Official Blog of Allison Ethier

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Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Official blog of Allison Ethier NSCA Personal Trainer, ISSN Sport Nutrition, Educator & Mom

23 September 2008

My new goals

This year I won' t be attending the Olympia - as it is just not a good time of year for me to keep taking off 3 to 5 days to attend these events. Perhaps it will be best to save the Olympia as an event I will attend for first time if I managed to get my pro card, and then a bid to go to the Olympia as an IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete.

As you are all aware I have decided to go for my IFBB Pro card. I did compete in the CBBF Fitness Nationals again this year, placing 3rd. I had placed 5th in the previous CBBF Fitness Nationals so my ranking is going in the right direction. I had competed for CBBF in 1999 and 2000 but there were so many girls back then (figure did not exist yet), that I kinda got lost in the mix. I would like to say that I am somehow coming full circle as I am returning to the organization I originally started with.

I am choosing this past as I feel that my time with the other federations have been wonderful but I am looking for a new challenge. I have had a fantastic time with Fitness America, FAME, World Natural Sports, Ms. Fitness, Neutron Sports, Women's Tri-Fitness, and Fitness Universe. I am learned so much from all my competitions, and loved meeting the other competitors.

I knew I would always return to CBBF, but I did not know how difficult it would be in Canada to win the Pro card. Having only one pro card being offered at one show per year, can make the process very long to finally hit the Pro stage. If you had asked me a few years ago if I was ready to be an IFBB Pro I would have said yes, but now I am more than ready to be a Pro and compete with the other fitness gals. I mean, I know most of them as we have been competitors in other federations as well. So I am ready and excited to keep pursing the IFBB Pro card.

So from now on I am competing in only CBBF and NPC events until I can win my pro card. I will be up against some very tough competition, but I am ready and willing to work hard to get it. I am learning new skills, and trying to come up with a routine that is killer. Physique wise, I am always working to get better. I hope I never arrive as then I will have nothing to strive towards. (or will have to retire).

So I am still training, still working, still with Slimquick Extreme - life is very good right now.

I love the fall anyways so maybe it is the weather that is putting me in a good mood.


Beyond Fitness Cover - Sept08

So cool. I shot these photos with Cathy Chatterton back in June 08. Great to see that Beyond Fitness selected two of my images. Here's the shots:

Where does the time go?

(me, and Thao from Slimquick Extreme)

It has been about a month since my last posting. I think about this blog when I am working out and have oodles of ideas, and then seemingly time gets away from me and I am unable to 'find the time' to sit down and write.

August flew by with various family events, some quick 2-3 day excursions, and some down time before school started.

Luckily this year at school - (I am a high school math teacher) - I decided quite some time ago to take less than 100% workload. I am 50% workload this year, which means I work 2 half days, and then get a day off. I choose to do this (and luckily can afford to), for a variety of reasons.

Last year I would get out of bed, and dread going to school. It was my first full year of teaching since having my son. The transition was not easy, and vowed not to do it like that this year. I found myself losing patience with son when I got home at night. I was giving away all my patience to my students, and not having enough when I got home. Plus, the new programs that are being implemented require much more time than a person is able to give. I felt as though I was giving 70% effort into all my projects in order to just keep up with all the work required of me. It was not benefiting my students, or my family life.

It has been a month since I have been back at school and well I am loving it. I finally can track my students the way a teacher should, keep on top of them, have clarity of mind when teaching and have lots of patience for my son when I get home at night. I am much less stressed, and look forward to each new day. I have benefited from taking more time for myself, and thus being able to give more back to those around me.

This does mean that I will have more time to train, if needed. And be able to rest more as well which is invaluable when you are in that last 3 weeks before a show.

September has been a great month and we are not done yet. I was privileged to attend the Ms. Fitness World and Ms. Fitness USA in Las Vegas from September 9th to 11th. I was there representing Slimquick Extreme the title sponsor of the event. I was there for the company and not competing. But I hung out backstage so often that I felt as though I was competing. Here are a few pics of the event. This is a wonderful event, well organized, the girls are treated like stars, they are friendly and even though it is a competition it is still very relaxed.

