The sport with no finish line. Every day moves you further along, even when it seems ‘boring’ or uninspired. It comes with time and energy..
Ahhhhh… beginnings…New beginnings!
I’ve been doing fitness for a long, long time.. but that does not mean that it isn’t a struggle to stay motivated. Fitness ebbs and flows. It does because life does. I’ve done years where I’ve been on prep, or focused on body building shows exclusively. I’ve had years recently that focused on mental health and learning more pole, performance. None of these things are wrong. I grew weary of being in show prep. My body was just sick of it.
So let me tell you what I have done since day one, without fail. I have done workout, selfies and progress updates. I have everything uploaded into drop box and I can see exactly every point of my journey.
I can see freakish lean, buffet fluffy. I can see off season perfect as well as times when I struggled in my macro journey. I can see when I was in my saddest times, the times I felt good and the times I felt really strong.
Every one of these pics are snapshots of my journey. The good, bad and the gym hair, don’t care, ugly.
Why is this meaningful? I look at this pic of my back when I first started getting ready for a show. This was probably back in 2012. I was so motivated to do my first show. It’s all I thought about. I’m sure it bored everyone around me. I thought I looked awesome and I was getting better and better. Motivation and adrenaline level 3000.
Time passed. Shows came and went.. I probably felt less motivated and had to focus more on strategy for subsequent shows. It became habit and skill. But.. I probably beat myself up plenty because I didn’t look IG ready all the time. I probably said negative things in my head about being too this or too that and not good enough. I’m sure of it.
That’s really normal for me.
But…as it turns out..some changes happened.
I probably work up one day around that time and felt bad about myself. I probably allowed my negative self talk to focus in on the things I didn’t like about myself.
But I made gains. I made progress. It’s real.. because I often forget to look up or see how far I’ve come. I’m always digging into why I’m not perfect or 100 percent better. /
There is no finish line though. There is progress. I need to focus more on that!
Progress pics tell our story!
Think of your progress pics, in the same way you track your lifts, and your macros. It’s information!
If you don’t know how to take good progress pics.. go here
I decided to produce my own show in 2020 and I’m very excited to put a new transformation into play. I’ve been working very hard for 2 years on my CPTSD.
I want to touch on that for just a second. Not every day is good. There is a lot of fatigue and some days it’s hard to do much. I think this is a really nice goal for me to put some energy into this show and creating something I have never seen before.
I am about 23 weeks out from that and have decided to make a new physique shape for my show. Something I’ve never done before. It’s a great challenge. I’ve picked out my wardrobe for the show so it has to be spot on.
I spent yesterday digging through years of progress pics. I decided that I do have more skills, more muscle, more knowledge, more information than any of those days before. I’m capable of digging in and creating a new improved process to get to my next set of goals. My journey in pics showed me so much and inspired me to remember where I came from.
My point of this blog is to just give you some real life.. not every fitness guru is showing you the reality of what being fit is. It does flow and sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes health and life issues get in the way. Sometimes we are on fire and sometimes we are not motivated. We have to figure out how to create the life we want and still achieve our dreams. I love the idea of always documenting our journey. It takes very little time, but it’s so powerful to see changes!!
If you follow my blog, then you probably realize that I am totally transparent on my posts. I’m able to track my journey and if you are so inclined to follow.. then you will get the good, bad, and ugly.
The last time I competed was June 2017. That show.. omg.. whew. I was messed up when I finished it. I had a really great show in October 2016 and wanted to wait a year to compete for my pro card. In 2017, UFE removed the Halloween pro qualifer so the only option was to do the June show. I made a decision to do that so in 52 weeks, I’d prepped for 48 weeks. My body was not happy. After that show was over, I was mentally a mess. I decided to stop for a while and try to recover. It took me about 6 months before I could even look objectively at my pictures from that show.
Here’s a few shots from this show. I loved doing it with my sisters though. I’m glad I took a break.
Over the last 2.5 years it’s been a roller coaster of good, bad and holy shit for me. I’m finally in a place that I feel super pumped to do this new project. #Mayhem2019
I’m really lucky because I have some really amazing things planned for my year. I’m doing some pole shows.
I have a brand new secret project that is HUGE for our family. It’s going to blow up and it’s going to be a game changer. Our team!! ❤ ❤
Mayhem will be the perfect icing for this cupcake!
DON CURRY PHOTOSHOOT
I’m 8 weeks out right now for my huge photoshoot. I’m doing a photoshoot prep right now so I can look my best.
I did this shoot last year and I cannot wait. I have so many costumes and shoes planned!
After the shoot, I’ll take a few weeks and then start show prep. I’m also working really hard with my pole coaches to get my routines down for my shows. So Yeah.. stage lean will be the last thing I see. I need to maintain my strength to do my pole shows. I’m pretty psyched to plan this prep and make it all happen while eating as much food as possible!! BOOM
Posing starts with the Queen B on May 25 and I need a total overhaul!!
I’m ready to slay!
SLEEK BIKINI FIGURE TEAM
I’m doing my own prep with the help of my besties who are on staff at Sleek Body.
My goal is to go into this show with the best wardrobe I’ve ever had. The most beautiful themewear. I want to bring a better package than 2017 and have a calm mind.
Our team has really focused over the last 2 years on making our prep very calm and not scattered or upsetting. I feel like slow and steady will always help me succeed. Of course, I’m doing IIFYM!!
So we are off and running to this new project! 27 weeks track with Mango.
Coach Mango!! She’s on her posing.
Training at Fit City and Sleek Body for this show!!
My partner in my prep is the mister and he is my chef! He watches a lot of cooking shows. It’s a good fit. I’m lucky. I get that.
Bikini Competitions are the “new wedding”!! I spent more time selecting all my suits than I actually did selecting my wedding gown 20 years ago. If you are new to competing, it might seem overwhelming. Have no fear!! This is the fun part!
What kind of suit do I need for my bikini competition? If you are doing bikini, the suit you will buy will be like these!
