Sunday, March 12, 2017

AMPed Life Women Sherena King: Engineer, Queen, and Health Enthusiast. A Real Life Wonder Woman

Photo Courtesy of Sherena King
Sherena, Tell us about yourself.
I work as a QA Validation Oversight employee at a pharmaceutical company.  I’ve been married for 3 years to my husband Xavier.  Together we enjoy world travel, binging on Netflix’s Vampire Diaries, YouTube vlogs and knocking items off of my bucket list.  I also love event planning, playing with textures while interior decorating, collecting Wonder Woman paraphernalia, playing in makeup and transforming my body through different avenues of physical activity.  I’d like to think of myself as a true Jill of All Trades; I am Wonder Woman!!!

Why did you decide to get involved in competing in pageants?
I always wanted to be involved with the entertainment, beauty and/or modeling industry.  I believe pageantry would be an excellent avenue to gain exposure and network with individuals in those industries.

Photo Courtesy of Sherena King
What is your platform and why did you decide to use this platform.?
My platform is “Fighting Obesity through physical fitness and clean eating.” I've struggled with weight my entire life. I know what it's like to be in an obese weight range for my height, so if I can help others then I feel I've done my part. Daily physical activity and clean eating can be hard. It's good to have an accountability partner.

Most people who participate in pageants have coaches, but you decided to go without. Why did you decide to forego a coach?

When I competed for the title of Mrs. United States in 2014, I decided to forego a coach to present an authentic package to the judges.  Without proper coaching and technique I would be sure to standout and be completely myself.  

What skills do you gain when you compete in pageants?

Competing in pageants require you to be physically, socially and intellectually at your best.  I was able to enhance my social skills and strengthen my public speaking abilities.  I was always confident, but presenting my best physique during the swimsuit portion definitely took my confidence to a new level.  

Why is fitness such a big part of your life?
As a young child, I suffered from obesity and grew up to be an overweight young adult.  With extra weight came health problems.  At the age of 16 I was diagnosed with hypertension and had to take medication to control my blood pressure and bring it down to safer levels.  Becoming physically fit has given me a better physique and also keeps me off of the blood pressure medicine I use to take.  

Photo Courtesy of Sherena King
Some people have negative views of women who lift weights.  Has that been a problem for you? What are the usual comments you receive and how do you respond to them?
Fortunately, I haven’t had any problems from those who don’t understand my way of life.  I tend to surround myself with people who understand and see the beauty in women who lift.  However, there’s always that one person who asks if I’ll get too big or too ripped b/c they’re concerned I’ll no longer be feminine and/or pretty.  My usual response to them is, “F your beauty standards!” …and I’ll say it with a smile.

Society has its own standard of beauty.  Has measuring up to those standards been something difficult as a child or an adult? How did you handle societal pressures?
Society tends to be so hard on women.  When I was growing up, the media and magazines I enjoyed promoted women who were tall, very thin (size 0 – 2) with silky straight hair.  That definitely took a toll on me as an African American girl with kinky hair, struggling with her weight.  I was definitely influenced by society’s meaning of beauty; but it wasn’t until after college I dared to be my own type of beautiful.  When you know who you are and whose you are other people’s opinion of you no longer matter.  Self-Validation is the strongest trait a woman can have.  When you can admire another person’s beauty without questioning your own, you can handle the beauty standards society throws at you.    

How do you plan to use your fitness knowledge and your connections and skills? What is your overall goal?

Photo Courtesy of Sherena King
The ultimate goal in the fitness arena of my life is to become a certified personal trainer and obtain a certification in nutrition. I’d use those skills to start a weight loss program for morbidly obese women who lack the finances they need to obtain gym memberships or nutritional advice. I’d also love to teach freelance step and kickboxing classes at various gyms in my community.

How were you able to decide what paths in life you would take? How did your faith play a part of guiding you along the right path?
My family played a huge part in making sure I went off to college and obtained my Engineering degree.  However, my faith in God and my persistent nature are my special superpowers.  When you mix crazy faith with persistence beyond belief, you create a fearless human being not afraid to jump at opportunities.  I let my passions determine my path and I know I can do anything but fail because I have the DNA of Jesus Christ.      
Photo Courtesy of Sherena King

What advice do you have for those out there who want to chase their dream but have not yet?

There’s a reason why certain dreams you have are in the back of your mind and you constantly think about them.  Your dreams are the blueprints to your purpose.  Every day you choose not to pursue your dream you’re missing out on your true purpose and all of the blessings that come along with it!  My advice would be not to wait another day to live a purpose driven life because your purpose is greater than you!  You will be a blessing to so many people by living the dream that God has placed inside your heart.