You will see a broadcast of the event on FoxSports Net starting in January of 2009.

Here are some pictures of the event.

Me, at the Slimquick Booth

Wally Boyko, Thao, Meshelle, and myself

19 August 2008

To Eat or Not to Eat?

After the Nationals event was over, I headed back to the hotel to shower, change, and went out to a Boston Pizza to eat with a few competitors. This was the only restaurant relatively close and open at that time of night in downtown Vancouver.

After any show, I can eat and have absolutely no guilt about what or how much I am eating. However, the next day I find even more difficult, than when you are dieting. When you are in diet mode, you know what comes next, how much, when, and what to eat. A plan needs to be in place post show, to lead you back into a regular eating lifestyle without having the urge to binge eat.

Post show if you don't have a plan, many will fall completely off the wagon. Many competitors don't know how to stop themselves from eating, or having the urge to want to eat. Nancy Georges did post a YouTube video about this - post show eating - and how to get back on the wagon once you have opened your mouth to those sinful treats you have been denying yourself for so long.

Nancy Georges - Post Show Eating

Post Show Planning

I do feel that your diet leading up to the show, does play a role in how much you are going to binge after the show. I have noticed, and discussed with many girls that the more restrictive you view your diet, the more you are going to have post show uncontrolled binge eating.

For the first timer, this is really hard to grasp. As you compete more, you learn that the food will be there tomorrow. But, it takes a while even for the seasoned competitor to learn how to control your eating post show. There are many girls who slip up, and I have to admit even this year after the Arnold Amateur I found myself eating a bit more chocolate than normal. I hear a lot of "this time I am going to try to keep the weight off", but yet, somehow old habits die hard, and you end up gaining all the weight you lost and sometimes a bit more. So how do you control it; how do you manage to get back into real life food situations without stuffing your face every time you have a social event? Or going to the store, and wanting to buy everything in sight just to taste it because you can?

You need to have a plan post show, as you would pre-show. Post show should be considered part of your training - for at least 3 weeks after the event. Your body needs time to readjust to the 'extras' you are giving it. It took to time to cut these things out of your diet, so you need time to put them back in.

My plan post is simple: not to make every meal a cheat meal. I still maintain my pre-show diet meals, but add a few treats in order to feel satisfied. Nothing is more depressing than seeing your contest shape disappear in 7 days, when it took you 8-10 weeks to lose the weight.

I do allow myself a treat immediately after the show. Like I mentioned before, whatever I want, no matter how much. But, the next morning I would get back into diet mode. Then later in the day, I allow myself another treat. I have found that this allows me not to completely fall off the wagon. What I really dislike is how I feel when I am completely full, bloated, and feeling sick to my stomach with the volume of food that I have just eaten. This feeling is my deterrent to overeating all day long. I am just too full to eat more.

After having an all out binge, eating clean is welcomed. I enjoy how I feel when I eat clean. It is the return to this feeling that is troublesome for most. How do I get back to this point?

My Diet Since the Show

It has been 10 days since the Nationals. What have I eaten since then?

Saturday night after the show, I had salad - (did she say salad??) Yes, salad. I love salad. But I had a lot of dressing and all the fixings. I finished the meal off with bread, and then had peanut m&m's. I was completely full!

The next morning I was back into diet mode. I knew I was having supper (Sunday) with my family the next night so I ate clean during the day.

On Monday, I was meeting a friend for lunch. So in anticipation of this next treat, I ate clean for the morning, and had prepped ahead of time what I have going to eat on the way home on the plane. I had estimated how much I was going to cheat post show, and brought plenty of clean foods for myself during the days after the show and my trip home on Monday.

During this time, I drank plenty of water to help re-calibrate my system. In the past I would feel so bloated and swollen from eating more processed carbs, that overloading on water helped in reducing that feeling during the transition back to normal eating.

