2017 IFBB NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
MASTERS FIGURE 50 - 6th Place
MASTERS FIGURE 40 - 10th Place
I competed in my first National competition on August 31st (2017). To say it was an awe-inspiring experience doesn't begin to cover it. I was absolutely blown away and honored to be amongst such stunning competition.
I am so pleased to have placed as well as I did amongst such high-caliber competitors. I am also extremely pleased with the much-improved package I brought to stage and with the progress made over the last 8 months.
If you want the best coach going, or want to get healthy and get in shape, I can't recommend Cheryl Davis Fitness highly enough. I promse, you wont' be sorry.
Having said that, I'm not done yet. Now it's time to work!
Models Observer requested an interview recently and I am flattered that they included me in their online publication.
The article can be found here:
2016 ELITE MUSCLE CLASSIC
MASTERS 50 - 1ST PLACE
MASTERS 45 - 2ND PLACE
MASTERS 35 - 3RD PLACE
2016 KENTUCKY MUSCLE
MASTERS 50 - 1ST PLACE
MASTERS 40 - 3RD PLACE
I AM MY OWN COMPETITION
My husband took this while I was meal prepping. He wanted me to see what he sees. As per my norm, the closer I get to a competition, the less "ready" I think I'll be. He knows how to make me feel better. ❤️ I can honestly say I have made significant gains this year no matter what happens at the upcoming competitions.
The picture on the left is exactly one year later than the picture on the right. I have spent a solid year focusing on making gains. I'm thrilled at the progress I've made in the last year and the growth I've had - thanks to a knowledgeable coach and a supportive husband. These two competitions coming up (in 3 and 4 weeks) really are about me v. me.
Fit Chicks and Lipsticks
COMPETITORS... We can work together to compliment your makeup and your suit. Makeup that will NOT smear, sweat, or crease ALL DAY while you compete. It's unlike anything out there, made to stay on and is natural and good for your skin!
Send me a pic of your suit and I will give you a custom makeup suggestion. 👙💄🙋🏻
10% off if you order before the show! I will be at KY Muscle as well.
Send me a pic of your suit and I will give you a custom makeup suggestion. 👙💄🙋🏻
10% off if you order before the show! I will be at KY Muscle as well.
2016 Competition Season
I decided not to compete for a full year to work on gaining some size this year. Although I've done well at the competitions I've done, it's apparent that I'm small compared to other competitors. There are A LOT of reasons for that. First, my age. Second, my genetics. Third, I didn't start lifting until late in life.
5 Reasons You Are Not Ready for a National Competition
A Very Good Article I Saw Today - "Stop! Are You About To Compete In A Bodybuilding Show?"
Grammar and spelling aside, this is a good look at competing and whether it's for you or not. I will say, I've been through almost all of what this author describes, but I was very fortunate to find a coach who I do gel with and whom I trust implicitly.
STOP! ARE YOU ABOUT TO COMPETE IN A BODYBUILDING SHOW?
- March 19, 2016
- By: Nikki Wetherell
This is what you need to know before you compete!
When I first started out on my competition journey I was pretty naive. Although I was a PT looking back I realize that my knowledge was pretty limited in comparison to now. I hadn’t been a PT long, only a couple of years so I was very new to the industry. Before becoming a PT I was an infrequent gym goer and had lost 4st and gone from a size 18 to a comfortable size 10 after my children were born.
I want to share this information with you because I LOVE COMPETING but it has some BIG pitfalls (and some wonderful highs) you need to consider before hiring a coach. Once you’ve competed and got your body in to incredible shape you’ll have a whole host of post comp challenges to deal with that you’ll have never imagined when you started your journey.
It’s important to find the right person that can support you both in comp prep and importantly post comp. As a side note – be sure to allow post comp coaching in to your budget when planning for a show.
The knowledge needed to sculpt the body and to use nutrition to help shape and change the body is vast. Over the last 3 years I have learnt a massive amount both about nutrition and training to sculpt the body but also about the emotional side of prep that I want to share with. I’m constantly striving to learn as much as I can to give my clients the most up to date programs and chance of success. I’ve learnt how to do thing the right way from learning the hard way.
THE UGLY TRUTH
As with anything there’s a good side and a bad side.
The prep and post comp process means many people struggle with some of the following issues. Nonstop thinking about food and eating disorders. Feeling guilty if you think you’ve not quite pushed hard enough in the gym or have to miss a session through illness. Not eating at social events, taking your tupperware with you or avoiding any social event all together for fear of judgment or falling of the comp prep wagon.
Body image issues, constant ab / mirror checks and comparing yourself to others. Being overwhelmed with self-doubt. Towards the end of prep you’re likely to be very tired. Although you will look amazing, you’ll miss not being able to lift as heavy – but you’ll build that back up quickly post comp. Then there’s the post comp blues and struggling to love your body once you’re not stage lean anymore. After that there’s the rebounding if you don’t reverse diet properly and water retention if you’ve gone nuts with post comp treats and booze.
