A:I was born in Ottawa, Ontario- but my family is from Greece. I am both European and Canadian.
Q:Best place to eat in Canada?
A:That's a tricky question. I guess it's what I am in the mood to eat! :) I can tell you the best sashimi and sushi I ever had was in British Columbia. I honestly don't eat out as much as I use to, but when I go out it's usually for sushi or a steak with sweet potato fries, and on rare occasions, a brownie with ice cream. Even my cheat meals are pretty clean. Even after my show in June, I wanted a Cobb salad with a bowl of fruit and maybe a chocolate chip Quest bar ;).
Q:Describe stepping on stage and competing...
A:Time starts to move faster, one by one the figure classes are called, short, medium, medium tall, then finally it was my turn, figure tall. (I sure wish they go in reverse order sometimes!) You know, there’s a moment before you go on stage when your heart rate increases, the adrenaline kicks in and a kind of euphoria virtually washes over you. This is it! This is your time to shine! You’re confident and strong and you feel like you can conquer anything. Nothing will side track you or take you away from your goal! Nothing will dim your light.
Elegant, beautiful and graceful - we all walk into to light, exposed now, and revealed. That rush is still with me as my head is held high, and my confidence almost seems to shine from every fibre of my being. I smile and make constant eye contact with the judges.
It’s funny, I can see all the people, all the screams and cheers – but it’s almost like watching a silent movie! My focus is only on the panel in front of me. “Ladies please face the front!” the head judge calls out. I gracefully and easily pop into my front pose. I can't stress how important practicing your posing is, it simply must be like second nature. I practice posing on a regular basis - not just prancing in my heels in front of gym mirrors, but posing, squeezing my muscles and flexing while preparing food or doing my everyday activities! (It makes for interesting dinner time conversations – I assure you!!)
The judges now have had their look at us. The first round of quarter turns is complete. We’re now instructed to go back to our lines, where we’ll await the first call outs.
Again another round of turns for the judges to decide top 5. Sometimes it's so hard to understand what they are looking for, so it’s always good to go into a show expecting the best, but mentally preparing for the worst. But you must never lose that confidence and glow of the internal winner you know that’s inside of you.
The stage becomes like a checkerboard, with the players being told where to move and stand and we wait for the next move.
Q:Why did you choose figure?
A:I've always admired the aesthetics of figure. Shape, symmetry, lines, beautiful muscle and elegance. As well, I never had the bikini body. I have always had an athletic frame with broad shoulders, so figure seemed to suit me. I find figure to be more prestigious in my opinion and I just loved the look.
Q:Can you give us your pre contest diet and training regiment?
A:I lift five times a week, and have one cardio only day, and one complete rest day. I do cardio everyday except my off day for 45 minutes, which is steady cardio. I train legs twice a week as well as shoulders. Monday legs and glute work, Tuesday shoulders, chest and triceps. Wednesday back, arms and abs. Thursday legs and glutes. Friday shoulders, chest, triceps. Saturday is cardio day and Sunday rest.
My current diet is low carb, but higher in protein and fats. I seem to do better with a balanced diet. Keto never agrees with my body and neither do high carb diets. So it has to be right between. Everyone's body is different, so what works for one person might not work for the other. So, it's important to learn how your body works. How is it functioning? Sometimes I feel like a guinea pig haha, but it's all part of learning.
Q:Tell us about Sthenos Clothing...
A:Sthenos, where art meets strength… where fashion and fitness fuse into one, creating a strong, trendy and a refreshingly unexpected style. Upbeat, artistic and powerful, each piece of fitness wear is conceived, created, and hand designed by me. Sthenos celebrates life – in all its sweat, all its strength, all its color and all its challenges. Sthenos… for those who are not only in the game to win, but win with style.
Q:I like that… what's next for you and your career?
A:I am currently training for the CBBF Nationals in Edmonton Canada, as well as working on my company Sthenos and growing the company and it's successes. My personal goal is to achieve IFBB pro status this year or next. I would love to be able to compete in the Arnold's amateurs next March, if all goes well at Nationals. We are currently widening my company's scope to go abroad to Europe and Asia, as well as increasing brand awareness and marketing and promotion .
Q:Can you give us all of your social media handles?
Facebook: johanna Stavrakaki
: Sthenos clothing
Twitter : @Jstavrakaki
YouTube : Johanna Stavrakaki
Pinterest : Johanna Stavrakaki
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven.com