Peter Hapak

The Interview

“ I'm not intended to be a size 4 or 6. I need those strong muscles in my legs to power me though when I bowl and give me the strength I need to compete.”

Why pose for the Body Issue?

It was something I've never done before. I felt like it could bring more exposure to the sport of bowling and to me.

Bowlers are not considered to be in great shape, but I've spent the last three years working out a lot in the gym to get stronger and become a better bowler. Still, I don't consider myself to be in the best shape -- not like a swimmer -- but I knew wouldn't embarrass myself. Plus, this issue is all about an athlete in their realm.

Have you ever felt self-conscious?

Growing up I had very big thighs and I was a tomboy -- still am, really. So I was not looked upon kindly for a while. In junior high and high school, kids used to make fun of my legs.

Actually, this photo shoot was one of the first times in my life where I actually felt comfortable in my own skin. Look, with my genetic background, I'm not intended to be a size 4 or 6. I need those strong muscles in my legs to power me though when I bowl and give me the strength I need to compete.

How did you prepare for this shoot?

I worked out harder than I normally do. And I really tried to stick to a disciplined eating plan to make my mid-section a little smaller. I ate five meals a day -- one every three hours -- consisting of protein and complex carbohydrates. Every meal was around 300-400 calories. I had to stray from the diet in the last week because I'm in competition. But I still eat smart and I actually enjoy it.

Was it a challenge to make those changes?

It's all mental. There's no right time, or wrong, to start eating healthier or make a change. One of the bowlers on tour once told me, "You get out what you put into it." I took that statement to heart.

I was in pretty good shape before, but this photo shoot really motivated me to do better, to stick to the diet more frequently. I wanted to pose nude and look good. And I wanted to show people what type of effort I was putting into all of it. I accomplished what I wanted to and that alone made me feel better about myself.

-- Interview by Morty Ain

More Athletes

Kelly Kulick

Professional bowler
  • Age

    34

  • Body stats

    5-foot-7, 160 pounds

  • Birthplace

    Elizabeth, N.J.

  • Career highlight

    Became the first woman to win the PBA Tour of Champions in 2010.

  • Who knew?

    After bowling with the daughter of a "Spider-Man" comic book writer, Kulick was featured as herself in "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man No. 20." The scene takes place in a bowling alley and, after an altercation with a nemesis, she is rescued by Spidey (of course).