Haters gonna hate. Ignorance Edition.

“That’s gross. That’s so weird. Why would anyone do that to their body?” These are the typical comments that I hear or overhear when there is a discussion about bodybuilding involving individuals who are unfamiliar with the sport. When around people involved in the bodybuilding world, many people will try to be understanding and not voice their judgements but inevitably they slip up and make a comment that can be seen as offensive. Perhaps they don’t intend for the comment to be offensive, however to the man or woman who has dedicated hours and hours to craft their body, it can come across in a negative way.

Although I participate in the least muscular category (bikini/fitness model), and this category tends to be the most subjectively judged, it does not mean that I do not put excessive amounts of time, effort and thought into sculpting my physique. I watched some old footage of Arnold recently and he discussed that bodybuilders are like sculptors. Where as a sculptor might look at his work and add extra clay to a certain area, a bodybuilder looks at their physique and assesses what muscle needs to be built to form a more symmetrical or aesthetically pleasing physique. I have developed a deep appreciation for all of the categories of bodybuilding. Bikini, fitness, figure, physique, bodybuilding. I never look at a male or female bodybuilder and think negative thoughts.Perhaps one must experience what it takes or at least be witness to it, to really understand the dedication involved. I look at those crazy quads or the monstrous backs and I am in awe. It is not that I aspire to be that big because I am more than happy with my size, but rather it is an admiration for what they have been able to accomplish. It takes a special kind of crazy to do what we do and I say that with love. We are crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t laugh at the men’s posing suits. Don’t make negative statements regarding the women’s muscles. Don’t think they look silly because they take themselves seriously as they go through their poses. I’ll have you know that come show day, the posing routine combined with all of the compulsory poses is actually like a full body workout. It is not uncommon to be sore after show day because one has to hold poses for long periods of time and exaggerate the motions in order to best display the physique.

Perhaps if the haters out there knew more about the sport, they would understand or at the very least, keep their judgemental comments to themselves. This is a legitimate sport and athletes at the top of their game are rewarded accordingly. Did you know that the winner of the 2013 Mr.Olympia title took home a prize of $250,000? That is a pretty nice paycheck if you ask me. Even 2nd place goes home with a pretty penny at $125,000. Not bad at all.

There are things about the sport that are not glamorous and when you don’t place as well as you had hoped, you may become frustrated with the system. At the end of the day though, we do it because we enjoy it and the killer physique that comes with it isn’t bad either. Be positive people, don’t hate. If you don’t like it, it’s not your life so chill.

This is my sport and I love it!

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The much needed ego boost and the workout interruption

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As you all know, my ego has been bruised by my recent placing at the last fitness show. Aside from being content with oneself, is there any better way to instill confidence and re-inflate the ego than to receive unsolicited compliments? I had an interesting experience at the gym last night and I wanted to share it with you all. Now, you might think that there would be nothing to complain about if you are receiving compliments at the gym. But hellooooo, I’m trying to do a hardcore workout here and in between every other exercise, I am being forced to engage in small talk. When it come to men, I can be such a pushover and have trouble outright rejecting them to their face. It is easier to me to just ignore a phone call or text and hope that they get the point. At the gym, it’s a lot harder to just ignore because that comes off as terribly rude. It is against the social protocol to just pretend that you didn’t hear someone who is right in front of your face and trying to get your attention. But for God’s sake, I am trying to get a good leg burn going and you are messing with that! Unacceptable.

I have decided that my legs need much improvement before my next show, so my first stop last night at the gym was the squat rack. I loaded one 45lb plate on each side and proceeded to squat. At the end of my third set…I failed. I couldn’t get the bar up and I proceeded to lower the bar to the ground while still on my shoulders and in a very ungraceful manner and then I crawled out from underneath it. As I sat on the ground hoping that no one saw that embarrassing display, a guy who has made efforts to talk to me before came right up and said “I have to ask, do you have a boyfriend?” When did a failed squat become a mating call? This is the guy who kept interrupting my workout and hitting on me even after I informed him that I was happily in a relationship. He blatantly asked me out for a bite to eat and when I told him that he knows I can’t, he just pretended to be clueless as to why. I understand persistence but sometimes a little respect is necessary. And DON’T INTERRUPT MY DAMN WORKOUT! Don’t you know I have only a limited time to get my legs perfect before the next show, should I decide to enter. Read my mind, dude.

