DDT: Hi Suni, could you give us a little background info on yourself?
Suni: I am originally from the Dominican Republic, my mother got me and my bothers out of our beautiful island due to severe poverty. We moved to Puerto Rico and from there to the Bronx, NY. I was there from 5th grade till I graduated high school. Fresh out of high school I joined the US Army, I was stationed in Fort Brag North Carolina and after I did my time I moved to Colorado Springs. Now I am enjoying Miami and its beautiful Ocean breath and HEAT!
DDT: What got you inspired and into the fitness-health industry?
Suni: To be honest it was because of my first love, he was built and obsessed with Aaliyah’s flat stomach. Even though I was skinny I became obsessed to build abs like her. This was the spark that started it all. I was too young and too broke to join any gym, so I would wake up early in the morning to do sit-ups which was the only thing I knew, I was 16 at the time. As soon as I turned 17 I joined the gym in my high school.
DDT: We noticed on one of your Instagram posts that you were in the Army. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey and what it taught you about life?
Suni: It was a rush during training, the getting up early, the misery of only eating three times a day, but I loved all of it. I actually was in tears when basic training was done because I wanted more. Being on base I was not as pleased as I felt because time was moving too slow and I felt as if I did the wrong thing by joining the military. I have a very tough mother so the discipline from the US Army wasn’t new or difficult to follow. It was not until many years after I have been out of the service that I see how it was by far one of the best choices I have ever made to join. You go into life with a different outlook, and then the batch of pride you carry within you it shows on everything you do. I was a 63J1P pretty much a mechanic that jumped out of air planes.
DDT: If you could travel back in time, knowing what you know now, what would be the 3 biggest things you would do differently within your fitness journey?
Suni: I did so many things wrong from even taking six years off from the gym but I am glad I did that because once I go back I learned to love it even more. The one thing I would have changed was to hire a trainer sooner, learned about nutrition, and enjoyed my first show prep more.
DDT: What are some common issues you see within the fitness industry and how or what would you like to do to change it?
Suni: Ego and fake body parts. I notice that people create a cult within their choice of how to stay active and fit, and end up mocking the other ‘cult’ as if one is better than the other. Fake body parts have been something that I have to get a grip of, it used to drive me crazy. Mainly girls with fake glutes that advertise that is real and sell empty hopes to girls with a fitness program.
This concerns me the most because this can seriously cause more harm than good. It leads to frustration and anger on women trying to have a six pack with a super ‘phat booty’ in a sense that its cruel to mess with someone’s mental health just to make a dollar. All I can do is motivate people to do whichever form of fitness pleases them and to be very careful how I express my love for my choice of fitness without belittling other’s. As far as fake body parts, there’s really not much I can do but to inspire my ladies to embrace their body and to work as far as their body allows for changes.
DDT: Who has been your biggest influencer or mentor so far in life? Could you give us 1-3 life lessons you’ve learned from this person?
Lesson 1: We have never met in person but Nikola Tesla is my biggest influence. His lab burned to the ground after so many inventions and he just ended up rebuilding. It inspired me because it made me think…When it all gets destroyed and burned to the ground… Rebuild!
Write it and put it aside, this is something I practice when I have to write an angry letter or reply to a heated situation. Sometimes I wait a month and the end result 90% of the time I don’t send it and if I do I edit a lot of the context.
Lesson 2: Another huge influence in my life and I view him as a father is Abraham Lincoln.
Lesson 3: To always workout, because it’s a sign of self-respect and people that respect themselves respect others.
DDT: What are your 3 BHAG’s within training, nutrition, and life (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) for 2016?
Training- a lot of focus on my hamstring and calves.
Nutrition- continue to find more sources of protein from plants.
Life- master the art of listening
DDT: At times life throws challenges at you to test your mental toughness and heart as a person. What has been your biggest challenge in life and how did you overcome it?
Suni: My biggest challenges have come to me at a very young age, that left me wounded mentally, I have to endure abuse as a child and if its okay I’d rather not go into details. There is a video on my YouTube channel about it. It was not over night that I overcame it. But I did make a choice at a young age, nine to be exact, to choose happiness over the hell I went through. I made that choice because I was in such a dark place, awful and even though I was so young I knew I had no control over it but the one thing I do have control of his my mind and my feelings. As I get older I have to master this art of my control over defeat, failure or betrayal of any kind. This doesn’t mean I don’t get angry, I do, when this happens I look in the mirror and I say to myself, as if I were my own counselor, with tears rolling, I explain that pain is only real if I accept it. I end this therapy by focusing on nature as I sit on the beach and I stare at the ocean, clouds, and palm trees. This may sound insane which I get accused of a lot, but this practice leaves me feeling full of love and hope as there is so much mystery and wonder about mother nature. When I say I focus on nature it means just that I don’t try to stop thinking of the issue I just fill my head with what I love the most and that’s the ocean, clouds, and palm trees.
DDT: What does your current training routine look like?
Suni: I train 6 times a week, the last month and half was all negative-eccentric style training. This month its HEAVY and my trainer and I are working on adding some body mass.
DDT: Have you ever competed in a bikini or figure competition?
Suni: Yes I have, I am an IFBB Figure, currently prepping for a show in 4/1/2016 in Miami.
DDT: Your favorite book to read is?
Suni: The Greatest Saleman In The World by OG MANDINO, 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, How to Win Friends with Influence by Dale Carnegie. That last book has an awful title as it sounds manipulative but its FAR from that. The list can go on but l will leave it at that J
DDT: Your “Go To” training song is________________?
Suni: This is tough tough to answer music and food is my life treasures. I would have to say H by tool and if I am allowed a second one is Tripe Beam Dream Rick Ross ft. Nas … sorry I cannot leave out U Don’t Know by Jay Z.
DDT: Your favorite controlled-indulgence meal is______?
Suni: Beside when I am not competing, my meal plans are far from boring, but when its time to really spoil, Charlie and I go for waffles. Charlie is my appetite, that is an entire interview of its own.
DDT: What does Suni like to do for fun? Please don’t hold back on us 😉
Suni: Being home alone with the house super clean and very cold, I like to fill that space of time writing many ideas of my thoughts about life. There is something about being alone that brings me so close to God and life.
DDT: Where can our readers and supporters follow you and your work?
Suni: I have several accounts
Instagram: suni_sweeney, sunifit, inmyzone
Twitter: suni_sweeney, imz_inmyzone
You Tube: Suni Sweeney
Facebook/ Fan Page: sunifit, inmyzone
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