My Figure Competition Recap

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”

― Criss JamiKillosophy

Since last week, I have been trying to sort through and compose all of my fragmented thoughts into a coherent blog post. I’m not sure that I’m quite there yet, but here’s a try.

To transform or to convert is to change

Once you whole-heartedly commit to bodybuilding, you experience a shift in your thinking and ultimately your body will transform into another entity.

“Whole-heartedly,” means not just consistently working out inside the gym, but more importantly, taking responsibility for your actions at home in the kitchen, in the grocery store, during your lunch breaks at work, at family and friends homes, the local convenient store, and while sitting at the table dining in restaurants.

It means committing to educate yourself on every aspect of developing and improving your physique.  Want better…Learn better…Do Better… It’s an ongoing and never-ending journey.

Deviation away from the model is, well– less than 100% committed.

There’s no critiquing here– I am simply putting the truth out there.  In terms of fitness goals, you set your own goals.  What you put into it is exactly what you are going to get out of it.  The process is not as complicated as people make it.  Most people want it but are not willing to do what is required to get there and it’s okay if bodybuilding is not for you.

But if you really want to get in shape, the commitment is the same. Forget all the crazy quick fix programs out there, because they are not lifestyle changes.  They’re a band-aid; a temporary fix.  Eventually you will return to your old habits if not worse. Okay.. enough of my tangent.

I brought up the topic of “change” first because I am still flabbergasted by how bodybuilding has sculpted my 49 year-old body.

If you are new to my page, this was my second figure competition.  May 2014 was my first. I swore to myself that I would be a “one and done” competitor; however, I was wrong. My friend, who has and continue to help me reach my fitness goals, told me that I would do it again.  Ha!  She was right.

So this second go around was different from the first show.  After my first show, I continued training. The weight training, particularly, has become an extension of my lifestyle. I have worked out all my life; running, aerobics, martial arts, and CrossFit (which I still love!). Healthy living has always been a part of my life, but weight training has elevated my game.  Lol!  I love the results.

Second Show Musings

My decision to compete came about some time in December ’14 and only after nudging from my friend.  I figured, since I was already training, why not just do the show. The show was close to home and smaller than the Brick show.

The mechanics of how the body changes is an amazing process.  My first show was all about getting stronger so I could lift heavier and build muscle.  I never stopped training after the Brick show last year, so the strength was there and I could lift heavier.

On average, working around my son’s basketball schedule I trained three to four days per week; occasionally hooking up with my friend. The last two months, I worked out more like five days a week.

Seven Days Out

The week before the show, was hell! Yes, I said it!  Lol!

I weighed more going into it this time, which is good.  However, to lean out  I had to make two dramatic changes.

  1. Do cardio training twice a day
  2. Consume a strict diet of greens and proteins

During regular training, my daily caloric intake was 2400-2700.  By the week of the show, my caloric intake reduced to 2200.   Please don’t mimic this.  Every human body is different. What works for one person probably will not work for another.  This regime was completely different from my first show.

So what made the last week so ugly?

  1. Every morning after using the bathroom, I weighed myself, while hoping and praying I dropped at least a pound.  Chile,  this isn’t my normal!  I rarely get on a scale. My clothes pretty much tell me how what I weigh.  If my pants are tight, I gained weight, if they’re lose, I lost weight.   I didn’t like the anxiety that came along with the anticipation of meeting a “weight” goal. Ugh!
  2. I did cardio before work at 4 O’clock in the morning and after work!  “Cardio” consisted of 20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  What’s this?
    1. Something like….   25 jumping jacks; 10-15 push ups; 30 seconds of mountain climbers, planking then repeating the exercises for several rounds.
    2. I also used the treadmill:  Walking on an incline for a minute or two; running for a minute at a speed of 6.0, and then walking with no incline for a minute–then repeat.
    3. To mix it up and keep from getting bored, I incorporated Jacobs ladder and the beast The StairMaster
  3. Everyday I ate the same meal, chicken and spinach, every three hours: 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.  chicken and spinachI was so darn tired of eating chicken and greens, I actually dreamed, maybe hallucinated, about eating ribs.  Hahaha! And I don’t even eat ribs, but I did in my dreams.  Oh yeah… You wanna know the worst part?  The damn chicken was NOT seasoned; neither was the spinach.  The bland spinach was okay, but the chicken– well you can imagine.  Half way through the week, I squeezed fresh lemon juice on the chicken; that helped a teeny-weeny bit. I don’t mean to gross you out, but when I pooped… that was dark green too!! TMI (too much information).. I know.
  4. I learned that water is a natural diuretic, which is why I drank so much of it. At one point, I was drinking two liters daily, but closer to the end of the week, I slowly decreased my water intake.

