Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Day in the Life of a Figure Competitor

I wake up to the sound of my quaking alarm at the hour of 5:30am. It is still dark outside and the only noise that filters through my ears are the birds chirping outside my window... if only I could be that chirpy at that hour. I drag my heavy body out of bed to start my day; usually it's a struggle to get up due to the muscle soreness that has crept over my body throughout the night. I make myself somewhat presentable and move to the kitchen, my second favourite place in the entire world next to my bed. I calm my growling stomach with oatmeal and egg whites or a protein shake, and chug a glass of water because every morning I am starving. I gather my two bags, my lunch bag, and gym bag and out the door I go to train my first client of the day. Throughout the morning I continue to sip on water so that I will be hydrated for my workout and cardio session later on. I usually go through about 4-5 litres of water in a day because it keeps me fuller longer, energizes me and releases toxins within my body. Throughout training my morning clients I have coached, advised and motivated them to stay on track and put them through a hell of a workout, by this point I am hungry. Now two out of five meals are consumed. I may train a few more clients or get my cardio session in before my workout depending on client scheduling and such. By this point I have one more client, a break and then I kick my own butt. This is my favourite part of the day. It's Mel time and I get to reward my body by sweating out toxins and working my muscles the way they were meant to be used. Sometimes I have a hard time getting going with my workout however once I start, my energy levels increase, endorphins get released and I feel alive. I finish my workout with a quick stretch (sometimes) and a nod of satisfaction, another day done! Train a few more clients, eat every two hours and go home to start my food preparation for the next day. This usually takes about an hour to prepare, cook, weigh, and clean everything. Some nights I see friends or my boyfriend John, whom I will grab a coffee with and/or watch a movie. It is now 10:30 pm and I am spent. I have been on my feet all day and i am exhausted. So why do I keep doing it? This crazy routine that I call my lifestyle. Well, it is because I actually love it. The structure and the rigidity keep me on track but mostly it's the results.  The way I look and feel at the end of each day is priceless. Within a year I have watched my body transform into a different shape, I have more than doubled my strength and I have gained more confidence in every aspect of my life. Having accomplished one more mini goal in the grand scheme of my overall outcome is indescribable. My goal: I want my pro card. Wanting this comes with making sacrifices and specific choices in terms of relationships, social gatherings, travelling,  etc. Nothing worth having comes without a price, it just depends on what you're willing to do to get it. What do you want? How hard are you willing to work for it?

Happy exercising, competing, weight losing/weight gaining or whatever it is that you're working on right now! Keep at it :-)          

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Do Something That Makes You Uncomfortable

For as long as I can remember I have been terrified to drive. I don't know where the fear comes from but it's there. I didn't get my license until I was twenty one. However, the more I drove the less I was afraid. It sounds like such a simple a concept... Doing something to get over your fear. I have numerous clients who come in on a daily basis and say " I can't do that," after I show them a certain exercise or give them a meal plan to follow. My response is usually something along the lines of "do it anyway." Possibly insensitive on my part but hear me out. You do not get the results you want by selling yourself short. How do you know you Can't do something until you do it?  The only person holding you back from something is yourself. You've it heard a thousand times but what is it going to take to truly sink in? I can almost guarantee that once you do the that one thing that is holding you back, it probably won't be as bad as you thought (or maybe it will and you will never do it again) but at least you can say you tried. So be willing to push yourself to reach your full potential. With that in mind, do that one thing that scares you.

Happy exercising and enjoy the rest of your week :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

you're just naturally skinny...

I have heard this comment on more than one occasion. I can't even begin to describe how much this irritates me. As a trainer and figure competitor I practice what I preach in terms of training daily and eating clean. However, I do have my cheat meals whether that's sushi or chicken wings, but I get right back on track the next day or meal. My point being, I work frigging hard for the body I have! It's a constant journey and lifestyle. So, if you want something bad enough, work hard for it, you'll get the results you want and will stop making excusing for yourself.

Other excuses include: I'm too old, I have kids, I have a cold, etc... It's not a matter of "I can't exercise today, but when can I exercise today." have a great weekend!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dominican Reflection

I just got back from my first trip to the Dominican Republic and before I forget any details about my excursion I feel like it will only be complete once I record and reflect upon my experience.

I went there with no expectations and got blown away by the beautiful countryside, gorgeous people and delicious food. The resort was in the middle of nowhere, and it was required that we take an hour-long bus ride to get there. During the ride, I looked out the window onto the one-way street and saw numerous bikes, people, dogs, markets, and cafes. I have never seen so many people crammed into one block. The houses were nothing near extravagant and yet they provided a home for its inhabitants. Lawns were not perfectly manicured nor were the roads; just the bare minimum.

Upon arrival of the resort, we were greeted with fruit punch and friendly servers. As we wandered to find our rooms, our group exuded excitement and admired the scenary around us. We easily fell into a relaxing routine filled with volleyball, swimming, tanning, drinking and eating, with no where to be and no regard for the time or the date.  

We go to these tropical places to escape our own reality, however what we do not realize is that their reality is much harsher than our own. We get to the leave the tropical island and come home to a country full of money, food and work. The one cleaning lady I spoke with gets one day off every three months. These people work grueling hours every day and they work for next to nothing. One of the vendors I visited, Felix, told me that as long as he has food and family than he is happy. While we complain about the bus being late, or our cell phone not working, these people are more concerned with just getting by. We don’t even realize how blessed we are in Canada.  