You can see that suits come in all colors and styles.
They are two pieces and have connectors . Most girls have their suits custom made but many designers have ready to go designs available. They come in all price ranges.
If you are FIGURE, your suit will look like this.
Figure suits are connected and cross in the back. . This girl looks awesome.
If you are a figure girls, this is the suit you will buy. It can be blingy, very blingy, plain, OMG or in between.
You need to know!
this is from Kata Stage Apparel The bottom cut of your suit will depend on the federation you compete in.
You will check with your coach or federation guidelines on their website for more details. NPC will be a much smaller cut.
Many natural federation like NANBF require the moderate back. Origninally, it was said tht UFE bottoms should cover 30 percent of the glute, although they recently posted you could use pro or standard back.
If you are doing shows in different federations, you can order two bottoms with your top.
Wait: my husband said the bottoms are too small. That happens a lot. The bottoms are very small to show off your glutes. You will use Bikini Bite to secure it down. It will look amazing. If your bottoms are very large you will not be able to show the judges your best package. No thongs though!!
Can I buy one at Walmart? Sure. If you want to wear off the rack that’s up to you. We’ve seen a few ladies do that.
I’d never recommend it, but it’s your show. If you have the package and presentation to pull it off, why not. If your federation has rules, please abide by them.
When do I order? Typically, suits are ordered 8 weeks out from your show. Some designers require more time because of stoning or volume of work load during the show season. You will find that info on their website. If you need it, many designers have a ‘quick ship’ or quick turnaround for an additional charge.
What color should I pick? I don’t know? I don’t know.. what do the judges like? Do they like girls in red suits?
Good gravy!! Calm down. Pick the suit YOU like. What color do YOU feel amazing in?
You are judged on total package. If you feel like Queen Bey in in your suit then you will give them all the sass. If you pick a color you aren’t feeling, it will show!! I want you to love your suit.
Things I’ve learned.. Jewel tones look brighter on smaller frames and athletes with dark hair and skin. We had a lovely athlete who was had a bit of a darker complextion and brunette hair. She chose cranberry and she just got lost on the stage. We put her in yellow next time and she just shone bright.
I like to google for athletes who resemble my skin and hair. It’s nice to see some red heads in something other than green. I have done every color out there.
On another note: Stop with the “do the judges like brown hair, short hair, tattoos, red suits.. mentality. Stop it. This imaginary group of people who work up in a shitty mood or great mood or just got off a plan are real people who are rushed to look at 100’s of physiques and score them subjectively. One judge said he hated red suits because his ex wife wore those in shows. Some judges are obsessed with blondes. Some hate redheads.
There’s’ no criteria for our sport. I said it out loud. It’s one of the biggest complaints.
So here’s what you do, bring your best package and look exactly like YOU want to. Show them you are amazing and engaging in your favorite suit and that you are a winner.
I’m so excited, I want to order it now. Please don’t. We have seen time and time again that jumping the gun will bite you in the booty. If you are 8 weeks out the designer will know how to cut it for show. Most ladies who pulled the trigger early had to have their bottoms remade because they looked like a diaper. You have no idea how tiny you will be at show. They won’t fit until right before your show.
Ack. there is a sale and I want it. You could pay your designer for your suit and place the order 8 weeks out.
Where will I find designers/suits to look at?I love Instagram! If you look for #competitionbikinis, #competitionsuits, you will find some amazing designers!
Google will give you some great results too, but you’ll miss out on some of the newer designers. I say.. use IG!
Glamfitbikini’s has the coolest IG page on the planet. @Glamfitbikini
They get big ups for color coding their entire feed. They are in Australia but ship to the US.
Katkinis has some beautiful suits!
The connectors!! Another cool designer is @Bikini_voronina_Official
How much should I spend? I bought my first suits from RavishSands.com. They are amazing to work with. There are so many price points when you are selecting your suits. Pricing can depend on amount of stones, upgrades in stone colors and connector choices. You can spend as much as you want!
I’ve had suits that were very blingy but this year I went with the stretchy sequins !I bought my suit this year from a picture I saw on IG! @crystallinibikini/ I paid $180 for it and it’s my favorite suit! I actually felt that the stretchy sequin fabric was a better fit for my implants! I had some trouble with my stoned suits coming up . I love the connectors. Sequins looked great on stage too!
You can also buy plain suits and stone them yourself if you are up to the challenge!!
My new obsession this year is Muscle Dazzle. I saw a girl at my last show with a fantastic suit from them. It came in a pretty sleeper box! Their prices are fantastic!
Does color/style matter to judges? Tamee Marie her self told me that blondes in pink suits is cliche. I don’t know. I’ve been to lots of shows and the ONE thing I do know is.. the total package matters. If you pick a suit that makes you feel awesome, look awesome and you rock it, that counts for a lot. I love blingy suits on stage, the lights make them look amazing but I’ve also seen girls with plain suits win. Oddly, a girl won in bikini wearing a figure suit at one show. I don’t even know how that worked out, but my guess is ‘suits’ aren’t the thing that makes the judges pick you over another girl.
Suit designers I like RavishSands.com
They are very very good! This year, they remade my old suit bottoms to fit the federation I was competing in. I sent them the bottoms and they had them back promptly! Great customer service too. I have had amazing luck with them.
I got my suit! It doesn’t fit! If you are a girl who has to lean out for stage, your suit may not fit until the last week. If you try it on 3 weeks out and you still have work to do, try not to panic. It will fit! The designers are good at their job!
Progressions through my journey. I’m getting better every year.
It’s been a while since I posted an update on my training/dieting. I finished my show season in June and have reversed dieted back up to over 2000 calories a day. I will not have another bikini competition until I take the stage at UFE Mayhem 2019.
I am training for plenty of pole show cases, and two competitions in 2019.
