If you’re looking to be inspired… you need to look no further. Everyone has a story. Some are more interesting, while others more inspiring. The story of Olya Haidner is both. But her story also has so many similarities to the stories of many women who have had children and afterwards struggled with their weight. The baby weight a women puts on during her pregnancy can be dreadful to shed, especially while having to care for a new born child. Olya shares her secrets on how she became the sexiest and most inspirational mom in fitness.
Growing up, Olya was placed into ballet, gymnastics, and ballroom dancing by her mom giving her a love for fitness from an early age. She continued to live a healthy and active lifestyle prior to moving from Russia to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2004, shortly after giving birth to her son, followed by her daughter 18 months later.
Having gained 50+ pounds each pregnancy, Olya described her body as one way and one way only — “pretty depressing”. If you check out her before and after picture below, you’ll see Haidner at her ‘all time low’. In the 6 months that followed, this Russian born – Canadian used the pain of feeling sorry for herself and turned it into a source of dedication to transform her body into the stunning figure you see today.
There is no question Olya has some of the nicest abs you’ll ever see on anyone. And while a lot of people don’t like the whole ‘candid iPhone mirror pictures’, there is a reason we’ve included so many in our gallery below. Haidner’s natural pictures attract a lot of attention, as they should, due to no photoshop and no special lighting. What you see, is exactly what the model is, and while editing and minor touch-ups do wonders to a picture, no one can ignore the natural beauty that Olya possesses in both her looks and body.
After the much hard work and determination, Olya was finally happy, confident and secure with her body and decided to show off her hard work by entering the Muscle Beach Classic Model Contest and won 1st place. Knowing that aside from her children, she’d found her true love in live, Haidner competed in the WBFF World Championships placing 5th and has now turned her love and knowledge for fitness to inspire others.
Interview with Olya
Who are you?
My name is Olya Haidner. I am originally form Russia, but live in beautiful Canada now.
Can you describe yourself in 5 words?
Determined, dedicated, loving, stubborn, hardworking! : )
How and when did you get into fitness, competitions and modeling?
Have you ever opened the door of your closet in anticipation of picking out a beautiful, sexy outfit only to find yourself reaching for elastic-waistband pants? Or when your significant other will say “you are hot” and he wasn’t being passionate, but he was referring to the drops of sweat that covered your face and your chest from walking for 10 minutes in the supermarket! Being in my late 20s’ I… was ready to retire to a lasting wardrobe of sweats, elastic-waistband pants and flabby dresses.
My story is no different from any other new mom who is struggling with her baby weight right now!!!
Let me start by sharing my childhood memories of my very supportive mom, who always encouraged me and my sister to be physically active. Hence, she would give us an opportunity to enjoy ballet, gymnastics, and ballroom dancing. She would always quote: “Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states”. ~Carol Welch Reading my story you will learn that she came to my rescue and gave me the chance to be reborn again!
The year 2004 was full of many transitions. I moved to Canada and had my son and year and a half later I had my little princess. Through my both pregnancies I gained over 50 lb each time that made my life pretty depressing. I felt mentally heavy. Life changes affect each of us differently, I found comfort in food! I became OVERWEIGHT, UNHAPPY WITH MY BODY, UNFIT, UNCONFIDENT, INSECURE mom. More important I lost my spirit! I knew that the change had to be made but I didn’t have the energy and knowledge and motivation to add one more thing to my already full plate!
It was my Birthday, when my family gave me a membership card to one of the local gyms saying “ enough is enough, this is the day of you being re-born” I remember my grandma and mom always saying if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else? If you don’t care about yourself think about your kids! I was officially tired of angling my body behind my kids and friends or furniture so I can appear slimmer on every picture that will be a part of my family photo album! I was embarrassed of not being able to go for a run with my son, because my own body was suffocating me! That is how my journey to my transformation began!!!!
During my first visit at the gym I spotted a few fitness models that were training at the same facility and felt more like a spy hiding behind the equipment, observing and imitating their routine. “It is impossible!” I thought. It always seems impossible until it’s done. It is funny how we tell ourselves so many things that keep us from being our best. It is so easy to fall into false belief about who we are! Have you ever noticed how we make ourselves to believe that we can’t make that first push up or pull up? But if someone will gently pretend to help you lift your body, miraculously, you find the strength within yourself to do what seemed to be impossible! We all have ability within us but we are not allowing ourselves to believe that we can! After numerous sprints up and down my neighbourhood, push up, jumps, burpees, squats, lunges. I would get nauseous! That was a very good way not to eat. I started a transformation of my eating habits along with my body. I educated myself about healthy eating and benefits of the food I consume every day. I finally started to notice the benefits of my goal: I feel healthier, lighter physically and emotionally.
