Sunday, April 26, 2015

Before the show: Competition Prep - 3 wks out to Show Time! Part 1


Hey there fit fam!! 

Needless to say my blogging has been more than sporadic lately. Some days, it's the best I can do to stay on task with workouts, diet, family and work let alone trying to study or blog. Life makes it difficult but I also haven't made it a priority as much. Especially since the hubby has been home. And I'll be honest, some days I am zonked and mentally drained after work! Especially the last few weeks after vacation. Its been pretty...bad at work as far as stress level goes. Usually a workout will clear my head but by then end, its 8:30 or 9:00 at night! The trend lately has been staying at work later and coming in later. Anyone who's been following me any period of time knows I have a hard time being on time haha. It's more or less something I will always work on. And peak week doesn't make that better LOL. 

Like I posted earlier on Facebook and Instagram, this is about where my brain is at currently. And I just want pancakes!
But yes, like the post was titled when i started it, I was 3 weeks from my very first bodybuilding competition! At this point, I am now on day 6 4  1 (well...) before the show!! Eeeeeekkkkk! This is so crazy to me.

I think I mentioned it a while ago but I finally buckled down and registered, then started checking things off my to do list. And man! Let me tell you, 1) it is EXPENSIVE! and 2) there are a lot of things to do! But I'll get to that later. 

So my show, is a natural bodybuilding show with the NANBF, or North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation. Do you know how many times I got that wrong? Haha! I better get it right because guess what? I'm a member! 


The federation itself, unlike other federations or organizations in the sport is completely natural. That means not only is there a list of things that are banned, but to compete in these shows you have to be drug tested. And have a polygraph done. Did I mention I had to schedule that too? Check that off of the list of things to do to get ready for this show. Weeks in advance mind you! Things like contest registration for each class or the show, and all those little details. It adds up quick! 
But the awesome thing about that is it's an even playing field for the best of the best. No offense but anyone can step off the street, use a bunch of substances and surpass Joe Schmo ya know? It is HARD work to be a natural bodybuilder. My metabolism wreaks havoc on me trying to build muscle. Trust me, but in the long run all that hard work has paid off. 

Take this photo for example, this is almost two years of completely natural, no shortcuts bodybuilding. 
No shoulders - to shapely shoulder caps. It's just plain hard work and packing in the food to grow my muscles. I swear it's the simplest concept but people try to make it harder than it is. But that's a topic for another day. 

So what else goes into this process besides a ton of trips to KC and hours of meal prepping and gym time?? The fun girly things duh! Like picking out a suit...That was actually umm well...here's what happened lol. I contacted a "suit lady" months ago and ordered swatches. Or little fabric pieces that slightly resemble the size of your actual suit ;) But seriously. 


So this lady was super nice and responsive, answered my questions and I started chatting about ordering. Sent a few more questions, then waited for a response. And waited. And waited. And waited. And oh look! Its the end of February, my hubs is coming home and I still have no suit! So word to the wise, if you choose Etsy to look for suits DO NOT BUY FROM PINK LABEL BIKINIS!!!! Don't even waste your time contacting her because she will blow you off. Instead contact Liz at Daisy Chick Designs or go through Ravish Sands, which is who made my suit. 


It's GORGEOUS! And I cannot wait for you all to see the color on show day! They did a great job and worked with my time crunch to get my suit made before my show. It came almost 4 weeks ago at this point. It really does make me feel like a bikini competitor, because although my show is only days away, I can't say I truly feel it yet. I feel all the pressure but maybe what I'm looking for will come eventually. Maybe because that's not what my end goal is, or because this is only a very small part of my journey. Don't get me wrong, all of these things I have been doing to get ready and the countdown make it a reality but I guess I just can't believe that the event I have been talking about for 2 years; the possibility that I could even get here it just so surreal. Maybe that's why. 


I mean, hell my 2 year-iversary for my fit-lifestyle change was only 15 days ago (the beginning of April). It's just all happening so fast HAHA!


I've definitely come a long way. So this post actually turned into a "what the hell am I doing, am I ready, HOLY MOLY IT'S HERE" post, but I will say I started this post April 7th LOL. Oops. Fitness isn't my life, but in a way it's the 1 hobby that pretty much my entire routine and lifestyle is based around...Same thing? I don't know, I sure would love to be a professional in the fitness industry. One day...

I digress, and will save the day dreaming/goal talk for another post. That's the priority after this competition anyways. We will talk, I promise. 

