Marisca de Beer is a fitness fanatic who is currently in a relationship with peanut butter, enjoys the occasional butt rub and a pizza date.
In her younger days, she participated in sports such as athletics, netball, and tennis but was never really the “A team” sporty type. In fact, Marisca de Beer has been more on the creative side of life and her main passion has always been art.
Tell me about how you became a fitness fanatic then seeing that it wasn’t really your first love?
I really got into fitness about a year ago when my friend’s husband decided to compete. My friend and I actually laughed at the idea but then we decided that we also wanted to look “hot”. Shortly after our conversation, I hired a coach and it all kicked off from there. It just goes to show that even if you were not sporty growing up, it is never too late to change your life and lead a healthier lifestyle.
So then your relationship with peanut butter. Tell me more. How does it affect your nutrition?
*giggles* Most athletes have an obsession with peanut butter. I never knew where to draw the line but I fell madly in love with it. If you check my Facebook page, I am actually in a relationship with Mr. Smooth (Smooth Peanut Butter.)
When you are prepping for a competition and are lucky enough to have peanut butter in your diet, you will literally count down the minutes until you are allowed to have that next spoon. I do however weigh my peanut butter because I simply do not trust myself enough to estimate 10g.
On the nutritional side, many people avoid peanut butter because of the perception that it is too fatty or too high in calories. Yes, peanut butter is high in mono and poly unsaturated fats and oils. These types of fats are actually good for you and they will not cause weight gain if they are eaten in moderation along with a well-balanced diet; moderation being the key word of course.
What else then apart from peanut butter do you eat? What does your nutrition look like?
My coach handles all my nutrition and ensures I get exactly what my body needs. My diet consists of mainly fish, chicken and eggs as my source of protein, then I also have a few carbohydrates such as sweet potato and rice. Most of my vegetables are green leafy vegetables and I get my fats from peanut butter (obviously) *chuckles*
I avoid dairy as well as any refined sugary foods and bread. All my food is whole fresh foods and I drink about 3 litres of water a day. I do not take my nutrition very lightly because I strongly believe that it is THE most important factor of all when you are trying to change/better your body. It will not matter how hard you train; if your nutrition is not on point then you are wasting your time. There simply is no way around it.
How does your typical weekly training schedule look like?
My training program is modified every few weeks but I am currently doing two weight training sessions a day along with cardio.
My cardio alters, however. Some days I do HIIT training on a bicycle or the stepper and other days I will do a slow pace cardio on the treadmill. I also enjoy skipping in the mornings whenever I get the opportunity to do so as it is a great form of cardio! My cardio is usually between 25-45minutes depending on the day.
Monday – Legs, calves & abs
Tuesday – Chest, shoulders & triceps
Wednesday – Back, biceps & abs
Thursday – Legs & calves
Friday – Chest, shoulders, triceps & abs
Saturday- Due to the fact that I work over weekends I rarely make it to the gym on time thus I do outdoor cardio such as jogging/skipping etc.
Sunday- Rest day
Do you ever have cravings?
I am not going to say that I do not get cravings at all because no matter how strong your mindset is or how focused you are, cravings will be inevitable. The important thing is to not give in to those cravings and to remember that your goal is more important than the five minutes of pleasure you may get from having that chocolate.
Giving in to cravings will only become a vicious cycle of having more cravings afterward. When I do get cravings I usually do activities to distract myself until the craving passes or I will drink more water.
What has really helped me in the past is to make my food very dull and boring during the week as I will rarely get any cravings during the week since I am always busy or at the gym. Then over weekends when everyone is having their lovely family get together with snacks and yummy food, I will put more effort into my food to make it feel like I am having a cheat meal. For example, during the week I’d have my normal lean mince with plain sweet potato but then over a weekend I would have steak and sweet potato fries with some cinnamon (air dried, oven fried etc.) Sneaky, but my brain is tricked every time.
What supplements are you currently using?
I use whey protein as well as creatine monohydrate post training which help increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown. I then also use BCAAs and L-Glutamine before training and again BCAAs during training.
Tell me about the fitness competition you have so far taken part in and what your learning experience has been like.
I have taken part in two contests so far and I learned something from each one and I am still learning. The most important thing that I have learned is to have fun on show day. It takes so much dedication and sacrifices to get into that condition which I believe no one truly understands unless they themselves have competed before. On show day you have the opportunity to showcase what you have worked on so hard.
Any upcoming contests you are getting ready for?
I am currently getting ready for a show which will be later in the year. Seeing that I changed coaches and I am now with Julian Naidoo at Jlab Nutrition, we are in the process of finding what works best for my body so that I can bring an entirely new package when I step on stage again.
Are you sponsored by any brand?
Unfortunately not but I also believe that to get sponsorship you need to earn it as it is not a given right. There are many other athletes out there who are just as focussed and dedicated as you are so you need to be able to bring something more to the table. Obviously, I would love to be sponsored as it would be awesome to be able to represent something/someone bigger than you. I do believe that when the time is right the opportunity will present itself.
What keeps Marisca de Beer motivated?
Motivation is not really something you can get from the outside. The motivation I have is something that comes from within. My entire life I struggled with my weight. I was always on extreme yo-yo diets thus the main thing that always keeps me going, is the memory of how far I have come, as well as having the kind of relationship I have with my body today and to keep strengthening that relationship.
What fitness advice would you have for someone who wants to get into fitness?
I would say that if you decide to lead a healthier lifestyle you need to do it for YOU and for no one else. Until you are doing it because you truly want to better yourself, you will keep failing at achieving your goal.
There are going to be so many people who will have something negative to say, or who will try to bring you down while you embark on a fitness journey. Do not let anyone ever get inside your head, not even yourself, especially not yourself. Believe in you because I mean, until a year ago I could not have imagined myself with a six pack and look now. So anything is possible if you are willing to work your butt off for it. I am not going to say this lifestyle is easy because it is not. It takes a lot of discipline, a lot of hard work and many sacrifices. But, it is totally worth it!
What do you ultimately want to accomplish in fitness?
I would love to compete on an international stage some day and this is pretty much my main goal when it comes to competing. What I would also like to do is to be able to inspire others to not only become more active but to mainly gain more confidence in themselves. I want more people to realise that just because they did not make in on the A team in high school, or just because they could barely run around a rugby field without gasping for air, they are capable of achieving greatness. Our minds are so incredibly powerful, you can literally do anything you set your mind to and this is the message I wish to spread all over.