MW: How often do you hear jokes about Hayley’s Comet? Anybody ever try to dub you that cheesy nickname?
HM: OMG! All the time! And it pisses me off because I was named after Hayley Mills from the original “Parent Trap” – not the one with Lindsay Lohan – and it is spelled Hayley with TWO Y’s!!!! LOL! Haley’s comet is spelled like so. And yeah, people call me Haley’s Comet all the friggin time and depending on who they are, I will correct them, LOL.
MW: You’re a genuine Bostonian, correct? Why the move to cold windy Chicago? Which city has better food?
HM: Well yea…but not really…I grew up a half hour west of Boston in the boring ass suburbs, and actually never spent any time in Boston. I could probably count on one hand how many times I’ve even been there. True story. Ummm…LOL you clearly don’t know me! I couldn’t care less about food LOL…Unless I’m dieting that is…But I really never ate normal people food…Never went out to eat a lot…And when I did I ALWAYS got just a cheeseburger. Hence why “Cheeseburger” was actually my nickname in my old gym haha. But Chicago deep dish is pretty fantastic, and they have some massive burgers! I’d save Chicago wins – but I really never gave Boston a chance. I’m finally living like a kinda normal person for the first time in 5 years here: going out, going out to dinner, eating non-bber food lol. It was fun until I realized I lost 10lbs since I’ve lived here! Nooo!!! LOL!
MW: Red Sox fan? Is it true you have New York Yankee toilet paper?
Ahahahaa!!! Lol if there was toilet paper that existed with ANY logo on it I would soo get it lol! Naw I really don’t care about baseball or the huuuge rival between Boston and NY. Like realllyyy don’t care. I’d rather watch a bodybuilding show. Or watch Law and Order SVU LOL!
MW: You’re still in your early 20′s. You were 12 when I was your age. What age were you when you got into bodybuilding and what about it captured your interest?
HM: Shut up LOL! I’m an old soul! So there! LOL! I was 18. It was my Christmas break from college. I was on myspace and saw my first fbb. I almost died! I fell in love immediately and the rest is history. I’m sure people are actually probably bored of hearing that story from me LOL. But yea, I went to the gym the next day, and decided I was gonna get huuuge lol!! I think everyone should be jacked. It’s just that simple.
MW: How did you go about competing? Did somebody prompt you or encourage you? Who were your earliest influences on the competitive scene?
HM: Hah! I befriended Dave Pulcinella and Chris Zimmerman on Myspace. If not for them, I don’t know what I would have done! They both took my under their wing, as many others did, and taught me everything they knew. They were instrumental in shaping my bodybuilding career. Dave and Chris kept trying to convince me to compete, and my response was always, “I’m not big enough yet!!!” There’s actually a scene where I say that in Raising the Bar 3 with Chris, Dave, and Mike Pulcinella LOL. And in fact, that summer I competed for the first time. Dave brought me around to every bodybuilding he knew and made them tell me I was in fact big enough, and convinced me I’d look muuuch bigger when I was lean. He also told me every day for months that I WAS in fact, big enough lol. Finally, I decided I would do the Delaware – Dave did my diet, as he always does – and I won. That show, and the East Coast Classic, a week later, was where I made my mark in the industry. If not for those two knuckleheads I don’t know what would have happened instead!
MW: Genetically you have an advantage over most girls who get into bodybuilding. Was it relatively a natural thing for you?
HM: Sure. I also worked harder that any sane human being should ever work lol! I was totally nuts, like I mean NUTS! Completely OBSESSED and most people in the industry know that lol. Until I felt I had finally gotten “huge”, I was unstoppable. Eating 6-9 meals a day, every two hours on the dot, made sure I got at least 8 hours of sleep a night, never missed a workout, woke up in the middle of the night to eat, and trained as hard as I possibly could. Nuts! I didn’t go out, I didn’t drink, I didn’t really talk about anything besides bodybuilding and getting jacked for literally 4 years straight. My grades in college actually suffered dramatically freshman and sophomore year (until I got injured) because I would chose training over writing a paper or studying for an exam any day. Somehow I got it together junior and senior year and managed to raise my GPA enough to get into graduate school. Wheww! Lol! Oh and yea, not only did I wanna get “huge”, but I had this whole mission to do it naturally too. I wouldn’t touch a drug – I had a whole ego thing about it. Hence why my first National Show was Team Universe – tested show. I wanted to show everyone you could get your pro-card naturally and change female bodybuilding forever. Too bad they’re getting rid of bodybuilding now, so it really didn’t matter…
MW: What do you like most about competing? The body transformation or the structure of a contest prep?
