I grew up playing soccer competitively, ran cross-country, and track. I never thought about eating and exercise. I hit my 20s and the days of constantly being active were over. I became lazy and let myself eat as if I were still in high school. I packed on pounds and that became my new normal weight.
I tried to work out here and there, but never followed a regular schedule. Every now and then, I'd get a bit of motivation and run for a few days in a row and do what I thought was healthy eating. It never lasted. In March of 2012, my husband and I decided to go on a cruise. The cruise was booked and I was sitting in a hotel on a work-related trip. I found myself watching an Insanity commercial with Shaun T. Something inside me lit up and I was determined to complete Insanity and follow the diet plan. I immediately ordered it and got started.
After completing Insanity, I felt proud of my results, but I wanted more. That's when a friend talked me into competing at the NPC. I was up for the challenge and ready to rock. I found a trainer, got started, and never looked back. Since then, I've competed in two competitions. I placed fourth in my class at the Ancient City Classic, and took first at the Dexter Jackson Classic, which qualified me to compete at nationals.
I feel confident, happy with my looks, and even happier with the way I feel. I'm extremely proud of myself and what I've accomplished by staying motivated and committed. I posted my transformation pictures on Facebook after my competition and received more feedback than I could've ever imagined. I inspired my sister to begin a workout plan from Bodybuilding.com and my mom started a fitness plan too. It wasn't my intention to start a journey for anyone but myself, but I'm excited to see my hard work motivating others.
My husband is in the Navy and was deployed at the beginning of May. I wanted the best body ever by the time he got home. He knew I was going to train and compete in bikini competitions before he left, but neither of us knew how my body would change and what I'd look like. He's still gone and has no idea what his wife looks like now.
There were days when I thought about quitting because I was tired of dieting and didn't want to step foot in the gym. I made myself finish and kept focus on my long-term goal. I thought of all the hard work I put in and don't want to go through it again. I'd make myself push through a workout, skip the cookies, and eat asparagus. I was determined to get the body I wanted, and to "wow" my husband when he got home from deployment.
The diet challenged me most. I was addicted to candy, soda, and fast food before. During Insanity, I cheated the diet a few times a week, but when I got into bikini training mode, I wasn't allowed to cheat. There were a times I was tempted, but I stuck to chewing sugar-free gum. I basically own every flavor and it's great for my sweet tooth.
I plan to compete at the national level in the NPC and see where my future goes from there. For now, this is what I'm focused on, in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. I never want to go back to the lazy lifestyle or go through the rough journey to get to this point again.
My advice is to stick with it no matter what. Think of it as your job. You have to go to the gym, follow your diet, and wake up early for cardio. Looking at pictures of IFBB bikini girls motivated me to get off my butt and work out. Push yourself past your limit. The feeling of achievement is worth every drip of sweat and sacrifice.
My brother introduced me to BodySpace and it became a source of extreme motivation. I searched for other girls who were entering their first competition to see what they were going through. It was nice to connect with others who had similar goals.
I read tons of articles on bikini competitions and what to expect at the competition. Reading these articles got me excited and motivated to work harder. The Store was great and allowed easy access to supplements at great prices. It was an easy one-stop shop.