Hi friends! If you're reading this, you may have stuck with me from the very beginning when I started training for this NPC Bikini Competition. Thank you so much! I have felt the support and it has encouraged me all the way to this point- with just one week to go. I've mentioned before on my Facebook page and Instagram that I often read my Instagram comments and respond while I'm doing cardio. I can't tell you how much it helps to feel like people are rooting for you. The day of the contest, the women may look all glammed up, but most of the time, we are stinky, sweaty messes, always in workout clothes without hair and makeup done. I have to say that one of my most favorite times of the day is AFTER working out when I get to take a long, hot shower and get all fresh and clean. When you aren't getting lost in the comfort/joy of food and eating, you are forced to find pleasure in other things. I'm still enjoying my coffee (so much) and have a new appreciation for showers! :)
I started deliberately trying to get in shape in February 2014 and started working with my trainer (John Sherman) at the end of March 2014. We will have trained together for 15 weeks next week to get ready for this competition. You get to know someone when you're spending that much time with them and I've become really fond of him and can say we're friends now. I also respect his experience and training style. He is an IFBB professional bodybuilder (competing for over 25 years) and has made quite a name for himself in the fitness arena, but you'd never know it by meeting him. He's so humble and never one to draw attention to himself. I've never even seen him in shorts (he always wears pants). I think he doesn't want to "show off" or have people make a big deal about the size of his legs. He trains people locally in Houston, but also offers online training and meal plans. You can connect with him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org (I asked and he said I could give you his email address). My previous trainer from a few years ago recommended him to me. He trained her for the fitness competition that she won.
The gym we train at is small and full of people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. It's mostly people working out with trainers and since I've been going almost every weekday, I've come to know most of the people there. The sense of community and comradery is great. We "eye" each other knowingly with exhaustion while under the supervision of our trainers. Some of them are training for competitions also, so we'll keep up with whose contest is coming up next and hand out well-deserved compliments. My friend (who just turned 50!) is training with another trainer there for her first bikini competition in late July. I was intimidated by this gym when I first started going (it felt so "hard core"), but over time, I've become comfortable there and it almost feels like my home away from home.
By now, my diet and exercise are the norm for me, so it's really not all that hard to stick to my diet. I've found food that I like to eat and that makes my days much better. Of course, I have typical cravings like anyone else, but I know that in just a week, I can (guilt-free) eat whatever I want. High on the list of "whatever I want" is Mexican food, pizza, ice cream, brownies, cookies - all the dessert stuff. My husband has joined me in my meal plan this last month (God bless him!) and that's makes it so much easier because I don't have to make something different for him. He's lost 11 pounds!
Lots of logistical things are falling into place. I have my bikini and I love it! I had it made at Stakked Couture and it came out beautifully. It's turquoise with aquamarine crystals and rhinestone connectors. They were great to work with and helped talk me off the ledge when I first tried it on and was saying, "It doesn't fit, it's too small!!!!" They tried to console me, "Everyone says that at first until they get used to it." But, really, those bottoms, yikes!!!
- I also bought two rhinestone bracelets and a pair of dangly earrings, as well as my clear heels.
- I booked my spray tan (2 applications) with ProTan, the official tanning company for the contest.
- I booked my hair and makeup too. That's a relief! I'm going with the artists assigned to the show. I was relieved to hear they are only taking a limited number of appointments (10-12 women) because I didn't want to be rushed through.
- Hotel is reserved.
I still need to:
- Figure out what meals I need to pack, grocery shop, make sure I have a cooler to bring food in.
- Pack clothing, hair tools and makeup (just in case).
This week, I'll just be working out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and "resting" Thursday and Friday. So far, my diet hasn't changed. I think it changes on Wednesday, so I'll let you know.
The show is on Saturday (July 5, 2014). Pre-judging (where they score the contestants) happens in the morning and then you get a break and come back for the night show around 5pm, I think. I still need the exact schedule. The night show can last until 10, 11 pm though. I was really hoping to go to a Mexican restaurant after the contest, but I'm afraid they'll all be closed by the time we finish!
I'll be posting pics to Instagram if you want to follow along next weekend. I'd love to hear from you! I'm sure I'll be a ball of nerves.
Oh, P.S. I took your advice and made an appointment to get my body fat measured at the Bod Pod because I'm really curious to see what it is. I'm not sure how accurate the calipers we've been using are. My appointment is this week, so I'll report back soon on the experience. :)