HM: I HATE competing!!! Lol! Which is why I am done!!! The Delaware, my first show, Dave couldn’t make it. I was beyond disappointed. I couldn’t think about anything else the whole day. When I won, if you see the video, there was zero enthusiasm in my face…I just wanted him to be there. The only show I actually enjoyed was winning the East Coast Classic. Dave was with me every second of the day, and nothing could have made me happier than winning that show – for us. We had worked so hard for that – he was so proud of me. I looked like an animal and I knew it. Team Universe – Dave had to go to a wedding and couldn’t make it – ANDDDD I got sick/dehydrated and almost died. I’ve never felt worse in my life. I thought I was getting 3rd the whole day: it was one of the worst days of my life…Until they said my name for 1st place at the night show…I was in total shock. I felt relieved but not even happy because I didn’t get my pro card. Team Universe, last time, Dave, and a few other very important people to me were there. We had a blast and I will treasure our time together forever…However, besides that – it was a fucking disaster. I was finally in the best shape of my life, and to get there I learned to despise bodybuilding and competing. I dieted soo hard for soo long, and it showed…A WEEK BEFORE THE SHOW!! I was sooo stressed out about WINNING MY STUPID PRO CARD that my body went from a shredded freak 5 days out, to a watery mess the day of. It was beyond devastating. I wasted 5 grand and 5 months of my life to lose everything to stress taking over my body. The best part was that me and Dave were skyping towards the end of my prep because I was too tired to take pictures anymore for him – so I literally have NO evidence of all that hard work. Ugh….Grrr! That prep changed me…And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. The more I dieted, the worse I felt, and the more I questioned what the hell I was doing this for. Which is why I’m living like a semi-normal person now! Ahhhhh! Soooo, to answer your question, lol, I like nothing about competing, it seems. The diet is easy for me, I pretty much eat a contest diet year round. I like doing cardio, and I like training. However when I feel like I am literally dying, and don’t want to move, never mind do 1-3 hours of cardio a day, or lift weights. Everything about the process becomes something I DREAD. After two consecutive years of that, I can’t find anything I like about competing.
MW: How many shows have you done and what do you feel was your best showing?
HM: Just said it in my previous rant – Delaware State and East Coast Classic. No pressure, bodybuilding was still fun back then…It became work after that. It was all about the PRO CARD. WINNING. Doing whatever it took. Suffering more than anyone should ever voluntarily suffer in their lives. And for what – to do all that work and it to disappear right before the show?! No thanks. My body thinks I’m killing it when I diet, and I have to diet hard as fuckkk to get any results.
MW: How did you approach the dieting process? Keto girl or are you a carb cycler? Who helped you out with that?
Dave Pulcinella always did my diet. Noo keto! I already get light-headed every time I stand up and subsequently collapse on the floor throughout the day NOT on a keto diet. I get so tired I can barely get off the couch. And it’s like that the majority of my prep. It was like that whether we carb cycled, did no carbs, did lots of carbs, even when I used someone else as a nutritionist briefly – the only thing that happened was I still felt like total shit but lost muscle. The dieting process does not agree with my body at all. Everyone I’ve talked to has said they’ve never heard of anyone having the reaction I do to normal contest preps. My body just isn’t cut out for it I guess. I feel like a hangover times about a million the whole time, to the point where I’m too tired to even pick up my phone. I don’t talk to anyone, I get completely isolated. I’ll even get too tired to go on the computer. Then I get depressed, and just look at the clock all day until I can go to sleep. What a life to live…I won’t do that to myself one more time.
MW: The NPC seems to be drifting away from Female Bodybuilding. Where do you see it going in 2-5 years? Will serious competitive female bodybuilding exist?
HM: Yeah, no kidding! I heard from reliable sources it was GONE as of 2012. Another reason I don’t care that I’m done competing for good. No they will not exist. It’s Physique now. Look at the recent shows even – there are only a few fbbs! There are already a million Physique chicks! It was genius creating that category. The girls don’t have to get enormous and can keep their femininity – it’s bodybuilding from the 80s! Which was the best! Hot chicks with muscle – that’s what it’s all about. Although I love the huuge chicks – not everyone supports that. No support – no money – no female bodybuilding. Very sad.
Hayley McNeff continues to eat cheeseburgers and train religiously at various diners and gyms in Chicagoland. If you’d like to reach Hayley, you can do so via Facebook. Stay tuned for a future exclusive interview with the delicious Hayley…only on MuscleWeek!