When I opened up the forum for you to openly ask questions, I quickly received quite a few relating to my fitness competition. You asked, and I will tell. In one comprehensive post just for you!
Why did you decide to start figure-competitions/lifting? Was it to eat more without gaining weight?
In the fall of my junior year of college I went to the Auburn/UGA game. We had to take a shuttle to the game from a strip mall. While waiting for the shuttle, we stopped in a store and flipped through some magazines. Oxygen Fitness Magazine caught my eye for some reason, so I picked it up.
I got hooked on the magazine and the thought of weight training intrigued me. At that point I enjoyed doing cardio workout DVDs at home, so I opted to branch out my collection. I bought some Cathe Friedrich DVDs with weights and fell in love. Eventually, I joined a gym to challenge myself in new ways and try out some of the workouts in Oxygen. I loved the strong feeling from working out with weights and the changes I saw in my body. I began reading everything I could about weightlifting.
I also originally became interested in fitness competitions from reading Oxygen. I began wondering if it was something I could do.
I noticed the magazine had a fitness forum and joined. I got to know other women who competed through the forum and began working towards entering one myself. I decided to work with a coach and train for my first show. It did not end well, thanks to the old-school methods of training and dieting. I even passed out a few times from blood sugar issues thanks to the prescribed diet. Finally, I determined it was in my best interest to not compete in that show.
That competition always hung over me and I knew I would regret if I never trained for another and made it to stage. When I got in better shape than I expected after Makenzie, thanks to finally learning how to respect my body, I figured that was the time to just go for it. So I did, but with my own plans and workouts to take care of my body. As for being able to eat more without gaining weight? That actually never entered my mind. In fact, I knew the opposite would be true with the competition. I knew I would feel hungry all. the. time!
What do you like and don't like about them?
I will be blunt and say that I disliked a lot more than I liked about competing.
- I hated reaching a point where workouts felt like an obligation, instead of something I enjoyed doing for myself.
- I did not feel like myself the majority of the prep because it took so much time and energy. I couldn’t enjoy simple things, like my daughter’s first birthday, without thinking about workouts, the food, or scheduling. I was moody, cranky, and unhappy. I didn’t feel like I was living.
- While my body looked extremely defined, I physically felt like crap. Why wouldn’t I? I was starved and exhausted.
- I feared that old eating issues would come back. I did binge a couple times after the show, and thankfully got a grip on it very quickly. I don’t know what I would have done if I lost the healthy relationship with food and workouts I strived so hard to achieve. It was still a great mental challenge post-show having to gain weight – not only to get back to a healthy place, but also extra in order to get pregnant sooner.
- The judging is completely subjective. I competed more for myself and did not hope to win, but it still hurt to place 4th out of 4. Especially after going through all of the above emotions and realizing exactly how political things were at that show. The women who placed ahead of me? They all trained with trainers from the gym whose owners head the federation. Yea.
I did like parts of the show as well. The actual show day was a great time! The women were all so nice and it literally felt like one big party backstage. We laughed, ate, shook our groove thang, and got to know each other well gluing one another into our suits. Yes, you glue the suits so they don’t slip and show something extra.
I also really loved the feeling of accomplishment. Training for a show is extremely hard work. I knew I did my very best and took my body to places I never thought possible. I knew I would never have to wonder “what if” again. I learned a lot. Plus, I had fun being up on stage.
Would you consider doing another fitness competition in the future?
No. The negatives of competing far outweighed the positives for me. Some people thrive in prep and really do enjoy the cycle of training for shows. More power to them! I also never discourage someone from attempting to do a show, as long as it is a goal they know they would regret not achieving. I don’t recommend it for those who think of it as a cool way to get in shape or lose weight.
- Have you ever done something you thought you would love and now never want to do it again?
Tags: fitness competition