After getting home, I returned to the gym. For me training is part of who I am and to take a week off (as some trainers recommend) is not me. I like going to the gym, and it helps relieve bloating from eating too much. I am not lifting heavy, but am there to help transition my body back to normal. I do my cardio - maybe 20-30 mins per day, and some weights.

I also cooked my meals for the week, and ate at regular times as not to be caught feeling hungry if I was away from home. I added dairy, fruits, and some extra carbs. I have had more peanut m&ms this week, and one meal out with friends, but I am not feeling the urge to binge eat every time I sit down to eat.

The goal for me now is to transition back into what I would do normally. To me that means clean eating, and a few treats 1-2 times per week.

Off Season Vs On Season

What do I do different on season vs off season? Off season I tend to eat more of those hidden calorie foods - like salad dressings, and sauces, breads, dairy, cheese, and all fruits.

I do watch what I eat, 5 out of 7 days per week. I try to see how many calories I am consuming and don't 'waste' calories on unnecessary foods. Do I eat cookie, cakes, candies, and the like? Rarely, if ever. I don't want to waste the calories. I spend so much time working out in the gym, that those items are reserved for truly special occasions. If something does not taste absolutely delicious -- I don't finish it. If I know an event is coming up with great food, I will eat clean leading up to that event. Special events should be considered just that - 'special'.

I am sure that I have gained a few pounds since the show. This is to be expected. But you will not catch me weighing myself every time I eat something. This is just insanity.

I will let you in on a secret - "You will gain weight post show". This is not a bad thing. You are not getting 'fat' as some would say, you are just returning to 'normal'. Your perception might be slightly off post show, and returning to your regular body is not a bad thing. You are still healthier than many other people out there. Many of whom would trade bodies with you in a minute.

I read, and hear many girls say, "Oh, I only gain 5-8lbs post season". Funny, no one ever want to fess up to gaining 10-15lbs. Or there are girls who completely fall off the wagon, and gain 40+lbs. This, in my opinion is excess. They obviously did not have an exit strategy post show.

For me, I do gain probably 10lbs or so, but it takes me a good 3 months to put it back on, not 7-10 days post show. Or if I am finding my clothes getting a bit tight I know that it is time to cut back on the processed foods, and watch my macros, and calorie intake.

Competing = Future Food Issues?

Do I have food issues? Sometimes, I think I do. Competition surrounds food intake. Prior to me getting involved with fitness, I never watched what I ate. I was also in my 20s, and could also drink all night, party and get up and go to class the next time. Time passes, and now I am in my 30s, so my body does not respond the same way anymore.

Eating is such an emotional thing. I can remember spending so much time with my girlfriends, either partying or watching movies, and what accompanied that - eating. Good food. Fun food.

Clean eating is your maintenance plan; your goal 80% of the time. While letting loose
can happen during those 'special occasions'.

I have had some binge eating moments post show. I remember back to my first show and immediately afterwards I had about 10 cookies, and then was so tired, that I crashed from the sugar rush. Even now after a show, I can feel a 'high' from eating those treats that I have been avoiding for so long. Basically I was in a food coma.

There have been times after a show where I eat a box of cereal in a sitting and wonder why am I doing this to myself? I have learned how to control my eating post show, but it took a long time to learn this. I have been doing this for 10 years. So, why did it take so long? Maybe my food issues where there but only manifested themselves when I starting to compete.

It the newbies that I worry about, and sometimes even the seasoned competitor has issues. After days and days of all out binge eating; you have to know that this is not good for you. Not physically, not emotionally. Even when you feel sick to your stomach somehow you manage to keep stuffing your face. I know I have been there.

What I have found is that you do have to look inward to find out why you are doing this to yourself. Each time I do a show, I always look inward to reflect on why I want to eat in excess.
From my experience, I know that when I overeat I feel:
1. feel physically ill,
2. completely guilty for doing so, and,
3. vow to work it off more in the gym the next day.

I have found that it is the physical bloating, and full feeling I dislike, so to avoid that I keep myself in control.