That may come across as really negative, I don’t mean it to, it’s just the reality on what you’re embarking on. Like I said at the beginning, I really love competing but there are things I didn’t have a clue about when I first started that I wish I’d known. I still would have competed but as the saying goes – fore armed is fore warned.
Wow the good bits are great! Being part of a challenge that’s really requires your focus and dedication is a real driver. If your like me and need a goal to push yourself and aren’t scared of hard work it’s awesome.
I met some really fantastic people that continue to inspire me every day. I’ve never met anyone mean or noticed any bitching back stage. Everyone has a real respect for each other because of the dedication and work it takes to step on stage. Many people are not competing for the vanity, but because they are using it to overcome something or to feel empowered for their own unique reason. If you get chatting to people there’s some really amazing reasons people compete.
It can open up some great opportunities too. If you’re wanting to become a fitness model it’s a great way to get noticed. There are lots of work possibilities, sponsorship’s and ambassadorships up for grabs, just make sure you’re not being taken advantage off!
Obviously being in the best shape of your life and feeling incredible is the ultimate reward. Seeing your body changing every day is really fascinating, especially close to comp when you’re really lean and can really see and feel how food changes what you look like.
I felt incredible. I was so proud of myself and what I’d achieved. Not just because of the aesthetic aspect but because I’d really worked hard and given all I could to it and it payed off. Placing in my shows, aside from having my children and getting married, has to be one of the best experiences of my life. The competition was tough and I was totally buzzing from my achievements.
This may sound a bit cheesy but it really important to remember it’s about the journey and finding out how hard you can work and push your self is really empowering.
MY FIRST COACH
Before I go any further with sharing my comp journey please know that it is just that. My experience, my journey. I’m not criticizing anyone. The following story is just factual information about my preparation for shows and finally finding a coach I loved before going it alone. I’ve got a lot of respect for the people that have helped me along the way and what I have learned from each of them.
I’m great at getting my regular clients results but going in to Bodybuilding competitions was a completely different ballgame so I decided to take on a coach.
I first started competing 3 years ago and took on a coach to help me. A really lovely and inspirational guy. He pushed me in the gym and I still have a lot of respect for him but looking back with experience it wasn’t ‘stage prep’
The training was great, I really enjoyed it but it wasn’t specific for a female to step on stage and didn’t look at sculpting areas of the body that needed improving. I think at the time he was still really new to it too and we all start somewhere. Unfortunately, not having the right coach at the beginning set me up for a fall in the long run as it causes such damage being on such low calories for a long time. At that time I knew no better though I was new o the industry.
I was put on VERY low calories which meant poor macros from the beginning. When I added up the nutrition plan I was given at the time it came to about 800 calories and didn’t have the basic nutritional requirement a woman needed. On top of the low cals I was doing a tough training sessions plus cardio and looking after my children, working & running a home. This really started to affect my hormones very quickly. To be in the best possible position for comp prep, you need to start of the on the highest amount of calories possible so you have room to manipulate calories and macros to prevent plateaus in progress, fat loss and avoid long term metabolic damage.
Come peek week (the week of comp for newbies to this) I wasn’t given any advice on preparing for stage or a peek week plan, about water loading, carb loading, supplements etc.
Through prep I did lose fat and gain some muscle, but looking back on my stage pics I looked watery, not lean enough (especially on the legs and bum) and I wasn’t ready. However, my first couple of shows were for myself and about finding out if it was something I wanted to do. It was just for fun I never set out to place it was just for the experience.
I had fallen in love with competing and after that I started to look for someone that specifically prepped girls for shows. I set a date to do the Miami Pro Championships and chose a trainer that gave me my first real training and nutrition plan specifically for competing. My progress improved loads and the training and posing advice was fantastic. She’s got a world class team now that are just incredible but I didn’t feel like we jelled well.
I’m not naturally a slim girl I put on muscle well but I also find it very tough to lose body fat. I felt my slow progress frustrated her from her messages and although I really gave everything I had, it was never good enough. I wasn’t her ideal client. As it got closer to my planned show I ended up on low calories again, on a Ketogenic diet and 2 hours cardio plus a 90 mins weights session. I could barely function.
Comp preps hard but it was crazy how tired I was. I looked great but I was exhausted and barely able to put one food in front of the other. I had built up to that show for 18 months and gave it everything I had. I was happy even if she wasn’t. On show day I was so proud of myself. I didn’t place and I’ll admit I was disappointed but I saw where I needed to improve and had 3 weeks until my next show to do it.
I pushed forwards and looked forwards to Pure Elite where I was determined to place and again gave it all I had. I stuck to my nutrition plan, training was tough but I never once quit even with the 2 hours fasted cardio a day. A week before the show she messaged me after my check in to say I was too fat to compete. To me that was disgusting and incredibly unprofessional of her to say, plus untrue. I was totally stage ready.