I spent the bulk of my life in a binge restrict pattern. I was knee deep in the Tosca Reno EAT CLEAN movement but never measured servings. I refused to eat sugar because it was the devil (according to the Skinny Bitches movement). I was deep in orthorexia but still binged until I made myself sick. Cookies, cakes, whole pies, then returned to a restricted plan with full intentions of redeeming myself. I know I choose to compete in a competition partially because I knew I could lock myself down to get rid of these binges. This is the first time I admitted that.
When I began my competition journey in late 2012, I was basically starving myself. Nutrition was tough for me because of my patterns of binging. ;(
This is how I looked on my first day of bikini competition training. Yes.. I was lifting, doing massive cardio but not getting enough nutrition to fuel the work I was doing. My coach told me “you are starving”. I agree.
Bro plan: Restrict. 2013/2014
I started immediately on low carb bro plan but.. I also started eating more protein and I began to look better. My nutrition was improving too because I was consistently eating 12 cups of spinach each day. My vitamins were on point and I was fueling my workouts.
I was focused and did well until I binged out. I had terrible derails that lasted for days.
My coach told me 8 weeks out from my first show, that one more derail would keep me off stage. Well. I handled that just fine. Placed 2nd and ate an entire pound of birthday cake fudge in the car on the way to the restaurant.
I had no reverse diets either. It was a hot mess. I did Bro hard core off and on.
I got very sick from the lack of nutrition my coaches gave me. I resorted back to my binges in the off season and then I would grab my old show diets and use those. It makes me so sad to say that. I never fixed one thing. I only proved to myself that I had an iron will until I fell apart and that was NOT going to be ok for me any longer.
Jan 2013 and June 2014. I began IIFYM post show Nanbf in July 2014.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I asked my coach during 2014 prep for swaps and was told I wouldn’t look right on stage if I swapped out my protein or carbs. I don’t believe that is true. I was going to make this happen and end this nightmare of binge/restrict. I fired her and began this part of my journey.
I want to say to you, if you are still with me.. all of the things I experienced above made me a better athlete and a better coach. I’m not mad about this journey. I’m here to learn and grow. I’m leaving behind those old ideas and people who won’t use science!!
IIFYM: The First year with IIFYM was interesting. I set a goal to learn to find out what triggered me and my binges. I found out!!! Then I fixed it. Sometimes it was baby steps but it was information. I still believed in ‘clean’ food but I added in small sugar treats until I started to get mad when my veggies got in the way of my snacks. 😦 Read more about that here
I worked very hard my first year to decrease binges by eating foods that made me happy.
I still believed some food was “bad”. I made huge strides in my physique and my happiness. I would go 6 months without a binge. This was great. Here’s how that looked. I had almost 18 months between shows and I prepped myself for UFE Halloween Mayhem 2015. I did not binge in prep. I did however have 2 months post show that I lost my way. I’m just being honest. I pulled it together and set new goals for 2016.
IIFYM Flexible Prep: 2016
For my second full year of IIFYM I wanted to take my nutrition to the next level. I had done so well curtailing my binges and I was very confident in my ability to master flexible dieting. I paid mind to eating food that made my body run great, I focused on my fruits and veggies and variety. I began to let go of the “bad ” food concept and allowed myself to eat foods that were previously off limits. Amazingly, I didn’t get fat, I didn’t lose my way. I began to understand that I could fuse lots of great food into my plan as long as I was eating my daily nutrition requirements!! YESSS.
That journey was seriously incredible. I focused in on micro nutrition as well as my macros. I began to understand more about my body than I had ever dreamed. I wanted to know!! Yes… old habits die hard. I still found myself wanting to have treats (albeit “clean”) to help me stay out of that binge territory. I know what works for me!! I made it work. I want to show you this picture because this was all about fueling for my build from just doing a basic cookie cutter bro plan. Yes.. time had passed but let’s be honest.. I started this at 47 so three years isn’t’ that long.
Halloween Mayhem October 2016 I became a UFE Elite Athlete. I loved my package and I loved my prep. It was an amazing learning experience. I ate so many amazing foods in my prep and came in with my favorite package!!
I competed right away again in June of 2017 and I loved my package but this prep was harder on my body and I had to dig deeper to get lean enough. I basically did 42 weeks of prep in 1 year. I would never do that again!! That’s not what my body wants at all.
It was still a great prep and I ate beautifully as I got ready for stage.
After Fury in June 2017 my next step was to reverse diet and then begin my training for the Pole Sport Organization Gateway competition in December.
Intuitive dieting: What is it?
The goal of our team with clients is to teach them the progression of flexible dieting so they can learn to be truly flexible. That means they can begin to use their knowledge to eat for their goals without being tied to a scale and tracker. This comes with time and practice.
To be effective a client would understand and manage your macros in their head. I know I have to reach 150-180g P each day. I need 25g min of fiber and 500g veggies min. I know my minimum fat intake should be about 40g so I just eat and add this in my head. I’m using visuals and my scale as well as nutritional information on lables.
When would a person use this? I started using intuitive dieting loosely post show 2017. It was magical. I was spot on because, trust me.. I’ve seen 5 ounces of chicken breast more than I’d like to admit. I often use it when I”m traveling or eating out. Most restaurants have nutrition on their websites. It’s handy!
Who should use this? Only people who have a clear understanding of their body, macros and feel committed to hitting all their micros/macros!!
Do you do it daily? Maybe.. I might do it on a day then use my tracker. I started gingerly and progressed. I’m very tied to MYNETDIARY tracker. It’s a safety blanket for me. However.. being able to start this process is a huge step for me.
If you are contemplating a journey to the stage, my goal here today is help you navigate the cost of competing!
First of all, I believe that if you are reading this, you have been in the process of searching. You’ve been looking at Instagram and seeing all the gorgeous competitors. You’ve thought about bikinis and maybe you don’t actually know where to start for this process! So let’s make a plan.
I’m assuming you have one. You need one. Cost will depend on your area. If you need to train at 3:30am because that’s when you can do it.. get a 24 hour one!!
