Now where did I put my stripper shoes?

This is not a question I thought I would ever ask myself, but yes, those clear high heels fitness competitors wear are in fact bone fide “dancing” shoes. Mine came from seduction on Yonge Street. Actually, I didn’t think I would ever wear them twice, so they were soon relegated to a forgotten corner of my storage locker. I only intended to do one fitness competition. Just to see if I could do it. Plus the glamour of it all was alluring.

It was less than a year ago I had the conversation about competing with my coach Ana. I had just completed her eight-week weight loss program through Build My Body Beautiful and was buoyed by my accomplishment. I had been struggling with my weight for most of my adult life and finally felt like this goal was more than a pipe dream.

Posing like a champ after my first show on May 14, 2016. Cheesy perhaps, but everyone does it I swear!

Ana gave me an honest low-down of what prepping for a bikini competition was like. I was looking at at least four months of grueling workouts, five to six times a week. A strict diet that nixed wheat, sugar, dairy. And wine. That one was the hardest to accept. She asked me if I thought I could do it and I replied, there’s only one way to find out. I really didn’t know if I could, but unless you commit to a goal, you never really know what you can do. I was 38 and a half-year-old so I figured it was now or never.

I only planned to step on stage once. I didn’t even care if I placed, I just wanted to look like one of those impossibly lean, sculpted and confident fitness competitors, decked out in glittering costume jewelry and crystal encrusted bikinis. I was a bit embarrassed about how much I wanted to wear the get up.

Long story short: I did it and I won first place in the masters bikini division. So, mission accomplished right? Well, after months of dreaming about the food I couldn’t have and the relaxing weekends I had to forgo, I started to miss the discipline of a strict training regime. I also started to think that maybe working in fitness was my calling. Not to mention, I missed how my abs looked. So no sooner had I put my stripper shoes somewhere in my storage locker I decided I would do it again. And soon.

Partly the reason was financial: competing is expensive, but being able to wear the same posing suit, and shoes, and using my Ontario Physique Association membership, which is required to enter, I would be saving almost $1000. Not to mention the unused supplements in my pantry (no one’s ever died from expired fish oil, amiright?).

Last time I competed I didn’t tell many people. At first it was simply because I wasn’t sure I would go through with it and didn’t want to look like a flake. Secondly, I was looking forward to the day I could post a bikini-clad picture of myself to Facebook and have maximum impact. This time is quite the opposite. I was surprised how interested people were in the whole competing thing. I have never had so many people ask me about my diet, my exercise routines and whether or not I drank wine (sorry ladies I did not!).

So this time I’m going to blog every step of the way. I hope this blog will be useful to anyone who is either thinking of competing, maybe not in fitness but anything that takes a lot of discipline, or for anyone who just wants to make a change in their life. There may be a few who just want to witness me suffering and that’s ok too!

As of September 5 my stats so far are: 142 pounds. 14.5% body fat. Twelve weeks to go (my show is on November 26 by the way).

My trainer this time around is Ivan, Ana’s partner, so it will be interesting to see a different perspective on the preparation. They have also just developed a new training app, through which he will be delivering the program. After completing the first week of super low carb meals, I’m now on a pretty standard carb-cycling plan, along with two days a week of bootcamp, three days of weights and two days of rest. So far pretty do-able but I know it will get tougher as we get closer to the big day. Twelve weeks is actually pretty short window for a competition so the intensity will increase pretty quickly.

I will be posting lots of progress photos, meals and workouts so follow along if you dare! If you have any questions at all about the process please drop me a line. I’d love to hear your questions, thoughts and comments!