Hello my loyal followers!
As you know I hit you all by surprise by competing in two bodybuilding bikini competitions over these last few months. So why did I hide it?
Well basically I’m not good with added pressure. I wanted to compete for me and not anyone else. If I was a couple weeks deep and wanted to back out I didn’t want to feel like I was letting anyone down. I didn’t want to be stuck in this spiral that I went through last time; comparing myself to other bikini athletes, having friends in the gym question me constantly. Last time it was too much for me and I became unhappy very quickly and stopped back in September after prepping for 8 weeks.
A few days out…
When competing you need to do it for YOURSELF and no one else. You have to REALLY WANT IT. At the time I didn’t want it, and I couldn’t see sacrificing my life for something I wasn’t into hole-heartedly.
Enter November 2014. After going back and forth in my head a few times about competing again, I knew I wanted to do NPC. When I did the natural OCB shows last year I was told I was too lean, my front section was too tight, and I had a bit too much muscle. I loved my look, and in fact, I thought I was TOO SMALL. My muscle ate away and I wanted to build more, keep around what I built over the past 3 years, and show it off in the best possible way at my first NPC show.
WAY TOO SMALL.
So after discussing with someone it was decided that I would need a good 16-18 weeks of dieting to achieve the NPC look. That meant dieting during the holidays. That meant killing it in the gym every day for 16-18 weeks and giving it 100%. I wanted it this time. I wanted it BAD and I decided to keep it to myself as I started the process. No added pressure, no questioning, more “let’s see how it goes”.
This takes A LOT of guts to post my off season body by the way, but at this point I have nothing to hide with this blog…
I started the process at 17 weeks out. If you have been following me a while you remember I did a 13 week prep for my first show. 17 weeks is a LONG time for a bikini girl to prep. Thinking of the big picture I wasn’t sure I could do it for 17 weeks, but again I wanted it and nothing stops me from achieving a goal I want.
My whole entire prep I didn’t have one cheat meal. Thanksgiving I brought my own food.
Christmas not one single sugar cookie (oh the horror). Not one treat, not one morsel.
Working out Christmas Morning!
I know you are thinking who could do that? I’m not patting myself on the back here, I’m being honest and letting you guys know how I did this. It was hard, there were a lot of down days and times I wanted to reach for that treat, but I resisted. I saw myself in that darn bikini on stage and I wanted absolutely NO what ifs stepping on that stage.
As you can see I slowly started to lean out. I was seeing changes and felt good about the process even though it was insanely hard. I followed a pretty good diet and did it on my own from 17 weeks out to 11 weeks out. I was still enjoying soy milk in my coffees, still doing cardio before or after lifts (or as you guys know I break it up into pieces- 2 sets of a lift here, some cardio, a few more sets, repeat), and feeling good. Then my progress stopped. I had stopped leaning and I even upped my cardio. Something had to change.
13 weeks out
12 weeks out
I hired a coach, it was someone a friend suggested, all online which I was 100% all about. I don’t like someone in my face or constantly checking in on me. I like space, I’m a self motivator, I just needed someone to say DO THIS. So I did just that.
When I received my diet and training I cried a little… yes, I cried. This guy wasn’t messing around. It was super strict. Goodbye soy milk, goodbye heavy carbs, hello fats. Basically my diet was low carb and high fat. I was also doing FASTED cardio, something that was totally new to me and also a few HIIT sessions a week. Doing fasted cardio before work meant getting on the step mill at 4am before my surgery shift. I thought how the heck could I keep this up? I told myself I was strong and I could do it. I wanted it right? ABSOLUTELY.
That first week dragging myself out in the snow to go to Golds at 330am… YEP!
Constantly a bag lady.
The first week was the hardest. In fact I remember starting the diet on Saturday and on Wednesday evening I was crying in the spin room to my friend Scott saying I couldn’t do it. I was hungry, tired, and my body was shocked. He told me to stick it out until Sunday, that this was what I asked for and needed, a change to make progress happen. I’m really glad I stuck it out because my body adjusted just fine after one week. They always say the first few days on a new routine are the hardest. They really are.
As the weeks went by things got easier. I had resigned from my surgery job and had a little time off. This meant more time to meal prep, more time in the gym, and more time to succeed. Well it ended up having the opposite effect. I had TOO MUCH TIME. I watched the clock for the next time I could eat, I twiddled my thumbs until another gym session, and I secluded myself from everyone.
Every day I questioned the process. Would I be ready? Would I embarrass myself? I kept going. I’m my worst critic after all. In the back of my head I kept hearing the voices of those who said I would never be ready for NPC, my body wasn’t there yet. I was out to prove those people wrong. Nothing gets me more fired up than when I’m told “YOU CAN’T”. As Bruno Mars would say “Don’t believe me just watch!” (this was my jam all this prep by the way).
One week with my new coach. Things were happening!
Last year- left, 6 weeks out. RIGHT- this year 10 weeks out.
I had FINALLY reached the half way point in my prep 8.5 weeks out and was feeling great about how far I had come in such a short period of time.
