The Gladiator

Surprise! I competed in my first NPC Bodybuilding competition on Saturday! AND I PLACED!


Yep… that’s what’s been consuming my life these past 17 weeks.

So why the secret? Well I wanted to do this prep for me and no one else. No outside pressure. If I couldn’t hang, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. For the sake of this weekend being a WHIRLWIND and a total blur, I’m going to make this mostly pictures and all throughout this week I am going to tell my story. How I did it, what I went through, and why. For now I’m sticking to show day and going to celebrate with my pictures!

No stage shots yet, but these are the backstage ones and candids 🙂

Friday night I checked in at the hotel near the theatre where the show was held. I caught a few of my gym friends off guard by showing up. As I said, no one knew! Well a few close friends and family. A lot of people said “well hello miss surprise!”. By the way I should mention I even switched gyms 8 weeks ago to keep my secret on the down low 😉


Number 136 was the number!

That night I tanned, ate my last meal, and went to bed early. 4am was the wakeup call!


I got up bright and early to get my makeup and hair done (yes all done myself!). I wanted to be all ready to go in the hotel before another spray tan coating at 6am. I didn’t want to rush around fighting for mirror space at the venue.




After. Yes, it’s dramatic. BUT it’s stage makeup!


This is where I spray tanned at 6:30am in 30 degree weather. A silk robe and that’s it? No body fat? COLD tanning spray? No biggie. Yeah, that was not fun.

It all worked out though! I put on my suit and waited for the fun to begin 🙂

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This girl right here is my ROCK. A year ago I sat in the audience at the Gladiator and watched Ariana. That hair and sass! I found her on Instagram and we became fast friends. A year later, best friends competing together! Crazy how life turns out. Plus, her mom Susan was INCREDIBLE to me. She also competes, but in figure, and she took me under her wing backstage and was there as my support system. I cannot thank her enough for being so kind to me. Such a beautiful woman.


Side note: we are being photo bombed by Miss Figure Olympia herself! Nicole Wilkins in the pink.

At these shows there is A LOT of downtime. Not much to do but look in the mirror, take pictures and bikini talk until it’s your turn!



As you can see, backstage is total chaos!

There were familiar faces though, including my gym friend Amanda.

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Another good gym friend of mine Hannah who was helping out backstage and organizing the chaos.

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Golds gym girl selfie!

I went on stage, was extremely nervous, and rocked it out! I held my own against all of those girls. I stood up there with the odds against me. I didn’t know “the right people”, I never schmoozed. I went in as a black sheep.


I did receive first call outs for Novice Bikini against 40 plus girls. All those odds against me and #136 was called! My parents screamed, my best friends screamed, and well… yeah my parents screamed 😉 They were a tad proud!

Not to mention this big guy!


My best gym friend Scott. He was the ONLY ONE from my gym who knew about my prep. In the early days he would come in the spin room and talk me down when I cried and said I wasn’t strong enough for this prep. He told me I could do it, I’m glad I listened.

After pre-judging there was a huge gap until finals so I went with Ariana and her family to a restaurant to kill time.


When we came back Miss Olympia was hanging out backstage and she actually posted this on her Facebook and Instagram! Holy smokes, me next to Nicole Wilkins. Thank you to EVERYONE who tagged me online in this pic. I saw it for sure.



Finals was a big party, introduction of all the athletes goofing off and strutting their stuff for the audience. They paired us boy/girl in a huge line with music blasting.


Most bikini girls hit a pose, but I stood up there and flexed for my Dad! He loves to see “my guns”, so that one was for him 🙂


Finally awards time. Introducing our classes, athlete by athlete then announcing top 5. In fourth place, #136!


I CANNOT explain the feeling that went through me when I heard my name called. In fact, thinking of it and typing this I sit here in tears. I walked forward, was given my award, struck my pose and heard screams. I heard my Dad scream “You lied to us Kate!”. People laughed. Basically I told them I didn’t think I placed at all. I heard my friends Chris and Tony cheering for me (more on that later).