I own a gym. I have two other gym memberships too. One is the biggest gym in STL and the other is a 24 hour one. I need to train when I can!! $35+ per month.
I fully believe that ALL first time athletes need a competition coach.
I don’t believe all competition coaches are good or qualified. I believe that YOU must interview your potential coach and get as much information as YOU can about what your coach will do for you. If your coach only gives workouts, no support, no information, no posing, nothing but a cookie cutter diet and that’s ok with you.. you can find so many who will take your money.
Your coach might be online, or in your area. Decide which you prefer!! If you have actual personal training time with your coach, you are going to pay a lot hourly.
I charge $75 per hour for privates. Some charge more!!
Please do your research and learn as much as you can about how your competition experience will be.
Finances: Many coaches make you sign a full year contract that includes off season and prep. You can pay anywhere from $150 monthly to several hundred dollars a month.
Phone calls from the best coaches can be up to $600! I know because I requested one!!
Some coaches will require you to pay in full ahead of time for your prep. That could run you $600 or more.
Coaching is generally non refundable and non transferable. If you don’t keep your end of the bargain, you can be dropped for non compliance. This may upset some people but if a client is not ready for stage because they are not following their plan, that falls on the client. As a Client it’s YOUR job to hire the best person then follow through.
Our bikini team offers a monthly package of $175 on an auto bill. We require our clients to stay with the team for at least one month past their show so we can help them reverse diet.
You may also find coaches who will do monthly payments as well.
I found a coach who is super cheap!! You probably found a coach who hands out cookie cutter diets and workout plans. I want to stress to you.. Find the right person and pay them to help YOU.
ADVICE: if you see any ads that say “I can take anyone to stage in 12 weeks” Run away. Trust me, every client is different! I’ve seen this so often and it’s a low calorie, low carb,restricted plan. Find someone who is a good fit for YOU. Did I stress this enough?
Karina posed with our Skype posing coach and it was a game changer.
Please do not over look posing. Please do not useYouTube videos to learn to pose. Please pay the right person to give YOU the best presentation. If your posing coach gives everyone the same routine, that’s a bad thing!! Posing coaches with “signature” styles make it obvious to judges who posed the athlete. The better choice is to find a posing coach who will teach YOU how you look your best. They will teach you how to
create a presentation for the federation you want to compete and they will be vested in your progress!! You can look to some amazing Skype coaches as well as local ones. Please do your homework. Posing will cost $40-60 per hour.
Do not make the mistake of skimping on your presentation. Hire someone who will be truthful and honest and help you win.
If your posing coach has no idea what to give you for your federation, find someone else! Don’t waste your money. Your posing coach should pose your early and then tweak you again when you are stage lean. Things a look different when you are stage lean!!
Do not wait! If you made the decision to compete, hire a coach right away!
Just a smattering of my supplements.
The basic supplements you may be using for bikini are Whey protein (or the equivalent), BCAAs, Pre-workout, multi vitamin, fish oil etc. I know, I know.. you might know someone who did it without any sups. That’s awesome but most of us will be taking at least a protein supplement. My first coach had me on a vitamin regiment that was about $200 a month and I purchased from her friend. ASK questions before you sign up!!
Items like Whey will range from about $30-50 a tub. Shopping places like Amazon, Body building.com and local stores, you can get rewards, points or sales. Basic supplements will cost $100 a month give or take.
If you are eating Bro (turkey chicken or fish and veggies) your grocery bill is going to be spent on all of that!! Walmart, Costco, Sams, these are great places to stock up!
If you are IIFYM you can have more choices but you can still stock up!! Depending on prices in your area, you will spend a good amount on food. Athletes pretty much eat all the time. I spend about $175 a week on my prep food.
Stage Bikini’s come in all price ranges!! If you want to have super blingy suit you can spend as much as you want!! My first two suits from Ravish Sands were $650 each. I have gone to sequin suits now because I can compete in more than one in my show. I love them. They are fantastic on stage! I paid between $150 -$185 for my sequin suits.
Plain suits can be purchased too. Most sites have plain ones for sale so you can really choose one based on your budget. If you are so inclined, you can purchase your own crystals and bling your own.
Rental: Of course you can rent or buy second hard also!! Facebook has several groups for reselling!
Stage shoes : Most of us will wear the basic style 5 inch clear heel from Ellie “Brooke”. This shoe is amazing. It fits great. Easy to walk in too! You can get them on Amazon for about $30. Of course you can choose your own shoe style and bling. Price range is up to you!! Advice: Buy two pairs. I’ve seen girls blow out a pair of heels backstage and hobble out. I’m an over thinker.
Jewelry: We love our bling!! I have a huge collection of stage jewelry that I’ve accumulated. Let me tell you a secret.. don’t spend a fortune! It gets janky from the tan and it can get lost. I’ve been at so many shows where someone broke an earring or needed a bracelet and someone gave them their extras.
I purchase my jewelry locally at the import stores. They have huge selections and I got 10 pieces for about $70!! Amazon has blingy jewelry and you can search IG for the high end suppliers to competitors. I find it’s not worth the expense because backstage is very chaotic. I’ve lost plenty of things!! Save your good jewelry for date night!!
This is where you do NOT want to skimp!! Please hear me on this. You have trained and dieted for months so do whatever it takes to bring your best package to stage. You will tan with your backstage tanner. Don’t go to the local tan company and try them out. Your stage tan is unique!! It does not have DHA so it will wash off and you do NOT want to look green on stage!! Your tan will be $100-$200 and you will receive touch ups all day backstage. You should have your tanner providing you with gloss and glue too! The tanning backstage is generally wonderful!
Hair/Makeup: Someone posted “Do judges like you better if you have long hair, dark hair, extensions. Are you dinged for bangs? ”
Ok listen to me now.. you are in a subjective sport. You may find a judge that likes blondes better than redheads. You have one who loves girls in blue suits but hates red because his ex wife wore red. So the only thing you can do is bring your best package. The overall package will win. If you want extensions and you love your look, do it. If you rock a look that isn’t at all you, it will show! Be the best version of YOU and rock it like you are Beyonce.
