Arlette Bomahou
Dun Loaghaire, Ireland

Bio: My story One of my favorite quote “ Be yourself, an original is always worth more than a copy “ My name is Arlette Bomahou. I am a 42 years old French lady living and working in Ireland since 2005. Born and raised in Caen, north of France. My mother is from Togo and my father from Benin ( West coast of Africa). They moved to France in the 70's to start a new chapter in their lives. I was born soon after in 1975. My life purpose is to empower women to take full responsibility for their own health and love their bodies at any age or shape. I do believe that limitations are only in our mind, we can achieve the best version of ourselves at any age. Back in France, I was alway active and involved in diverse sports from athletics, basketball and cross training. In 2000 my passion for sports and foreign languages took me to Amsterdam. I was employed by Nike and developed my skills as an account manager. More importantly, I discovered my first love : weight training. We were fortunate enough to have gym facilities, a basketball and tennis court. This work promoted a move to Dublin in 2005. 12 years on, I am still enjoying Ireland and hope to raise a family here. After 13 years of fitness training, I decided to put my strength into good use by competing in powerlifting for Ireland nationally and internationally until I decided to change path. As a result I won 2 worlds and European champion title in 2013 and 2014. My main focus the past 3 years has been to become healthier and fitter by losing 110 lbs/ 8st/ 50kg. When you get the chance you can check out to my blog article where I share 10 practical tips on how to lose weight while leading a healthy lifestyle The turning point Learning to love myself unconditionally inside out even at 19 stones. I finally realized that if I was not going to be grateful for the body I was born with right now, I won’t be happier once I succeed to achieve my goal weight. I was looking at pictures of myself as a teenager at a size 6-8 and I remembered that back then, I had no clue how to appreciate the way I looked. As a result I would complain all the time of being too fat. Moreover, I have across in my life of many beautiful women whom from the outside seem to have it all from the looks, financial stability and the so called perfect boyfriend. When we had a proper chat, I found out that deep down they were not very happy. Over the years, I understood that true happiness won’t come from how much weight I would lose, rather than by having the most loving and respectful relationship with myself. Bodybuilding journey I finally competed in my first bodybuilding competition on Sunday 8th of October in Dublin with NIFMA, Northern Ireland Fitness Model Association, after 11 months of hard work. I won 1st place in the Body Transformation category over 40, 2nd place in overall Body Transformation and 2nd place in Figure Toned over 40. It was a qualifier for the World Championship in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I then competed in the World Championships with NIFMA on Sunday 26th November 2017 in the Body Transformation and Couples division. I came 1st in the Couples, 3rd in the Body Transformation category. for the Couples category, I was actually on stage with one of my dearest friend and mentor Giselle Minehane. It was a very special moment for me as a year back I had seen Giselle competing in the same event and was very impressed with her. I came back stage to talk to her and since then we have been friends and training partner. My current goals within bodybuilding are to keep improving, learning about the sport and to take part in more events nationally and internationally. My long term goals like many athletes who compete in that sport, is to receive a pro card with NIFMA by November 2019 and by December 2019 with WBFF (World Beauty Fitness Federation). The ugly side of bodybuilding : my nervous meltdown I had signed up for the 10th September show with Nifma last year, due to health issues I had to pull away. It was the accumulation of over training, not sleeping enough, stress, pushing too hard and over consumption of both vitamin C and calcium tablets got me into troubles. I lost it completely, took 300 vitamin C tablets in 3 days, 90 magnesium & calcium tablets in one morning. Thinking it would give me more energy to keep going. I became so obsessed with competing and get my body ready for the stage to the detriment of my health. The blood tests ran in the hospital indicated that there is an imbalance between my white and red cells in my blood which meant that my body is very tired. Then my liver function was too high due to over consumption of vitamin C and calcium tablets. I took 3 weeks off work and training to allow my body to rest. I am actually glad this happened as I get to learn from my mistakes. During the 3 weeks break, I did walks on the beach and a lot of meditation. It was actually really nice and a wake up call. Everyone was very understanding and supportive of me, from family friends and work colleagues. I learned the hard way how to monitor my energy and the value of recovery. Why I decided to get into powerlifting before I transferred to bodybuilding For the past 17 years weight training has been my passion. It has helped me with weight loss and increased my fitness level. My previous personal trainer Adrian saw my potential and encouraged me to compete in powerlifting. In August 2013, I turned 38 and decided I needed to achieve something for myself before turning 40. The 2013 national deadlift championship provided an opportunity to test myself. I had found the place where I could get my true power. Why I am passionate about strength sports Powerlifting and bodybuilding are an empowering sports although they are different. It provides athletes with strength and confidence. For women it creates the belief that the impossible is possible. Lifting weights one never dreamed could be achieved opens the mind to an array of more possible ties. It’s been a real pleasure to see the change of trends in the fitness industry. For years, women were made to believe that lifting weight would make them bulky. Thanks to social media and movement trends such as “ Strong is sexy “, I see more and more women not afraid to do weight training and becoming advocate of it. My Vision Empowering women of every age and shape to embrace who they are and love their bodies. A healthy lifestyle starts with a healthy relationship that we have with ourselves. Through my struggles and experience to adopt healthy habits the past 10 years, I am aiming to share my knowledge and educate my future customers. This is one of my favorite TEd talks which I watch for motivation and reinforce self belief. What makes us special TED talk from Mariana Atencio

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