THAT FEELING. It wasn’t shock, it wasn’t relief, it was accomplishment. No, I didn’t need the validation of an award to hit a goal (Yes, they give out swords. Cool huh?), but it felt darn good. As they finished announcing the top 5, the photographer took pictures and had the five of us pose together for a victory shot with our arms up. THAT WAS THE MOMENT. Tears welled up in my eyes, I looked out at the audience, the hundreds of people filling the stands, the huge lights beaming down and hitting the stage and I said to myself “Katie you did this”.  I can’t wait to find a picture of it. Nothing could have taken that feeling away. 17 weeks of sacrifice for that one moment. WORTH IT! It’s something I will NEVER forget.

So I celebrated with the one thing I wanted the most through my prep… G-Mama’s Christmas sugar cookies!

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I didn’t get Christmas cookies this holiday, so I did a rewind and got me those cookies!


They supplied us with cookies too, and ya know I had to try it! No worries G-Mama, nowhere as near as good as yours.


Besides my parents, let me introduce you to the two men who made this day what it was for me.


Tony, aka my prep soulmate. We dieted together through this process and talked every day. Pushing each other, motivating, and tagging one another in way too many food pictures online than I’d like to admit! He brought me that cupcake too 🙂


I cannot thank him enough for all of the support through this process. What an amazing person this guy is.

Next up… my friend Chris.


I cannot say enough about this amazing man. He kept me sane through my prep and a few weeks ago would meet me and teach me how to pose “NPC style”. What started as a friendship, then bikini business, ended in a life long bond. The night before the show and day of the show he checked in on me constantly. Adjusted me, supported me, calmed me down.  I wasn’t even one of his 5 amazing athletes on stage, yet I was considered one. I later found out when my number was called for an award both Chris and Tony had the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders. How humbling to know two amazing men care for me so much and wanted me to succeed. I’m so lucky!


Even more lucky that these two amazing guys took this winner out to dinner!


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Yes, I asked for bread! CARBS!

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Lobster Mac and Cheese for this lady.

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Oh and I did have a soy latte earlier after finals 😉


You betcha I carried that sword in Starbucks.

I went home feeling a million emotions. I still have SO MANY! But as a year passed and I think about my first show last year, I ended my night taking a picture with my medal in front of my blog area. That’s exactly how I ended it this year.


Remember, never let anyone stop you from a goal you want to achieve. WISH IT. DREAM IT. DO IT.

XOXO With a Cherry On Top,


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  1. Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete

    Congrats on a beautiful outcome performance!

  2. Hayley

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and it’s amazing to see your growth. Well done =)

    1. Katie

      Thanks Hayley! Lots of hard work and long hours in the gym and kitchen 🙂

  3. Danielle@T-Rex Runner

    You’re amazing and I am so proud of you! Of course you look incredible, but even better, it sounds like you FEEL great too. That’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice and it was worth it! Congratulations!

    1. Katie

      Thanks Danielle! It definitely felt good to release the secret that’s for sure! Miss you!

  4. amyt

    Congrats to you!!! 🙂

  5. Susan

    Congratulations beautiful girl!!! Ariana told me many wonderful things about you and it was a pleasure to finally meet you. God bless you in all your future endeavors <3

    1. Katie

      Thank you so much Mrs. Susan! You saved my behind that day. Congrats on being a nationally qualified athlete! XOXO

  6. Tamara


    I love, love, love that you kept this secret. I can’t wait to hear more.

    I’ve always felt that this type of thing (self-improvement) was very personal to me and I didn’t want to share it. But my reasons may not have been good reasons to keep it secret. I’d like your take on how you felt during this secret mission. For me, it’s because I don’t want the pressure of failing and also because I cannot stand listening to naysayers tell me that it will be too hard to do or I can’t do it. I feel like, unless I do it for myself and and not publicly, the outside world gets into my head too much.

    You’ve surrounded yourself with some great supporters.

    1. Katie

      Thanks so much Tamara. That’s exactly why I hid it because everyone wants to give their two cents and tell you what to do. Only YOU know what’s best for you. I get stressed when I question myself so I knew if no one knew I’d be fine.

  7. Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! SO SO SO Happy for you!! I know that you put in an insane amount of work and it absolutely paid off!!

  8. Meet the Parents | Skinny Minnie Moves

    […] to G-Mama and Pop Pops for a nice dinner. They actually have met Tony twice before, (once at my show-the Gladiator and another time they watched Phoebe for me and we picked her up), but this was the first official […]

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