Had a thoroughly productive and positive session with my new competition coach, Janet Marsico, yesterday. Janet is an extremely accomplished and down to earth person who automatically makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Being so new to this world of figure and bodybuilding competitions, I felt a bit overwhelmed as she covered a lot of ground in the hour I spent at her apartment. Everything from teaching me how to do quarter turns, to the famous ‘t-walk’, how to stand, pose and of course: smile! Anyone who thinks it’s easy work being up on that stage – think twice! I was exhausted both mentally and physically having to simultaneously think about how to position my legs, my butt, my midriff, my arms, shoulders, chest, PLUS remembering the exact steps I need to take. The judges will judge you on every single thing you can imagine – from the nail polish on your toes, to how your hands are inverted (or not), hair, make-up, suit, shoes… pretty intimidating if you start to think of it but I choose to just use all of this to my advantage and get better and more competitive! I also got some good referrals to a trainer who can help me with my pre-contest diet, hair /make-up and tanning as well as a place where I can get fairly reasonably priced suits. I will go back to Janet in a couple of weeks for another session, and in the mean time I will be ordering her tutorial DVD so I can practice in my own living room. I have a feeling I will need to practice a LOT so I have the steps and routine down – the more secure I feel about moving the more I can also focus on my stage presence.
Janet is affiliated with the INBF/WNBF (International Natural Body Building Federation, which is for amateurs, the WNBF are for pros) and she suggested I prepare for three shows in the fall – the first one is the Long Island Experience on September 11th in Port Washington, NY, the second one is the Naturalmania in NYC on September 18th and the third is the NYS Championship in Poughkeepsie on October 23rd. The latter show is apparently a really well organized and professional show and best of all – very close to where I live, so I will definitely keep these in mind. What I like about this organization is that they do mandatory drug tests preceding each contest, so you know all the contestants are drug free and not “cheating” with any steroids. I’ve never been one to resort to ‘easy way outs’ so I am not interested in being affiliated with competitors who are tempted to go that route. I want to be proud of my body and know that I did everything myself, not relying on any chemicals to look this way. Now that I have dates, it is becoming more real, although I still can’t believe I’m doing it! My changes from last summer has been quite extraordinary because I have been so focused on making them happen. I can give myself a pat on the back now that I look back, although I’m not one to rest on my laurels, because I know there are a ton of amazing women out there with similar and even more impressive stories, and I’m ready to go out there and compete with them (in a fun and friendly fashion of course)!
The most difficult part going forward now is my diet. Summer is coming, and of course- we all want to have fun, and for me that includes being out having that bottle of wine (yes, I’m saying bottle, not glass – at least I’m being honest), cheese and bread on a picnic, and so on . This summer I suppose I have to let go of that wet dream and keep telling myself every time I’m tempted to eat something that is not good for me: “Will this bring me closer or farther away from my goal?”. I use this question a lot, and it’s one I learned from Pauline Nordin, who is the owner of the fabulous Fighter Diet. She really posed a simple question to me when I told her I had problems sometimes at night, with snacking, especially in front of the TV. She just asked “Do you really want this?” Meaning, do I want to have the shredded look of a body builder, or do I prefer having my snacks at night, in front of the TV, and being the way I always was. I really needed to sit down and consider that and figure out the answer. The answer is of course, no. So I keep reminding myself of that, and think about all the times in the past few weeks where I’ve been ecstatic in the dressing rooms at clothing stores, trying on one piece of clothing after another, and being happy with every single one. That is why I’m doing this – I want to feel and look my best, and keep working at perfecting my figure. Is it shallow? Maybe to some. But the personal and emotional satisfaction I get from it, the good mood that comes from it – is well worth it, because it makes me a better, more positive person in the end, and that is what we all strive for. Whatever takes you to that place as long as you are not hurting anybody else- do it! I conclude with a couple of photos of my legs below. Although maybe not that visible in these amateur photos, I am finally starting to get some definition in this area too. I love doing deadlifts now, both stiff and regular, and this morning I did one legged stiff deadlifts which were fun and I know I will be feeling those tomorrow! Being tall (5’10”) as I am, it’s more difficult to look “cut” and chiseled because let’s face it – I’ve got more “area” to cover, lol! But .. it’s a start. Remember this photo, and I’ll post another one closer to my contest!