After a five-year hiatus, I decided it was time to grab my stripper heels out of the closet and dust them off. I have been competing in the figure division periodically since 2011, but this season, I decided to compete in the bikini division instead.
Bikini and figure have changed a lot over the years, and bikini simply better suits my body type by far. I have a muscular but slender build, which fits that division really well these days versus when it first came around. Bikini is much more muscularity- and conditioning-based than it was even just three years ago.
So between April 2018 and June 2019, we took my prep programming in multiple cut, reset, and diet break phases. Essentially, we zigzagged our way to the finish line to prevent my metabolism from adapting so much and keep things moving. But my body fought, I would say, the majority of the entire prep. It wasn’t until the last six weeks or so that my body threw in the towel and said, “Fine, do whatever the fuck you want.”
So to give you all some transparent context, I started my prep in April 2018, eating over 2,000 calories a day and minimal cardio training four times a week. Pretty basic starting point. By the end of my prep a little over a year later, I was eating less than 900 calories a day for quite a while, doing over 2.5 hours of cardio daily. So to say I have an adaptive metabolism doesn’t even scratch the surface. Granted, I had large multiple day refeeds weekly, but still, I had to push extremely hard for every ounce of fat I lost. I started my prep at 147 pounds with 27 percent body fat and ended at a low of 113.8 pounds with 15 percent body fat — a total of 33 pounds lost.
I competed in two shows this season; the first being the 2019 NPC Ultimate Showdown (Julie Palmer), and the second being the 2019 NPC Mid-Atlantic Cup.
For the first show, I came in at around 116 pounds stage weight, and I placed a whopping ninth place (in the novice division and open division) out of 23 girls in my class. What was crazy about this placing (but this is so typical in bodybuilding) is that I looked the best I ever looked and placed the worst I ever have. But my coach and I knew we needed to bring my glutes in tighter, regardless of my overall package. Tight-ass glutes (or the lack thereof) can make or break placing in the bikini division.
My second show was two weeks later, so we bumped up the cardio and hit it fucking hard. To say I wanted to die is an understatement. Those two weeks were straight painful. But within those two weeks, I dropped another two pounds, and my glutes and low abs tightened up a lot. So at the second show, it was no surprise I did drastically better in terms of placing. I placed first in my novice division and second in my open division. The girl that beat me won the overall and looked like Princess Barbie with shredded glutes. Fair enough.
Since my body has been through the wringer for over a year, we decided to end on a high note and transition to my off-season. I had to do some drastic hellish shit to get lean enough this time, so I am taking my reverse extremely seriously. In the past, I was definitely pretty flexible in my reverses, but I know I can’t swing that this time. Plus, I want to be able to maintain a lower body fat level in the off-season and life as a whole. There’s absolutely no reason for me to walk around over 135 pounds. So that will just require me to not eat like an asshole and keep my shit together.
I honestly do not know if I will compete again down the road, as competing takes a lot away from my life and business, but I do want my body to be in a place where I have the choice. As fun as losing 33 pounds was, I’d rather fucking not do that again. But for my off-season, I am still treating it as an off-season to build up my weak areas because regardless of competing, I love training this way. I will never stop wanting to improve, regardless if there is a show on my horizon or not.
At the end of the day, this is why I compete: to learn and grow as a coach. If I can’t make it through the prep from hell and come out the other side with a solid finish, how am I supposed to expect that of my athletes? Or even my clients who are making huge lifestyle changes to better their health? I will always preach to walk the walk and be an example. So who knows what is next for me, but just knowing how I am, I won’t stay quiet for long. Stay tuned.