Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fitness Show Recap (Part 1) - Bikinis, bling and... bronchitis??

One of my biggest 20(in)12 goals has come and gone... the OCB Spirit of America fitness competition!  I competed in the bikini division on April 21st, 2012 and this was my second show (my 1st being the Fitness New England in 2011).

I have to say that my training and nutrition just seemed easier this time around... which I am thankful for!  I started training in early January... meaning, that's when I got serious with my strength workouts, got back "on plan" with my nutrition and cut out alcohol.  Not that I was a big drinker or anything but alcohol definitely lowers my inhibitions as far as being able to resist tempting foods.

Sadly, yummy chocolate martinis had to wait...

Now, although my training seemed easier, it didn't come without some setbacks... the biggest hurdle being when I came down with pneumonia and bronchitis... 3 WEEKS before the show!  I had already been sick with a nasty cold for about 2 weeks by that point and then things took a turn for the worse.  I was sidelined from training for about 1.5 weeks... NOT what I wanted to do but sometimes you have to take 2 steps back before you can continue moving ahead.  I finished up my 2nd round of antibiotics the night before my show (and luckily was feeling much better!). 

There's a LOT of behind-the-scenes, self-prep work that goes into getting on stage for a show, especially if you're on a budget like me.  For instance, I did my own tanning, makeup, nails and hair (although I did have someone else blow-dry it straight the day before so that I wouldn't look like the Bride of Frankenstein).  Bikini competitors also have to be blinged out in sparkly costume jewelry... I still had mine from my 1st competition, which saved me a shopping trip.  I think it was around the time I was (unsuccessfully) attempting to put on false lashes that I declared, "If I ever say I want to do another show, remind me of this very moment!"  But cranky, sleep-deprived people occasionally get a tad dramatic :) 

It's all worth it in the end but sometimes it's just hard to see the big picture when you're in the moment... and carb-deprived... and dehydrated from manipulating your water intake for the few days prior to the show...   Not to mention, I hadn't showered since the Thursday night prior because of the tanning application.  Glamorous, huh? ;)

Luckily I had a big ole' bag of jelly bellies (my snack of choice to give me a little sugar rush for stage) to save the day.  I also had a LOT of supportive family and friends encouraging me along the way and especially the day-of.  Friends from all aspects of my life - high school, college and work - made the trek, as well as a few family members. I truly am a lucky girl. 

My biggest supporter, partner-in-crime and proud B's fan  :)

I decided to enter 3 classes within the bikini division:
  • Novice (open only to those who have never placed 1st in any other competition before)
  • Masters (competitors age 35+, aka the "mature" folks) 
  • Open (anyone can enter, regardless of age or past experience)
Since I had placed in the top 10 last year, my goal going into this show was to place in the top 5... And I did!  In two out the three classes anyway (Novice-3rd and Masters-5th).  I knew I wasn't at peak conditioning (or at least where I wanted to be) so I was really happy to have done so well.

Me and my dad after preliminaries

Of course, the competitive side of me knows I can do better and was bitten by the "show bug".  My immediate thought was that I want to work towards entering another competition and place even higher!  I emailed all of the judges after the show asking for their feedback and constructive criticism, which I plan to use to better myself for the next show.... if I decide to do one. I'll touch on that a bit more in my Part 2 recap though.  In the meantime, I have a few more 20(in)12 goals that need to be achieved first! :)

Also in my next post - Fitness Show Recap (Part 2) - I'll share a little bit about what happens AFTER all the training/ stage walking/ prepping is over... and the ups and downs that I've experienced.

Until then, let me leave you with a delectable image of delicious goodness, courtesy of Arthur and Pat's Restaurant in Marshfield, MA, where I ended up for my first post-show meal that Sunday morning...

White chocolate macadamia nut pancakes with caramel sauce... and this was just my appetizer

... because I wasn't going to settle for just any old brunch for my first post-show meal!

(and, yes, my first post-show "adult beverage" that Saturday night was indeed a yummy chocolate martini)  :)

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