Competition Recap & Why I’m Switching Back to Bikini Division

Hello and thanks for reading!

Lots of things have happened since my last blog, including my first NPC Figure competition! Here are some life updates:

First Figure Competition: Gave It My Best Shot!

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For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts, I competed in the NPC Bikini division 5 times during 2012.  I did pretty well! But my dream for many years has been to compete in the Figure division (where the girls carry more muscle.)  So I gave it a shot: I trained intensely (under the guidance of my Team Bombshell coaches) for 10 months for my first Figure competition, held in Culver City, CA.

It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t place well.  In all honesty, however, I understand why:

  1. I wasn’t lean enough. I learned the hard way this summer that one bite of this or that does add up.  Like many people, I have a bad habit of turning to sugary carbs when I’m tired or anxious. When I live alone, this isn’t a problem because I don’t purchase any foods that are not on my diet plan. But when I don’t control the food situation, and the stupid Double Stuffed Oreos are sitting on the pantry shelf staring at me, I struggle to avoid them. My willpower is usually pretty strong, but I’m human! I’m not perfect.  Anyway, these extra calories prevented me from looking as lean as I would’ve liked at the competition.
  2. I don’t have enough muscle yet. I don’t naturally have a muscular build and it’s hard for me to keep muscle on my frame. I certainly put every ounce of effort I had into my preparation—I lifted as heavy as possible 5-6 times per week, and I gave my body plenty of fuel to grow. And I did definitely add some muscle, but I looked small in comparison to my competitors.  When I went backstage at the show and met the other Figure girls, I immediately recognized that I looked… like a Bikini competitor wearing a Figure suit. Ha!

But all of this is okay.  I accept what is (admittedly I cried on the actual day of the competition, but after having a few weeks to assess the situation, I am feeling better).  I had to at least attempt to compete in Figure in order to understand why I wasn’t ready for it yet (a huge thanks to Gen Strobo, my Figure coach, for being the perfect combination of patient, encouraging, and firm with me as I prepped).

After speaking with my coaches, I am switching back to the Bikini division for now.  Competing in the Figure division will always remain in the back of my mind, perhaps for when I reach my late 20s or early 30s, but for right now, I think I will have more success in Bikini.  My goal is to look like a more muscular bikini girl, like Justine Munro or Brittany Tacy, pictured here:

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I plan to compete again in less than 7 weeks at the Ft. Lauderdale Cup in Florida.  I competed at this show last year and placed 4th in a very competitive class.  I’m going to have to drop some pounds between now and then to get back to my Bikini competition weight, so I am back on a rigorous cardio, weight training and diet regimen (and Oreos are not allowed in my apartment, lemme tell ya!) It is hard sometimes to balance school and training, but I prefer having a goal in sight.  It keeps me excited and motivated.

Thank you again for reading. I always enjoy hearing about others’ fitness goals, plans, struggles, etc., so please send me a message or leave a comment with what you’re up to! 

Some pictures from the show….

Huge thanks to my Bombshell teammate IFBB Figure Pro Tarah Mitchell. She did an awesome job on my makeup for the show! She also helped with my posing, and let me cry on her shoulder after prejudging. Such an incredible woman!

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I got a blow out at this cool blow-dry bar in Los Angeles! Can someone please do this to my hair every morning?

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*Funniest part about the picture below: check out  the band-aid on my knee…. that’s from falling on a treadmill! IT HURT!

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Where to Begin…

Law School Exams, I Loathe You & Will Kick Your Butt

Well, it’s 6AM on Saturday and I am awake due to habit. The gym doesn’t open until 8, so it’s a perfect time to blog.

Since I last posted, I’ve completed two of my three law school final exams. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for me during the last couple of weeks as finals approached. I’ve had moments of utter fear and hopelessness (“I can’t do this. Why am I in law school at all?”) but also moments of calm acceptance that I’ve prepared the best I could, and that everything truly will be alright.

During this time, I did not slack off from the gym because training is what kept me sane. It’s a scary feeling to know that you can’t control what is on your Civil Procedure exam, and you can’t control the grading curve, etc. But you can control whether you go to the gym and stick to a healthy diet. I continued hitting the weights at 5AM and doing cardio afterwards. I followed the diet almost 100 percent. (Except for a Cheesecake Factory birthday dinner with my dear friend Caitlin, but that was important!).

My friend and law school classmate Karen told me that she continued attending ballet classes during finals because it allowed her to focus only on ballet, leaving thoughts of law school exams at the door. I hope that everyone is able to find something in life that allows them to quiet that constant stream of thoughts running through our heads, whether it’s dance, weight training, basketball, meditation, running, or something else. What is that thing for you?

Where Do I Begin?

I got a couple really wonderful Facebook messages this week. One of them asked about where to find meal plans to correspond with workouts. I recommended a couple of good places to start:

If you’re a female, pick up a copy of Muscle & Fitness HERS magazine at the grocery store/Target. It’s an awesome resource for both training and meal plans. Usually there’s a meal plan designed for if you want to build muscle, and one for if you want to maintain or lose fat.

For guys or girls, check out this website, part of Bodybuilding.com:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360.html

There are pictures of 6 male and 6 female fitness models with different levels of muscle and leanness. Pick the body that you are aiming for, and check out his/her exact diet and training programs. I love this website!

The other message I got completely made my day (I might have even felt tears welling up, but don’t tell anyone). It was from a classmate from undergrad who said he’s been following my posts, and since I’ve seen him, has made huge improvements in his health. Reading made me realize that I love to help people learn about fitness/health stuff, because there’s so much confusing, inaccurate information out there — I want to help people sort through it so they can reach their goals like he did.

Figure Competition Progress Update

It’s the “off-season” right now for most competitors, because nobody can keep their body in “competition shape” all year round (… think about that the next time you admire a lean, ripped fitness model on the cover of a magazine. Prior to the photo shoot, they probably hardcore dieted, did countless hours of cardio, and depleted their body of water. They do not look like that all the time.)

My training team calls this time “improvement season”, because it’s a time to allow your body to rest, recover, eat higher calories, and build quality muscle. So that’s what I’ve been working on. As I’ve complained about before, my body adds muscle very slowly and it’s frustrating. But I try to remain patient and accept my body for what it is.

My goal is still to compete in my first figure competition in March of 2012, but as the competition gets closer I’ll listen to my coaches’ advice regarding whether I should wait a bit longer. I don’t want to get onstage looking like a fool, ha ha. I want to make everybody proud.

See how my back has SOME muscle, but not enough! Need to drop body fat of course.