The world of fitness is not for the fainthearted. In a profession where titles are made with blood and sweat, Marie Blanchard shows the right way of making a name for yourself. The Haitian bodybuilder gets candid about social media, cooking, and her future professional goals.
Marie Blanchard was born in 1985 at Port -Au-Prince in Haiti. At the age of 10, she first moved into the United States after the death of her father. For most of her life, her family moved around the country until she finally settled in New York City. At a young age, Blanchard found the calling to become a professional bodybuilder. She recalls being influenced by Jaime Eason before she even knew what bodybuilding was.
Slowly and steadily, the young woman persevered and made a name for herself in the industry. She started competing at the NMA and soon became a member of the NPC.
Marie Blanchard has an interesting view about social media. On one hand, she believes that social media has truly helped in popularising bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle among people. 20 years ago, the kind of pull bodybuilding has today would be unimaginable. In a way, this could be seen as the logical conclusion to what began in the 50s by the pioneers of the bodybuilding era. But at the same time, Blanchard also feels that social media has somehow diluted the essence of bodybuilding.
Today, anyone can call themselves a fitness model as long as they look attractive and sexy. A few liposuction procedures and injections are all it takes for someone to become a fitness guru. Such fake influencers, knowingly or unknowingly, cause great harm to the young minds that follow them.
View this post on Instagram
There is also an alarming trend of young girls harming their mental and physical health while seeking the ‘perfect’ figure. However, Blanchard is not surprised; she thinks that such a trend has existed for a long time. Internet and social media have only amplified the phenomenon. Technology has increased the accessibility of youngsters to harmful procedures, and the ‘perfect figure’ caricature is found everywhere – from entertainment to social media. Parents, as much as they try, cannot hope to completely shield their children from this ever-pervasive ideal. The key, according to Blanchard, is for parents to themselves become a positive influence for their children.
Parents should teach their kids from an early age that the ‘perfect body’ is a myth. Rather, they should love themselves exactly the way they are. Another tactic is introducing mediums where children can excel through merit – like education and sports – instead of superficial things like looks and appearance. Only the positive influence that parents set by example can counteract the superficial and faux negative influence of social media.
Marie Blanchard is enthusiastic about more young girls joining the bodybuilding profession. She believes if your heart beats for the profession, then you should go for it. In fact, more young girls entering bodybuilding would help break the stereotype that bodybuilding is a male-only profession. As a piece of advice, she suggests young girls start at an early age, rather than wait longer. Bodybuilding is a strict regimen, and your body will adapt to it far easier at a younger age.
Outside bodybuilding, the one thing that Marie Blanchard loves is cooking. She was born and brought up in a culture that celebrated food and cooking. Naturally, she grew up on rich Haitian delicacies and loved to cook for others even as a young girl. But when she forayed into the world of bodybuilding, she knew she had to change. She began by giving up the obvious foods that were high in carbs, high in sodium, and caused inflammation. Over the years, she learned to eat multiple smaller meals while using only selective spices.
Things get especially hard during the competitive season where she has to look her absolute best. A lot of sacrifices go into what she can and can’t eat. Blanchard doesn’t complain; she has to make the hard choices for her passion. But during off-seasons, she compensates by getting experimental with her cooking. She still adhered to her diet, but relaxes the limits by 20-25%. A lot of her own recipes could be found in her book Dieting Deliciously which has helped countless people get into sustainable dieting for better health.
Marie Blanchard has some clear goals for her future. She wants to achieve a Pro card and qualify to compete at the Olympia, the most reputed bodybuilding competition in the world. Blanchard, who recently celebrated her 35th birthday, hopes to one day be counted among the top 10 bodybuilders in the world. But she is not the kind of woman who leaves all her eggs in the same basket. Blanchard also has entrepreneurial ambitions and has already launched two startups of her own. In more than one way, Marie Blanchard is cruising her way towards success.