Get your nails done with Gel so the tan will not stain it. That’s an additional 30-40 dollars and remember you need to do your toes in Gel too. The top coat is fine.
Hair:/makeup: Can you do your own stage hair? If you are good at it.. awesome. I can’t. I’m far to hungry and emotional to do anything day of show. I use my own hair and makeup artists.
Backstage will have some options for hair and makeup. Do your research!! If you are comfortable without a trial run, they will be a great resource for you and they will most likely touch you up during the day. That will be about $100 each for Hair/Makeup
Private Artists: Search Facebook Makeup artists group and find the best one for you. You will have to pay travel for some artists but if you work with them ahead of time, you can show them the look you want. I’ve paid $180 for makeup with travel.
Do I recommend it. Yes I do. I need 3 hours to get my look together. That’s just me.
Doing your own makeup: I set out to do my own makeup. I took lessons from an artist. That cost me about $100 per lesson. I purchased a rolling makeup kit and about $650 worth of the right color cosmetics for stage. I ended up paying an artists simply because I ‘m too low carb to do much day of show. Some ladies are skilled. Here’s more on makeup if you want to try to do your own.
Federation Card : $60-$100
Price per category you compete in
Example: Bikini open $60+ and Bikini Novice $60+
Fee to register for the show $75 +
Hotel and other travel expenses TBD
Photography varies by photographer!!! Backstage photography is worth it!!
At UFE I paid $75 for 10 pics. Stage pictures were about $200.
Photoshoots: As you are stage lean, you will book your own photoshoot!! This is well worth it!! We shoot in every competition season!! You can do your research on quality photographers who shoot fitness. Prices will vary in your area.
I know you are working hard. I hope this helps! I wish you so much luck on your plan!
Baby Iggy has no knowledge of competition costs but he supports our desire to shine.
If you want to know the dang dirty truths, this is the blog to read. I’m going to tell you everything and some of you won’t like it. Some of you will be haters and think you know more than me. You might. This blog is my journey and if you get anything good out of it.. that’s a bonus.
I have done two preps in the last 52 weeks. Each prep was 24 weeks long. I am 51 years old. You think that doesn’t matter.. it does. My body is tired of prep. That’s the honest truth. I’m tired of prep. I’m pretty much hit the wall on this and if you ask me to my face.. I’m probably going to spout off.
Personally, I would never do two preps back to back but the federation I compete in suddenly removed the pro qualifer in October so there was only 1 chance to try for my pro card in 2017. My husband and I discussed it and we made the decision to do this show even though I had not yet recovered from my last show. I went in fully understanding what had to be done and I did my best. We worked hard and I did a great job. I am 100 percent confident in the package I brought to the stage!
As it turns out..
I actually had a great prep. Our whole team started January 1 and we did an entirely flexible prep. OMG OMG OMG
Basically what that means is each day I hit
my protein goals,
my fat minimums,
my fiber goals,
my fruits veggie goals,
my micro nutrition goals,
and I ate over 35 different foods weekly.
The flexible part came in the fact that I was able to be flexible with my carbs and additional fats to suit what I needed to fuel but also to accommodate what I wanted to eat.
My workouts never suffered. I never “did fasted cardio” unless I wanted to. I never did anything that wasn’t fueled properly to give me the most effective workout.
Our whole team has found success prepping this way. It is truly based on each of us .
We teach our new competitors to pay attention and learn this process so their preps will become more and more flexible the longer they compete with us.
This prep we were able to perfect our food so I never felt deprived
Frankly, doing prep.. I can do this stuff with my eyes close. The diet is easy. It’s easy for me because i am not suffering like I did on my bro preps! We had some gorgeous food!!
Things I liked about this prep:
Front loading my tracker with dinner early in the morning. Hubs and I would decide on dinner and I would be excited! I would fuel my workouts, then fill in the rest of the day so I had plenty of macros for dinner. Here’s a few of our dinners.
That Monte Cristo Sam had jelly on it.
Our team has Taco Tuesday and Waffle Wednesday each week!! Yummo. We ate Shrimp and Grits a lot as well as Halo top ice cream! I had a cookie almost every day. Near the end, I did not because it would not fit.. but that is the way the ‘cookie crumbles’.
What I did not do:
Binge: I had one day when a refeed went out of control. I was about 14 weeks out and my Cinnamon Toast cruch measurement turned into something crazy. I modified my other macros for the rest of the day but I had to remove CTC from my food roster because I felt it was triggering me. I’m not bragging. I’m stating progress. In 2013 and 2014 on my Bro preps I found myself having full on binges. I began purging again after both shows. Getting a handle on prep with IIFYM was a life saver because I don’t feel deprived. There’s no ‘poor me” here. I need progress not perfection. I planned my days so they felt fun and I did not have the urge to dip into food that was not on my plan.
Eat Out: . I did not eat out at all in my prep. I only ate what was prepared in our house. Even early on in prep, I won’t do it. I just stayed out of restaurants or I brought my food. I’m fine with that. Traditional training
I have had plenty of injuries this year. A few of our team mates really suffered with some bad injuries. We were all able to train in such a a way that we still got our work done and hit the stage having met our goals.
I cannot have a bar on my back anymore. I cannot run stairs nor can I do plyo. I probably did 3 plyo sessions this whole year. I had to modify my training to keep my back pain free. My pole workouts kept me strong and flexible and I added the chiropractor weekly. I need longevity over PRs. I will never try to beat my 185 pound dead lift PR because it took several chiropractor visits to get me out of pain. I’m totally ok with this.
My workouts were focused on muscle activation and not based in ego or how much I was supposed to suffer for my sport. I wanted to focus on form and creating balance in my physique. I incorporated Fascia Blasting and while I have so far to go there.. I saw amazing changes in my abs and lower body.
