Monday, December 21, 2015

Jacqueline Paige- overweight and anxiety ridden to competing in Natural Bodybuilding Competition and living her best Life!

Jacqueline Paige is not only transformational person, but someone who will truly inspire you and help you to live your best life. As Newarknow continues to focus on health and fitness Jaqueline story is one that will stick out not only in crafting your best body, but also your heart and soul. Here's her story.

In recent years you had a total physical transformation, how did you do it?
Steve, to completely answer this question I have to go into a bit more detail. I have severe generalized anxiety. Basically, it is where I cannot turn off my brain.
The actual definition General Anxiety Disorder according to Web MD is: Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In people with GAD, the worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person's thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.
The doctors like to say, “you suffer from severe general anxiety disorder” to which my response is, “Shut the hell up- I am BLESSED with severe anxiety disorder”. But WHY am I telling you about this mess of a problem when I am supposed to be telling you about my “successful” fitness/weight loss journey. You needed to know what I struggle with EVERY SINGLE DAY, my motivating factor… my lifeline.My weight loss journey started in November 2012. The highest I ever saw the scale go was 183 pounds. Now, for some people, that might be their target goal- but for me, and my body type, I was highly overweight. I struggled daily mentally, physically and emotionally. I ate fast food multiple times a week. “Cooking” was throwing a frozen pizza in the oven, pizza rolls in the microwave or if I got really ambitious, I would make loaded cheesy potatoes (and proceed to eat the whole pan). It wasn’t that I sat on my ass 24/7, or that I didn’t exercise- actually, quite the opposite. I had a stressful internship out in Wyoming working 60+ hours a week, was still taking online college courses, and went to the gym to “run” on the treadmill a few times a week. I never had time to just sit, yet I was getting progressively larger by the day. Although I didn’t love how I looked, I didn’t hate it. What I did hate is how I felt. I felt like shit 100% of the time. If I wasn’t struggling emotionally or mentally, it was probably because my body was too exhausted physically from my job and from my daily life activates that I was legitimately out of breath! I needed something to change.
My mom, being the beast, and by beast I mean amazing, gorgeous, ambitious woman she is, competed through the NANBF (North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation) as a figure competitor. I saw her lose weight, build muscle and gain confidence…and she looked and felt GREAT (everyone could tell). She was what I aspired to be like, not only because of her physical transformation, but because of the mental transformation and life change she was making as well.

January 2013 I made the decision and set the goal to do my first NANBF competition in May. That gave me five months to change my eating habits, start working out/building muscle, and gain the confidence to go on stage and “present” my best package. I complied a diet plan for the next five months (with the help of my mother and family friend, Jim), I started weight training six days a week with my mom, and started working towards a healthier lifestyle (not binge drinking, binge eating). In May 2013, I stepped on the stage at the NANBF Mr. and Ms. Minnesota show and completed my first “fitness” milestone. I ended up taking home a fourth place in my class. I dropped approximately fifty pounds from the time I started training to going on stage. Now, to say that was difficult, would be an understatement. Completely changing the way you eat, think, and LIVE not only affects you, but those around you. I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t fully understand the physiological effects taking place during my training. I was focused on losing weight and looking good in a bikini for a show… I wasn’t actually focused on changing my lifestyle. However, I had gotten bit by the “show bug”, I wanted to be on stage and do better- so I set another goal of the NANBF show in Elk River Minnesota in October 2013. I lifted hard, but hit the cardio harder. In October, I came in with an even better personal package, and ended up taking home fourth in my class again. I was so proud of myself physically but STILL struggled with myself mentally and emotionally. It was at that point when I realized I needed to take a step back and concentrate on myself mentally and emotionally getting stronger, rather than just physically getting stronger. I needed to educate myself.
It turns out the more I educated myself and others about my anxiety disorder, the worse I felt about myself. People tended to look at it as a weakness. I tried multiple medications, therapy… you name it, I tried it. I felt like a burden, a mutant, a ticking time bomb. In early October of 2014, a year after my NANBF Elk River show, I hit rock bottom. I had proceeded to push a majority of my loved ones away: my now ex-boyfriend, many friends, and family. I hit rock bottom, and cannot emphasize enough how thankful I am for the individuals who did stick with me, who continued to believe in me (even when I had completely given up on myself). I wanted to make myself feel better- to not let my anxiety overcome my life. So I decided to change my mindset, and let my lifestyle follow. I found a doctor named Chris, she’s amazing and LISTENS. I started reading The Positive Thinking Secret, and embracing the theories. To my surprise, I saw change. I believed things were going to get better, I believed that I could be positive (and that my anxiety could be positive) and it started to work! I am not saying that every day was perfect, or amazing… but every day was a good day (even if it did have some rough patches).
By January 2015, I was mentally and emotionally feeling the best I have ever felt. I wanted to try training for another show. Two shows were coming up, Natural Iowa, and Mr. and Ms. Minnesota. They were rapidly approaching (in May) and I thought it would be cool to try to peak for Mr. and Ms. MN since it had been my “starter” show. I trained doing limited cardio, and focusing primarily on weightlifting. My body composition had completely changed from the first time I stepped on stage. I trained with the mindset and belief that these competitions were me against me. Me and my mind now against who I was in 2013 and 2014. I stepped on stage at Iowa with a great personal package and didn’t place… but I was SO proud MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY and EMOTIONALLY. The week after Iowa, I stepped on stage at Mr. and Ms. Minnesota and blew my 2013 package out of the water. I ended up taking home third place in my novice class. My most recent show, was a DFAC show in Duluth, MN where I competed in one of the bikini classes. I was wanted to try the DFAC show format for the sole purpose that the shows are made for the competitors, put on by competitors. This was the most competitive show I have ever competed at, and I didn't end up placing (which I was more than ok with). The other athletes were amazing, and I felt blessed to be sharing the stage with them.

