Friday, May 17, 2013

My First Women's Physique Competition

I did it! I competed in my first Women's Physique competition. I have been delaying writing this because I have so much to say, and so little time to say it! 

So I decided I need to do what I do in life everyday, and just jump right in! I have lots of pictures to share, and then I will write more each week about certain parts and events.

I must start with the fact that this was so different than Figure, words can barely describe it. Figure had become easy to me, it wasn't a challenge. Sure, I always had to work on my physique, try to look better each competition, but I knew what to expect each time, there was not much of a challenge.

This was a big challenge, the posing (real posing, not just "model" turns"), flexing, a routine to music. And it's odd, but I moved up in the hierarchy! Not something I intended to do, it just happens I guess.

Bikini is at the bottom, then Figure, Women's Physique and then Bodybuilding. Many women look at each as a step up, you add more muscle and move up the ranks. Now not everyone wants to move up, I have no desire to be a Bodybuilder or as big as one, and many women have no desire to be a Physique competitor, but they all know how much more work it takes to get there, they respect that.

Some of the women, women I have known from previous competitions, would look at me in awe and ask how it felt to be a Physique Competitor! There are not many of us you know! Below are pictures of my class. Class "A" which is up to and including 5' 6". No age group. I felt very proud to have come in 3rd, especially considering I am old enough to be the mother of most of the gals I am standing next to! 

Unlike Figure and Bikini, where they compare and also judge individually, they only line us up together, to compare us all, we never pose on our own, that is reserved for the posing routine at night, and it's purely for entertainment. 

The mandatory poses are Front Double Biceps, Side Chest, Back Double Biceps, Side Triceps, and Ab/ Thigh. The head judge calls them out and we pose, it's hard, you need to be sure everything is flexed and showing at it's best, it takes a great deal of practice. I had fun as we would pose I could see the other gals out of the corner of my eye, and we would each flex harder and harder. 

 You can see how much more muscle we all carry if you compared us to a Figure competitor. These gals here are ripped! (Oh! I'm one of them!)

My absolute favorite part was my posing routine a the evening show. I had so much fun performing it. I had the music mixed by Mastermindz Productions and the routine was choreographed by Michelle Brent. Michelle has been a Bodybuilder for 26 years and she has a protein cookie business too! Both my music and routine were upbeat, fun, and entertaining. I am not overly fond of slow routines, but super fast would be hard to perform in a depleted state, so I think I had a happy medium.

Here is a Youtube of my routine, crank up the music! (Email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog link at the top to view the video).

Here is a link to all my photos from my Facebook  album.  You do not need to have a Facebook account to view these. Click on the first picture to make them all larger and click on through. You will see my day as it progressed  Sakura (in a red suit) is in many of them.

If you have any questions, ask away! I have so much to tell to recount the fabulous time I had with my friend Sakura and other women I met and interacted with along the way. I hope to find some time to write in the near future  until then, enjoy the pictures! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Competition Time

My competition day is here! I am happy to be at the end, while I love the preparation and anticipation, it is a lot of work, stress, and time. Like any goal in life that is important, the work achieving it is long, arduous and stressful.

These pictures were taken on Thursday, two days prior to the show. I started my dehydration process, but the days where my body will really make dramatic changes are Friday afternoon and Saturday as everything tightens up.

I am pleased that I weigh one pound more (Friday) than I did last year at the same time, I felt I was too lean and looked it. The guidelines in Physique do not call for super ripped, super lean like Bodybuilding, although there will certainly be competitors there who are. it will be interesting to see if they are the ones who place (meaning the judges won't follow the guidelines established by the NPC), or the less ripped ones will. Only time will tell!

I never lost all the fat in my face as I usually do, don't get me wrong  it's still very lean but not gaunt as it was in the past. And my glutes, they still have ample padding, which is another odd thing. 

I took Thursday and Friday off to pack, shop, cook, and rest. When you are heading into the show it is exhausting. You have reached saturation point, you are tired, truly fatigued, hungry, thirsty, and in need of coffee. Tuesday at work I had a caffeine withdrawal headache all day, so I took 400 mg of caffeine the following days to ease that. I am looking forward to a really hot, black cup of coffee on Sunday morning. I will get up before anyone else and have my coffee and some sourdough toast with melted sharp cheddar cheese. Or maybe cheesecake.

