So this picture was taken when I competed in a figure competition in August of 2008. I was 41 yrs old in this picture and if you noticed I am holding a trophy. Yep I placed third in my group. It was very scary and very exciting. I want to explain with this blog entry how and why I decided to compete in that competition and I also want to write about possibly competing in future competitions and why I would choose one over the other.
My competition choices at the time of this picture, which again was August of 2008, were to compete in a Figure Competition which is more about some muscle and specific poses or a Fitness Competition which is about doing a gymnastics program or routine that involved splits, flips and well lots of stuff I have NEVER done and to be muscular or finally bodybuilding which is just about BIG muscle and being very lean. Well this was my first and to this point ONLY competition and really I was NOT at all interested in bodybuilding. NEVER wanted really big muscles and just not interested in that. I had never done gymnastics and really some of the fitness routines look like they would kill me sooooo that was out of the question so that left me, at that time, with the opportunity to do a Figure Competition.
I had been talking for about 2 years about doing a Figure Competition and through that time I was maintaining about 18% body fat so I was lean enough and muscular enough in my mind to pick a competition 12 weeks out and show up ready to compete. When I learned to actually eat food in my early 30's I also discovered that when I ate and weight trained I also put muscle on too. Well who would have thought? Hahaha So I lifted heavy as I was taught. In fact, I was taught go heavy or go home from the get go. Always, always go to the next level while weight training or cardio'ing. Push yourself and your body WILL respond. So at the time of this competition I had been weight training on and off, mostly on for about 10 years so I had a nice foundation and knew quite a bit about lifting weights. I was and still am a personal trainer and with my husband had a personal training studio that we had started in Jan of 2002.
So while I was talking about doing the Figure Competition my Dad passed on. Then almost exactly a year later my Mom passed away and well life got complicated or well in my book a little (lot) out of control for me. Both my parents were close with me and my mom was very close with me. She was my ROCK and my biggest cheer leader. When she passed I was devastated and I really needed something that gave me structure to help with my life sooooo I said why not do a Figure Competition. So about 5 months after my mom passed I found a competition which at that time was NEARLY impossible to find even with the Internet and singed up. SO I started to train in May and finished in Aug for the competition.
I did not get a coach as I thought I KNEW what to do and really I had been very, very lean before and so had my husband. In fact, he was mostly my coach. For some reason at that time it was really, really difficult to get info on the competitions online and I am curious to find out if that is still the case. But anyway, so I bought some DVD's on posing and walking and that was it. I trained and ate as I knew at that time and showed up without ever even seeing a live competition before Lol it was incredible AND I was the first person on the stage. Oh boy!!
I will tell you that my state of mind was in the "I don't care about too much" stage. I really didn't care and I will also tell you I was sooooo tired from ALL the prep work to SHOW up for this comp that I really just wanted to take a nap. Another BIG motivation for this first comp was the fact that my mom had NEVER overcome her weight issues in her life. I watched her my whole life struggle with trying to lose weight and starving and trying all kinds of crazy diets and NOTHING ever worked for her. SO in my mind I was doing it for my mom and I was going ALL THE WAY!
Have you EVER really, really given something literally EVERYTHING you have got? I was focused and never did I fall off that focus. I will tell you when training for any of these your WHOLE life literally revolves around your training, cardio and your eating. Day in and day out. Is it doable? ABSOLUTELY but you gotta be committed. Really for me just imaging that I would be on a stage with a VERY small bathing suit was enough motivation. Hahaha
Alright so I did it and then it was behind me and then I immediately fell into a FUNK, my husband also got very sick not long after and well that is another story. Now today I am thinking about doing another competition. WHY would I do that? Well I feel that when you commit to something like that it really makes you go ALL THE WAY with the eating and training and you stay focused on a goal. AND I feel that I can do MUCH, MUCH better this time around. First there is A LOT more info out there and there is a Bikini Competition now available too. I recently went hard core with the weight training and getting back to my 'old' shape (18% BF, check out my transformation blog entries) and now I am 45 yrs old.
This time around I will probably do a Figure Comp again as I like the look and I like having the structure of that muscle. If I have more body fat to lose than can be comfortably done in 12 weeks I plan on starting my training 16 weeks out. The first and only comp to date I did (these pics) I dropped body fat fast and in the process lost a bit of muscle too. This time around I want to FOCUS on keeping most of my muscle and taking it real slow dropping the fat so that that can happen.
If you are thinking about doing a Figure Comp you do need to have some muscle or plan a eating & training program to put some muscle on and then drop some body fat too. Or focus on one and then the other but for Figure you need to be lean and have some muscles. I remember in that first comp one of the girls competing with me said to the lady emcee "Are they looking for soft this year?" and was referring to me. Hahaha YES and I actually laughed with her because boy did she give a lot away just saying that - right? Lol and really I just did not care!
I have thought about doing a bikini just because the muscles are not that important and I could just focus on dropping the body fat and leaning out. Also the posing looks easier too. There seems to be another comp going on now called Physique Comp and I guess that is for the folks in between Figure and Bodybuilding? Just something for you to check into if you are interested in doing something challenging and new.
With any competition you would HAVE TO weight train. You would HAVE TO eat 5-6-7 small meals a day with very SPECIFIC food ONLY and cardio will be part of your regular life too. I would take all this into consideration plus the TIME you will have to dedicate to your food and training. The cost of the suits is up there and if you are doing this for the first time or three I would suggest a COACH. In fact this time around I am using a coach. Why you ask? Because this time I want to be #1 and with a coach I will be. YAY! You will have to practice your posing and that will take time. You will have to practice walking in high heel shoes if you are not used to it and ALL the beauty stuff. The hair, make-up, mani's, pedi's, and tanning - ALL grooming stuff - whew, I am getting tired just writing it down.
Listen, it will take time and energy to do it. So the question is HOW bad do you want to do it? No questioning at this stage whether you can. Your coach will tell you if you can and HOW long it will take to get you stage ready from where you are now. Sometimes you get folks that ask well how do you do that? All I have to say is YOU CANNOT EAT ANY BREAD FOR THE WHOLE TIME TRAINING and they quickly say ohhhhh I can't do that. And guess what? You are right! OK that is it. If you have any questions let me know. I will answer what I know. At this time I have a LOT of stuff going on so I am not sure WHEN I will COMMIT to this very rigorous training to make a COMPETITION happen for me but..... you never know!
WAIT - gotta show the backside pic. NOW remember, I am 41 yrs old in this picture and I have had two kids and YES I have had cellulite and hmmmm do now lol. DO you see this backside? Yep not one single DIMPLE! Can you tell I am proud of that? See you can 'get rid of cellulite' with the proper food and exercise YAY!
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