Now you compete in various competitions which ones and how do you like competing?

I have competed in five shows thus far. I have competed in four NANBF shows, and one DFAC show. (I think the above question answered this in more detail).
Who is your role model and why?  
This is probably cliche, but my mother is my biggest role model. She has gone through a transformation similar to mine, she works full time, is a mother of three kids, a wife, a christian, and one of the kindest people I know. She is selfless, blunt, funny, and I am blessed to call her MY mother.
What exercises and supplement do you perform and take?As for exercises, I try and mix it up as much as possible. I weight lift six days a week but it is ever changing. I am the operations manager for a gym, so I have the pleasure of collaborating now with my personal training director and staff. Not only do I get to learn from my staff at work, but looking at blogs and training videos online help me to change up my routine as well.
Supplements are an issue for me if I am speaking honestly. I take a multi vitamin on a daily basis along with glutamine, bcaas, and CLA. That is it for supplements. I have to be careful with what I introduce into my system for the fact that it can affect my anxiety.
What are your goals in life and in the fitness world?
My goals in life and in the fitness world are the same- Help other people realize they can achieve whatever they put their mind to.. and to realize that everyone is going through something (big or small).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

IFBB Pro Thomas Trilivas Bodybuilder, animal rights advocate and true cat lover!

Nutley,New Jersey native Thomas Trilivas is becoming quite a brand for himself in bodybuilding just a short time ago he was overweight and out of shape, but as you will see in the following transformational pictures he has completely turned that around. As we here at Newarknow continue to look at people who help define fitness and health, we hope you also will be motivated and inspired by Tom and his words of advice. Tom is also a huge animal lover and his cats live like kings!

How did you get started in bodybuilding?

I got started very young about 13 yrs old with just basic weight training. I continued to train more many yrs on an off for sports or just to keep in shape but mainly because I just enjoyed it. Many times people had asked me to compete and I always said I wasn't good enough to do it. Finally at the age of 36 I stepped on stage and won the overall 1st place trophy for masters and also won the novice division. It was the start of
everything for me competitively.

 What was is like competing for the 1st time?
It was incredible. I was so nervous, I didn't think I was good enough. I actually was in the worst shape of my life in Feb 2014 because I stopped training do to moving my residence and working on my new home plus running my business. I then became somewhat depressed and got upset with myself so I decided to set a goal that I would step on stage in 6 months from Feb 6th 2014.... in only 5 months I stepped on stage and won at the tri state championships on July 19th. I then competed in the 6th month at a much bigger show Muscle Beach championships on Aug 9th and took home 3 more trophies... 2 first place and 1 second place. I was thrilled, amazed, shocked all at one time that in just 6 months from not working out at all I was winning multiple shows. I then made a decision to go into a National show called North Americans in Pittsburgh. It was a dream I had my whole life to compete for my pro card. I couldn't believe it was happening in just a 6 month period. I finished 12th out of 24 guys and I also got 8th in the masters division. It was an incredible experience and achievement

What advice would you give someone just starting out in bodybuilding?

