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Roz "The Diva" Mays

A NASM- and TRX-certified personal trainer, pole athlete, and pole-dance instructor, Roz Mays (on @rozthediva) is also the subject of the award-winning short documentary Dangerous Curves: A Celebration of Plus Size Pole Dancers. Here’s how she fuels for fitness.

Experience Life | Describe your training and nutrition goals.

Roz Mays | My training goals are pretty simple: Lift the heaviest things around me, then dance backup for Queen Bey. That’s it. To do each of these things, I should be eating an insane amount of protein (a nutritionist recommended 200 grams daily) and chase it with a bunch of vegetables and water.

I struggle to successfully hit my nutrition goals, but I am always working toward them. I try to prioritize protein as much as possible; if I don’t have a stomach full of chicken, I can’t lift a damn thing.

EL | Do you use tests to inform your food and fitness choices?

RM | Admittedly, my hemoglobin A1C (a measure of blood sugar) is higher than it should be. While I don’t know the root cause of it, I know adding more vegetables makes a positive impact on my overall health. In regard to my fitness choices, I only do things that I genuinely enjoy.

EL | How has your food regimen changed over time?

RM | I used to track my food intake using macronutrient-counting programs, but that triggered disordered-eating habits. I did improve my body-fat-to-muscle ratio, but I also used to worry 24/7 that whatever I ate would make me gain weight. I’m still working on a happy medium between paying attention to my food intake and not being obsessed with the results.

EL | Do you have any food rituals or superstitions?

RM | I always save the biggest fry for last.

This originally appeared as “Fit Fuel” in the May 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

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