My breakfast is usually Burger King's (#4 meal), my lunch is something with rice and dinner is very bready. AND I'm trying to get in shape for the skating season! In NYC, the outdoor rinks that I frequent (Rockefeller Rink, Lasker Rink in Central Park, Wollman RInk in Central Park, The Pond at Bryant Park) all open by late October so this is the time to fix my diet as I chase the elusive camel spin. I need inspiration and encouragement so I reached out to reigning US national champion Ashley Wagner. (Photos of Ashley at right and below courtesy of Jay Adeff (jayadeff.com). Check out more of Jay's photos on Ashley's official website)
Why Ashley? Of the current field of ladies out there, I really like Ashley's look and body type. She looks strong, healthy and fit whenever she skates and that's important to me. I was sure she would have advice that would help me achieve that balance as well. So in our Q&A (via email), I started by asking her...
Have you ever struggled with weight while competing as a professional athlete?
Ashley Wagner: I haven't ever really struggled with weight, although that doesn't mean that I'm able to do whatever I want! I have the type of body that definitely needs to be maintained, and I work hard and keeping myself at the ideal body weight for my skating. I'm a firm believer that different body weights work for different people, not everybody needs to be 100 pounds and waif-like in order to skate.
Also, I don't weigh myself. I go on a day by day basis of what feels good to me out on the ice. I can tell if I'm getting heavier by how I feel jumping. I try to just maintain what feels good. I don't think that there is a specific number of what is good for figure skating, everyone is different.
What's your typical diet?
Ashley Wagner: My diet varies day to day. In the mornings I'm usually rushing out the door, so I have a glass of orange juice and a power bar. I snack consistently throughout the day on apples, nuts, veggies and granola. Lunch is a salad or a sandwich, maybe even a chicken quesadilla. Dinner depends on my mood, maybe pasta, maybe turkey chili or even a burger. I try to get protein in and I do take iron supplements. Since I live on my own, I also do a bit of both cooking for myself and takeout. I can prepare my own food but sometimes it's nice to have something made for you!
When the season ends in April, does your diet change and you indulge more in junk food?
Ashley Wagner: I eat pretty much the same throughout the year. I'm a full believer in celebrating Taco Tuesday out here and I have one day a week where I splurge and eat whatever I want. I eat dessert, I have a huge sweet tooth. It is really all about portion control! I acknowledge that I am very blessed with my metabolism, but smaller portions and the amount that I work out definitely helps! As I'm typing this, I am drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte, a guilty splurge for sure, and that is ok!
Can you describe your on and off ice training regimen?
Ashley Wagner: I'm on the ice 5 days a week, about 22 hours within the week. I also do a lot of off-ice conditioning: I love yoga to loosen me up and stretch out. I run and swim for cardio and focus on core conditioning for strength for my jumps. I also lift light weights. I have a trainer and I work on all the things above with him.
And do you also work with a nutritionist?
Ashley Wagner: No, I don't work with a nutritionist.
My takeaways from Ashley's advice? First, portion control is key and if you follow that, you'll never deprive yourself of anything. Second, healthy snacking throughout the day is good (nuts, granola, fruits & vegetables). Third, activities that take you outside of the rink is also good (yoga, stretching classes, swimming, strength training). And lastly, I loved that she said she doesn't weigh herself.
Ashley is set to compete at Skate America next week, the first of six stops in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. A few weeks ago, she won the ladies free skate at the Japan Open:
Ashley also demonstrated some of her strength execises for a morning show in Washington. Click here to watch.
And finally, below is the 2012-2013 Senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating schedule. Ashley is also set to compete at Cup of France.
- October 19 - October 21, 2012: Hilton HHonors Skate America (Kent, Washington)
- October 26 - October 28, 2012: Skate Canada (Kingston, Ontario)
- November 2 - November 4, 2012: Cup of China (Shanghai, China)
- November 9 - November 11, 2012: Rostelecom Cup/Cup of Russia (Moscow, Russia)
- November 16 - November 18, 2012: Trophée Eric Bompard Cachemire/Cup of France (Paris, France)
- November 23 - November 25, 2012: NHK Trophy (Miyasi, Japan)
- December 6 - December 9, 2012: Senior and Junior Grand Prix Final (Sochi, Russia)