My body was literally under construction.  The cool thing is that everyday I saw subtle changes in my body.  My abs started coming through, and the muscles that I worked so hard to develop became more evident.

Note:  When you see photos online and in magazines of professional body builders, they have leaned out for the sake of the photo shoot.  Most bodybuilders do not walk around perfectly cut everyday.

Five (5) days out I was so wired.  Like hyped!  I don’t know why, but I had trouble focusing at work. I felt like I needed to go for a ten-mile run to settle down.  Lol!  I’m not sure if it was the diet, anxiety, a combination of the two or something else.  Thankfully, by Thursday, I was more settled.  I felt calmer but yet short on patience.  Hubby and B’Dazzle can speak on that.  🙂

Nearly every day, I practiced posing in the fitness room at the gym.

To critique my body positioning, I wore super short shorts and a sports bra.  You’d think I would be comfy with my body, but I was still aware of the guys who walked into the room to do crunches, to hit the bag or something else.  I learned to not care if they were watching. Wearing my ear buds, I’d “turn up and tune out”  turn up the music and tune them out.  Lol!  Occasionally I’d peep folks standing on the outside looking in!

I struggled with song selection. During the show/competition and after “pre-judging” each contestant is given the opportunity to strut their stuff for about 30 seconds. You can get very creative with this segment.  Small props can be used along with your favorite music.

While I had trouble coming up with ideas, my friend gave me a couple of cute ideas, but time and confidence was not in my favor, so I stayed with the basics.

My NEXT show–yup I said, it!  My “next’ show, I’ll do a little somin’-somin’  Heck I couldn’t even decide on one song.  I told my friend, “I’m not a stage performing” kind of girl. Give me a microphone and I will talk, but that’s it.   As a young girl, I wrestled and played football with the boys.  I didn’t take dance, gymnastics, or ballet, so coming up with some “girly” routine doesn’t come natural. I will definitely work on something for the next

Showtime

The day of the show, I woke up refreshed, but guess what?  Since I was only privileged to a “sip” of black coffee with no sugar, I skipped it.  I think I had like two ounces of chicken and a rice cake or two. Then the same thing a few hours later. Haahahahah!  I did talk about commitment right?  Actually, this wasn’t bad.

I was too busy trying to get my belly button re-pierced.  I think my friend hit the roof when I told her that on my way to the competition I was going to the parlor to get it done!  OMG!! Rightfully she was concerned about possible swelling or irritation.  My previous piercing got infected from the spray tan and closed.  I’d been meaning to get it redone, but… well, you know, my time is limited.  Anyways, I got it done.  I just had to have my belly ring for the stage.  Thankfully, I didn’t have any problems.  🙂   If you want something, go for it.

I arrived at the show and we (men and women) were jammed into a small room, where hair, make up, and muscle pumping took place. Although the event is a competition, most competitors are friendly.  I think there’s a deep level of respect because we all put the work in and made similar sacrifices.

Funny, I was the only black chick in this show. The show in Brick, NJ last year, had a hand full.  For whatever reason, we’re few and far between.  It doesn’t both me tho.  The first show I attended, as a audience member, I noticed that that there weren’t any women of color on stage– that is one of two reasons I decided to do it.  The other reason was out of pure curiosity of what I would like after training. Now I know! Hehe!

Walking on stage felt so good. I could hear my husband and friends in the audience cheering me on.  Talk about feeling empowered. I did have a hiccup tho.  I brought the wrong CD so I had to walk on a different song.  It wasn’t a big deal because my attitude as it relates to stage presence was in my head not in the music.  With that said, you bet it won’t happen again.

Overall I did well.  I was the only competitor in Master’s (40 years old and older), so I got first place.  I wish the division had others, but that’s for next time.  🙂

I placed second in Figure, Open B.  Due to the number of figure competitors, we were split into Group A and Group B.  I was in Group B and placed 2nd.  The top two winners in Group A & B competed; I placed 3rd in open.

Final Thoughts 

I was shooting for 1st in open.  I would be lying if I didn’t tell say that I was disappointed with my results, however disappointment is good for me.

Disappointment has made me assess all of the photos, mine and my competitors.

I critiqued my poses, my walk,  and my muscles to the T and know exactly what I need to do for the next show.

On the brighter side, I competed with and held my own against women who were much younger than I.  Now that sh** felt good!  Lol!

Equally as awesome is that many of these women are moms with kids.  One gorgeous competitor has five kids! Isn’t that wonderful!!  These women are empowered to care for their family and spouses, but also find time to engage in an activity that is important to them, which is what we all should be doing.