Blasting those abs!! Holla
Results: I took 3 trophies in my show. I loved my physique this year. I feel like this was my favorite package I brought to the stage. My team took two pro cards. We took a total of 7 trophies in this show. Our current trophy count for 2017 is 31 and we are all IIFYM and using our own unique plans.
Part of this journey is to share what works and what didn’t. I’m in no way saying my way is perfect or I couldn’t have come in better or whatever. I’m saying that the bigger picture shows that
1. I have never been given a trophy for suffering, nor has anyone else to my knowledge.
2. Everything has variables and you have to work with what you have and are able to do.
3. Cookie cutter plans would have been the death of me for prep.
4. Being happy and making progress in my journey is paramount to someone handing me a plastic trophy.
5. I can always strive to improve and use what I learned to better serve my clients and my future preps.
6. Science is indeed a thing.
Here are some of my pics.
We received 7 trophies for this show. IIFYM. Yes.. and two pro cards for our ladies.
Bikini portion of the Glamour category as well as the themewear.
I’m 51 and I’m fucking proud of this. Yeah I said it.
This body was built on IIFYM, truly enjoying what I do. I have put the time in to slowly learn to trust my body. I will always work incredibly hard but never suffer for a sport that does not reward you for how much you suffer. It’s useless. Working smart is much better! Strategies!!
There is something powerful about learning how your body works and building on this concept. As athletes to it seems beyond ridiculous for us to continually tear down our bodies and offer it poor nutrition yet ask for it to improve.
Believe me.. I have room to improve but my first priority is recovery. I will not take the stage again until I Worlds Championships in Nov 2018 so I can have a solid building season .
I am very proud of my athletes and their placings are important but what is most important to me is not what someone else thinks of them, it’s the improvements and knowledge they are gaining in their journey. Having a team with ongoing dialog of our experiences has been a game changer as we navigate our competition endeavors.
If you like my blog.. be sure to follow Caitlin on her blog. She is very honest and truthful about her journey!!
This is going to be a hard blog to write. I’m embarrassed, mortified and elated at the same time. I have not shared out in the open what has happened during my fascia blasting journey until today.
I want to back track a bit. This will be very long so grab some coffee but I will be 100 percent honest about what I’ve gone through and how I got here.
I did my last bikini competition late October 2016. I knew I would be starting my fascia blasting journey and had planned on competing October 2017. However, I realized that the only pro qualifier for my federation was June of 2017 so that cut 6 months off my fascia blasting time! I would NOT have started if I had realized that. I wanted a full year to restructure my physique. Mind you.. I am 51 years old. I feel great but I’m a next level kind of girl. I have struggled with my lower body for decades. My legs are clearly beyond bound in the below pictures.That means the fascia is really tight and no matter how lean I get, the muscles can’t be seen. It also leaves me lumpy! Having bound fascia also means I’m not getting the muscle gains I want because the fascia is like a sausage casing and there’s not room to grow.
I also struggled my whole life with lose skin on my belly.
I’m not mad about this but I don’t want surgery . I was interested in seeing if I could tighten it up.
Blasting: I sent my pictures to Ashley Black and she quickly returned a very long protocol for me which I have followed to the letter.
Yes, I am beyond bound (BB) and that is a pretty rough starting place. I have taught impact workouts for 35 years. It makes sense that my fascia is jacked up.
That tummy area is a tough area for me because when I gain inches it gets super fluffy but the skin is loose.
I have also worked with Ashley’s moderator,Kelley Zuniga. She is a competitive athlete as well and she gave me great advice for my prep. I had gone through a tough phase over Christmas where I was breaking up a lot of adheasons and felt fluffy as can be. I went from stage to loosey goosey. I tend to get inflamed when I blast. I’m not opting for a aggressive blasts. It’s not right for me.
That demolition phase was pretty hard on my brain. I’m telling you…
Did I bruise. I did for sure. But I kept going.
During that demolition phase I was still really struggling with low energy and detox symptoms. I am an IIFYM girl and not a detox tea or magic solution believer. I drink my gallon of water every day . I probably ate too much over the holidays but it wasn’t much over my macros. I was pretty good this year. I’m just being honest. I do not believe in “Clean” food but I eat for my nutrition and my food is gorgeous and amazing. I had sugar and soda and I like franken food like pop chips and protein bars and Lenny and Larry’s cookies. I get over 500g fruit and veggies per day and my fiber goals are on point. Protein is high and carbs are fueling my workouts and my life. I do not believe in magic. I believe in science. #LearnIIFYM
Inner thighs. I brilliantly decided to pull my inner thighs tight while sitting on the side of the tub. I blasted them briskly and I got all the way to gravel in just a few weeks. It wasn’t long before I saw them smooth and then I had a thigh gap. I looked down and saw that thigh gap and almost passed out.
Legs.. Ok. My legs are still a mess but they are better. My hope is that I look better than last year on stage. I know I have a long way to go blasting but I’m not stopping.
I have broken up alot of stuff on my legs. I can see my quad definition now. I blast around the quads and I also am fat lysing them. They are coming a long. Still bound.. yep. But it’s better!!
Glutes Hammies: Oh boy. I’m painfully self aware of the work that has to be done in this area. That hamstring is still pretty lumpy but I’m going to town on it. My glutes are looking better. Smaller yep and not as bound up but I’m ok with this.
Just so you can see a difference in competition time.. look here.
I blasted my upper arms and rear delts too. I’m eating a lot more food in 2017 than I was eating on my ‘clean’ food diet in 2014. Overall my package is better because I’m blasting.
I can almost see my glute. I’m also blasting my “sweep” area and it is coming along.
I want you to know this.. As I have progressed, I am working on muscle activation rather than simply lifting. I train with intention. My glutes/hams are rock hard under the remaining body fat and they are becoming visible. I can feel them fire which I never could before. This is real.
This is rough. Hard to show.
Picture 1 is from November 2016. I sent this to Ashley. Picture 2 is March 2017.