Cooper is home for the weekend, so he and David have boys-night Friday while I am in my hotel with Sakura. Then on Sunday, Mother's Day I will be home with the family again.

Friday afternoon I will be heading to the hotel and will get my spray tan, this is what makes all of the definition show in the muscles. Then Sakura and I will hang out and just talk and rest. Resting is important for a few days leading up as it reduces cortisol levels.

Thursday and Friday there was no training allowed (rest is needed) so I went into the gym at opening each day and practiced posing and my routine. It's amazing how tired all that flexing makes you!

Below is a video of my posing on Thursday. The body fat is in check, low yet not too low, I am not hard enough yet but the dehydration will take care of that, but I think I am on track.


Thursday I did a little baking. I made my traditional cheesecake that I eat Friday night and Saturday morning and I made some Paleo brownies. David tried them and said they were good, not super chocolaty and lighter, more cake like than usual. The flour is replaced with blanched almond flour and the sugar is replaced with fresh dates. 

I dropped some brownies and cheesecake off for Roy about 12:30 on Friday and went home to finish packing and rest a bit before I head out.

Roy is coming to pre-judging to see me, so is one guy from work. David will be coming to finals and several of the guys from the gym will be there too.

No matter what happens, what the outcome is, I saw a quote today that sums it all up:

You see, I am already a champion.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Feeling Confident

I have always marveled at how a woman's confidence level increases the more she lifts weights.  And I do mean weights not cardio. You will see a dramatic difference in your body when you start on a weight lifting regime, you will not see the same thing with cardio. 

I have seen it in many friends, I have seen it in myself. My "transformation" took place a very long tine ago. It wasn't overnight, it wasn't for an event, it was for....


I was never super heavy, but I could be something more, something attractive, sexy, strong, fit and healthy. That's what I wanted, and that's what I got.

I have been watching my friend Sakura change, in such a short period of time. I say short because although it has been anything but short to her, the progress she has made in the last several months is amazing. She looks younger, happier, and more confident. You will see lots of pictures of the two of us, we will be almost inseparable at the competition. I will go on first, and she will go on later in the Figure division. But I will be watching like a mother hen, watching on the closed circuit TV in the pump up room, ready to hug her when she comes off stage.

My friend "R" from Courtside just emailed me to wish me luck at the competition. She and I don't see each other much any longer since I changed gyms, we both work full time, have families and very busy lives. But when we first met, she had just recently started training and we became fast friends talking about our diets and food all the time. She made an amazing transformation, people even started asking her if she was going to start competing! Today she told me she is ready to take the test to become a Certified Personal Trainer! 

I speak to women all the time who want to make changes in the right direction, and they all feel somewhat lost at first, unsure of what to do, who to turn to. It can be very overwhelming indeed. Everyone is an expert right?  So they ask me. 

Even some men at the gym will ask me about diet and training. The interesting thing to me is this, the men all seem to understand very quickly that it's the diet that will make or break you; it's the women who think it's the training. 

The men lift in the gym, although many don't necessarily lift properly or heavy enough, but they are there lifting, so they get it. They know that if they cleaned up their diet, they will get ripped.

Most women seem to focus on cardio, they think they are eating healthy and all they need to do is a whole lot of cardio and avoid weights. They seem to think that lifting weights makes you big and bulky. I lift weights as heavy as I possibly can, and while some people might say I am big, I am certainly not bulky. I am lean as can be.

I encourage you to seek out anyone who looks the way you want to, make friends, get to know them. They will not always have time to give you everything you need to succeed, but remember that each bit of knowledge is that much more than you had previously. 

So many people have connected with me through my blog, I often wonder how they are doing, how is the program going. Some email me frequently, and others pop in with updates every few months or so. I do like hearing how it's going. 

Confidence comes when you feel good about yourself, when you feel successful and happy. If you lack confidence in yourself, go out and get some! Seek out a trainer who has like minded goals, someone positive to help you. Hire a Nutritionist, it's not a life time commitment, it can be a few sessions just as I had. Join a gym, start slowly, then proceed with gusto! Join a group, I once belonged to a marathon training group called San Jose Fit, we ran together almost everyday, I really got to know my running team and looked forward to it every time we met.

Read, read, read! I have more books on training an nutrition that you can imagine. I go back to them over and over again.

Visualize yourself as the physical being you want to be, believe in yourself.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” 
Mahatma Gandhi