Does any moment stand out that defined who you are as a person, model, and fitness guru?
First and foremost, the birth of my kids defined who I am today. My two little angels give me unimaginable strength and belief that I can do anything I put my mind to! Watching them grow and learn their first word and make their first step made me realize that I am capable of learning, changing, improving and succeeding. My son and my daughter are my greatest motivation, inspiration and, believe it or not, my TEACHERS!
I will be honest, I don’t consider myself a “MODEL” lol I am here to help people to get motivated to change their life style, eating pattern, to get their confidence and self-worth back. My pictures are only a proof of what you can attain if you will put an afford, heart and mind into your dream!
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?
Having my two beautiful kids! Nothing can beat this accomplishment EVER!
Looking back at your childhood, would you say your time with ballet, gymnastics and ballroom dancing helped mold your fitness mentality?
Yes, absolutely! Endless hours of dance training, competitions, physical pain and exhaustion helped me to keep myself on track mentally.
Having moved to Canada in 04’, what do you like most about being Canadian?
Canada is a country of great opportunities!!!
True, North, Strong and Free. What do you miss about your home land of Russia?
My friends and family!
Is there anyone in the industry you look up to or have thought of as a role model? And if not now, what about earlier on in your career?
Jamie Eason is a very genuine, beautiful ,hardworking, kind, funny woman! Oksana Grishina is an outstanding athlete, her beautiful physique is the proof of a hard, hard work!
How challenging is it keeping your figure being a single mother?
Hahaha. Oh boy! I won’t lie, it is very difficult! The key to my success is a very careful scheduling of my day!!! Everything is planned in advance. I don’t use “ I had a very busy day and I am tired!” as an excuse. If I can move, I can train and it doesn’t matter if it is 6 am or 11pm. It needs to be done!!!
What do you find the hardest part about maintaining such a stunning figure?
Aww Thank you!!! : ) As soon as I allow a thought of “oh it is sooo hard to do this or that”, I lose my motivation! I enjoy every moment of my training and dieting! Being fit defines who I am! I try to eliminate “hard” from my everyday vocabulary lol and replace it with “ achievable/doable” .
What is your favourite part of your body?
Abs : )
What do your meal plan consist of?
I eat healthy! I don’t restrict myself or follow a crazy diet the whole year around! I do count calories and eat 6 times a day. You can visit my Body by Olya FB page or go to www.olyahaidner.com and see healthy recipes, training tips and health advice I post.
Is there anything you avoid eating completely?
Pasta, canned food, chips, coke, cookies, cake, food high in sodium, tuna : )
What is your favourite exercise or workout?
Leg day is the highlight of my training week. I absolutely love training legs! Deadlifts ( stiff leg, good morning, sumo) are my favourite! I find them the best exercise for my entire body. The primary of deadlifting are increased strength and muscle mass. Since the deadlift is a compound movement it utilizes nearly every major muscle of your body:
- Spinal Erectors
- Lower Back
- Middle and Upper Traps
- Abdominals and Oblique
Can you quickly take us through your weekly routine?
Monday – legs and abs
Tue – shoulders and biceps
Wed – back and triceps
Thurs – legs
Fri – yoga or athletic training
Are you sponsored by any companies?
I am proud to represent one of the best companies in fitness industry Nutri-Sups Worldwide! Please visit their website at www.nutri-sups.com and get yourself educated about supplement and benefits of taking them!
There is a lot of doubt in the fitness world about the natural aspect of peoples body figure. What do you have to say to the people who haven’t heard your story and doubt you figure came from hard work and determination?
It is easy to judge people if one never ever trained or went through big transformation. I stay true to myself and my believes. I am here to be healthy and fit! And that is all that matters! I won’t waste my time explaining people otherwise! : )
Besides fitness related activities, what do you do during your spare time?
Unfortunately, I don’t have much spare time for myself! I am a full time student, full time mom, I work and I train. My spare time would be activities with my kids such as skiing, swimming, wall climbing : )
If someone was looking to live an active lifestyle, what are three tips you’d give them?
- Do what makes you happy, never let anyone discourage you!
- Surround yourself with supportive people and not negative influence.
- Never give up on your dream, enjoy every moment of getting there. There’s lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven’t the time to enjoy it.
Do you have any final words for your readers and the fans of Lion’s Den U?
I read somewhere: “If your fantasies are your own, why not to make them the great ones?!”
Well said Olya. It was a pleasure.
About the Author: TheCoach knows his stuff. Now you can either utilize the knowledge, or regret that you didn't.