Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Let the Cookie Win!

I’m back! It’s been three weeks since competition, but it feels like forever. And it feels that long since I’ve been in the gym (oops!)

I gave myself the first post-competition week off from the gym. I had hurt my hip and shoulder pretty bad the week before comp, so I figured I’d give my body some rest. I also began a really hard class, and I wanted to get focused while not feeling guilty for missing the gym.

But my brother-in-law is in town for a month, and last week his fiancĂ© was in town for the week. It was nice to finally have family around and people to socialize with, but between that and school, it left no gym time (I did hit up my Jillian Michaels’ videos, so I could at least get some activity).

I have decided to compete in March back in my hometown. I joined a training program down here in Florida. The program is similar, where as my trainer is long-distance, except this time the program is based out of Daytona, and I will go to one of their weekend training camps in December (they have them every month, so if I need a little boost I could go to another one pretty easily).

I thought about waiting until then to begin the program, but I am thinking November is better. I WANT TO PLACE in my hometown! So the paperwork will go in this week.

Plus I don’t want to revert back to this:

Yes, that was me at the beginning of June.

Believe it or not, I worked out almost everyday for at least an hour to an hour and a half. So, why do I look soft and pudgy?

My diet! Only a small few of people can actually eat whatever they want and stay skinny … and that doesn’t mean they are healthy. Eating crappy food wrecks havoc on your insides (including your brain functioning).

I love this:

It’s so true. And really, going to the gym isn’t always that fun. Some days there are a million other things I rather be doing. Sometimes my gym time is a real sacrifice; I’m taking time away from my husband, my friends and family, my dog, my school work, other activities I really enjoy.

So why would I want to make that sacrifice in vain? For what? A cookie?

Sometimes the cookie does win, but overtime the cookie will lose and I won’t feel deprived by not having one.

Moral of the story, don’t let the cookie win!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Show Time!

The competition was this weekend! I cannot believe it’s over!

It started on Friday. After (hopefully) not failing my exam, my parents arrived. We caught up a bit, before I had to leave for check-in and a posing class by Jaime Baird. She is such a sweet (and beautiful) woman.

Mrs. Baird

She's so sweet

Nicole Nagrani was there too, which was a special treat.

Homegirl is 19! She's is pocket-sized too!

It was really great to get a detailed perspective on posing, the dos and don’ts and other tips. They talked a lot about how important personality is during posing, and can give a competitor an edge. They also stressed how important it is to have fun. Flatter abs isn’t going to fulfill you, and if it does, you won’t have a long, happy career in competition.

Jaime had us to do our walk and front pose for her. It cleared some nerves, and she also she gave us a little critique. Being in front of an audience isn’t too new for me, but I am use to making eye contact with the audience or, for a play, looking up, over the audience. In this competition, you look down, and only down, at the judges. So that was new. And she said that I reminded her of Ali Rosen:

I take that as a compliment.

Friday night ended with three Jan Tana-tanning sessions by my wonderful husband. (I think for next time, I will be making an appointment with the show tanners.)

I woke up at 5am for another tanning session and to get ready. There was a competitor meeting at 8am, and I wanted to make sure I was at the venue in plenty of time.

One prep secret: I wore a wig! I had bought the wig for my wedding, but I opted for another hairstyle (also with faux-hair though … it’s genius.), so the wig had been sitting in my closet for a year. After going through competitor photos, I realized everyone has long hair. I was just about to purchase clip-in extensions, when I remembered the rug. I know I would fuss about my hair all day, and with pre-judging and the night show, I knew my fine hair would not hold up. The wig work perfectly and literally saved hours off prep and worry!

My coach told me to go to the venue hair and make up ready, but when I got to the venue, there was a room full of tables and mirrors. I felt a little awkward just sitting there while everyone else was getting ready. Two women, who happened to be figure competitors, noticed my awkwardness (and shyness) and be-friended me, looking after me the whole day.

I was granted number 93, and after a morning of practicing posing, it was finally time for me to get judged. I was trying to remember what Jaime had said the night before, and what my coach had told me, but when it came time to step on stage I blanked on everything. The next thing I knew I was walking off stage.

While my family wanted to go to out to eat, I opted for going home to rest. I was exhausted and food and water deprived. I barely made it home before passing out for an hour and a half.

The afternoon brought one more tan touch-up and back to the venue. The hubs, my brother, my pops and a good friend, John, joined my mom for the night show. I was a lot more relaxed, and even joined my family to watch the fitness girls perform (those girls are crazy amazing!). I was supposed to go on after intermission, but the show was running so quickly that they skipped it, and it was my turn to go up again.

Sadly, I did not place. I was not first call-out during pre-judging (the judges usually call out who they think the top five are in a class, and therefore compare them even more side-by-side to determine top order), so it was no surprise I didn’t win.

There were a lot of novice competitors. My height class alone had 10 girls, and the other class had atleast 15. In fact, the woman who won the overall novice bikini class was from my class, so it was very competitive.

But it was such a great experience. I am looking forward to my next show, which I think I will be in March (and in my hometown back up north). Even though it’s five months away, I can’t relax too much. I will probably hit the gym hardcore by the weekend. I asked for a judges' crit to be sent to me, but I already know I have to tighten up ... a lot!

I want to write a blog about the days after and eating. So that will probably come in a few days, but for now I will leave you with a photo and my presentation video from the night show (I stumbled a bit on the turn, but practice makes perfect and I know I will get better and more comfortable the more I practice and perform).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Posin' and Strutin'

Happy Hump Day! I CANNOT believe that around about 72 hours I will be in some form participating in my first NPC bikini competition.

I want to throw up. I am as excited as I would be on my birthday. I am so scared because prancing around in a teeny-weeny ‘kini is NOT ME.

I am really digging this last week workout. Sunday was my last legs day. Then Monday through today I had AM cardio sessions and afternoon lifting, but lighter than usual. However, Tuesday I was gone from 7:45a until 9p, so I woke up for my morning cardio, but I didn’t have energy to lift at 9:30-10p, so I am doing one last lifting session on Thursday morning. Then I am done!

Some of my “homework” is practicing my posing. (My dogs think I am crazy, they usually sit on the couch watching me walk back and forth between the wall and the table to set and re-set my camera timer every 10 seconds.)

Ma, you iz crazy!

Usually there is a front pose and a back pose. But I’ve been watching YouTube videos of NPC bikini competitions, and it occurred to me that most of these women walk out, one-by-one, pose, both front and back with a sassy little turn. I don’t why I didn’t realize it until yesterday but I might possibly have to do this, especially when the competition Web site says that since this is a woman’s only show, each women gets to “feel like a princess” and will have plenty of time on stage.

I have been on stage before: dance recitals, speaking, auditions, performing in plays and even a few professional productions. But there is something about trying to strut your stuff in a piece of Spandex that waivers any sense of confidence. So I will be practicing this for the next day or so.

Watching the girls, trying to learn

I have been trying to cut sodium from my diet too. I have to take potassium pills, and after tomorrow, there is no sodium extra allowed. But seriously, if I eat another piece of fish, I might throw up. So I am trying to find an alternative for Thursday and Friday. I might just have to stick with a protein shakes and peanut butter. I'll have to get a bit creative ... I'll let you know how that goes.

I'd rather be fishing ... not eat it

In the meantime I will be finishing my last workout, practicing my posing, prepping my day-of bag, cleaning for my parents’ arrival and studying for my final on Friday morning.