It seemed fitting to blog about my recent NPC Bodybuilding Show that I competed in on May 10th. A lot of people don't know about this whole other world that exists called bodybuilding. To tell you the truth, I myself am still learning. So how did I discover it and what was I thinking when I said, "I want to try that."
When I was in college (a long, long time ago) I went to a tanning salon to try this new thing called, "spray tan." This wasn't a machine but a person who did it by hand. While I was awkwardly getting "sprayed" I noticed a picture in the room of the girl tanning me and she was posing in a sparkly suit and had a banging body. I said, "WHAT IS THIS PICTURE AND HOW DO I LOOK LIKE THAT?" From that day on my life changed.
I decided I wanted to compete in a figure competition and had NO clue what it actually took to complete. I went through 2 coaches till I finally found an AWESOME one who didn't give up on me and who helped me along the way. My friend introduced me (virtually) to a man named Jason Theobald. He is a well known bodybuilding coach and has created BEAUTIFUL athletes and not to mention trains them the RIGHT way. I started with Jason in January 2012 with the intention to compete that May. As we got close to May we noticed that I wasn't progressing like I should have been. After weeks of trying to figure out why I explained to him that I used to be a ballet dancer and weighed very little at one point in my life and most likely RUINED my metabolism. I figured my chance of competing was coming to an end and that getting on stage was not going to happen. Nope. He said, "well then let's fix it." We decided to take the rest of the year to rebuild my metabolism. It was extremely hard mentally and physically. I was basically gaining weight on PURPOSE. After putting on about 7lb we decided we would give the competition another shot for the following year.
January 2nd, 2013, I started my prep for yet another show that I only hoped I would compete in. Prepping for a show is a very hard journey that many don't understand unless you have done it. Typically a prep last about 16 weeks (my first one was 25 weeks!!). For myself, my calories were lowered but I was still eating six times a day, cardio was increased (including fasted morning cardio- ew), cheat meals were gone and a STRICT diet was in place. The diet was mostly lean proteins, healthy fats, and clean carbs. Everything was measured to the T... 100%. As you can see, it can be a LOT of work and it can get to you. I kept going with my training but Jason said I wouldn't be ready for the May show AGAIN and that I needed more time. I was disappointed but knew I wouldn't give up. We added about 6 more weeks to my prep (which seemed like an entire year), but was worth it. I competed at NPC Northern Indiana and took 1st in my height class. All that work had paid off and I was extremely happy.
I thought I was done with the sport as it had drained EVERYTHING out of me. I was emotionally, physically and mentally drained. My days went from waking up and doing morning cardio on an empty stomach at 4am to cooking my food, then working, cooking again, working out, cooking some more, and sleeping to WHAT DO I DO WITH MYSELF? I had no social life and missed out on some important holidays/events. Why would I ever want to do that again I said?
I'll tell you why.... I think people live off of goals. If we don't have goals then why would we have any purpose? I am the type of person who will say, "I want that" and then do it. EVERY TIME. The thrill of completing something that seems so impossible is the best feeling in the world. Not to mention the end result is pretty cool. It keeps you disciplined and insanely IN TUNED with your body. You can wake up one morning and look at yourself in the mirror and know by how your body looks and feels that day what you need to eat. That is an art in itself. The sport itself is something that you constantly work at in the gym and kitchen. Every shoulder press you do and every serving of chicken you eat goes to fuel your body and sculpt it. Hours on end of cooking and working out all add up to create a physique that you improve upon each year. Who wouldn't want to see what they are truly made of??!
So I decided to compete again in 2014. I hired my coach again and we jumped right back in! Morning cardio was dreadful, but that was it. That was the ONLY thing I didn't like (I never like cardio at all). I found myself making peace with the sport and riding the journey. I was always satisfied with my food (lots and lots of veggies was my favorite), and loved the changes that my body was creating. My first show of the season was May 10th and although I didn't place like I wanted to, I was still happy. I was happy that I completed this journey again and was proud of my improvement and not to mention ENJOYED it. Let's face it, getting to the competition is a win in itself.. a trophy is just extra. :)
I have one more show left this coming weekend and hope the outcome is better BUT if it isn't it is OK. I know that the journey is already completed and that I have created the BEST me. I will take sometime off to improve upon my critiques (bigger shoulders, more muscle etc) and improve my overall well being.
So to the people who run marathons, compete in another sport or who aren't active at all and tell me competing in a fitness competition is crazy....my response to you is this- this IS my marathon (and a LONG one at that). Do something that challenges you. The hardest struggles in life are the most rewarding ones.
In good health (and growing muscles),
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.