Remember, the food will be there tomorrow, so you don't have to eat it all today.

When deciding on a trainer/nutritionist make sure they include an 'exit strategy' from your competition - your digestive system, and your emotions will thank you for it.

11 August 2008

Thank you.

The CBBF Nationals would not have been possible without the support and guidance of the following people:

Erik Ledin of - thank you for your guidance, and patience. I can sense that this is the start of a wonderful fitness relationship. I know you will bring me to a new level of athleticism in order to win the one and only fitness pro card.

My husband who has continually supported me over my past 10 years of fitness. Without your strength, unwavering belief in me, and your small push now and again, I would not be able to focus as clearly. You are my rock.

Nancy Georges - thank you for your spiritual guidance, skilled eye, wisdom, and experience. You help keep what is important in perspective.

Barry Horpestead - my chiropractor - thank you for keeping my body able to do what it needs to do, even in times of pain.

Slimquick Extreme and the WellNx Family
- thank you for consistently supporting me over the past 4 years. Without your help I would not be able to focus on my training, and preparations.

Sandra and Ross Wickham - thank you for putting on an amazing well run show. I am not exaggerating when I say this is a great show, and I do hope that you promote it again next year. Traveling to Vancouver is fun as well.

Sylvia Tremblay - Thank you for continuing to provide me with beautiful costumes, and suits, that add that finishing touch to a physique on stage. Your help and guidance in the sport continues to push me further as an athlete and fitness competitor.

To all my family and friends, and fan, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Although the Pro card did not happen this year, I am not disappointed, and did all that I could perfectly for this show. With a few changes, and a new routine I will be blowing up the stage once again. Thank you for all your wonderful comments on Facebook - they are very inspiring and motivating.


10 August 2008

The end is here. Or it is another beginning....

Well, the 2008 Fitness & Figure Championships have come and gone. I placed 3rd. Sylvia Tremblay came 2nd and Tamara Vahn was 1st. Tamara and Chantal Dicaire also won their pro cards.

Sure I wanted a Pro card too, but it was just not my time--yet. Surprisingly, they did award another one in fitness, which is a step in the right direction. The competition was fierce, with everyone bringing their A game. I was so proud to compete with these other athletes, most of whom I have competed with for a number of years.

I do have a few things I can work on. But then again, there are always things you can work on. With each show I get a better sense of what I am capable of as an athlete, my shape, how to tweek my diet, and posing.

Is there anything that I would change for this show - no. I did everything that I could and presented a physique and routine that I was proud of. I could not ask for anything more. Some would ask - are you ok? are you upset? No. Not at all. The outcome is what it is - (there is that saying again).

Am I going to ask for feedback from the judges? Sure, but in a few days. I would like to spend some time with my family and relax, and have a clear mind before I ask questions of this nature. I know what I do need to work on, but to have a second and sometimes a 3rd set of eyes is ok, but you have to listen with a critical ear. Perhaps they will just say the same thing they did to me last year as feedback, "keep doing what you are doing". Now that statement is open to huge interpretation eh?

I really had a great time at this show. The routine portion is always my favorite, and I had a lot of fun performing it. I am very motivated to do another routine for next year, and just pack it full of tricks and flips. I love trying to fit as much as I can into a 2 mins routine (US rules) or 1 min 30 second routine (CAN rules).

Sandra Wickham and Ross did an amazing job putting on this show. It was well organized, well run, volunteers who knew what they were doing at all times, great stage, goodie bags, shopping with everything you need nearby, the hotel is amazing, great staff, attentive and all on time.

I hope this show is out here again next year - but the only time I would change is the time of year. For me I would prefer to have it in late spring/early summer so at least one can have their summer to do those favorite summer activities such as drinking beer, BBQ, family and friends.

If you have any feedback of the weekend would love to hear from you. More to write later.

I do have a few pics for you all to see.

Myself, Rachel, Martine

Top 5 - Fitness Short

Myself, Allison, Jodi

08 August 2008

Friday - the day before.

