was again asked if I was a bodybuilder and again I laughed, you see, I was always the fat friend, never the skinny friend, so I dismissed their remarks. Until about 2 days before the trip ended and I was asked yet again. So I said to myself, letís do this. I signed up for my first competition in the middle of a pool in Mexico. That was two years ago. It still amazes me that I have 10 trophies, including my pro card from a random decision made in a pool in Mexico.

Diet: I am sure there are so many who will detail out how they reverse diet and clean bulk; however, I like to enjoy my off season and I love to enjoy my on season so I make my meals fun. I love to cook and have learned how to do it in a healthier way, but it needs to be fun if it is going to be sustainable. I remember one of my preps, my coach said if it doesnít come out of the water you cannot have it so I made a list of alternatives to the fish he assigned and I was eating crab, shrimp and frog legs while drinking sparkling water with lemons out of a champagne glass. The biggest thing on or off prep is to remember that seasoning and out of the box thinking are your friends. I have done medium carb, low carb and no carb but they all are tasty with forethought.

A photo posted by Kori (@kdistefano2002) on

Every person is genetically different so a cookie cutter diet cannot work. Whole foods work for some, macros regardless of quality of food source works for others. What I have found, for me, is that I respond better to low/no carb diets. Both mentally and physically, Sure, I want pizza or chips but thatís due to the extreme restriction but overall, I truly like the way I feel on a low carb/no carb diet. So long as I get to eat my veggies. I also love having a coach who watches my body changes and is knowledgeable in nutrition to institute changes immediately.

I lift heavy and keep going higher in weight until the point of diet restriction makes me stop. My goal is never to be the strongest lifter but my strongest lifter. I will say that on or off season, lifting is easy, itís the diet that is hard but because I have an amazing coach who knows so much about nutrition and lifting, I am able to focus my time in the gym and the diet along with my attention on my Masterís degree and my family. Everyone has a talent to give and I allow my coach to show his talent in leading me to winís while I can focus on my masters program and my family. My biggest suggestion to anyone undergoing a weight training program and diet and real life is to allow the experts to help. Just like a doctor or a CPA, these coaches (the right ones like mine) will not only help you but will teach you.

I have two of the best people on my side, my coach, Ryan Wortman and my choreographer, Antimo Cimino. Ryan has stood behind me and has guided me with nutrition and exercise and most importantly inspiration and belief. An amazing coach who believes in you will always inspire you to do your best. I also hired an amazing choreographer who taught me more than just moves. Antimo, who is not into bodybuilding, asked me why I do it and my response was ďbecause I love itĒ and he told me and taught me to dig deep into that love and to work it without any thought to who may be watching and that the love of what I do will shine on the stage. Ryan and Antimo are two amazing people who do amazing things.

I have a love for laughing and connecting with people so I absolutely adore the prejudging and finals. The check in, well, thatís the moment when I try to talk myself out of competing because the girls are usually bigger than me; however, Ryan, my coach, never lets me back out (thank goodness). After that first initial scare, I remember one thing, we arenít here to compete against each other but to compete against ourselves. Sure, there are those girls out there who try to compete against others but that isnít what they or I can control. The only thing we have to control is how we chiseled our own physique and what attitude we bring to the pump up room. After my coach Ryan calms me down at check inís, I go out there remembering one thing and one thing only, that I brought my best and thatís all anyone can ask of anyone. Does it have to be ďTHE BESTĒ no, not for me. For me, it has to be MY best. Besides, I have meet some women with great physiques and the worst attitude and I have meet women with phenomenal physiques and equally phenomenal personalities. But I always win when I always bring my best attitude. If I didnít win the show, I won some friends.

Future plans? I will finish my masters degree this year and will pick a show to do in 2017. I am excited to continue to work with Ryan and Antimo to bring an even better package. Again, thatís MY best package. If I can leave with advice to those seeking to do competition, never compete against others, always against yourself, that is the only thing you have control over, that and who you allow into your inner circle.

And I see some baby abs.. 9 weeks out #npcwomensphysique #maxmusclebeaverton #fitover40

A photo posted by Kori (@kdistefano2002) on

Coach: rawfitness@gmail.com
Choreographer: antimo@voomago.com
To contact me, follow me on instagram, to learn more about my diet, exercise or choreography, contact my coaches.

Competition Prep e-Books

A photo posted by Kori (@kdistefano2002) on