After 3 years of training and 4 competitions, I placed in the top 5 at the CBBF national show in July. Placing 2nd in my class was not something I expected to happen but I am overjoyed with the outcome. I went into nationals with the mindset of just enjoying the moment and not worrying about whether or not I placed, which allowed me to be the most relaxed and confident I've ever been on stage. The road to nationals was not an easy one, but it was worth it!
After placing top 5 in the Alberta provincial body building show in 2015, I decided to take the year off to grow muscle rather than go directly to the 2015 national show a month later. My offseason started in November 2015 and was spent eating a ridiculous amount of carbs. I ate 300 plus grams a day (the equivalent to 7 cups of rice) and an exorbitant amount of protein, over 175 grams a day (equivalent of over 4 chicken breasts). Some days I would really struggle to hit my macro count and be stuck forcing down a couple packs of oatmeal while laying in bed at 10pm watching Netflix. The competitors offseason version of Netflix and chill...had to.
Now that being said, this is just one extreme of a competitor's diet. Once May hit, my macros slowly started to decrease and I started the 12 week process of leaning back out. There were times during my cut that I would wish for those nights spent staying up late cramming in more food.
Every competitor loves peanut butter. Peanut butter is a staple food for anyone dieting down for a show. Mainly due to it being an easy (and delicious) way to get your fats in for the day. Any time I have ever been on a carb or fat deficit I go crazy over peanut butter. To the point that it would literally be the only thing I would look forward to throughout the day. It was as if that 1 tablespoon of peanut butter was a reward to myself for staying on track all day. And you bet I would saver bit of that tablespoon at the end of the day! Once the show is over and my macros are back to a normal amount, the cravings subside.
The last couple weeks leading up to nationals were especially difficult for me mentally and physically. I think every competitor has at some point during their prep said, "why am I doing this?" For me that moment was 12 days out from nationals.
I was miserable, starving, and doing 1hr a day of interval cardio (on top of my 6 day resistance training program). My body didn't handle this cut the same as it did for previous shows and I started to became light headed in the morning. It was 12 days out from nationals, I woke up, got out of bed and went downstairs to start cooking my usual egg white omelette when I became so light headed I could no longer stand and was stuck laying on the kitchen floor feeling like I was going to be sick. My blood sugar levels must of hit an extreme low and I was in need of a quick boost. As I laid on the floor yelling for my husband to help me and cook me a piece of toast my "why am I doing this" moment happened.
For me competitions give me a challenge and something to strive towards. The challenge plays to my competitive nature and a part of me loves the extremely strict lifestyle that most people have absolutely no desire to even try. Having a strong support team to keep you on track is absolutely necessary. Especially for when your "why am I doing this" moment comes around. Whether its family, friends, or your coach, having someone to keep you focused in times of doubt is key. Luckily I had my husband there to talk me off the ledge (in my case its more like talk me off the floor).
Personally, being a bikini competitor is a love hate relationship. I love the feeling of being on stage and showing off months of hard work and dedication but I hate how anti-social it forces me to be. Leading up to a show I tend to become a hermit that goes to work, the gym, and then back home... that's it. Social events tend to revolve around food and drinks, the two things I am unable to partake in. Rather than being a burden to friends and family while out for a nice meal I just say home and stick to my yam potatoes and chicken. This part of competing is something most competitors never talk about. You will see photos on social media of how amazing competitors look in their gym selfies but you don't see how much of an individual sport body building truly is.
As a coach for bikini competitors I strive build a team atmosphere. Yes, bodybuilding is very individualized, no one else can diet for you or work out for you or do cardio for you, but having a team that is on the same journey makes the process much easier. My Desire Fitness bikini girls all have access to group personal training sessions, group posing sessions, and a group messaging board. Having gone through the same process they are in, I understand the need to make myself available as a coach for them 24/7 to answer any questions they might have or just in case they need to talk.
Thanks for taking the time to read! Ill be expanding on dieting and get into the training process more in future posts. :)
If you have any questions don't be shy to message me!
-A few of the Desire Fitness girls out supporting each other at the Muscle Beach show.