Don’t put your entire life on hold for your family; that’s ridiculous and, in the long run, you won’t be happy.  You think you will, but you won’t.  You’ll find out… maybe years later. Carve time out for yourself.  If you’re a mom and or wife, you will become a better person for doing so.  Life is short.  Yeah I know that’s a cliché, but it’s true.

Find your passion and go for it!  🙂

Back

My favorite picture from the competition.

 

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Monday’s WOD

WOD:

12 minutes AMRAP (As many reps as possible):

10 KBS (44/20)

10 Strict Push-Up Burpees

Okay so it’s just after 11 p.m. and I’ve had a full day, which started at 4:40 this morning.  I’m beat but feel accomplished.

A phone call from my son’s school led me to pick him about 30 minutes earlier.  He threw up after lunch, but felt better when I arrived.   No, he wasn’t trying to get out of school.  He loves school and is rarely sick, so it was legit.  I think it might have been the Capri juices–  no proof just a suspicion.  Today I brought him a new 8 oz. bottle for his juices.

Not long ago, I saw some nasty images of the bottom of the juice bags on the internet and decided not to buy any more.  He has a few left in the bottom of the fridge. I’m going to cut the tops off of each one and check the bottoms.  Time will tell.

About 45 minutes before my 5:30 evening CrossFit class, I wolfed down dinner.  A meaty pork loin (just over 6 oz in size), fresh green beans, and zucchini squash.  I’m so sick of chicken now, I feel like I’m gonna start clucking any day now.

Eating before class doesn’t upset my stomach, cause me cramps or anything.  Why?  I don’t know.  Lol!  I felt energized during class.

I thought the strict push up burpees would do me in, but they did not. Heeeeey!!  I was up for the challenge today.  Hmm…. so my previous post about struggling with cardio in CF wasn’t an issue today.   Why?  Umm… Not sure.  Maybe because I ate dinner, I had a good source of fuel to energize me.  All I know is I felt great during the WOD. In the 12 minutes of the WOD,

I completed 9 1/2 rounds….  a total of 100 Kettle-bell Swings and 95 Strict Push Up Burpees!  Heck,  I’d better sit down to the dinner table before CF every class!  Lol!

My friend, a newbie to CF went today.  She did so well and I’m proud of her for staying with it.  Great job T!

You’d think I’d go home after CF.  Nope!  I attended a 7 p.m. information session on Transcendental Meditation.  Drenched in sweat, as usual, I sat in the back corner not to trouble anyone from my funky perspiration.

Halfway through the presenters relaxing presentation, my eye lids felt like lead rested on them. Out at 8 p.m. and home I went.

Real quick, this Transcendental Meditation has peaked my interest. I enjoy meditation and would like to further explore different types.  I feel calm and balanced when I meditate, so of course, I want to learn more.

I’m too exhausted to explain tonight, so below is small blurb from the official TM site. Click on the link to learn more.

The TM technique allows your mind to effortlessly transcend, to settle inward to the source of thought — a natural state of pure awareness and restful alertness. This automatic self-transcending is a unique feature of the TM technique.

I have to get some sleep.  Sweet dreams!


Workout Of The Day

“To the timid soul, nothing is possible.

To the aggressor,

everything is possible.”

John Bach, NBA Coach

Monday, December 16, 2013 –  (8 more shopping days til Christmas)

Warm Up:       3 Rounds – 5 Jump Squats, 10 Push Ups, 10 Air Squats

Mobility: 7 Min

WOD: 21 – 15 – 9

Power Clean (115/75)
Burpee
Rest 2 Min
**REPEAT**
20 Min Cap

SWOD: 5 Min EMOM of

5 Strict Press **Go Up As Needed**

Buyout: Cal Row 2 Min AMRAP
Rest 1 Min

2 Min AMRAP ABMAT Sit Up Wall ball (20/14)

The word “timid” is often and inappropriately associated with females.  Growing up I was surrounded and dominated by males my age and older. One particular cousin made it his business to try— notice the word “try” to show me that boys always win over girls.  Ha! Ha!  Pre-puberty years created an equal playing ground and I also enjoyed the wins.

Only two months separated us in age, but once the teen years arrived, the physical battles became an uphill battle.  In my mind, beating 15-year-old Curt was always possibly.  To win, I physically fought hard and sometimes dirty.   In the back yard, I took the hits, never let him see me cry, bit down and came back fighting with a vengeance.

Today we laugh at the silliness of our competitive spirits, but those early years seasoned me and toughened me well for life.

The WOD today was definitely not for the timid.  LOL!  As with many WOD’s, the door to the mental opportunity to quit is always cracked.   From the start, you’ve gotta slam the door shut.  If not, you’re done.