So what else do you have to think about to prepare for your first bikini competition? A lot. That's what HA!

Make sure to book your tan and hair/makeup appointments early to get the spot you want. Count $120 for tan and around $75 for each of those services but makeup was so worth it! Heres a peek at that.


You have your contest fees, little things to put in your bags for show day like butt glue (seriously), posing heels from a legit stripper store, jewelry, and big black baggy clothing- I got mine printed with my sponsors logo of course! #teamnz


You can't do fleece clothing either unless you want little black fuzz-balls all over you (note to future competitors!). I have heard horror stories! No one wants a fuzzy competitor-- speaking of this...hang on we will get to that. So I opted for nylon/polyester loose jogging pants and a $5 polyester pullover from the walmart Men's section. Yup! I'm not paying lots more money for something that will have oompa-loompa tan all over it after this is done. Not to mention the supplements I have to replenish all the time and lots of little bitty things that add up! Some of it is so fun though! 


My gorgeous bracelet and accessories like the black satin robe from Glam Competition Jewelry! They're the best! And my awesome lifesaver of a posing coach helped me pick out earrings and a ring. 

So I mentioned a ton of trips to KC...Ladies and gents, if you cannot present your body on that stage, then you may as well not do it. One word = Posing. You pose until you cannot pose anymore, then do it some more. You pose until you run out of time to practice. And find someone who knows what they are doing! I had to seek out a coach at the gym I train out of in KC because they are legit the best. And my coach knows what the heck she is doing. There are a ton of minute details you wouldnt think to watch for, until you get a good coach watching your every move. Hands relaxed, transition speed, model walk, shoulders front, the list goes on. But it's ok because if you plan ahead, find a good coach, and start way early like I did. You will be ready. Trust me. I don't feel like it but things can always improve, and when your coach says "Rachel, you're ready." I am not going to doubt her. You want to at least get in the practice because doing it on stage is a whole different ball game! For me anyways. But look for a after-comp post and I'll tell ya all about it! 

So what else, oh yeah...don't you want to capture this experience and the best shape of your life??? You need a photographer. I found a great guy in town and he did my first fitness type shoot last Sunday. And yes I will be posting my photos so you all can see!

Here is a preview! I may make a portfolio tab to post them :D






I probably would have opted for Saturday for the shoot, but we were in KC again because I had my polygraph test Sunday morning for the organization. Remember when I said it was a completely natural org and contest? Yep! A private investigator administered my polygraph test. I did mention to him my education was in psychology and I had taken a testing class previously hehe. He said, 'Yeah psychologists arent real fans of polygraphs." I won't say much here haha. I thought it was quite comical. Any of my classmates out there may have gotten a chuckle. And we went ahead and registered me early while we were there. 


Checking things off the list! Because believe me - you DO NOT want that added stress on show day. 

Oh and make sure you have more cash on you to pay for the judges comments! As if you don't pay for enough already. But that will probably be some of the best $10 I spent the entire time. Besides for my posing coach, seriously. 

Anyways needless to say a lot goes into competing, because we didn't even talk diet or workouts. I actually will not be giving diet advice specific to what I did for my show prep. You know why? Because everyone is different. It has taken me SO long to come to terms with the fact that I won't look like someone else. You can only work with what your coach tells you and what your body will do and react to. Everyone is different! My abs will not be shaped or show like anyone I follow. I won't have the same process as someone else. For example, I started at week 6-7 on a strict-er plan and didn't start cutting things out until 4-5 weeks out. It got more strict along the way, but not everyone is like this. And hell I probably won't be for my next prep! Some people prefer to stay full (with carbs) the whole way, some coaches deplete their athletes (too much), and some just have a good balance of high-low in a healthy way. None of the "prep life" is healthy long term though. You can't stay contest lean year round because let's face it, the low body fat levels and manipulations to make you look like that for one day is just not healthy. The peak of someone's physique on show day or for a shoot is so fat away from where someone needs to be normally. Without going off on a tangent, you can stay leaner while building muscle if done the right way and very carefully. The best advice I can give coming off of a show prep is to seek out someone knowledgable in nutrition and the healthy way to get to show day. A Certified nutritionist with experience in these things will know exactly what to do to guide you to show day and for reversing after. 



Anyways I had every intention of posting this way before contest but life happens! Stay tuned for an after update with lots of pictures!