Off Season Struggles

Well, it is official, I am in the off season and it has been over a month since my last competition.  My abs disappeared, cellulite is creeping back on my ass and I have a love/hate relationship with my body.  On a positive note, I am not “hangry” all the time and I have been able kill my workouts because I am not in a calorie deficit.  For those of you that don’t compete or are not familiar with the world of competitive body building this may all sound crazy to you.  For my fellow competitors, I am probably speaking your language.  My plan for the off season is to focus on building muscle, specifically in my back and legs, while maintaining my weight at about 10 lbs over stage weight.  I would like to come in even leaner next year so I do not want to put on more than 10 lbs.  I have a difficult time dropping 1-2 lbs per week during prep and hate, hate, hate cardio.

This off season is different than my other ones.  Before I didn’t really know what I wanted and I chose to compete again because I started to put on too much weight and missed the structure and control that I felt during prep.  This year I have goals, big goals.  I want to win a first overall and not just first in Master’s Division (35 and over).  I also really would like to compete in a larger show and in my home town of Grand Rapids.  Memorial Day weekend of 2017 is my plan.  That is the Grand Rapids show and it is big.  That gives me 6 months to start building and shaping my body to bring my best package to the stage.

Anyone want to join me?

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This is my front pose at the 2016 Great Lakes Iron Man.  I took 1st in Master’s Division and 3rd in Open at this show. 

One Week Out! 

It’s go time!  I am officially one week from my first of two fall shows. This one is special to me because this time last year I competed for the very first time. I was scared, uncomfortable and so very overwhelmed. I placed well but was a nervous freak on stage who lacked confidence. I came back and competed again in the spring and brought home a 1st place in the Master’s Division (35 and up).  I took 3rd overall and decided I wasn’t satisfied with that.  I recharged, refocused and set my goals higher.

In 7 days I will step out on the same stage that scared the shit out of me 1 year prior with confidence and poise. I will beat her and that girl is myself. 


And so it begins

It’s official, I am preparing  for my third bikini competition. Monday was the official start day  and I’m not going lie, I was kind of dreading it.  We had a great 4th of July weekend on our new boat and I enjoyed the freedom of snacking and having a cocktail.  I laid awake Sunday night thinking about all the things I had to give up.  No more eating out with the family, no more red wine with dinner, no more cocktails on the river, no more snacks in between meals, no more variety, and the list goes on.  I’m working with a new trainer for this show and the nutrition plan is a lot less flexible.  I made this decision because I wanted to take my body to the next level and see how far I can go on stage. I was very excited to get started initially but as Monday got closer I kind of started feeling a heavy weight on my chest.  I only focused on all the things I couldn’t have.

Well, Monday came and Monday went.  I successfully killed my workout and stuck to my nutrition plan. Tuesday came and went. I exceeded my calorie intake by about 200 but my macros weren’t too far off so overall I’ll call it a win.  I also killed a double workout. Wednesday morning came and I jumped up out of bed at 3:53 AM before my 4:10 AM alarm. I had energy and I was excited it to start my day with a 5 AM workout. At the gym I killed legs with a friend and they did an hour of spin. I was filled with energy and powered through the whole class dripping in sweat.

It only took three days for me to remember why I do this over and over. Removing all the crap from my diet and structuring the timing of my food around my workouts does wonderful things to me both physically and mentally.  I have already noticed changes in my body on the outside but more importantly on the inside. My arms are more defined, my stomach is flatter, I have more energy, I am sleeping much better and not waking during the night, my digestion is more regular, and the list goes on.

My perspective has done 180 degree switch since Sunday. Instead of focusing on everything I have to give up I am start looking at all the things I have to gain. I’ve gained more energy, better sleep, leaner body, and more confidence. I am finishing date three of my 12 week plan and I am so excited to see what is to come.  I close my eyes at night feeling strong and accomplished and I do not lay in bed worrying about things I have to lose. I look forward to each day in the new things I have to gain. I set a goal and I have every intention of completing it.

This is me in the off season.  I continue to workout regularly just like competition prep but my diet is not as restrictive. I am 10-15lbs over stage weight.  My current weight is 148 and I am 5’6″.  

My Second Competition was a Success!

Last weekend I competed in my second NPC Bikini Competition.  I went into it with much more confidence and determination.  I turned 35 since my first competition so I was excited to compete in the Master’s division (35 and up).  The goal I set for myself was to take first in Masters and top 3 in Open.  Well, I concurred that goal!  I placed 1st in Master’s and 3rd in Open.

Because I had competed before the fear of being on stage and being judged was completely gone.  At my first competition I spend a lot of time looking around and comparing myself to others.  I counted how many girls were in my height class and let their appearance bring my confidence down.  After the show I looked at the pictures and videos and realized that I had nothing to feel insecure about and that the only person on stage I should have been focused on was myself.  This show was completely different.  I didn’t even look at the line up or know how many girls I was competing against.  When my friends arrived and asked how many girls were in my class I simple said “I don’t know, I didn’t even look.  Who cares, I am going to go out there and rock the stage.”  I was competing against the girl I was last time around and no one else.

It has been a week since the competition and I kind of feel a little lost without that goal.  I didn’t go crazy with food after the competition but I can say that I have overindulged on red wine.  Tomorrow I am starting the 22 Minute Hard Corp challenge with my husband and a challenge group I am leading. The program is 8 weeks log, comes with a balanced nutrition plan and 22 minute workouts.   This will allow me to focus on my fitness and nutrition again without completely consuming my time and energy.  I will be blogging about this challenge so others can see what it is like.

Here are some photos from my competition:

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This is the top 4 in Master’s Division

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This is the Open line-up.  I placed third.

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Why I Chose to Compete

One week from today I will be stepping on the stage for my second time.  I am exhausted and have many emotions going through me right now; however, this time around the biggest emotion is excitement.  I am excited to go out there and beat the girl I was back in September.  She was nervous,scared, uncomfortable, timid, anxious and extremely frightened.  Today I am confident and excited to show that girl what a champion is made of.  I am competing against myself and pushing myself to be a better version of me.

So why on earth do I even want to compete?  Well, it all started 4 years ago when I started working out with a fierce group a ladies and an amazing trainer.  I gained strength and confidence and felt empowered to be who I wanted to be.  A few girls at the gym did bodybuilding competitions and I always imagined it was something I could never achieve.  After thinking about it for a couple years I just decided to go for it, why the hell not?    I wanted to show my kids that if you want something bad enough, and you work you ass off, you can achieve it.  Although not everyone wants to stand on stage in an itsy bitsy bikini and flex their glutes, the concept of determining your goals and staying commited to them is the same.   Don’t sit around thinking about your goals, get up and start working on them!  We can not change who we were yesterday but we can work on today and live for tomorrow.

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This is my 12 week transformation for my first NPC Bikini Competition. I placed 3rd in Open and qualified for Nationals.