The best day of my life. Saturday, April 9th, 2016 is the day that I competed in my first fitness competition, IDFA 94, and I absolutely loved it!
I placed second overall in the Fitness Model class and first overall in Women’s Bikini!
So now you are assuming that I enjoyed it because I walked away with two trophies, which I’ll admit is part of what made it such an enjoyable experience, but it is not the main reasons!
I want to share a bit of what I experienced, some of my thoughts, some of my insider information that I got from the experience of the other competitors and my future plans.
The week leading up to the show is called, “Peak Week” as your nutrition and workouts are quite different and sometimes seem unorthodox, but this week is designed to get you to your peak physical condition by the day of the show.
This week can either be extremely fun and enjoyable or it can be extremely hard physically and mentally. The difference is in your approach. I luckily had an amazing and smooth prep due to the great health I was in mentally and metabolically before I started prep (see previous post on my transformation and >25lb bulk in 2.5 years), and the knowledge from my coach, who because of her education was able to keep me healthy and my metabolism high all throughout my 12 weeks of “dieting”. I was eating so many carbs (even white breads, pastas, etc.) the last few days before and of my show that when it came to my post show meal I didn’t even know what to eat because I didn’t feel deprived of anything! I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I went to Pita Pit and got a salad, because I went to The Mandarin and ate 5 plates of food, including all my favourites from pizza and sushi to cherry cheesecake and frozen yogurt, but I ate those things because that’s what I would normally eat at The Mandarin not because I felt starved or deprived.
Now onto the show…
First of all, the energy in the theatre was amazing! All of the other competitors, coaches and volunteers were are all so kind and inspiring, plus if you were missing something (like me and scissors) and you asked if anyone had it there were at least three girls back stage ready to help! Furthermore, even though we were literally competing against each other everyone is so supportive and sweet backstage which definitely made the experience amazing! The nice thing about compliments from other competitors and coaches is that they truly appreciate the work you put into your physique and understand how much effort it takes to earn our muscles and bodies.
Now, for those who know me in real life and didn’t recognize me in my pictures, that is because I had professionals do my hair and make-up… Which judging on how often I do my own was the right choice! I got my tan, hair and makeup all done by Cherry Dolls and was super pleased with how it all turned out. Plus, it was fun to feel all glamorous for the day having someone, “doll you up”!
However, your first spray tan can be a little awkward, but you get to know the person very quickly (you basically have to) and let’s face it, by the end of show day you have little to no privacy issues left involving your body.
After getting dolled up I had a little bit of time (not as much as we had planned) to stuff my face with some more carbs and do my “pre-show pump up”… by then the nerves had kicked in. One of the organizers came and knocked on the door and called out the numbers for the first round of judging… My number was called and the nerves were now in full swing. Next thing I knew we are on deck standing right behind the curtain ready to go on. Then we’re on stage I am right in the middle of the pack, and as I stood there – holding my pose, barely breathing – I watched as the girls before me went through their posing routines, their routines were much more elaborate than mine, and I started to freak out. I instantly got even more nervous thinking that I had to add to my routine, but I knew that would be a bad idea if I tried to change it now so I gave my self a mini pep talk and just went along with my routine… Shaking and all, I will admit I rushed it a bit and totally beat myself up for it after, but I smiled my way through the first class and had officially completed judging round one. Luckily for me, I was a little rushed to get back to the stage for my second class, due to talking and being distracted by my amazing and supportive co-workers from Headwaters Racquet Club, so I had no time to even think or be nervous! This time I felt much more relaxed and didn’t rush my routine, although I was still super nervous, I felt much more confident and had now made it through all of the judging rounds!
During the intermission we had a lot of time backstage to relax, eat, and socialize with the other competitors. This was great, because one of my reasons for doing the show was to meet new people and get to know more people in the industry. The whole time everyone was either complimenting one another, talking about what they wanted to eat after, eating, or going over their posing routines…. They were all a little shocked by me eating bread the day of the show, but I had learned that many girls didn’t have the same prep experience that I did.
I think it’s important that I share with you some of the comments and issues some girls had because not everyone has such an amazing experience with competing…
Many times, especially if you do not take a healthy approach, doing a competition can ruin a persons relationship with food. The whole prep can make them “scared” of certain foods/ food groups, because they don’t think they can eat certain things and still achieve their goals. Furthermore, some competitors also get nervous about what they are going to do after the show, and what will happen to their bodies. This is another reason I am so thankful for my coach and not only how we approached the show, but also our plan to increase my food intake back to and above what it was before, while working on my future goals.
Funny enough, whatever their experience was throughout prep, almost all said they wanted to do it again.
I will most definitely do it again.
So many people complimented my physique and told me I had great potential and should go for my pro card, so of course this lit a fire underneath me and encouraged my even more!
Overall, one of my many favourite parts of my first competition was making everyone who had supported me proud.
Seeing the smile of pride in my coach waiting to hug me back stage, waving to my Mom who has the biggest smile I’ve seen on her in the last 12 weeks (maybe because my diet was over? Who knows) and running over (still in my heels) to hug her, finding my Dad after and running across the Mandarin parking lot and jumping into him like the little child I still am, seeing half of my extended family and best friend with flowers and smiles, and then getting to share my excitement with all of them.
I cannot say how much all of the kind messages, either wishing me luck and telling me that I would “kill it” before the show (thanks for not putting any pressure on me haha), or in kind congratulatory messages after the show have truly meant to me.
Furthermore, all of the people who have told me how much my hard work and dedication have inspired them are my true motivation for what I do. All I want to do is share my passion with others and if I can help and inspire at least one person, then I will have accomplished my goal. So now, I am going to continue to do my best to inspire, educate and help as many people as I can because now I know I can!
Then, after all the hype was over and I got home, the adrenaline still hadn’t worn off. I literally felt like I was on top of the world.
I have never felt so motivated in my life, not only to continue on and bring an even better final package to my next show (no I haven’t picked a date yet), but to keep on this path and continue to follow my dreams.