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home : health : health July 23, 2016

2/28/2012 1:42:00 PM
Sisters women take fitness to the stage
Sara Schmidt and Tami Jones have transformed themselves through training for figure competition. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
Sara Schmidt and Tami Jones have transformed themselves through training for figure competition. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

A commitment to fitness and a healthy lifestyle can transform lives. Just ask Tami Jones and Sara Schmidt.

These Sisters women have taken their commitment to a high level - and are putting it on stage for everyone to see. Over the next couple of months, Jones and Schmidt plan to participate in statewide figure competitions; the competitions will cap months of effort that has left them stronger and fitter - and has inspired friends and family to their own efforts to get in shape. They are competing as members of a Central Oregon team assembled by trainers Victoria Adelus and Josh Field.

Tami Jones, who owns Metamorphosis Salon and Spa started her own metamorphosis as a commitment to herself for her 45th birthday.

"Really, what got me started was Sara from Mountain Coffee came in and said she was doing (fitness) boot camp and thought we should all do it together," Jones recalled.

Sara Schmidt and Sarah Rybka were en route to figure competitions, and Jones supported them by helping with hair and makeup.

"I just sort of watched them and went along for the ride," Jones said. "For my 45th birthday I decided that's what I wanted to do."

For both Tami and Sara, the journey is more important than the destination.

"It's amazing," says Sara. "Watching your body change dramatically and knowing that it's you that did it. As my body gets stronger, I feel stronger... on the inside."

The journey requires commitment. Both women are up early to work out at Cascade Fitness, and they adhere to a strict diet.

But "strict diet" doesn't mean cutting back to nothing - far from it. The women are eating six to eight meals a day. They key is eating the right kinds of foods at the right time and eating "clean" - no processed foods and only healthy fats like avocados.

"That's what's surprising, I think," says Sara. "Women think that to look in shape you have to starve yourself. It's just what you eat and when you eat."

Many women shy away from weight training, but it is critical to body transformation.

"There's a lot of weights, which a lot of women are afraid of," says Sara. "I found out that's the key."

Weight training helps build lean muscle, but women really do not have to worry about "bulking up." They just don't have the hormones to pack on bulky muscle.

"It's very muscular, but still maintaining a feminine appearance," Sara says.

Training at this level can be all-encompassing, and both women have found that it has simply become a way of life.

"It's a lifestyle change, definitely," says Tami.

It helps to have family support, Tami notes.

"That's been huge for me," she says.

In fact, her journey has inspired her husband and kids to enhance their own fitness, and the obvious transformative effects on her health, energy and appearance also inspire her friends and clients.

Both believe most anyone can strive for something grand. Sara points out that both have businesses and both have kids and yet find the time to devote to their passion.

The shows themselves are demanding. The women will go out on stage in a bikini and high heels for judging.

"It's getting out there and showing the world 'Look how hard I've worked, and I did this,'" says Sara. "It's celebrating your strength."

For Tami Jones, it's a bit scary - but that's the point. She plans to find a challenge each year to push her limits.

"It's my something scary," she says. "At some point you have to say let's just do it."

Tami Jones will compete in the Bill Pearl High Desert Classic in Bend on May 12 and the Oregon Ironman in Lincoln City on May 19.

Sara Schmidt will compete in the Vancouver Classic in March; the Emerald Cup in Seattle in April; and the Oregon Ironman in May.

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