Then there was the somewhat creepy statement from a different guy last night. While at the squat rack, an older gentleman came to me and said “I just want to stand near you. I told my mother about you”…interesting.

I know, I know, woe is me. But I go to the gym for a purpose and that purpose is to sculpt my body. Period. If this type of interruption is going to continue, I will have to consider changing gym locations. Im sure my boyfriend would prefer that.

With this rant, the purpose is not to say that I am not approachable at the gym. I would gladly speak with anyone, however with that said, first and foremost I am there to workout. So please don’t try to engage me in an in depth debate with a side of workout.

The Bitter Taste of Disappointment

Some of you may be wondering about the results of the show from this past Saturday. I was planning on updating you sooner however I needed time to lick my metaphorical wounds. I am sad to report that I did not do as well as anticipated. In fact, I didn’t even place in the top 5. I am attempting to come from an unbiased place when I make the next statements. I was very puzzled by the choices that the judges made. I am sure that they know what they are doing, however I just did not quite understand why they made some of the choices that they did. I will give credit where credit is due and say that my competitors all looked great. In my category (bikini medium), one of the girls in the top 5 was more muscular than me yet the winner of the bikini medium was perhaps less muscular. The winner of the bikini short class was very lean and cut and yet the winner of the bikini tall class did not appear to have much visible musculature. I am not a judge so obviously they saw something different than what I saw, however I perceived the results to be quite inconsistent between the bikini height classes. I hope this does not come off as bitter, I am simply confused. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they were making their decisions because having some insight into the decision making process would be very enlightening.

I am not going to lie to you. Immediately after the show and the following day, the though of “why bother” did race through my mind. But if everyone gave up after failing, then there would be so much wasted potential and missed opportunities out there. Think about all of the successful people in this world and how many times they have failed before achieving their goals. Ashley Kaltwasser is the current Ms. Bikini Olympia. She came in 10th place at the last Arnold Classic and then went on to win the Olympia and then take top spot at this year’s Arnold Classic. If she had given up after her 10th place finish, she would have never reached her true potential. So, while my disappointing finish at Saturday’s contest still hurts, I can’t let this get me down. The easiest thing to do is give up and that is a fast track down a road of regret.

New guy, who is officially my boyfriend of 1 month now, was at the show and he could not have been more supportive. Despite having a long day of waiting around only to see me on stage for a few minutes, he seemed to enjoy the experience. You know what he said to me? On Monday he told me that he was excited to see me on stage at the next show. He said this at a time when I wasn’t sure if I would be prepared to get back on stage in the near future. Hearing him say that helped me to pick myself up off the ground and it made me want to get back on that stage.

When I try to think back about what it was that the judges didn’t like about me, I drive myself a little crazy. It could have been anything. It could have been that they didn’t like my hair or that they didn’t like the way my suit was riding up and exposing my giant butt. Perhaps they did not like my big thighs or my makeup. Who knows? Regardless, I have to try something different for the next show. There is no point continuing doing the same things as they clearly didn’t respond well to it. I am going to try to up my weights as I will admit that I have become somewhat complacent and perhaps even reached a plateau. I stopped pushing myself and got comfortable staying at the same weight. I will try to eat more food and not stress so much. Hopefully I will fall back in love with the gym and with food and just chill the F out a little bit.

The next local show is May 10th. I am not sure if I will do it but I don’t have to decide right away. I told the boyfriend about it and he seems very enthusiastic about me entering that show. I will be sure to keep you posted of my decision regarding this matter. Stay positive and keep striving. It’s not easy but it is more fulfilling than the alternative.

Show Day!!

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It’s show day people! I am lying here in my bed at 6am because I have nothing to do and I cannot get back to sleep. I have been up since 4:30 and just do not know what to do with myself. I should lie in bed for another hour or so but I have become so restless that that probably will not happen. I can’t wait to start doing my hair and makeup!

Yesterday I got my spray tan and it looks pretty fabulous. I will just have to do a bit of touching up before stage time but such is life.