I would give them the advice to stay consistent, always believe in yourself, set obtainable goals, don't ever listen to someone tell you something can't be done, and just make yourself happy don't compare yourself to others always compare yourself to you. If you are better then the last version of yourself you are winning!

Who influenced you the most in bodybuilding?

I had a friend named Oni that i trained with sometimes and at the same gym. He pushed me to compete telling me I had what it took to be successful and I am glad I listed to him!

 Describe who you are and where you want to be in 10 years?

 I am a very dedicated individual that is determined to get results not only in bodybuilding but in life! I try appreciate everything around me and the people who support me because life is very short and you need to live in the moment but plan for your future as well! I see myself in 10 yrs to be successful at what ever goals I have set for myself but always being the same person I was growing up with a very big heart, always caring for others, appreciating life, continuing to workout and not sure about competing at a competitive level in 10 yrs but you never know. I will just do what ever makes me happy at that time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Passaic's own Christian Villar is Slam Dunkin it all the way to the Top!

Our next interview is Passaic very own young entrepreneur Christian Villar owner of the North Jersey Pros basketball team and also a player on the team and Villar consulting. Villar has become a real role model to not only youngsters in Passaic, but also all over New Jersey and youngsters who meet him through his travels worldwide. At the young age of 5, Villar lost his father to a drunk driver and was raised by his mom. Villar is someone you will want to look at for as he and his company grows.
When I asked the Mayor of Passaic Dr. Alex Blanco to say a few words about Villar here is what he said, "I have known Mr. Villar for several years.  I would like to congratulate Chris for his outstanding accomplishments, and his involvement in the community of the City of Passaic. We have many similarities. We both come from disadvantage families. Both of our mothers worked in factories earning minimum wage salaries and pushed us to the path of higher education. We both  grew up in Passaic, went to PHS and college.

But what I really admire of Chris is the fact that he came back to Passaic City to serve as a role model for our youth, not only to the Hispanic community but in general.  Most people graduate college and move far away from their native cities. But Chris has worked at the YMCA as a youth counselor, after graduating college. He became an outreach counselor for Lincoln Middle School soon after left to obtain his master’s degree. He currently has a contract as the director with his consulting practice to run the River Drive residences which prevent homelessness in the city of Passaic and is part of Greater Passaic Clifton Community Center.  For the past two years, he has held Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the homeless people and the YMCA residents. Chris knows the community and dedicate a lot of his time helping the needed and making Passaic City a better place.

Also, Chris is the sole owner of North Jersey Pros basketball team and Villar Consulting, LLC.  He has a Master’s in Public Administration & Nonprofit Management, as well as a BA in Social and Behavioral with minors in psychology & business administration, from Seton Hall University.  

As Mayor of the City of Passaic I am proud of Christian Villar's educational achievements and for his dedication to our city."

Dr. Alex D. Blanco                    

Christian you graduated from Passaic High School and went onto Seton Hall University afterwards achieving many of your goals. What do attribute to your success and what advice would you give to others?

I learned at a very young age coming from nothing that we all as humans come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing.  You can work hard and gain wealth, material things, etc but that can all be taken from you at any given moment but the one thing I realized that no one can ever take away you is your education/knowledge/ and your personal relationship with God.  I am grateful to Passaic High School and Seton Hall University because the education that I obtain there is what has allowed me to achieve all the things I ever wanted.  I can lose all I have today but the education, morals, and knowledge i have no one can ever take from me.  My advice to other is to analyze the famous quote “knowledge is power” because it is when applied correctly.

How did you start the North Jersey Pros Basketball team?

I started the North Jersey because I was able to combine my knowledge and education with my passion for basketball and helping other.  At the time I was playing professional basketball internationally and didn’t like being away from my family.  As an entrepreneur and businessman I was able to work basically from anywhere in the world because I was and still am the owner and sole practitioner of Villar Consulting, LLC. An independent consulting firm that assists individuals start their own nonprofit organizations and business, obtaining 501(c)3 tax exemption status, and assisting professional athletes with contract negotiations, endorsement deals, and starting their own foundations and businesses.  So I decided to put into practice everything I was doing for my clients. 

