Sanne Leenman - WBFF Fitness Competitor

As a kid I was really shy, I didnít do any sports and I therefore I was always picked last during sport activities. It was in my early twenties that I realized that I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. I was sick all the time, getting chubby and just overall very unhappy with the way I looked and felt. That was the time I started first lifting and I loved it! Since then, fitness has changed my life in some different ways. Not only the way I look physically, but even more important, mentally. Fitness makes you learn to set goals and to work hard to achieve them and you can apply that in some many more ways than those few hours you spend in the gym per week.

My biggest challenge when Iím dieting is hunger. Letís face it; if youíre not hungry itís not so hard to diet. The key for me is hunger management, so during the pre-contest period I try to keep my food volume large. I enjoy cooking and experimenting with simple and creative ways to enjoy my food. Besides lean protein sources, strawberries and (tomato) soup are things I eat a lot during photo shoot or competition prep. One of my guilt-free Ďzero calorieí pleasures is making ice popsicles with Sprite zero, a few drops of lemon juice and some zero calorie sweetener.

A photo posted by Sanne Leenman (@managemymealplan) on

In off-season I tend to keep my overall fats in my diet higher. Since my calories are higher, there is also more room to eat out. Going to a sushi restaurant with friends is one of my favorite things to do. On that day I always make sure I train hard and I keep my earlier meals small. Even in off-season, I bring a pen and paper to restaurants to globally track the amount of calories I ate. I found I can enjoy food that way a lot better and, instead of eating mindlessly, it makes me aware of what I really want to eat.

When I just started lifting I tried a Ďcrashí diet, where I only ate 0% fat Greek yoghurt and berries, probably 800 kcal or less a day. It was effective in the short term, I did lose (too much) weight, but it was in no way sustainable. I was practically starving the whole day and probably creating a deficiency in certain micro-nutrients too. After the two weeks I went with a friend to an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet to Ďcelebrateí my diet was over. I donít think Iíve ever eaten that much in my entire life, my stomach felt like bottom-less pit. Iím pretty sure I wasted all my efforts of the two weeks with just that one meal.

I do full body strength training every day, 7 days a week. I honestly hate doing cardio, so I only save these as last resort for my few weeks pre-contest.

I feel the beauty of fitness lies in the fact that you build and shape your body throughout the year. None of us is born the way we look now, we all know how hard we worked for it and there is just real empowerment in that. Like Michelle Lewin likes to say: ĎItís earned, not givení. For me, the feeling that youíre able to focus and work towards a better version of yourself gives me self-confidence. Still, there are some simple tricks I do before I step on stage. I try to focus on my strong points and also picture in my mind which side of myself I want the audience and jury to see: a beautiful, ambitious lady who worked hard to get here and who wants to shine and inspire.

The feelings around my last show were very double. At the WBFF commercial model show I won my category and got official invited for the Worldís in Toronto. Of course I was filled with happiness and felt on top of the world for that moment. On my way back, my boyfriend and I got involved in a frontal car crash. Thank God, apart from a few bruises and scratches, we and the other party didnít have any major injuries.

When I stepped out of the car I was still wearing my show dress and medal and it made me fully realize that things can turn so fast unexpectedly. Itís good to focus on self-improvement, but itís also good to sometimes realize that it can all be over in a just few seconds and that social connections, real friends and simply enjoying life are also things worth to heavenly invest in.

A photo posted by Sanne Leenman (@managemymealplan) on

Right now, besides my coaching online clients, Iím focusing more on modeling. I did some recent shoot in Miami and in India. I also highly enjoy public speaking. I recently gave a talk about women empowerment and strength training for women in India.

Sanne Leenman
NASM certified Online Personal trainer and Nutrition coach, WBFF commercial model 2016, International public speaker and cheese-cake specialist ;). - personal page - business page

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