What’s Up Doc?
An Interview with Stacey Naito
Dr. Stacey Naito was born in Hollywood and raised in a suburban area within Los Angeles County. She grew up in a single-parent household in which education was stressed, but also one in which her creative energies were allowed
to flourish. Though she may have bounced around a bit within the state of California, she has always returned close to home and currently live about ten miles away from where she was raised. Her mother sent her to college preparatory schools and was so proactive in encouraging intellectual pursuits that Stacey skipped a grade very early on and graduated from high school at the age of 16. Subsequent to high school, Dr. Naito obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Occidental College. From that point, she became a working machine, working as a fitness trainer, a personal assistant to a prominent stand-up comic, and an optometric technician. After a few years she realized how badly she still wanted to become a physician (this had been a dream of hers from the time she was eight years old). Stacey applied and was accepted to a medical school in California. The process was arduous, and that is putting it mildly. Suddenly she was tackling 36-39 unit course loads, studying on the weekends instead of watching football, rotating in depressing hospitals and seeing some of the most shocking, frightening and disgusting things she could possibly imagine. It was quite an experience, one which humbled her greatly. Ultimately she obtained her medical degree, completed family medicine residency with special emphasis in cosmetic dermatology, and began her career as a physician.
Today, Dr. Naito provides medical services at Urban Fit and Therapy which consist of primary care, musculoskeletal injury evaluations, urgent care, and cosmetic dermatology. Stacey had met the owner, Dr. Ryan Pendon, a chiropractor with a very progressive approach, at one of Michael Torchia’s Shape Up America events. As a physician who provides medical services to communities in Beverly
Hills and downtown Los Angeles, she strives to stay abreast of the newest traditional medical treatments as well as more holistic and alternative methods. Stacey is also a big proponent of proper nutrition and minimizing exposure to toxic substances.
Stacey loves to stay in shape and took one of her passions to the next level. She attended a local NPC show in May of 2009 and was surprised when three people at random suggested that she compete in the new Bikini Division. Stacey thought about it for a couple of days then decided it might be a fun thing to do. She innocently believed that it would be a bucket list item, that she could just check it off her list as something she did at one time. She had no clue how to prep, what suit to wear, how to do color, how to do her makeup or hair, or how to pose. Yet she found herself onstage in July 2009, right after her 43rd birthday, and she got bitten by the bug. Stacey decided to do a second show, then another, then another. To date she has competed in 15 shows since 2009, with three national first place finishes. She has had many decent placing’s but she continues to chase after that ever elusive pro card. Though competing can be extremely stressful, she absolutely loves it.
Looking to polish her look, Stacey had considered becoming a Bombshell (a fitness and bikini training team, www.bombshellfitness.com) at the beginning of 2011, but due to financial constraints had to put that idea aside. But that thought kept brewing in her head. Stacey went to NPC Team Universe in July of 2011 and had interesting placing’s there, and then competed at the NPC Teen, Collegiate and Master’s Nationals, where she took a first place finish in Bikini C class. Because she was
planning on competing at the IFBB North American, she wanted to step up her game so she bit the bullet and signed up with Bombshell Fitness in August of 2011. In just a few weeks Shannon Dey got her primed for the North American, where she took a second place finish in Masters Bikini C class and a first place finish in Open Bikini C class.
Stacey’s workouts change all the time and she believes this is essential for shocking the body and causing real transformation to take place. Her diet is balanced with lots of variety. She makes sure to eat six or more meals per day.
On top of her full-time job, Dr. Naito is also a personal trainer. Currently, she taking a bit of break with contest prep and only has a couple of clients. Her training for her shows has been intense and time-consuming, as has her work schedule (which has her running to three different offices).
As if everything you have read doesn’t tell you the story of someone with a vision, little did anyone know that she would be designing her own suits as well as competition suits for others. Stacey has a background in fashion design and is very specific about fabric and pattern embellishments which resonate with her. By the time she was ramping up for her second show she decided to have a hand in designing her competition suits. Then last year she had a suit idea which she fell in love with and decided to completely craft it herself. Since then, she has made a number of suits, but since her designs tend to be very elaborate and highly crystallized, she has been unable to mass-produce them for people to purchase.
Eventually Stacey would like to have her own skincare product line. She would like to own or co-own a medical practice, would love to be the face of a hugely successful performance supplement line, and would like to have her own daytime television talk show. If you’re going to dream, dream big—right?
When asked if there is anyone she would like to thank for helping her get to where she is today she said, “There have been so many people who have been supportive of my efforts and who truly believe in me throughout my journey that I finding a starting point is difficult. If I were to start with the basics, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and love towards my mother who has always believed in me no matter what I endeavored in. I feel truly blessed to have wonderful fans that continue to encourage me. With respect to the amazing people in the world of fitness and bodybuilding, there are so many people to thank that I cannot possibly list them all. Instead, I will mention the following people as I feel they have all been particularly instrumental in getting me to the point at which I am today: Roya Tehrani, Mystra Tillotson, Dan Ray, the wonderful guys from LHGFX Photography, Ian Sitren, Chaz Photographics, Jerry Fredrick, Shannon Dey, Kim Oddo, Jon Lindsay, CJ’s Elite, and of course, the wonderful Danny Fittro!”
If you would like to contact Dr. Stacey Naito you can find her at the places below:
Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN