Nancy Georges is a true fitness industry icon. She helped pioneer physique competitions for women, winning two major championships when the sport was still in its infancy. Later, as the industry begin to explode she continued to excel and become an IFBB Figure Pro at a time when pro cards were a lot more difficult to obtain than they are now. It was no small accomplishment to develop the level of symmetry, balance, and proportion on a 5′ 9 frame needed to take the top position while still maintaining her femininity and not compromising on her personal beliefs.
Nancy is a blue collar, in-the-trenches, gym warrior who embraced and endorsed weight training and building muscle long before it became popular or even acceptable for women to do so. She was an accomplished fitness model and a work of art onstage. With years of practical knowledge and experience, she transitioned into helping others find their own fitness success. Nancy didn’t rely on her past accomplishments but pushed the envelop to explore even more cutting edge ways to bring out the best in herself and others. She knew how important the mental side of the coin could be in terms of making things happen right physically and her passion for self improvement and helping others has led her to develop a very unique and highly effective approach to creating fitness success via incorporating hypnotherapy to help the body become “mind-strong”. I am very pleased to bring you this interview with Nancy Georges!
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Bodysport: Where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
Nancy: I am originally from Lakewood, CA which is in Southern California, near Long Beach. I currently live in Davis, Ca. I moved up here in 2012 to attend UC Davis.
Bodysport: How did you first get involved in fitness, did you play sports in your youth?
Nancy: Yes, like many athletes, I did a lot of sports in my youth. My favorites were gymnastics, swimming and water-polo. In high school I was the only female on the varsity water polo team.
Bodysport: What got you started in competing?
Nancy: I was working at a gym called Holiday Spa, now known as Ballys. I saw a poster of Cameo Kneur, Cory Everson’s sister, who won Ms. National Fitness. I thought her body looked very lovely and I wanted to compete. I used to be a runway model so the inclusion of an evening gown round was very appealing. There use to be 3 rounds, swimsuit, evening gown and routine. They were all 1/3 each of the score. I competed in the first ever Fitness America Pageant and quite frankly was hooked from the beginning.
Bodysport: What are some your competition accomplishments and highlights?
Nancy: In 1991 I won Ms. National Fitness and Ms. Fitness USA. After that I competed intermittently and really didn’t place well due to the fitness routines advancing so much. In 2005 I dropped fitness and took up figure and In 2007 I won the IFBB North American Masters Figure division and earned my IFBB Pro card there.
Bodysport: When did you retire from competition?
Nancy: I “unofficially” retired in 2010 due to lower back pain from the extensive fitness routines I performed for so many years. I have since healed this through the use of self-hypnosis, but it was a long process.
I also “unofficially” retired to go to school to earn my degree in psychology. Currently I have a Bachelors in Psychology and I am in my final year working on my Master’s degree in Counseling and Sport Psychology. I am currently a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee and I see therapy clients under the direct supervision of a licensed professional.
Bodysport: How has the fitness industry changed since the time you first started and now? What are some of the positives and negatives you have seen?
Nancy: I don’t have enough room to express how much it has changed. For starters we did not have coaches when I started, we did not have social media, we did not have 20 different organizations or 20 divisions within each organization. When I started there was NPC and IFBB for bodybuilding and the Ms. Fitness and Fitness America organizations for the fitness division only. That’s it. I remember going to the Arnold Classic the year I won Ms. Fitness, it was in the basement of the theater with 20 booths, with Bob Kennedy of MuscleMag and Serge Nubret and a couple of clothing companies and professional bodybuilders signing autographs. I had posters for sale at Bob Kennedy’s booth and I sold out in one hour.
Bodysport: How long have you been doing fitness training and coaching?
Nancy: One of my first jobs was at a gym when I was 16 years old, so I have been in the fitness industry for over 30 years, but coaching competitors I started that in 2005, so for 12 years. An athlete came up to me and informed me that she was ready for me to coach her, and I said, ok, then I guess I am doing coaching now, I better figure out how to help people. So I started learning.
