Well, I got last place. Yep, 10th out of 10 competitors. Am I bummed out? Yes, sort of, but not as much as I thought I would be. I just can’t get over the fact that I did it, I competed!!! The professional photos from show day were posted on the NPC website and I still can’t believe that’s actually me! I’m so tan and sparkly and glam! My overall score beat out other scores, so if I had competed in multiple divisions I could’ve placed higher, but unfortunately, not in my group of just 10 girls. Not to mention competing in additional divisions means spending significantly more money as you have to pay to play. Since I didn’t win, my sponsor (aka my cheap mom) said she wants her money back so I’m going to try to sell my suit and shoes and send in my stats to Bodybuilding.com in attempts of winning their “Transformation of the Week” contest. Here’s my bio I’m sending in, let’s hope they pick me! read more…
BEFORE: OCTOBER 2015 NOW: MAY 2017
Age: 35 Age: 36
Height: 5’5 Height: 5’5
Weight 135 Weight: 125 lbs
Body fat: unknown Body fat: 13%
I wasn’t always fit. In my 20’s I took up smoking and beer was a staple in my diet. I never walked anywhere I could drive, I took elevators, and I LOVED sleeping in. After being accepted into nursing school I decided a change was necessary, I couldn’t be a fat nurse smelling of cigarettes lecturing patients on their health habits. So my husband and I challenged each other with a series of bets and with the help of weight lifting and calorie counting, we each dropped 20-30 pounds. At my heaviest I was 155, after losing the weight I maintained steady at 130 pounds until I became pregnant in my early 30’s.
With each pregnancy I maintained a healthy lifestyle and gained an appropriate amount of weight (20-30 lbs each time) which was very easy to lose after the first baby with just exercise and breastfeeding. My second baby arrived when I was 34 years old and I was surprised when the weight didn’t automatically fall off with breastfeeding as it had before. I again went back to my old challenge method, where I set a goal and a date for myself. This time the goal was running in an Obstacle Course Race, which required both endurance and strength. I had always worked out and lifted weights but I began incorporating a lot of body weight exercises and circuit training. I researched “how to do a pull up” and found several articles on training for women to build upper body strength, something I knew the obstacles would require. 100 days later, race day arrived and I was able to complete every obstacle on my first attempt and I felt ready for a more difficult race. I signed up for a Spartan Sprint that would take place about 3 months later. Again, I trained specifically for endurance, upper body strength, and agility. My husband built me a pull up bar/incline monkey bar system in the garage and for Christmas I got gymnastics rings which we strung up in the garage adding to our ninja warrior style home gym. I completed the Spartan race and failed just one obstacle, the spear toss (I mean really, how does one practice the spear toss at home?) and again signed up for another Spartan to try to beat my own time. The next race was several months away so in the mean time I needed another goal to focus on, so why not sign up for a bodybuilding bikini competition?
Years ago I used to work out at a bodybuilding gym and had attended some shows and it was always in the back of my mind, what would it be like to be one of those people on stage? When I was actively losing the weight in my 20’s I used to spend hours at my boring old desk job reading the “Transformation of the Week” entries. Flash forward a decade later and I did it! I transformed into one of THOSE people!
I began training in February for a May show, giving me just 10 weeks to become a bikini competitor. The catch was I was going to do it all on my own, no trainer, no nutritionist, no posing coach- just me and Google. I kept a blog as my record (NaptimeRenegade.com) with weekly photos and training plans. It helped me to vent and also stay accountable as people followed me virtually on my journey. I first assessed what I was working with by doing a hydrostatic body fat test which showed I was at 16% body fat. My goal was to be 10-13%, which is what I read most bikini girls are at show day. I then decided on a lifting plan to help me build more muscle and definition. The plan I settled on was a 12-week program where I lifted lower weights and higher reps for 4 weeks, then progressively heavier weights and drop reps for another 4 weeks, and the final 4 weeks had me lifting the heaviest weights ever for just 3 sets of 4-6 reps. For example, in the beginning I could curl 20 lb dumbbell and by the end of the plan I curled 35 lb dumbbells, granted just for a few reps, but still, I felt like a beast next to the dad bods at the YMCA where I work out (they offer amazing free childcare!!!). In the end, my second hydrostatic body fat test showed I was up 3.8 lbs of muscle mass, down 2.8 lb of fat and sitting at 13% body fat and oddly enough I hadn’t lost a single pound on the regular home scale!!!! On show day I was 123 lb (about 2 lbs shy of my standard 125 thanks to a little dehydration that last day pre show). I didn’t place, not even close, I came in last in my novice division and the competition was stiff. But I could not be prouder because I did it alone and I fit in on stage with girls who trained longer with professionals. With the help of many articles from Bodybuilding.com, I taught myself about carb cycling, calculating macronutrients, heavy lifting plans, and I watched endless video tutorials from pro girls on how to pose and walk on stage.
Toward the end of my prep I paid a visit to my primary care doc and had my labs checked just to ensure all was well with this high protein, carb cycling diet. Not only was everything fine, my labs had never looked better. My overall cholesterol had gone from 168 to just 88 and both my triglycerides and LDL were all lower as well.
As a Registered Nurse and a mom I am a role model for my patients and my family whether I want to be or not. I’m 36 years old and have two kiddos under 4 and am in the best shape of my life. When I see my daughter flexing her muscles like mama it makes me so happy to know that I’m instilling healthy habits and that she can see mom set goals and knock them down.
I don’t know if I’ll do another bikini show, for now I’m focusing on training for my next obstacle race and cardio endurance (I still hate running though I am significantly faster these days). But competing in an NPC show and becoming the “Female Transformation of the Week” winner would fulfill a long time goal for me bringing it all full circle.
Example Diet and Workout Plan for Bikini Prep
*LOW CARB DAY- 1200-1300 cals a day
Breakfast: 4 oz chicken breast, 1 fried egg, 1 oz sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli/cauliflower, 2 tbsp salsa
Lunch: 6 oz chicken breast, 1 oz sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli/cauliflower, 2 tbsp Italian dressing
Dinner: 8 oz chicken breast, 1 cup greens, 1 cup broccoli/cauliflower, 2 hardboiled egg whites, 2 tbsp hot wing sauce
Snacks: 1 Kirkland Signature protein bar, ½ tbsp peanut butter
*HI CARB DAY- 1500 cals
Breakfast: 1 slice multigrain toast, 2 oz sweet potato mash, 2 hardboiled egg whites, 5 oz fuit on bottom Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup Fiber One cereal
Lunch: 8 oz chicken breast, 2 oz sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli/cauliflower, 1 flour tortilla, 2 tbsp salsa
Dinner: 6 oz chicken breast, 1 cup greens, 2 oz sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli/cauliflower, 2 tbsp salsa
Snacks: 2 Kirkland Signature protein bars and 1 Fuji apple
1-1.5 gallons water
1 scoop BPI Sports Best BCAA powder
1 scoop Bulk Supplements Pure L-Glutamine Powder
Magnesium 500 mg/Calcium 1000 mg
Women’s Daily vitamin
Krill oil 500 mg
TruNature Digestive Probiotic
Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat lifting days- alternating lower and upper body
Tues/Thur- active rest days (work my 12 hour shift as hospital RN)
Sunday- family bike ride or hike
I incorporated 15-20 min of cardio the last few weeks of prep as I didn’t want to burn off any of the new hard earned muscle I was putting on and I hate running.