21 – 15 – 9 Power cleans and burpees were exhausting today.  I tried to make the 20 minute cap, but ran out of time after my last 9 power cleans.  I fell short, by 9 burpees.  But the good?  I did my first 21 at 75 pounds!!!  Heeey!!  I dropped down to 65 pounds for the 15 and 9.  What a different 10 pounds can make!    I am also mindful that I cannot afford injuries while training for the spring’s figure competition.  Better safe than sorry.

Okay, so the 5 minutes of strict press were no joke either.   I completed the first minute with 55 pounds.  I managed to squeeze out 4 on minute two.  When I could not get the bar past my the top of my head without using my legs, I knew I needed to decrease my weight.  There’s no shame in my game.  Respectfully I finished the rounds with 45 pounds.  I’m getting stronger!

I’m finally running out of steam and need to re-energize…   SLEEP!

Sweet dreams!


Tuesday’s WOD

The “big storm” forecasted for the Jersey Shore today was a bust.  By six this morning, the school closing list was longer than I cared to read.  My district was not on the list because they opted for an early dismissal at 12:15 p.m.  By three this afternoon, the roads in my area were wet, but were not impacted by the snow.

By noon I planned to drive straight home and take a much-needed siesta.  Now ask me if I took my nap?  No!  Instead I went to CrossFit.  I know.  How the heck did I go from sleeping to an doing an intense workout?  Well for the past two weeks, I have worked out hard in the gym, but missed CrossFit.

While I prepped my steel oats in a crock pot, I dreamt of sleeping knotted up on the sofa under a soft throw blanket.  Then my friend nudged me with a text, “Are you going to CrossFit?”  It has been a few weeks since we’ve taken a class together.  I floundered for a minute or two, then I realized that I should go, so I agreed to the 3:30 p.m.

Today’s WOD

Warm up:

3 rounds
10 kb swings
10 push ups
10 jump tucks

Mobility: 7 min

SWOD:

8 min EMOM – 2 cleans, go up as needed

WOD:  “Roy”

5 rounds
15 deads 225/155
20 box jumps 24 inch/20 inch
25 pull ups

25 min cap

November 11, 2013, I dead lifted 75 pounds (25-15-9) in CrossFit.  Wow! What a difference a month makes.  I did five rounds at 125!  Woot! Woot!

I started my pull ups with a medium-sized blue band, but quickly abandoned it for a green band.  It felt good to be back in class; I missed the rush.

Anyways, I didn’t think I would finish the WOD within the 25 min cap, but darn if I didn’t come close!  Thanks to a coach who pushed me through round four, I only fell short of completing round 5 by 13 pull ups!   Kudos to Lisa; she is good at pushing hard.

The mind is so powerful!  The ability to control our mind is rooted within us.  Yet, if we are not careful, we can easily fall victim to negative thoughts, which can sabotage our ability to succeed.

I “thought” I was too sleepy to do anything, but I was wrong.  After CrossFit, I felt energized.  I’m so glad that my friend texted me.

Training for next year’s figure competition is going well.  I am amazed at my progress and the subtle changes in my body.  Within the week, I will post pictures.  For now, I must get me some Zzzzz.

Sweet dreams!


Painful But Bitter Sweet

Warm Up:
Round1
12 jumping jacks
Spiderman lunge
5 burpees

12 jumping jacks
inch worm
5 burpees

12 jumping jacks
Charlie angels
5 burpees

Mobility: 7 min

SWOD:
8 min EMOM
2 Clean and Jerk (add weight when needed)

WOD:
10-1 (Do 10, then 9, 8, 7, etc….)
Push Press 95/75
Burpee Box Jump
T2B (Toes to Bar)

Crashing my shin AGAIN on the box, somewhere around half-way through was frustrating, painful, and BITTER!

Setting a personal best record by completing the Push Press with 75 Pounds was SWEET!

I was on my set of 4’s when the next to last person finished. Completing the PUSH PRESS was the hardest part of the WOD. I told myself if I had to stay for another hour, so be it, “I am going to finish this WOD!”

Seventy-five pounds was so hard, but focusing on my technique and encouragement from classmates helped me finish.  Lord! Thank you for my strong legs and for my determination to not give up. Afterwards I did the math… 10 + 9 + 8…..  equals 55!  Yikes.  I am so glad that “10 – 1”  was written on the board and not 55 reps.  It really is all mental.

The key is to avoid counting yourself out.  At the very moment you want to quit, stop the negative thoughts and coax yourself along.  Be mindful of your personal goals and focus, and tell yourself that you can do it.  It works for me.

My calves are still sore from Monday’s leg workout, so a soothing bubble bath is in order. Look at this shin! LOL!

Sweet dreams!

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