Sep 9, 2013

Motivational Monday

Another weekend has passed and Mondays are becoming my favorite day of the week!
I was pretty nervous to ask this person if I could spotlight them.
Just because my blog is small and you know with all the action I've seen on social media of this guy and this movement (something I think and he's confirmed will be bigger than we can comprehend now) I wasn't sure if he'd have two seconds to answer my questions.
For the record, he doesn't have two seconds but he still took the time to give me some amazing material to work with.
I'm glad and grateful that he agreed to do the spotlight.
Today's spotlight is Filipe "Leka" Filimoeatu. (Check him out on Instagram)
He is originally from Pomona, California but moved to West Valley City, UT when he was 10 so he calls West Valley home.
He currently lives in West Jordan with his wife Jenny and their four children.
Filipe is dedicated to fitness and has been competing in body building competitions since Fall of 2009.
His transformation has been absolutely amazing and it just goes to show that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve ANYTHING you want to.

I want to point out and make sure that everyone knows that the competitions that he competes in are all natural meaning they do not use performance enhancing drugs.
I think that's very important because usually when body building comes to mind, you think of "meatheads" and overly emotional men because of the drugs but having been able to listen to Fil's story, it has really changed my view and obviously has shut down a lot of the stereotypes that comes to mind with body building. Before I say more here is our virtual interview:

What made you want to take on this fitness journey and complete transformation?
"I've always been very active. I've always been active in sports and the weight room. The ONLY change I made to create this transformation was my nutrition. I had a few friends that competed in body building. I always admired them but I would tell myself that I couldn't control what I eat and I like food too much. Aside from that, I really didn't know where to start. In Spring of 2009, I went to watch a friend compete and he did awesome. It just blew me away at how far these people were able to take their bodies. It really inspired me and got me motivated so immediately after that show, I approached him and told him I wanted to do this and asked if he could help me out. He gave me some pointers and a lot of encouragement which I certainly appreciated because it helped me to have the confidence to make the changes I needed to make. Once I DECIDED that I could do this, it was no longer a hope or a wish that my diet or my program would work. It was only a matter of time. It was no longer me telling myself that I couldn't do it, it was this is what I was going to do and it was going to work. It was just a matter of time before it happened. I committed myself to it. It's incredible what your mind can do. For me, that's a big part of the rush is that I can command myself to transform from what I see everyday to what you see on stage."

How did you come up with the name Team Fleks, explain the meaning or reason behind it?
"My cousin Mark Lapuaho gave me the nickname of TFleks so when I went online to start a following for myself, I decided to use the name TFleks but instead of the typcial T-F-L-E-X, I switched it up. I'm named after my father Filipe and I am Filipe "Leka" so I incorporated the L-E-K into the name and from there it has transitioned into Team Fleks. (side note in Talisha's words: In the Tongan culture if you're named after someone, the younger person is Leka, the older one is Lahi. I grew up with mostly Tongans so it became the norm to call your friend by their name and add Leka after. Don't ask me for meanings because I don't even speak my own language of Samoan & Marshallese so I couldn't tell you. If you're that curious feel free to find a Tongan and have them explain!!) 

Please explain to those who may not know what this movement is all about?
"There were three original members of Team Fleks. 
Me, my brother and Nafe Hosea. Nafe and I have competed for the last few years and as far as I know, we are the only Polynesians who actively compete in the state of Utah. We decided to create a support group within ourselves and compete as a team. 
Nafe and myself have never used any trainers. We've always researched ourselves and trained. We've always taken ourselves on stage alone. I decided to put this team together and in doing so the word got out. My original goal was to find sponsors to help pay for drug testing, backstage prep, photography, tanning and hopefully nutrition and I am still actively seeking. (again side note, this is definitely a great investment so if you have the funds or know of anyone who would like to sponsor Team Fleks, go to this website HERE.)
The movement itself is not just about body building. The movement is truly to inspire, motivate and celebrate everyone and I mean everyone but especially the Polynesian people. It's more than just a physical achievement or physical health. It's mental health, emotional health. There are so many psychological benefits in doing what I do. I truly believe in the benefits of what I do. Get up and get out! Beak out of the norm of having diabetes, gout, high blood pressure and heart problems.
We assume being big is normal. Big is beautiful. If we're big and we're happy and we're beautiful, awesome! But I know for a fact that is not the case and the majority of the people out there are just ashamed to admit it. We're ashamed to want to be better, we're ashamed to admit that we want to feel better and look better. In doing what I do, I've gained the mental strength and I want people to feel that and have that."
{Nafe and Fil}

How long have you been competing in body building competitions and explain the feeling you get when on stage?
"I've been competing since Fall of 2009 and compete once every year and a half. The feeling I get on stage is euphoria. I don't know how else to explain it. People joke about body buidling, the speedos and what it entails but my response to that is, "Hell ya, I get on stage with my speedo!" Only 1% of America, such a small fraction of people will ever get on stage. Only a small amount of people who are willing to commit themselves mentally. Not physically, physical is not the hard part. It's mentally. Such a small few that are able to commit themselves mentally to put their bodies in that state and take themselves that far. I absolutely take pride in what I do despite the jokes I get.
I absorb that and take pride in being the pretty boy. I would much rather be called that than shorten my life and be fat. 
I want to break that mentality that being overweight is okay, I want to break that stereotype."

