Bunny Azzopardi, 49, is a fitness competitor/model, mom, business owner and NUTRISHOP®-sponsored athlete who has won competitions and graced several magazine covers. Her greatest rewards, however, come from hearing from others who felt inspired by her to embark on their own journeys of changing their lives for the better, both physcially and mentally. We had the chance to chat with Bunny and ask her a few questions. Read on to get to know her better.
How did you get involved in competing and how long have you been doing it?
I had been training at the gym for years, but I had never in my life considered doing a fitness competition. I wouldn't. I was way too shy. It wasn't until my oldest son started training in jiujitsu that I decided to push my own limits. It was my way at supporting him and going through the motions with him for his first competition. Firsts for both of us. That was about 8 years ago. Since then I've done about 7 or 8 competitions.
What has been one of the greatest challenges you've faced and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was overcoming the shyness and fear of being on stage. Or more so, the "all eyes on me" moment. My coach used to always tell me that he wasn't worried about my training or physique. It was my headspace. Honestly, it never changed. I could never overcome that fear of being the center of attention. I'd still rather stand at the back of the crowd.
What is the best part about what you do as an athlete?
I've met so many amazing people and had the opportunity to work with some great photographers. I can't begin to describe the number of times that I've been brought to tears from some of the heartfelt messages that I've received from people who have been following me. That's definitely the most rewarding part of this entire journey for me.
How did you come to be a NUTRISHOP athlete?
I learned early on in this industry that most fitness models represent some sort of supplement company. That's just what you're supposed to do. It wasn't really my goal, though. I've always been picky about what supplements I use. When NUTRISHOP® approached me, I decided to do some research. I had always heard very good things about their team. Well, it turned out that their products were as good as they say, too.
What is your favorite supplement or supplement stack so far and why?
I definitely have my favorites on order every month. MERK pre workout in Blue Razz, Nature's Fuel multi-vitamin, Multi-Source Collagen Peptides, Superfoods, and my newest love is the RESTŌR! Their products are exactly what they say they are without all the fillers.
What does being a part of Team NUTRISHOP® mean to you?
I feel proud and honestly honored to say that I belong to such a fantastic team. I really couldn't believe it when I finally met everyone. The most welcoming and friendly group of people that I've met in a long time. Everyone is so supportive of each other. I couldn't be happier being able to represent them from Canada.
When times get tough, how do you stay motivated?
Now to the "being a mom" part. I can't lie. It can get a little busy and hectic with three boys. I lose motivation at times and don't mind taking a break from training here and there. It's only just a break, though. As much as I need and then I know I need when to get back to my workout routine again. My family keeps me motivated, but I know when to motivate myself too. It's more like "me time" needed.
What are your top five training tips for your sport?
- Be consistent.
- Proper form over reps every time.
- FOCUS! Don't mock the mind/muscle connection. It works!
- Celebrate every accomplishment no matter how small you may think it is.
- Give it time! Don't expect your results to be instant. The people that you follow have been at this for years.
What is the most important piece of advice you would offer to someone who wants to be like you?
It's funny. I always feel some kind of way when someone says, "I want to look like you." There are a few things here. One, but you're such a great you! Two, like I said earlier, celebrate every accomplishment. I'll see people who follow competitors and wonder why they can't get to that physique level. It's a totally different goal. Go easy on yourself and just start. You'll be so amazed at what you can accomplish.
Favorite quote or mantra?
"You've always been beautiful. Now you're just deciding to be healthier and stronger."
If you were a brand, what would be your motto?
My personal motto is #liveoutloud! You only get one shot at this life and you have to love it.
You're a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
A new brighter shade of yellow, representing sunshine and positive vibes. You can never have too much of that.
Top 3 songs you listen to when working out?
I don't really have a top 3. I have a gym playlist. Mostly gangsta rap and hip hop. Don't judge!
Favorite cheat meal?
I think everyone knows that it used to be Nutella. I have no idea what happened. I'm off that now. I would probably say pizza now.
Favorite healthy snack?
My favorite healthy meal has got to be my morning cereal. I pour my vanilla shake over it or oatmeal. I've always been more of a breakfast lover.
What is your training routine like each week?
My training routine is basically: five times a week, one body part a day and abs in between to keep my heart rate going. I'm not a fan of cardio.
What is your most notable achievement?
I think my most notable achievement would have to be that very first fitness competition. I'm still surprised I didn't walk away come stage time. My family has top priority in the end.