In 2009 I decided to start my own team that would be used as a tool to give back to the youth, allow me to continue playing but with control of where and when I played, and impact other players by giving them opportunity to play for my team and continue their professional basketball careers. I took the logo from my Villar Consulitng LLC  logo where the “I” in Villar is a man in a black suit and created the North Jersey Pros logo of a man taking off his suit like superman but underneath it had a basketball uniform.  To me this was very important because the team was now part of my consulting practice and I wanted to have brand identity among the two.  Furthermore, it symbolized a movement and concept for the youth. Basically what the logo and name wants to convey is that we all have a hero within us and can still be professional at any chosen career but that we can still live out our dreams and be “Pros” at whatever we chose to do.  At the time the Nets were still in New Jersey so I named the team North Jersey Pros because we were going to be the “Pros” from northern New Jersey that would represent the state worldwide.

Fast forward to the present moment and that vision I had is now a reality.  I have created a brand and team that is now composed of players with NBA, NBA summer league, and NBA Developmental League, and international professional basketball playing experience that now travels internationally and nationally to play other professional basketball teams from various professional basketball leagues and countries. So far we have helped 30+ players to obtain pro contracts and further their careers throughout the USA, Chile, Canada, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Iceland, Greece, Africa, Israel, China, and Japan. Most recently we played the Dominican Republic Men’s National Basketball team at the Atlanta Hawks facilities to help them prepare for their pre Olympic qualifying games.  Our Head Coach is no other than 2-Time NBA champion and 3-Time NBA 3point champion Craig Hodges. Our first ever Head Coach Matt Riccardi is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets.  I also use the team and players to conduct free basketball clinics where ever we play and no child or student has ever paid to watch us play.  While conducting the free clinics and camps we speak to the youth about the importance of obtaining and education and being “Pros” at whatever it is they have a passion for.  Not to ever let a title, jersey, team, money, or anything else determined their worth or who they are in life.

You are not only the CEO of the New Jersey Pros, but also a player on the team, how do manage to do both?

LOL. Not only am I the CEO, but I am the sole owner/financial supporter of the team and the one responsible for all goes on with the team and organization such as from the marketing, negotiations, player signing and recruiting, scheduling tours internationally, to even driving the bus when we used to travel by land to YES playing.  I have managed being a player and CEO by for the past 6 years by being a professional on and off the courts.  While in practice and game I am nothing more than a player because the coach is in full control of everything that goes on during practice and games.  Every minute I have ever played I have earned and players respect me both on and off the court because I can talk to them as team owner off the courts and as a teammate/brother while on the court.  I have never had an issue with any player to date as an owner or player because everyone that has ever worn a Pros uniform has been treated as family and once family always family.  Players know that I always put the brand and them before my game.

Who is your role model?

My mother has always been and will always be my biggest role model.

Many minorities look up to as a role model especially in the Latino community, what advice would give them?

My advice is simple.  Obtain an education, believe in yourself and go after whatever it is that you have your heart and mind set on. No one can stop YOU from doing YOU except YOU.  Be the best YOU can BE.  Is great to be a professional, successful, and even wealthy person but the most important thing one can be is a humble and loving individual towards life, each other, and this world. Live up to your standards and run your race at your pace.  Above all build a relationship with God because he is love and is the only one that will never leave you.  Even your shadow leaves you in the dark but He is light upon your life. 

Learn more about my consulting practice and team by visiting us online:

Monday, July 6, 2015

We continue our look at people in the media and today we have the very popular and likable NBC 4 Sports anchor Harry Cicma. 

Harry you were a  World Class Tennis player, how did that get started?