What is or would be your mission statement for Team Fleks? 
"I haven't really thought of a mission statement so I'll have to think about that one but what I would say right now is so many times we feel we don't deserve to be better, to look better, to dress better or receive praise. What I want everyone to know is, YES, we are worth it. We do deserve it. We need to understand that and accept our victories. We need to accept the results that our hard work brings us."

How important is incorporating fitness into one's life, what made you want to help others become the best they can possibly be?
"Regular exercise can have the same benefits as anti-depressant medications. Depression is very real. It's something that I've dealt with within my family. It can't cure it but it puts you in a better and happier state of mind. I know for me it gives me a stronger and happier self perception. It is critical to everyone's life. It is critical to balance physical, mental and spiritual well being.

How important is the support of your spouse and family?
"It is absolutely critical.
I always tell my clients that it's up to each individual to want to make the commitment but without the acceptance and support of my wife and family, I couldn't have been able to do what I've done so far. The progress that I've been able to make for myself absolutely attributed to the support I have."

There will always be those that will try to bring you and the Team Fleks movement down, what do you think about that?
"What do I think about that? I think 'crabs in the bucket.' that's what I think. You know, it's very frustrating. To be honest the support that I have greatly outnumbers the "haters" but the haters, they're the ones that always stick out and I know it's because if you can't do; hate. I say crabs in the bucket because it seems like everyone is cool that I was doing things for myself and this movement was slowly progressing but as soon as it took off, it seems like these guys no longer want me to do as well. They're okay once you're doing well, but not better than them. My honest perception of that is it's very small minded and primitive thinking. Word got out that I was trying to exploit my people as a business opportunity. I have no secrets, I do want to be able to do what I do for a living and support my family in doing so. My wife has had to talk me off the ledge a couple times and she has said that if I'm really wanting to do this, I need to expect that. It's very easy for me to get upset because this is my heart and my passion. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. But I must say that since those incidents, my following has become bigger!"

If you could say one thing to someone who is thinking about making this life change of being healthier and more fit, what would it be?
"STOP thinking about it. DO IT! Because as long as you're thinking about it, it's not going to happen. Stop making excuses. People come up to me and tell me they're ready to do this and I've taken my time to help and create a plan for people and then two weeks later they realize how difficult and how much work it's going to entail they just completely fall off.
Want it like you say you do. If you say you want it, do it!"

 In closing Filipe's last remarks are so powerful to me and there is so much heart, emotion and passion in his words. I wish and hope that I can portray that in this post because his heart and want for the Polynesian people and everyone in general to become the best they can be is amazing.
"This is going to take off farther than anyone sees and I see it already. It's gonna happen. I've been through this transformation. I've always been treated somewhat like an anomaly and I'm going to prove that that's wrong. That it's not just Fil that can do it and Polynesians can't do it. I'm gonna prove that with the right nutrition and the right health and right training regimen that I'm going to put my team on stage and help create the first Polynesian body building team. We can be better. We can be healthier. We can break the stereotype. We are descendants of warriors and we need to get back to that."

That my friends is POWERFUL! 
As I was listening and taking notes on the audio Fil gave me, I got the chills.
I love coming across people who are passionate about what they do.
Have you ever done something or had something that you just couldn't wait to share?
It's a domino effect.
I love when people not only create a transformation for themselves but because of that feeling they have to share it.
Isn't that what we're all here for?
I always stress to you how important I think support is.
But it's true, find a support group.
Find people who will help push you.
I think the Team Fleks movement is something to watch out for.
I am proud to say that I have friends that are on that team.
They are determined, motivated and passionate people.
Despite the haters or trials that come with it, keep pushing and that goes for anything you set out to do.
Surround yourself around those people who are genuine and want the best for you.
Because I am so honored that Fil has been able to share his story with me I am going to do a giveaway.
Funding for these competitions is hefty. So check out his Team Fleks website.
Also to enter to win a free Team Fleks shirt, follow these instructions and come back daily to double your chances of winning!
Hope you all have a fabulous week and thanks again Fil for letting me share your amazing story with everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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