The March picture is after I’ve had 4 meals and a gallon of water.
The Left side was early November in my post show reverse diet.
So this what my abs look like now. They look good all day.
No they are not 100 percent . I have some pebbles in that lower portion that was loose and it still puffs out sometimes. I’m not sure if all the loose skin will ever tighten up but I’m really willing to keep going. I’m 5 weeks out from my show in this picture.
I want to say here. I have been bullied (whatever) and called a liar my progress.
I have some great images on the web from photographers and so forth. As a fitness competitor it would be uncool to show off the pictures that look yucky. I am truthful in my business. I am a real person . I don’t sell the fascia blaster but I am interested in science and health. I’m interested in learning how my body is changing from the inside out. I also want to be a better athlete and a better coach for my clients. Science drives this train. So the reality is, we all have work to do. Progress!!
Here is a picture from a photoshoot that was 2 weeks before my last show. Mid October 2016. This is my struggle in the abs and lower body. I can usually pose it away but this pic is an out take.
This picture of me is 8 weeks out from my show. Look.. I am bending over . My abs are tighter. That’s the take away here. Perfection.. nope.. progress.. moving forward.
Daily or every other day 5 min per body part. I do my abs 4x a week which keeps me from feeling super tired this close to my show.
I carve my abs and arms and legs, especially my quads.
Just an update for my competition/fascia blaster journey!
Since I changed my show date from October to June, I’m having a “HOLY WOW”
Last week was the worst week I’ve probably had in decades. Our little Kitty went missing on Christmas and we found her last week. She had passed away outside. She was only 2 and was my heart. I was a wreck. I got so many grey hairs.
I also dislocated my sacrum on NYE when I slipped on some beer at the Kid Rock concert.
So I was in terrible pain. I’m thankful my chiropractor got me on the right track. My workouts were minimal though because she asked me to not lift very heavy. I couldn’t pole at all. Tough week. I don’t like to whine, but it was bad.
My food was good though. Oddly.
20 weeks out now and I’m feeling much better. We adopted a new baby kitten and he is wonderful. My back is really feeling better too so I’m mentally and physically ready to start my prep with focus so I bring home a Pro Card for the Team!
Changes: Because I’m working with my Fascia Blaster and I’m working hard to fix my fascia and alignment issues I have made serious changes to my plan!
I have been blasting and got some insane results on my inner thighs. I’m still working hard on the rest but I’m seeing progress.
I have taken my workouts to zero impact. No unilateral movements, running, jumping, plyo, box jumps, back flips, burpees, NONE. I do my cardio exactly as Ashley Black told me to. I’m training so much less overall than before and getting progress. So we will see how I start looking now that I’m back on a cut.
The video above is the Pit Shark Squat. I don’t use a bar on my back anymore so this one really gets it done for me. I normally do over 200 pounds with this, but I’m still on lighter weights. I really feel this in my glutes. There are ways to do a Pit squat with benches and a Kettle bell. You can see that on Youtube. I just love this piece. Lucky for me , my gym has it!
Show date is UFE Fury, Chicago June 3!!
Good luck with your show too!
I love this show. I am so excited to share with you how fun it is to compete in UFE.
So.. I did this show last year and I wanted to really raise my game for the judges!!
I started working with my designer in January!! Ideas were solidified in May and we brought 4 amazing looks to this show. They were exactly what I wanted.
Ok.. so here’s how it all went…
My peak week went really well . I woke up Thursday looking great! Nice and tight. Friday I woke up looking like ET. Horrible. My suits were way way toooo big. Oh no… I went straight to eating!! Carbs. mmmmmm. I started looking better immediately!! mmmmm carbs. Best day!!
Friday night we had our meeting and tan.
You know how pale I am. That tan was spot on. The tanner for UFE is Fitworld and they are amazing.And just so you know.. when you are competing with UFE, Rachel and her team will help you backstage. They glued me so many times, fixed my tan and just went out of their way to make sure I was taken care of. They also do hair and makeup!!
I will encourage you to use Fitworld Competition Services for all your backstage needs.
They are in the host hotel with us!! It’s fantastic.
Oh.. I loved my tan.. it was very sunkissed and not orangey.
My goal this year was to do my own hair and makeup. I hired an artist and did my lessons. At the end though, I couldn’t make it happen. I was just too overwhelmed. I worked with a local Chicago Artist Sabrina Ramirez. She gave me my best VS look. I loved that she used the colors I bought for my show so I could touch up. This is my favorite look I’ve done for stage! In UFE your stage presentation is a large portion of your score!! I needed full on glam to complete my looks.
I want to thank Melissa Lambert who is my dear friend and hairstylist. She created my red color. This is Tracy Red. I also wanted to homage Prince and the color purple in my show for her. She is an amazing friend to me and so gifted at her job.
My nails are done with love and care all year by my dear friend Rose. She is so good to me! Both ladies would love to work with you!
Ok.. so back to show day!!
In my suit ready to go.
Selfie with the mister. This guy is my rock. You all know he food preps like a boss. He has my back. I could not do this without him
Oh man.. I was the first one on stage this year! Oh man.. I was nervous but I went out for Glamour in my bikini for judging. We come back in our themewear later.
Our green room is the bomb. This is a good shot of my Prince Purple Rain bikini. All the connectors were hand made from jewelry by my costume designer, Rebel Tart. I love sequins on stage.
Hit the stage again in my blue bikini.
This suit. omg. We have that puppy glued down. I love the flat sequins. My dragon look for themewear held together with chains.This was entirely the vision of Cindy from Rebel Tart We needed to get me out of the “pink and girlie” box for this Halloween show. The chains were inspired by Britney Spears costume at the Billboard awards this year. The Harness is from a VS fashion show outfit. The chains are held on with jewelry hooks and have spikes.
I got the shoes from amazon!! They are now going to be pole shoes!! ha.
