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Throwback Thursday

7306-mind4It may not be Thursday as you’re reading this, but it is as I write, and it’s shaping up to be full of faces from the past charging ahead into the future. The late ’90s figure prominently, but let’s fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago. I was perusing the Los Angeles Times TV page and noticed a blurb for a new reality show starting that night on the Sundance Channel: “Loredana, Esq.” Even before I saw the photo that accompanied it, I knew it was Loredana Nesci.

I met her at  the ’99 NPC California Championships, where she took second in her class in fitness. An LAPD officer who had recently left the force, she was heading to law school shortly and had things to say about what she’d seen as a cop and how she hoped to help people as an attorney. She got my attention with that and also with her clever, brash “Barbie Girl”-to-Wonderwoman routine. Loredana had no stage experience but a lotta guts, which she demonstrated, along with a gift for improv, when she forgot her routine but kept on dancing. It was the heyday of fitness—before figure, before bikini. Her routine had significance, Loredana explained, because the blond Barbie becomes the dark-haired heroine, certainly a sentiment to which this brunette could relate.

It was a single, memorable encounter, and I came away with the impression that the girl was going places. Indeed.

Nesci practiced law in Connecticut after earning her degree but found she missed her friends in L.A. In 2005 she moved west and hung out her shingle in Redondo Beach. Almost immediately she attracted attention from producers looking to the law for the next big reality trend. Suggestions included Loredana as a judge and in a practice with other lawyers, but nothing clicked until a friend, Laura Keats, put together a sizzle reel right from Nesci’s practice.

Need an attorney? Loredana, Esq., rides the mean streets of Southern California’s south beach area like a legal lone ranger, taking up the cases of decent folks who do dumb things. She’s there for you, but don’t you dare lie or, say, leave out the most important part. “You need to turn yourself in,” she calmly orders a client who neglected to mention what the police had found at his house. It’s easy to see why her independent style and take-no-prisoners attitude attracted producers. Her personal story, including her life with partner Robert Reagan and their four-year-old son, Rocco, is compelling as well. I’m not big on reality shows, but after viewing the pilot, I’m hooked.

Plus, I can’t help noticing that her arms are still totally ripped. “I incorporate fitness into my life,” said Nesci, who started weight training at “18 or 19” but nowadays tends toward bike riding and bodyweight movements—long sets of pushups performed while thinking through thorny legal matters. She’s also big on high-intensity interval work and, of course, “Rocco curls.”

“Once in a while I’ll do weights,” she said, “but I move fast—I like to get in a cardio element.”

Even the casual observer can see that Loredana is moving fast on all fronts. “There’s a lot of opportunity for law and entertainment to work together,” she said. No kidding. “Loredana, Esq.” is proving her right—Monday nights on the Sundance  Channel. Check your local listings.

More Fit Moms

7306-mind5Another face from the heyday of fitness clicked back on my radar recently. A suggestion from my friends on “The Fitness View” at that I do a Where-are-they-now? segment on Timea Majorova seemed like an easy assignment. For one thing I had seen but not talked with the former fitness champ and frequent IRON MAN cover model when she’d served as trophy presenter at our NPC IRON MAN Naturally competition in January. For another, I knew she was, literally, just a few miles away in Brentwood, a tony, suburban village on L.A.’s west side, tucked between the cities of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. It is a darned nice place to live—idyllic, if you will—which I couldn’t help thinking as I was winding my way up Sunset Boulevard, to what turned out to be the wrong Starbucks, for my meeting with Timea and her almost-two-year-old daughter, Charlize.

Timea is a woman who, through fitness, made her dreams come true. She’s from another kind of village, one in southeastern Czechoslovakia (Slovakia now) that was so small, she had to take a bus two towns over to go the gym. Nevertheless, she scored great success, becoming the ’97 IFBB World Amateur Champion, a top pro athlete and an international model and getting to move to Southern California. Educated as a physical therapist, she started weight training at 18 and owes her success to an enviable combination of athletic talent, good looks and hard work. I had enjoyed watching her blossom when she was new to the States, learning English and working with high-end and celebrity clients in the Brentwood gym owned by her then-husband. More than many native-born U.S. citizens I can think of, Timea is someone who knows where she’s been and appreciates what she’s got.

In that sense nothing had changed. I arrived at the right Starbucks at last and lassoed a parking space in time to find Timea and Charlize—“Baby Timie, I call her”—having a good time on the back patio. What was she drinking? I indicated the colorful frozen concoction that “Big Timie” was sipping on. “Green tea,” she replied with a big smile. “Anti-aging, baby!” Introductions were made, photos were taken, and while the adorable Charlize was busy reprogramming my iPhone, her mom and I caught up.

Timea, who retired from competition “at the top” after taking fourth at the Olympia and winning the Hungarian Pro in 2001, is big into anti-aging these days, and it’s not hard to see why. No way is she going to be 40 in October! Clearly, she’s making the most of where life has taken her.

“When I met Jason [Figueroa, Charlize’s dad], it was chemistry from day one,” she said. “He wanted a family. I got pregnant,  but I stayed in shape and kept training clients up to the end.”

The result is a fit-pregnancy video she put out after giving birth at 37. You can find it, along with information on all things Timea, including her fitness-and-nutrition training services, at You’ll also find info on the new anti-aging fat burner, Pretty Lean, she’s marketing in collaboration with supplement maven and sometime IM contributor Rehan Jalil.

More products may be in the future, things that promote “endless youth and life,” she said. “I want to be the best 40 I can be.” In addition, she was “just finishing up an e-book about being a fit mom” that also charts her journey from that village in Slovakia.

Sounds like a good read, Big Timie. We can all use few lessons on how to make your dreams come true.

Just Desserts

7306-mind6Speaking of making your dreams come true, for years Carolyn Bryant has been bringing her healthful, high-protein baked goods to contests, trying to turn her talents in the kitchen into more than just a snack for friends in the press pit. Last summer that rocket took off when the yummy Power Pudding I sampled at a photo shoot gave birth to Stay Lean Gourmet Desserts.

White chocolate peppermint cheesecake, German chocolate muffins and gluten-free peanut-butter brownies are just a few of the mouth-watering items pictured on the Houston resident’s Facebook page (Stay Lean Gourmet Desserts). Now she’s even making ice cream—from goat’s milk. Look out Ben & Jerry!

Carolyn’s goodies are available at Fuel Kitchen & Health Bar in Houston (1005 Waugh Dr., 77019), and it’s going well. Said the former Team Universe Heavyweight champ, “I’m too busy in the kitchen to compete.” Kid, that’s one excuse I’ve got no problem with.



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