On the day of the show I was incredibly sick. I developed an intolerance to sweet potato through being on a Ketogenic diet and threw up for 5 hours strait. Even in the car on the way there. At one point I was laying on the side of the road, in the rain, tan running sobbing. I had to decide whether to go home or just get on with it. I’m not a quitter so of course we carried on, pile of plastic bags in hand. Despite my endless messages to her asking what I should try and eat to stop me looking flat, she never once messaged me back. I felt so let down. Whether she wanted me to compete or not I deserved better than that.
Thanks to a lovely coach back stage I managed to eat some chicken and step on stage for all the category’s I entered. Bikini and Fitness Model, Yummy Mummy & theme wear. Fitness Model was where I wanted place. I love the more muscular harder look at that had been what I was working towards.
Although I was really wobbly and not well back stage, I pumped up, did what I needed to do and once I stepped beyond those curtains I was determined to own the stage as if nothing had happened.
I went on place to 4th in the Fitness Model and theme wear categories. I was really thrilled as there was about 30 girls in the fitness model category and it was a really tough line up. I was buzzing, I still do whenever I think about the first time I placed.
I didn’t even get a congratulations from my coach at the time.
FINDING A COACH I LOVED
Post show I had a shoot so I stayed on track for an extra day but after that I binged badly. I indulged in everything I missed for 2 days. I got really bad edema from going from being really dehydrated and on no carbs to eating whatever I wanted. I’d gone from shredded to putting on a few pounds quite quickly but the water retention was awful.
I decided to contact the coach who helped me back stage and joined their team. I spent a year with them and they helped me a lot. I did more comps. More than I should have really. My body had been so stretched from the mistakes made with my first two coaches and after 5 back to back shows, my body just wasn’t responding well and was desperate for a break.
I ended up getting Pleurisy from being so run down. Tunnel visioned on my next show I didn’t take much time off and went back in to prepping despite my coach suggesting I should take some time out. I still regret not listening to her advice then but there’s nothing I can do about it now except remember the lesson.
My coach supported me in my decision to compete again and I did another 2 shows. Pure Elite and UKUP where I placed 2nd in Fitness and 4th in Bikini. I knew after that I needed a rest and have spent some time on building up some more muscle, repairing my metabolism and getting my body firing up properly after a long stretch of competing. Doing show after show for a long period is really tough on your body. To look after your health take serious consideration about how many shows you do with out a break in between.
MY FIRST OFF SEASON – when shit hit the fan
Probably my biggest learning curve of it all. I’ve had to re learn normality. Eating to fuel my body to build muscle and accept that I can’t be stage lean all the time. That to build muscle and be healthy you can’t be in a massive calorie deficit all the time which means not being totally ripped. Although it’s awesome to have loads more strength and lift heavier in training, it’s bloody hard to get your head around.
I decided to coach/prep myself. I knew that I can do it and have been getting great results from my own clients. It was time to take responsibility for myself. I knew for a while it was time to go it alone but it was REALLY scary!
I’ll be totally honest. In my first off season there were days I’ve cried in front of my wardrobe because my clothes were tight. I kept thinking back to where I’d been a few months before and how I looked at that moment. I felt so out of control. It was horrible. I was really disappointed in myself. Actually I was just looking normal. But going from fitness model look to normal look takes adjustment I hadn’t I hadn’t realized.
I had started to get recognized from social media where I lived and became paranoid that when I went out I was going to be judged for not being as lean as I was. I really hated to go out and although I was training hard I felt like people would think I’d got fat.
Without realizing it at first I had started to use food to make myself feel better. It wasn’t much, not huge binges but enough to make a bit of a difference to 1) my weight as my metabolism was burnt out, and 2) realizing I’d lost control and needed to get my shit together. 3) How much competing had affected my relationship with food.
I also got diagnosed with IBS. I had overdone the coffee, so many athletes rely on it for energy when you’re tired and I would put sweetener in for a sweet hit. I wasn’t having many treats as I was still in ‘restriction mode’. It was hard to break the habit of competing and eat ‘normally’ I had also used a lot of whey protein, quest bars and the occasional pre work out was just too much sweetener for my body. Some people may be able to tolerate it but it’s not good for me personally.
I recognized my eating issues and have developed strategies to overcome the urges. Once I realised what I had been doing it didn’t take long for me to get back on top of things. From a teenager I had used food when I was feeling down as a way of controlling things.
It’s really important to share with your coach if you have a history of eating disorders. It’s something to consider very carefully as competing will only magnify and underlying problems. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t compete or that they will flare up, but just be honest with your coach and be aware of any triggers so you can manage them or recognize and potential signs. Ultimately your long term health is more important than 20 minutes on stage.
Competition Prep - My Coach
I am lucky to have Cheryl Davis as my coach. I have been with Cheryl for well over a year now. I cannot imagine ever switching coaches. Her workouts are amazing and spot on for my physique. Her knowledge of personalized diet prep are beyond comparison. She LISTENS to you. She pays attention. In addition, Cheryl is warm, intelligent and kind. She cares about your whole being, not just what you’re going to bring to the stage. My physique, posing and stage presence have steadily improved through her guidance, direction and coaching. All you need to do is scroll through my competition photos for proof of that! There is none better than Cheryl Davis.