I want to tell you about the Wings. We got these wings custom from a seller on Etsy. They were horrible. The broke immediately and were totally shoddy work. Cindy’s friend Terry creates wings for movies. She enlisted his help to recreate them so they were wearable. My clients know how much stress these things gave us. Cindy then stayed up all night filling out the feathers and building them into these stage worthy masterpieces. I did not just ‘get these’. People’s hearts and souls were put into making this look.
UFE has the fabulous Glamour Category that is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show category. You can choose any type of glamour outfit you like. I want you all to do this category!! OMG .
UFE Halloween Mayhem has a costume contest. I wanted to do Batgirl to celebrate 50 years of Batgirl. Cindy Henry took the original design for Yvonne Craig’s suit from the old Batman Tv series. She hand crafted Bat-a Rangs for the closure on the back and on the utility belt. The bat is inset into the fabric! This costume is 100 percent my favorite thing I have ever worn. I will transition this outfit to my pole now.
My kiddos told me that I have to high kick. .
Back stage! The Chicago Boys were awesome. They put on a fantastic show. They are acrobats and it was mind blowing! The energy at this show is off the chain!
These ladies. Omg sisters in iron. I have so many friends in UFE and they all have amazing journeys. The girls on stage.. never discount what they have done to get there. We had so much fun!
Backstage with Donna!
Awards at the night show. this is the Glamor Category. I’m still in Batgirl. We could wear what we wanted for awards.
My dear friend and fellow Sleek Body coach Michelle brought me a cupcake and a vat of icing. She and Lar Bear drove 5 hours to support me in my show. Our Team mate Jessica also came! I ‘m so freaking happy. I placed 1st in Bikini Masters, 2nd in Glamour and I was in the top 5 of the bikini open. UFE does top 3 for trophies but I will take the victory of being in the top 5. I am now able to compete in the Elite Category for UFE and will be able to compete at UFE Worlds. I will bring a better package next year!
One more shout out to the mister who brought his best John McClain from Die Hard!
We are a great team. I’m so happy to have such support from my family, my clients, my friends. The folks who believe in me make me work harder.
I love my UFE home and am so happy to be in the UFE family. They treat their athletes so well. I feel they are very fair in their judging. I am excited to help bring UFE Rampage to St. Louis April 22, 2017.
If you want to learn more about competing in this great federation, please visit ufeshows.com or contact me for more info about Rampage. You can also join our FB group!
This past weekend was my show in Chicago. I want to preface this post by saying, I dislike drama. I don’t like to focus on the negative but I will today just to clarify my position.
I built my reputation on being healthy and balanced!
This weekend a competitor/coach was doing a live feed and pointed her camera at me.
She said something to the effect of “She’s 51. You don’t look like this unless you eat clean.”
My hubs did NOT like that. He said “She’s not a clean eater”.
Then came the “Well. she has to or maybe you just see the bad stuff she eats ” comment.
I needed to just let that go, because it wasn’t the time or place.
I did stand up for myself and said “My nutrition is on point”.
I am passionately NOT a clean eater. Clean eating did NOTHING for me.
Clean eating from my competition coaches.
7 small meals spaced 2-3 hours apart of turkey chicken fish and spinach or green beans.
I got 2 eye diseases from one bro prep because my HDL (good cholesterol) was so low my doctor demanded I quit my competition prep. My immune system was wrecked.
I lost 35 % of the vision in my eye. But hey.. I eat clean.
Clean eating gave me an intense fear of food and led me into terrible cycles of restrict binge. I was obsessed.
Clean eating gave me zero balance!
IIFYM takes a bad rap in the bodybuilding community for the under educated. This woman is just another who really doesn’t understand that all food has macro nutrients. Old school prepping is based on old science. We look to new studies for IIFYM and it’s very nutritionally sound. My nutrition is balanced because that is incredibly important to me.
In fact, I learn from the best in the industry every single day and we use science!
But.. you may be surprised to know that the basics of IIFYM require minimums of
fruits, veggies and fiber along with meeting protein, carbs and fat goals.
By nature, IIFYM is more balanced and nutritionally sound than ‘clean eating’ alone.
If you follow my blog, you know how I eat. I eat well. My off seasons are full of wonderful, food that makes me happy. I eat with my family and do not carry Tupperware to functions.
I used to.
I don’t pretend that suffering in my show prep makes me a better athlete.
I don’t post pictures of 30 containers of broccoli and tilapia to show how bad ass I am.
I used to.
I am 100% committed to show how flexible dieting does work for lifestyle and competitors.
I am committed to helping others understand that clean eating is not sustainable and we are our best and most successful when we can choose consistency over perfection.
Oh.. and yes.. you may know that I eat very nutrient dense foods in my last weeks because it’s hard to fit other things in. Show prep is tough so my food is locked down but it’s still flexible and I still like it. I would never step on stage again if I had to eat chicken 6x a day. I would quit the first day. Truth.
I am 51 years old and I hold my own. I like the way I look. This may sound terrible, but if someone else doesn’t like my physique, I really don’t care. I work to be the best I can be with what I have to work with. I know I have work to do on my physique. My goals are to get better each year. This year, my goal was to bring a better package than last year and also to be more in tune with my health and micro nutrition. Oh.. and I didn’t look better on a clean eating/bro diet. I didn’t. (age 47/49 were bro prep)
I actually didn’t.
I am a better athlete not because I suffered with my food, but because I am in tune with what my body needs.
If you want to know.. here’s how I look the way I do at 51.
Hard work in the gym.
I look better with solid nutrition, inner peace, joy in my food, and freedom from food fears.
I look better without deprivation, starvation, blindly following old science with nothing to back it up.
I look better because I wake up each day with choices and goals.
I look better because I don’t beat my self up for eating cookies . I eat what I like.
I look better because I’m balanced. I look better because I’m happy and I won’t be an example of anything less.
Here’s some hardware.
First place bikini masters, 2nd place Glamour and top 5 in the bikini open. #IIFYM