Bodysport: How did you first get interested in hypnotherapy?
Nancy: I was first introduced to hypnotherapy through the NLP community (Neurolinguistic programming). My first training was in 1994 and I love the idea of being able to program my own mind for success. Hypnotherapy has come a long way since then, and the idea of programming is quite outdated. Now hypnotherapy includes a conversation between the conscious and unconscious mind as opposed to the first generation hypnotherapy that was strictly authoritarian style.
Bodysport: Explain how hypnosis can be used to help people reach their fitness goals?
Nancy: In order to most fully understand how hypnosis can help people achieve their goals it is useful to talk about what hypnosis is. Hypnotherapy is relaxed attention and hyperawareness on a specific goal. It is a creative state of mind where learning is possible, without internal chatter. It is a conversation between the conscious and unconscious mind, and sometimes that is in words and sometimes that is through movement of the body. It allows for a person to move forward congruently with a particular goal, while releasing limiting blocks. We have access to our creativity when we are in a relaxed state of mind, and the goal of hypnotherapy is not to control someone’s mind, rather to open up a state where a person can relax so a conversation can take place between their conscious and unconscious mind.
I have used hypnosis with my fitness clients in many was such as helping them to sleep, boost confidence, eliminate food cravings, increase motivation for intense exercise. Eliminate internal negative chatter, overcome fears of failure and success, feeling deserving of winning, activate their inner athlete, anxiety and stress reduction, decreasing pain, and eliminate limiting beliefs.
Bodysport: What are some of the misconceptions that people have about hypnosis?
Nancy: The main misconception people have is that someone else is going to be controlling their mind and this makes people very nervous. People are also concerned that they will be forced to do things they don’t want to do. People are afraid of getting stuck in hypnosis, like they won’t be able to get out. And finally people are confused about what hypnosis actually is, and it remains very mysterious to people. People think being hypnotized is supposed to have a certain feel to it. They will say, well I don’t feel like I was hypnotized, and I say, what does being hypnotized feel like? They say, I just feel very relaxed. That is exactly how most of my clients feel after a session, relaxed.
Bodysport: What types of services or programs do you offer for people who might want to work with you and where can you be reached?
Nancy: I have 3 main umbrellas of services I offer:
- Mental Coaching – This program combines, NLP, Hypnotherapy and Sport Psychology. Many of my clients do mental training during their contest prep and they use a different coach for their contest prep, which leaves room for us to focus strictly on working on the mindset of an athlete.
- Contest Prep – Exactly what is sounds like, but I also incorporate hypnosis and mental training with this program, in addition to all the bells and whistles of a contest prep program.
- Physique Transformation – This program is for non-competitors who want to get in great shape without a competition, or for off-season athletes. I also incorporate hypnotherapy with this program.
Also, for athletes local to the Sacramento area, I do NLP and hypnotherapy sessions in my office in Sacramento.
What is unique about my services is that I talk to all of my clients over the phone for an hour and I have a maximum of 10 clients that I work with at a time in order to provide this high level of service to my clients.
In the context of Hypnotherapy, it is actually incorporated in all of my programs. For example for my contest prep clients when it is the week before the show, I send them over some pre-recorded sessions that will help them sleep, increase confidence and help them to visualize themselves onstage. We also do sessions during our weekly chats, depending on what is coming up. Each person is unique.
I can be contacted through my website at www.mindstrongathlete.com My social media links are all on that website as well. Also anyone who emails me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will email them a free hypnosis download, so they can try it out for themselves.
Bodysport: Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge who has been instrumental in your fitness journey?
Nancy: My boyfriend of 17 years has supported me through not only my fitness journey but my academic journey as well. I have to say earning my degrees in psychology has been at least as challenging, if not more challenging, than competing. He has seen me at my best and my worst. Nothing feels better than to know that you are supported no matter what. He does not expect me to win, or to be a person I am not, and for that I am so grateful. He is a solid sounding board and a pillar of strength when needed. There are many other people I can thank, but he has endured more than anyone I know.