Airline hostess Ayme Oliveira is more than your typical airline hostess. Not content with just shuffling up and down the narrow isles of an airplane dispensing plastic food, lukewarm beverages, booze and children’s toys, she’s made herself an alter ego.
In her spare time, she doubles as a competitive body builder. And she claims that her other life mostly goes undetected until she has to lift luggage into overhead lockers, at which point her rather well toned biceps become noticeable.
She says she got involved in weight lifting because she enjoys the challenge. And for Ayme it’s not just the challenge of competition she faces, it’s also the challenge of trying to find the time to put in the training and take part in competitions. With a child – she’s a single mum – and a job that involves jetting all over the world for several days at a time, that’s a tall order at times.
She also has to keep herself at peak fitness all the time so that she can compete whenever she gets the opportunity. Long-term planning is somewhat difficult when you don’t know when you’re going to be in the country and available to compete! For example, when she decided to participate in her biggest competition to date, she had just one week to get herself ready. That’s when the decision, and the effort, to stay in shape year round really pays off!
To remain in peak shape, Ayme tries to fit in 5 small meals each day, especially whilst on the job. She also manages to find the time to fit in some gym time – up to two and a half hours each day of weightlifting, resistance training, and cardio. She says she definitely prefers the weightlifting training to cardio work.
Body Building – An Unlikely Hobby For An Airline Hostess
So how did Ayme get started in such an unlikely side hobby for someone with a job that is usually associated with glamorous and svelte? According to Ayme, she’s always had a keen interest in health and fitness. Although never a big fan of sports like running, she did discover early on that she has a natural ability to build muscle. That led her into the world of competitive bodybuilding and it’s taken off from there.
When it comes to eating, Ayme makes sure she eats a lot of protein. Her day starts with her favourite breakfast of almond milk overnight oats. Don’t know what overnight oats are? It’s simply a delicious concoction of rolled oats, AKA oatmeal, soaked overnight in a liquid that can be normal milk, almond milk, soymilk or any of the other milk substitutes. You can even use water. For additional protein, flavour and/or some crunch, you can simply add your favorite protein powder, chia seeds, fruit, nuts, seeds, berries, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, peanut butter or anything that takes your fancy. The result – a deliciously creamy, wholesome, high fibre and, depending on what else you’ve added, high protein start to your day.
For Ayme, after the breakfast of overnight oats comes her 2 and a half hours of training followed by a protein shake to help rebuild and repair her muscle tissue. Then it’s usually off to work, where she’ll try and eat several more small meals throughout the day. For lunch, it’s usually a tuna or protein salad and sweet potato and as in-between pick me up snacks she’ll have homemade protein balls. Dinner is usually salmon with salad and no carbohydrates. Just before a competition she’ll cut back on the fats and carbohydrates, step up water intake to 5 liters a day and remove sodium, lactose and fructose.
Aside from the obvious health benefits to be had from a good diet and regular exercise, Ayme says her blood pressure these days is great, she’s rarely sick and she has greatly improved levels of energy. The exercise also helps to de-stress mind and body, clear the mind and is just a great, albeit very much underrated, anti-depressant.
Interestingly, she doesn’t believe in scale watching either. In fact, her advice to those who like to use scales to monitor their weight is – don’t. Muscle weighs more than fat and if your overall aim in working out is to lose weight, then you may find yourself constantly discouraged by what the scales tell you you weigh. Rather concentrate more on losing those fat deposits because that will make you look thinner, even if you don’t actually weigh much less.
And as for her future weight lifting competitions …. She clearly has the weight lifting side of things under control, as evidenced by her recent 5th placing in her category but says she really needs to work on her stage presence and on-stage confidence. Those are the things she feels are letting her down. But at the same time, she’s certainly not letting herself get too complacent about the weight lifting. Like she says, there is always plenty of room to improve her performance there too.
For the moment though she wants to share the successes she’s had so far with her body building regime. She firmly believes that the health benefits, both physically and mentally, far outweigh the types of negative comments that images of body builders, particularly females ones, often attract on social media.
0% Body Fat?
Although she certainly hasn’t reached the stage that some of her fellow female body builders have, where they’re sometimes erroneously described as having 0% body fat, she’ll still attract her fair share of detractors and negative comments from those who simply don’t like this type of look.
Some comments on Social Media platforms
- Wow – reckon she’d be a bit like a rock to cuddle. Mind you, I’d say the same thing about a guy with that much muscle too.
- I’m sorry but this is not my idea of how a woman should look at all.
- I hope she doesn’t go too much further with this and end up looking like one of those women who look more like men. That’s not a good look at all for a women when it gets to that stage.
- Not to my taste either but I’m a bit old fashioned like that. Toned can look great but not when it’s taken to excess.
- Hey, whatever rocks your boat. I wouldn’t do it but she’s clearly right into this so all power to her. I certainly admire her dedication.
- I don’t think this looks ugly at all. She’s well toned without being over the top. Some of the ones that are touted as being almost 0% body fat though are a bit over the top. Mind you, Google starving people and you’ll really get to see 0% body fat.
- Women should have a minimum of 15% body fat to ensure normal health. Any less than that and they risk health issues like osteoporosis and mental problems amongst others. It’s all about striking the right balance between too much and too little body fat.
- I’ve trained with body builders and the super fit ones are pretty lean and ripped. With some, you can even see all their veins. I reckon those who don’t like this look probably don’t really understand weight lifting or aren’t used to looking at weight lifters. Whilst some weight lifters get right down into single digit figures for body fat %, she’s nowhere near that. Those who claim people in this sport can be 0% have no real idea about human metabolism. Starving people in Africa are 0% and most of them die because of it. Whilst she looks OK, some of these women who get involved in bodybuilding don’t look healthy at all. People get so obsessed with losing body fat that they forget we need a certain amount of fat to function properly. I saw a TV program just recently that went into detail about how having the right amount of body fat is actually beneficial to internal organs such as the heart because it protects them.
- It’s certainly an extreme sport. You have to admire her dedication. Even if you don’t agree with the look or the body type.
- When people go to extremes in this sport and get to the point where they have very little body fat, they also have no energy or water reserves. If they’re in a combat situation, people need body fat and the energy reserves it supplies to endure sustained combat operations.
- Women who go to extremes as weight lifters look more like men than women. Women need some fat reserves if they want to have a healthy baby. However, if they’re not having a baby or enduring combat duty then personally I think they’re allowed to look however they want to look.
- Wow, that looks just like me once you peel away the layers of fat.
- Kudos to this lady for sharing her positive experiences with bodybuilding. Far too many women get into this sport though and take it to extremes. It doesn’t help when other body builders encourage them, which supports their belief that dropping down into single digit body fat % is normal and desirable. Bodybuilding is a great way to get healthy for both men and women but it’s the stories about the ones who do go to extremes and are viewed as freaks that puts others off having a go.
- People can’t survive without a certain amount of body fat. Fat is required by body cells for energy and if your fat stores get too low your body starts to break down muscle tissue to use for energy instead. Eventually your organs also shut down. People who take bodybuilding to extremes might think they’re healthy but the reality is that they’re living dangerously close to the edge.
Original Story published at Mirror.