Learning to Thrive Series: Laura Hathaway

Q&A session with one of our own fitness icons, Laura Hathaway! What an amazing story of courage and determination!

Q. When were you diagnosed with Alopecia?

December 2006…No previous history of Alopecia. For about 6 months before diagnosis I was not feeling well. Run down. Wrote it off as being a busy mom of two young active kids, opened a new family business, etc. Then I was getting my hair done. My hair dresser found a round dime size spot in the back of my hair. At first I thought to myself “ok, this is a sign to slow down” but then within a week it started raining hair… from everywhere and did not stop until it all fell out. I have had Alopecia Universalis for 9 years now.

Q. How has Alopecia affected your life?

Nine years later, I can totally say it has been a rebirth complete with puberty. I literally feel I have come full circle. I started fresh had to find my way complete with the teenage awkward phase which was finding an acceptable way to live through what I consider totally life altering. Brutally honest, I wanted to end it at the beginning due to the extreme overwhelming emotions. Fortunately, something in me said if I’m going to be bald I will be the best bald person I can be (having 2 young, sweet children also pushed me). Long process but I feel I am on the other side of it now.

Q. When did you get into fitness?

I have been working out since I met my husband (gulp) over 20 years ago. I started competing 5 years ago. Two totally different goals. Competing has taught me how to change my body when I can’t change others things in my life — like Alopecia Universalis.

Q. What body part to enjoy training the most? The least?

Most and least… Legs. I am all about building my legs but the workouts are brutal… mentally and physically.

"This year, I decided to be me, bare it all and compete bald." - Laura Hathaway

“This year, I decided to be me, bare it all and compete bald.” – Laura Hathaway

Q. What has been the hardest part of your journey to competing?

Interestingly enough, wearing a wig. BIG part of why I chose to compete bald. Truthfully, I believe I became a master of disguise wearing wigs, false lashes and painted brows all to hide Alopecia. Competing with a wig and being on stage I struggled to smile. I really didn’t feel like me. This year I decided to be me, bare it all and compete bald. I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it was at times (mainly because of all the attention I received as well as my personal adjustment). I just cannot help but feel proud and like I am ME up there competing. You have to understand that it’s more than just a few weeks of practice to get on stage. The level I am at now at competing it’s about training, eating and making life choices every day to build a better athlete to bring to the stage… so getting up there disguised didn’t feel right. NOW I feel like me.

Q. Is there a certain diet that you follow?

Yes. In season, which is about 16 weeks out from my first show of the season, I do follow a regimented plan given by my prep coach. They work with my food preferences. I actually love it. There is no guessing involved. Everything I eat will help me achieve my goal without plateauing or losing the muscle that I have worked so hard to put on.

Q. Any goals for 2016?

To gain IFBB pro status. This will allow me to compete on the professional level. I will have made a dream a reality.

Q. What would you tell someone that is just getting into fitness?

Start slow, enjoy the process. Think of fitness as a hobby, like playing an instrument… You cant play like Eddie Van Halen the first moment you pick up the guitar. Set realistic goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is… there is no easy fix.

Laura Hathaway’s Courageous Day – A Mike Anderson Production from Down Angle on Vimeo.

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