I came out with a different perspective and a stronger relationship with my amazing boyfriend. John and I were able to speak honestly and spend quality time together without cell phones, TV’s, or outside stresses. It truly was a test of our relationship and I am happy to say we passed with flying colours. I was able to enhance my friendships because there was no pressure to impress, just honesty and fun company.

Travelling is not only a one time relaxing luxury but also an experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Where to next…?!  

Thursday, 3 November 2011


It has been two weeks since my competition. And let me say that it was one amazing journey. After six months of preparing for show, I cannot help but reflect upon the entire experience and realize that it actually changed me... for the better.  Here are just a few of the things that I have learned:

Patience and hard work really do pay off. Persistence, diligence and discipline are key to being successful as a competitor.

I have discovered who my true friends are and who actually supports me as opposed to who secretly despises me. Who was there for me throughout the entire journey? Who encouraged me to keep going when the going got really tough? Those individuals are the ones that matter and the ones I cherish. Not the catty ones who constantly criticize because they secretly envy what they cannot achieve themselves.

I have realized that every single decision matters. When my friends call me up to go out to the bar, do I join? Knowing full well that there is a possibility of injury and that could put me out of training for weeks. That is unacceptable. Do I attend a thanksgiving dinner, considering I am not that strong with my diet and I know that apple pie will be sitting on the counter? I learned to sacrifice the little things because I saw the bigger picture. There is no room for indefinites or doubts.  

I chose the kind of competitor I wanted to be and how I wanted to represent myself on a daily basis. I discovered my true values and stuck to them whole heartedly. There is so much information out there, and one can only choose a single route. Combing different training strategies, diets and supplements will not get the ideal results. Stick to one strategy and trust the people that know you best i.e. your trainer and coaches.

Based on everything that I have put my body and mind through, I can honestly say that I am ready to do it all again.
I have plunged into my off season and started planning for my next show.

Until next time!

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life. 
- Herbert Otto

Friday, 14 October 2011

Eight Days Out

Eight days out. Yes now I am counting down from single digits. The past two weeks have been an ultimate struggle... to do anything. My co-workers, friends and family have described me as "tired." However (if I had the energy to argue), tired is an under statement. I have been utterly exhausted with no ability to concentrate or grasp simple concepts due to the low body fat and lower carb diet. I think at some point your body just can't take it any more, and that's when you really have to push yourself. I truly under estimated the  mental capability that was required in order to prepare for my first show. When you are physically exhausted, that is when you have to rely on your mind to get through just one more day. This is also when you need to rely on your support network. I have found solitude in talking to my mother, my boyfriend John, my friend Christina, my trainer Kyle, other competitors and friends. But I honestly think my biggest support has come from Christina. My friend and fellow competitor. We are going through the exact same thing at the exact same time, so we can relate to each other in a way that no one else can even begin to understand. It gets me through the day just knowing I am not the only person going through the struggle of dieting and constantly feeling like I got hit by a truck. These things are normal! (for us anyway). I truly cannot express my gratitude for her support and friendship.

It's an amazing experience to push yourself to your maximum limit because it's so uncommon. Many individuals would have given up, but I am so proud to say that I did not. Throughout my downfalls and my difficult days, I kept on trucking.

As I pondered last night about when I first started training back in May, I had a muffin top, a ghetto butt, and a back filled with acne. Now I stand tall and proud to show off my smooth sculpted back and rounded shoulders, my plump and very toned bottom, and my solid calves. I have not only spent gruelling hours in the gym training hard, I have also worked hard outside the gym by preparing my meals daily and dragging tupperware around with me for five whole months to achieve this body. This has been far from easy. Throughout all of this training, cooking, dieting, crying, sweating, and dragging my butt, I can honestly say that I can't wait for my next show! Sounds  crazy after all this hard work but in the end I love it! I think only a fellow competitor can truly understand the self satisfaction you get from doing a show(s). Yes, I will enter a solid off season, but in the spring I will come back stronger than ever having a better hold on my diet, nailing my poses and having brought up the weaker points on my body.

Time to enter the last week... Carb depletion time.

Just keep smiling :-)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

One Month To Go!

I am officially at the four week mark pre-contest. These are the toughest weeks yet. I know shortly my carbs will get depleted and I will become a grumpy, emotional, irrational mess of a woman. I can already feel the exhaustion in my body having hit close to 13% body fat. Simple day to day tasks are draining such as walking down the street, doing groceries, and doing the dishes. Quite frankly, I am trying to conserve as much energy as possible whenever I can.

I have been practicing my posing daily and getting comfortable walking in those damn heels. All body parts have to remain tight, but it has to look graceful all at the same time and not as if you're in excruciating pain.... Bum out, tummy in, lats out, quads flexed, hands relaxed, and smile. Co-ordination has never been my strong suit, but I will nail this because I worked too damn hard (and spent a lot of money) to look like a clutz on stage.

I am starting to get sick of dieting and I am literally counting down the days until I can have my nachos, chicken wings, and cheesecake. I am almost ready to embrace the off season and put on a few extra pounds. This has been such a long training journey that I can't believe it is almost over. It's crazy how hard and long you work for something and it comes down to three minutes on stage. Every rep you did or didn't do, every ounce of chicken eaten, every hour of sleep... all of those things factor into the physique presented on stage in those few crucial minutes.

Anyway, I am ready to grind out another week at the gym and put the finishing touches on my bod.  

Train hard!