When I went to the athlete meeting last night, I was on the hunt for anyone who could have possibly been competition specifically in the butt department. I am excited to report that it appears that I have the largest set of glutes. Hurray! Was there even a doubt? There may be some dark horses out there that went unnoticed due to the wearing of sweat pants however lets be honest and say that my butt is kind of an anomaly for a white girl. There ain’t no contest. Again, ego alert.

As I lay here, my stomach is getting more and more agitated as it yells at me, “Feed me some oatmeal, Boss!” I will try to hold off for another half hour but I might not make it.

Today is the day, Friends. All the time, effort and sacrifice will be displayed in the handful of minutes that I am going to be on stage for. This is not the end though. It is only the beginning. What a long road ahead I have. At least I can bring all of you along for the ride. Have a great weekend. I know I will because after trophy time, it’s time for pizza and wine!

The Booty and the Bruise…and Updates

It is finally not noticeable, HURRAY! And just in time for the show. Thank goodness. What is it that I speak of you ask? Well as you can tell from the picture, I am speaking of the bruise that I managed to give myself on my first ski trip ever a few weeks back. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that big sucker would not make the best accessory come stage time.

After getting this hideous lesion, I told everyone who would listen that I have a giant competition ruining bruise right on my side butt. This prompted many questions of “How is your side butt today?” I think people just enjoy saying side butt. I know I do. Side butt. Hehe.

So we are now only 2 days away from show day, people! I am relatively bruise free an ready for my spray tan tomorrow. Last time, I found that I was a tad orange with the tan so I hope that this time, my tan lady can make me slightly more brown. I want to be like a bronze goddess, not an Umpa Lumpa. I have warned new guy that he will not be able to lay a finger on me once I have been spray tanned. He is not happy about this but he will live. He has confessed that he will try to put the moves on but I assured him that if he even comes within an inch of touching my spray tanned skin, I may break his arm.

Today I was able to start with the carbs again! I made it through the carb deprivation period and didn’t bite anyone’s head off. Score. Although that trip to the grocery store on day two of carb deprivation day was probably not the best idea. I had a bit of a meltdown in the dessert section between the pies and the brownies. I picked up a pecan pie and tried to smell it through the packaging. Not only could I not smell the pie, but I looked like a total nut job at the same time. I actually plan to write a whole post on how I have been forced to use my sense of smell to enjoy contraband foods rather than actually eating said food items. Look forward to that gem of a post soon.

Tomorrow is the registration and athlete meeting for the show. This is usually held on the day before the show. I will get to scope out the competition and rank my fellow competitors in my mind. Not that it matters because I plan on taking top spot! There goes the ego again. I am going to have a hell of a time trying to reign that in. But then again, you want to be ultra confident going into show day. If you don’t believe you will win, you likely wont. The confidence you carry can be seen by all who observe you. So I am going in to the show not wanting to win, but knowing I will win. Wont that be embarrassing if Sunday comes and I report to you that I didn’t even place? Well, as far as my mind is concerned, it is not a possibility. But needless to say, if that were to happen, it would be a humbling experience. So friends, see you on the other side!

Peak Week Is Here!

We have reached peak week everyone! For those who are unaware, peak week is the week prior to contest day when it becomes balls to the wall dedication to perfecting the way you want to present yourself on stage. For some, this includes carbohydrate deprivation, dehydration, and all sorts of other methods that will lead to the best show day physique. I do not do this dehydration crap but I do eliminate almost all of the carbs from my diet on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the show. That means that today was the first of the three days of hell. I am feeling alright at this point because I have only had one carb-less meal thus far but I suspect that by the end of today, I will be making the transition into Mega-Bitch. This is what happens to me when I deprive myself of the carbs…and it is not pretty. I remember this time before my first contest. I was driving to work and trying to peel a banana but the banana would not open. Does a banana open, is that the term? Whatever, you get the point. Anyway, when I could not open it, I started crying and then road rage ensued. Needless to say, I have prepped all the people who will be in close proximity to me this week that I will not be a normal human being for the next three days.

