I was a competitively trained dancer since the age of 11, (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip hop, Contemporary) I danced up to 4 days per week for long hours perfecting routines and training technique and flexibility. I had always been so involved in dancing and loved the competing aspect of it. I never really had any other interests in sports or ever dreamed of hitting up a gym. Once I was past the age limit to compete locally, I knew that dancing would only take me so far, I began to really miss the social interaction, feeling of competing and the physically demanding routine I was so used to.
In 2009 I decided to try out "the gym" I had seen so many photos online of other girls who lived in my area prepping for these "figure" competitions. I was just starting to learn about what "figure" was, the posing, the dieting, tanning, suits etc. I was fascinated by the whole idea and I never wanted to look like a bodybuilder per se but this seemed to really catch my eye. I began following their progress, I was so inspired by their photos standing on stage in these beautiful sparkly outfits displaying their muscular development, I thought "I want to do that!" I began working out at least 5 days per week, weight training with a little bit of cardio here and there, doing research online, learning different training techniques, and what kind of diets and foods to eat that best built muscle.
I became more and more "obsessed" you could say about training and trying to make gains, eat right, and meeting other competitors who had done shows in my area. They were so supportive and had plenty of advice to share with me and help me along the way. In 2011 I stepped on stage for my first ever competition where I placed 2nd in the Bikini Tall Division at the NSABBA provincial show. The week after I entered the 2011 Atlantic Classic Championships, a show where all of the Atlantic Provinces are invited to compete against each other (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland). I placed 3rd in the Bikini Medium Division out of 15 tough competitors.
I was extremely proud of my placings as all the hard work and dedication had really paid off. I knew this was just the beginning for me!
I currently do weight training 5 days per week of HEAVY LIFTING, with a powerlifting approach!) and usually try to fit in 30 minutes of cardio either before or after my workout or 60 minutes during show prep. I prefer to train at night (not much of an early bird) as far as energy goes.
I love the challenges it gives me to increase my lifts and stick to a goal. It has become more than a hobby for me but a growing passion to attain the type of muscular look I seek from pro athletes. There is no better feeling than seeing the results of hard work in the gym. It's the time you put aside for your workout where you can block out any stressful situations and focus on what you enjoy. "I always regret when I don't go to the gym, but never regret when I do."
I have much more energy to get through my day and my workout for that matter when I eat clean. Most people will only see the desired changes in their bodies if they stick to a consistent clean eating lifestyle while working out. Without the two you aren't doing your body justice. I always have a goal in mind even if it's months down the road, trying to be consistent with eating habits is the key to reaching those goals.
After going through my first competition it has just spiraled from there to keep pushing forward, like I mentioned before I feel like this is just the beginning for me. I love seeing the changes in my body, muscle development and strength gains. It's a lot of personal gratification for me.
My future goals are to continue competing, add more muscle to my frame, and try to get my "name" out there. I want to stay involved in the industry as much as I can. I would love to receive a sponsorship along the way and like many dream to turn pro, but one step at a time.
I try to envision what I would like to do (goal wise) whether it be what show I want to enter, what event I want to attend or what I would like to be lifting every few months so I feel like I'm always progressing. Conquer one thing at a time.
Some advice for people who are interested in competing or even if you are just new to the gym. If this is something you truly aspire, don't give up! There will be good days and bad days, but you must push through because it will only get better. If you stick to the goal you have set for yourself there will be much reward at the end of the road. You have to really want it because only YOU can make it happen!
I have a few favourites that I definitely look up to for inspiration and motivation:
Julie Bonnett (WBFF Pro). Julie has been a huge inspiration to me. She knows how to market herself to an audience, she shines with confidence and has the most determination I've ever seen when it comes to her training and diet regimen.
Emily Stirling (WBFF Pro). This WBFF figure Pro is the real deal. She has always inspiring words to share with others about following your dreams. Not to mention she has one amazing physique.
Dana Linn Bailey (IFBB Pro). This chick is hardcore! I love her cutting edge You Tube videos of her amazingly strong lifts and workouts. She has inspired me to get my lifts up and kill my workouts...this girl has got some serious muscle, much like the look I am trying to obtain long term.
I love how Bodybuilding.com has an answer to anything you need to know or buy to help obtain your goals. This site is great and really helped me when I was new to the scene.
Wayne Forrest, WForrest Photography