Now that I’m doing my best to not be a lazy-ass and devote more time to writing this blog, I figure I may as well start at the beginning; how in the hell did I get involved in all this crazy fitness crap in the first place?
Let’s go way back, to a time called 2003, I had just graduated high school and was all set to be a scholarship high and triple jumper at the University of Montana. Obviously, this initial fact would lead to the correct assumption that I was in pretty good shape. Actually, as I began my collegiate career I was rather amazingly fit because I had no other choice. A two-season sport, track necessitated that a large part of my college experience was spent doing two and three a days. It was my job and I took it seriously.
What I didn’t take so seriously was what I ate. I pretty much ate whatever the fuck I wanted. I could afford to because not only was I burning an insane amount of calories daily, but also because I was eighteen and had a metabolism that laughed in the face of cookies and pasta. In fact, I even ate a whole pie once in less than eight minutes once (7 minutes 43 seconds if you want to get specific). And none of it seemed to matter.
|The "after track" Sauce: Summer 2010|
But of course it totally mattered when the inevitable happened and my time as a track athlete came to an end. While I didn’t make a habit of downing whole pies, my eating habits didn’t change. Not only did they not change, but a devastating breakup of a three year relationship led me to an awful pattern of partying and heavy drinking AT LEAST three days a week. I was destroying my body one Dirty Shirley at a time.
Beyond the horrible eating and binge drinking, without a coach telling me when and how to workout I got lazy in the gym. Strangely, though I should have known exactly what to do as a lifelong athlete, I found great difficulty in putting workouts together for myself. So I just didn’t workout at all. I gained twenty pounds with ease and while most would still describe me as “normal” I felt like shit and dreaded entering my closet of clothes that no longer fit.
So I did what so many women do: I started to do a shit load of cardio and tried to survive on crappy Lean Cuisines and Special K. Basically, I tried to lose the weight through a combination of half-assed sessions on the elliptical coupled with starving myself and still spending my weekends at the bars. It was ineffective at best. My weight would yo-yo and I continued to feel miserable.
Just as I was getting really fed-up in the start of 2011, a deal came across my Facebook for a month of bootcamp classes. I signed up. And it was really freaking hard. But it also helped me start to see results with its combination of cardio and resistance training (something that had been missing in my many failed gym attempts). Besides a change in how I exercised, the class instructor also provided information on nutrition. I began to follow her advice – eating more complex carbs, having a meal or snack every three hours, increasing my intake of lean protein – and saw results after just four weeks. I signed up again and after a few months of doing so had dropped from 24% body fat to under 18%.
|Around the time I decided to compete and had|
completed a few months of bootcamp: June 2011
And from here it gets a little muddy. At some point a friend who is also a trainer convinced me to try bodybuilding and sign up for a bikini fitness competition. I think I initially said yes because I realized that having a goal – much like my goal of competing in track – would help me really stick to my diet and exercise regimen. With her help and long-distance training I competed in my first NPC contest in the fall of 2011.
I hated it. I said I would never do it again. I was pretty much miserable the whole time and made sure to make everyone else miserable as well. My personality changed, my fuse shortened and I was unhappy in general. I thought that was just the way competing was, but I was totally wrong.
Because I am competitive, I contacted a local trainer with an amazing personal track record of competing herself and decided to try again. One look at my diet, which was incredibly low-carb for a very long time, and she changed everything. The prep for my second show felt easy in comparison to my first and I moved from placing seventh to a very close second. Not only did I feel better, but I also looked better too because I was being correctly managed. Doing it the right way for me got my hooked. I loved the stage, but mostly I loved how great my body felt.
|My latest competition: October 2012|
Now here I am. I eat right, avoid alcohol, lift weights and do varied cardio workouts. I’ve competed in four shows and have nationally qualified twice. It is my goal in the next year to compete in two more regional qualifying shows and – hopefully – two national level shows. Ultimately, the goal would be to place in the top two (some require placing first) at a national show to achieve IFBB Pro status. This means that I could compete in professional, invite only shows. It’s a huge, difficult to achieve goal, but I have to try.
Regardless of if I ever become a pro not, I’ll always be very dedicated to my fit lifestyle. I love it for how strong my body looks, but more so for how strong my body feels. I’m proud to say I’d go for a protein shake over a margarita any day (though I certainly enjoy one every now and again).
So what’s your fitness story? Remember any day is a good day to start writing it!