My mid-section had completely changed. For me it’s that DARN midsection. We all have different parts on our bodies that lean out last. First for me? ARMS! Last? Abs and upper thighs. It’s that Italian/Polish combo. Doomed from genetics.
The “cutting” got easier as the show approached. My body was familiar with the small frequent meals, so taking away a few carbs here and there wasn’t a big deal. I also was getting questioned A LOT at my gym because it was noticeable that I was leaning out. I still didn’t want people knowing. Now I need to reiterate here this wasn’t to show up and surprise people… please my ego isn’t THAT BIG. It was for my own sanity. My gym is a competitors gym. Everyone tries to one up each other. It drives me insane. Advice is given that isn’t asked for, and to be honest I can’t bite my tongue. So really it was best for everyone to keep this a secret.
The 10 week difference!
Around 8-9 weeks out
8-9 weeks out versus stage me last year! I was on the road to beating that girl!
So since I wanted to be left alone, I switched gyms around 8 weeks out. I am a creature of habit and I knew I would HATE IT. Turns out I loved it.
They had FIVE step mills and no one ever used them but me in the mornings. It was a “family type” fitness center with a huge older crowd and no meatheads. I was in heaven. PLUS you could not beat the lighting that was in the locker room. OH MY. I could see every muscle fiber and vein a poppin’
Even my back was coming in SUPER nice. My hard work over the past year definitely was showing. Even when I was “thicker” I was still in the gym every single day.
About 5 weeks out or so. I think this was the point where I realized I want to be a figure girl someday. I WORKED for those arms!
Crazy what a diet can do huh?
The excitement for me really started happening when my hamstrings popped. I couldn’t believe I could see them. I never missed a gym session this past year and it was showing. Consistency. Hard work. That’s all it is.
A comparison of where I started to about 5 weeks out
The best part of this process which I had no idea how wonderful it would be, was when I messaged Tony. When we were around 7 weeks out a mutual friend of ours told me how great he looked. I saw his pictures and was blown away at the hard work this guy put in. Nothing attracts me more than a hard worker. So being the forward person I am, I messaged him to tell him that. Funny enough at dinner a few weeks ago he didn’t believe me that I messaged him first, until we scrolled back a million messages ago to AHEM prove I was right. 😉
Anyway, even funnier he said thank you and I didn’t hear from him for another 3 weeks. Men, huh?
Three weeks later we were messaging every single day about prep. I initially lied and said I wasn’t doing a show, but I knew I could trust him. Plus, it felt INSANELY good to talk to someone about it who was going through the same. We clicked instantly.
Those last few weeks (4 weeks out and on), I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tony was pushing me and I was pushing him back. I could do this. I had great support and nothing was going to stop me.
As you can see that left picture was my motivation and comparison for this prep. There is nothing wrong with that girl on the left. She was healthy living a normal life. For stage purposes she needed to be shredded!
2 weeks out.
I had NEVER seen my body look like that before. I had been small, but never held onto my muscle and looked ripped. Let’s face it, last year I approached upon starving child. This year, when I had put my bikini on for G-Mama and did the bikini girl walk she was blown away. She couldn’t believe the body I achieved. Staying small, but holding onto that muscle I worked so hard for. BOTH of my parents were extremely supportive through this process and I am so grateful I have them.
Yes, my clothes started swallowing me, but it was all apart of the process. On stage you look full and ripped. In real life, small and fragile in normal clothes.
You would never guess THIS is under there huh?
What a change!
Show day was approaching fast and I felt like a bikini girl. I had DONE it!
That messy bed head hair 😉
But inside I still felt like a future figure gal 😉
Peak week came and it wasn’t as tough as I expected with the diet and workouts. In fact it was a breeze in comparison. I had some things go down in my personal life, which made peak week a NIGHTMARE. I couldn’t believe something like that was happening 5 days before my show, but it did. (I really prefer to spare the details here, let’s just say it was pretty awful). I refused to quit in the home stretch. I knew stepping on stage would be more rewarding that I was able to finish this process even in bad times.
A comparison of 1 week out from my first show and 1 week out from this seasons first show.
THIS WAS IT! 1 day out from the Gladiator! I MADE IT!
Was this process hard? UH YEAH! Was it worth it? YES! I wouldn’t change a thing. I came in how I wanted to. I placed and I came home with a sword. I would’ve felt good about what I accomplished even if I didn’t place, but come on anyone that does this sport wants to win or place!
So the big question
Am I going to do it again?
I said bye to my bikini days since I want to do figure, but I can’t make SET plans. When I step on stage as a figure gal I want to look like I belong. Not a bikini girl trying to play figure girl. I’m not done this season. I have one more go in me for the late fall. Right now I’m spending time quality time in the gym, maxing out my workouts and seeing if I can put on any muscle in this short time frame. If I’m not ready for figure, I won’t push it. Maybe I’ll give bikini one last go? We shall see!
I hope you enjoyed this post. I wanted to show you guys that ANYTHING is possible with hard work and a goal! So chase those dreams and don’t let anyone tell you no.
XOXO With a Cherry On Top,