It is always sad for me when I have to give up my beloved oatmeal with protein powder breakfast, but these are the things that one must do I suppose. So I swapped out my carb filled breakfast for eggs and turkey this morning. I then washed it down with a delicious protein shake made of almond milk and chocolate protein powder. For lunch, the plan is some chicken breast and veggies but I have yet to plan dinner. You know what I was going this morning before work? I was cooking my chicken that I will eat over the next few days…sometimes I feel like others think I am a bit of a nut. At least I will be a nut with a trophy. All of this torture better be worth it. I swear to the Fitness Gods that if they do not give me my first place trophy…well, there will be anger and then I’ll probably just go to the gym. I guess I am just a bit of a toothless tiger in that respect.

So, what is up for today? After work I must head to the salon and endure some waxing to ensure that I do not look like a hairy man when I hit the stage. Oh joy, peak week. Between waxing, tanning, and hitting the stage, more people will see me naked or nearly naked this week than any other time of the year. It is not for the self conscious, that is for sure. After having the hair painfully torn from my body, I will proceed to hit the gym for a gruelling leg day.

Oh, on a bit of a tangent here, I wanted to share that for whatever reason, I seem to be severely accident prone the last few days. This is not a good time considering that my accidents tend to result in bruises and these bruises have the potential to mess with my look on stage. I am not happy. I thought I was rolling the dice by going out skiing so close to the contest, but it turns out that the coffee table is more of a danger to me than a potential paralyzing skiing accident.

Ok, enough writing for today. 4 full days to go!!

When Food FAILS You! Protein Powder Edition

Yesterday, I fell victim to one of the most epic food fails yet and at a time so close to competition. This disastrous food fail was quite comical to those around me who were witness to my blood curdling screams when I came to the realization of what had transpired.

You must first understand that I have an ongoing battle with anything that I intend to consume as sustenance. This is my third instalment of “When Food Fails You”, so for details on this ongoing food war, read my pervious posts. This time however, the battle was with the almighty protein powder. I had previously thought that we were friends, chums, bosom buddies even. We even made it though airport security together when I brought protein powder on vacation with me in the fall. When someone carries a white powdery substance through airport security, there are no guarantees that you won’t be escorted to a camera filled room and given a cavity search. Hell, you might as well announce that you are hiding guns under your shirt. “But officer, I just meant my biceps, not real guns.” Needless to say, I didn’t expect to have to deal with mischief from my “friend” Mr.Protein. Apparently the protein Gods decided now was the perfect time to F with me now that we are just under 2 weeks out from my first show of 2014.

Let me explain how the devious protein devils did the deed. Remember that I told you about the new guy I’m seeing? Well ordinarily when I stay over at someone’s house, I will bring my breakfast of an oatmeal/protein mix for the next morning. “I have oatmeal and some natural whey protein” said new guy. So I decided I would forgo bringing my own food and just eat his instead. Well, whether he knew it or not, he was in leagues with the protein powder pests in their attempts at sabotage.

Come morning time, I went to the kitchen, poured myself some oatmeal, protein and milk. Once heated up, I proceeded to enjoy a delicious breakfast. When I had finished, I went back to look at the tub of protein to assess ingredients, brand, etc. It was at this point that I realized that I had fallen victim to unspeakable acts of devious fuckery. Written in big letters on the front of the tub was “Mass Gainer”… It was as though the letters were taunting me. They were saying, “We preyed on you in your groggy morning state and you didn’t see the large text right on the front of the protein. Muahaha you fool!” Yes…it is true. I took mass gaining protein 2 weeks before my show. For any of you unaware, this is the time that I need to be cutting, not bulking. New guy has some roommates and they were lounging in the living room at the time when they heard, “YOU GAVE ME MASS GAINER?!?” ring out from the kitchen. To add to the chorus of cheers from the pesky protein Gods, now the roommates were jeering as well. For some reason, my foolish error was comical for all to see. F. Thanks for the support world. In new guy’s defence, he claims that he was unaware that it was a mass gainer. It was apparently a tub of protein he hadn’t even used in a while and he really doesn’t know up from down when it comes to supplements. I’ll let it slide this time… However, come competition time, if I come in any place other than first place, at least I know who I can name as the scapegoat.