I grew up in Providence Rhode Island, and began playing tennis at the age of 6.  My parents played very little, but they brought me to the courts to hit a few balls.  I only played in the Summers until I was 12, then decided to play every day, and pursue my dream of being a professional and Division 1 College Tennis Player.   Through years and years of work, many sacrifices, also the support of my family, friends, and coaches (Dick Ernst and Yuri Stetsenko), I was able to move up the USTA Junior Rankings, and get recruited by Rutgers University's Division 1 Team.  From Rutgers, I  was granted a Wild Card into the main doubles draw of the Tennis Hall of Fame ATP World Tour Pro Tennis Tournament.  I played with my great friend and Rutgers teammate, Greg Schweitzer, and since competed in other ATP events throughout College; we earned an ATP Tour Pro Tennis Ranking for 4 consecutive years.  It was a dream come true, and a story of sacrifice and dedication, and it's nice to tell young kids that they can achieve their dreams if they  work hard, and "fight a good fight."

You went to Rutgers here in New Jersey, how did you like Rutgers and New Jersey? 

I love Rutgers University.  Attending Rutgers prepared me for a top career in Sports Media, but it also allowed me to reach my full potential as a Division 1 Athlete, and Student.  It is a very exciting school, and a true feeder for New York City; it prepares you for anything that life and business can send your way.  New Jersey is very much home to me, I appreciate it, and I always say that Rutgers is one of my favorite places in the's a part of my life and home.
How did you first get started working in the media? 
I began hosting my High School TV Show, at Classical High School in Providence.  I then did the same thing for all 4 years at Rutgers, and also announced games on WRSU 88.7 FM Rutgers Student Radio.  I interned at NBC, while in college, which gave me the foundation to have a career in the TV Media Industry.

Harry you are a complete Renaissance man, what other goals and accomplishments in life do you want to accomplish? 

I am honored to have a career in TV and Media.  I take pride in staying on the cutting edge in the Media Industry, and being able to stay well rounded as a Production Executive & Manager, and also on air.  While I've achieved many goals, it is my main focus to continue to produce excellent shows, stay up to date on the quickly expanding Media world, and still do the best I can as a Coordinating Producer, and on air host.

Harry you run your own production company, where do  you want to take the company? What events would you like to be able to broadcast? 

Harry Cicma Productions LLC produces various events, sports and broadcasts; including TV Distribution and Management.   We have covered some of the most exclusive TV Broadcasts, such as the Necker Cup, Miami Marathon and Turkish Airlines Open Golf....among dozens of other events around America and the World.  We bring the same level of effort to all events, so I simply enjoy setting forth efficient, affordable and top level productions for all our clients, and continuing to stay at the highest level of the TV industry.

Your on air reporting on Hurricane Sandy for NBC 4  in 2012 earned you an Emmy award talk to me about that experience?  How do you like covering hard news? 

Reporting and Anchoring Sports as part of the WNBC team, is a true honor and privilege....  When I covered Hurricane Sandy, it was strictly from the heart, in an effort to help the people around NYC, and the entire Tri State Area.  I never expected our coverage to last for so many weeks, but the passion for helping people, and informing people, friends and fellow New Yorkers is what kept me going.   It was always my goal to win and EMMY Award, and to achieve that while doing something from the heart, is the best way to do it.    It was a major team effort.

Harry you are a Greek American, tell me about your culture and any traditions you may have?
I was born in America, but I am very proud that my Ancestors are from Greece.  The Greek history and culture is very strong, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Greek people have a lot of heart, and it has definitely been passed down through generations in my family.  I think the most notable are the family values, and believing in family, and hard work.  The United States are my heart and soul, and it's a nice mix to have roots from Greece. 

Harry if you could interview anyone wether they be from the sports field or anywhere else who would it be-your number one get? 

Interviewing Andre Agassi during his Tennis Hall of Fame Induction meant the most to me, because he had such a positive impact on my life as a young tennis player.  He taught me never to give up, and that you can comeback from some of life's biggest set backs and become a stronger person.  I also look up to my fellow Greek American Pete Sampras.  I've interviewed nearly everyone, but, I would like to interview Michael Jordan.

Harry thus far in your young yet eventful career what has been your most memorable experience? 

Honestly, too many to pin point's been one long journey, and the most rewarding part is being able to use the accomplishments, and hard work, to inspire others.  What matters most to me, besides putting dinner on the table, is being able to prove to people that you can make it while still being an honest and hard working person, that's what I take most pride in, and pushes me every day.

  Ten years from now where do you see Harry Cicma? 

Hopefully doing exactly what I'm doing, just doing more of it, and always developing more innovative tactics.  Work is great, I also appreciatefamily,friends and health, so it's nice to keep a balance, and keep progressing.