The journey to my first fitness competition started with a desire to get in really good shape. But I was lacking in the discipline to stay consistent in my diet and exercise program, so I set a goal! I decided I would compete in a fitness competition! I first started training on my own, using the knowledge I had acquired from reading fitness magazines and online articles. I was able to improve my physical shape some; but after months, I was still not making progress like I felt I should have been. Thanks to Facebook, I got in contact with a friend of a friend who is a trainer at a local club. She not only trains clients for fitness competitions, but competes herself! This was just the knowledge that I needed to tap into!
I started training with her Oct 1, 2012. She wrote me a detailed diet and exercise plan, specific to my goal of competing in March in the bikini division. So I trained 6 days a week for 5.5 months (2 days a week with her and 4 days a week on my own), working hard to add muscle to my lower half, and tone my upper half, all while leaning out. My training included lifting weights for 45-60 minutes a day, and 20-30 minutes of cardio a day. As the weeks progressed, sometimes my cardio was “fasted”, which is just like it sounds- first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Sometimes it was right after weight training, with the idea that my body would really have to draw on fat stores for energy at that point.
My diet evolved over the weeks as well! I would eat 5-6 times a day, typically 200-300 calories at a time. My allowed proteins were chicken breast, egg whites, protein powders, almonds, and fish. I could eat lots of steamed green veggies, but carefully measured complex carbs twice a day- oats and brown rice. In the beginning, I could have some Carb Master yogurt, and rice cakes, but those were cut less than halfway through my program.
I also met with my trainer 5 or 6 times during these months for posing practice. I would walk in my required 5 inch heels and move through “poses” that she had picked for me that helped emphasize the strengths in my physique and minimize the trouble areas. I watched a lot of You Tube videos on posing too, hoping to pick up some “jazz” that is uncoordinated Adventurous Babe does not naturally possess!
March 16 finally came! All that diet and exercise and posing practice finally paid off! Athletes were required to check-in the night before the event, so my support team and I drove to St. Louis on the 15th . After check-in, I got my first layer of spray tan by the sponsor, and bedded in for a restless night’s sleep (I was covered head-to-toe in clothes in fear I would get spray tan on the hotels’ white linens).
On the morning of my competition, I awoke early to start getting ready. Big hair, heavy make-up, and blingy jewelry all add to a competitors finished look! At morning check-ins, everyone was given a competitor’s badge and number, to allow us access to the backstage waiting area. For some reason, it was the moment I put on the competitor’s badge that I got very emotional! It finally seemed real! My category was one of the last to go on stage, so most of my day was spent in a 20 x 20 room watching all the other fit girls get called up!
As my number was called, I lined up with about 14 other girls to get ready to walk on stage. I was very nervous that first time my name was announced, but was trying so hard to remember to hold my muscles tight at all the right times, and just tried to enjoy the moment! Bright lights and hundreds of eyes on me…I’ve never done anything like it before! The day passed quickly and before I knew it, it was time to stuff my face with all the things I had been craving for the past few months!
Although, I did not win any awards at this show, I had reached my goal, and for me, that was winning! I still have a lot of adventures that I want to embark on, including one more fitness competition, because now I have a burning desire to compete and place in the top 5! I can’t wait to see what other adventures this year will bring!!!