A:Yes, I am from Shadyside, Ohio which is small town neighborhood community directly off the Ohio River in eastern Ohio.
Q:I read about your pregnancy difficulties. How did this mentally affect you?
A:After I gave birth to my daughter I found out she had suffered a massive stroke losing her left hemisphere. It was extremely difficult to deal with mentally. She was kept at the hospital until she learned to swallow. A little over month later she came home to me and subsequently developed seizures. It was hard to develop a bond with her in the beginning because I was always going to doctors and nothing about our lifestyle was "normal". It took a long time for me to grieve, not for the daughter I had lost but the daughter I could never have. I think as parents we sometimes envision certain hopes and dreams for them. We dream of them aspiring to things we could never be or becoming and doing things that are much like ourselves. I was gifted in the area of athletics and imagined her being athletic as well. To further add to my struggles, I was raised in a strict home where everything had place, order and emphasis was placed on becoming your best so I had that competitive nature in me at a very young age.
Interestingly and slowly over time the mental struggle turned into a gift because it helped to change perspectives in my life. While other parents were worried about proper table manners at a restaurant I was worried about her being able to use both hands to hold a cup. I remember taking her a kiddy gym class called "gymkana". The other parents would talk amongst themselves about how their little Johnny or Sally was running, jumping or other new accomplishments ahead of all the other same age peers. I began to realize that competition exists for many us all on so many levels and degrees throughout our lives. She was years behind her same age peers. I had to begin to not compare but celebrate any new accomplishment my daughter made as her own on her own terms. I began to realize that giving myself permission to give up control allowed me to finally let go of the anxiety and depression I was feeling and gain a broader perspective of life in so many ways. I increasingly found peace and comfort and resolve in my life in general. She is a gift and a blessings in so many ways it is indescribable!
Q: Life is about perspective... incredible. Describe how you became a model...
A:I still kind of chuckle to myself when you pose that question. I don’t really profess myself as a model. I say I enjoy modeling because it is something I like to do. I enjoy it because although I am an athlete I have always been a real girly girl as well. I enjoy following trends in fashion, hair and makeup and getting "dressed up". I think that man or woman, the human body is simply an amazing piece of art that has rights to be viewed, photographed and appreciated. I became involved when I was in college by meeting a gentleman that owned a department store. I was shopping in his store when he approached me and asked if I had ever done any modeling before. I replied "no" but he said I would be great for his swimwear ads and show. I followed through and enjoyed every minute of it. I knew from there on it would be something I would further enjoy doing.
Q:How did you transition from model to IFBB pro?
A:That is a harder question for me to answer since I primarily see myself as an athlete. I don't see it as one preceding the other. I have always been involved with athletics and then the gym from the age of 19 on. I put my dreams of competing on hold in order to take care of my daughter but the desire was always there. I feel that modeling occurred as a secondary gift or benefit. It just so happens that I enjoy doing both and feel extremely blessed to do so.
Q:You're also a personal trainer. What's the key to keeping your clients motivated?
A:I feel that all trainers draw clients in with different and varying gifts depending on personality types. I serve as a strong and positive personal support for many of my clients. I am very upbeat and positive and I am sincere about it. I am kind and honest with them but I am also very tough. When I train, I push them harder and to be better than they were previously.
Q:What's harder, training clients or getting ready for the stage yourself?
A:I would say getting myself ready for a show because I can lose perspective both mentally and physically. When I look at myself in the mirror every day I can lose the ability to a degree on how my body is changing or not changing. That is why it is helpful to me even though I am a trainer, to have my own trainer or confidant that is able to push me and look at me through a fresh set of eyes.
Q:What is your pre contest diet like?
A:I eat every 2-3 hrs for 5 meals a day. I balance my carbs and protein with decreased calorie intake and added cardio output. My training consists of weights 4 days a week incorporating several body parts such as bi's and tri's or back and shoulders, 2 days of plyos in combination with 3 days of long steady state cardio (I enjoy running), mixed with 3 days of HIIT method training. I feel strongly about mentioning that in the off-season I eat a variance of different foods, a healthy amount of carbs and decrease my cardio so that when I am in season my body will respond. Therefore, I remain within 7-8 pounds in the offseason. I have increasingly become saddended by hearing recent stories of other competitors gaining huge amounts of weight in the offseason due to the extremes they put themselves through in previous training and lifestyle choices and/or eating disorders. This sport will only remain "winning" for me if I provide myself with balance both mentally and physically.
Q:Tell us about Bella Body.
A:.. Ahh yes . . .Team Bella Body is my new baby:) LOL! I have recently started my own competition team and it has been long overdue for me to do so!! I have always enjoyed being nurturing, helping people, striving for balance in my life, sports, being competitive, hair, makeup and attributes go on. So, it really is a natural fit for me to do this and I am ecstatic to help other competitors reach their highest potential and serve as a role model as well.
Q:Can you give us your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blog and website handles?
Facebook: Lynn Sambuco Ifbb Pro (personal page)
Facebook Fanpage: Lynn Sambuco
Instagram: LynnSambuco / Bella Body
Pinterest: Lynn Sambuco
Website: lynnsambucofitness.com (a blog will be added in the near fututre. A webdesigner is currently making a new one for me:)
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven.com