Wow. I cannot believe that it is almost here. It has been a really long journey to this point.

I left home yesterday around noon to make my way here to Vancouver. The flight left around supper time and landed at midnight my time. There is a 3 hour difference, and I am really hoping the transition won't be too hard. Going west is OK for me, but coming back home east is the tough part. But I will deal with later. Even if I do have jet lag I am going to have to suck it up for the next 24-48 hours.

The flight was uneventful. This is a good thing considering how stressful flying can be, and probably is for most people. I did start coming down with a sore throat on Tuesday, and then it turned into the sniffles. You really know if you are sick when you take a plane. My ears have that 'hollow' feeling, and everyone sounds muffled, and it feels like I have ear plugs in. Maybe this could be a good thing too. It is annoying, but manageable.

A good friend of mine, Sherry-Ann Boudreau was so kind in picking me up at the airport. We stopped at the grocery store on the way to the hotel. The hotel is quite nice, near a farmer's market, and right on the water. I will be going down later to check it out and see if they have cheesecake for tonight. I cannot wait to eat my fat loading meal...bring it on!

I did see a few fellow fitness/figure types last night, and this morning. You always tend to look around and see who is here, but really most don't come out of the woodwork until the general meeting with everyone tonight. They have the 'look' that you just know that they are here for the show.

Later on this afternoon I have to start tanning and getting prepped. The stress, excitement, maybe a bit of 'sizing' will start.


05 August 2008

2 days till I leave.

Here are some quick pics I took last night.
Sorry they are so poorly done, but I have not resolved my issues with my computer.
This thing (the computer) is quite frustrating. We have wireless, and it is not working, so I cannot use my laptop.
I think I am looking ok. I am feeling very depleted. I am watching everything I am eating, counting calories, and macros. I leave on Thursday to arrive in Vancouver later that night. Tomorrow I will do a routine practice, posing practice, and make sure everything stays in place when I move.
While I am there I am to do a few shoots with various photographers. I always love taking shots when you are in shape, as you never really know when you will be in shape like this again.
I have noticed a trend with photographers lately - they are all charging for photoshoots. I have only one question--why? Everything is digital, so their cost to take the pictures is virtually nothing. Sure they have to pay for their equipment, expenses to get to the show, etc, but, I 'the model' have expenses of my own. I think this issue was brought up on various message boards that I frequent. Questions like: does the model have a fee? Or, does the photographer charge for their time?
I have to say that I have never paid for a photoshoot and am very reluctant to do so. I hope that if not too 'diva' of me. Perhaps I could justify it and make it a gift to myself for all my hard work. But then again, the whole competition experience is one VERY big gift to myself.
Who has paid for their own photoshoots? Did you get the results you wanted?
What did the photographer do with all the other photos he did not give you?
I will update before I leave on Wed/Thursday to let you know how I am feeling, and what my goals are for the weekend.
It is so close now.....

03 August 2008

Not cranky, and 5 days till I leave.

The last few days I have been feeling very tired. I tried practicing my routine a few days ago, and well it did not go so well. I felt as though I had run out of gas. I did take 2 days off, and had a cheat meal this past Friday. My 'cheat' meals are not what others would consider to be cheat meals. I have a sandwich and some peanuts. Just enough to take the edge off, and give myself a bit of a break. It did help on Friday. I rested all day on Saturday, and got my hair done. I can sense today that I am in much better shape emotionally, and physically and will practice my routine again today.

Erik reassures me that to feel 'crappy' right now is normal. I know I can get through my routine and do all the moves properly and 'sell' them, but when you have an off day this close to the show, you wonder - 'Am I really ready?' I practice the posing quite often. It is really hard to flex your muscle like that under the hot lights, and make it look effortless. This is a mistake I made last year. I did not really know what I was doing and just went into last year's Nationals with no expectation for myself, so did not really prepare that part. It is worth 66% of the score, so hindsight is 20/20 and this year I made sure to practice.

I have been dieting for 10 weeks, since around the end of May. I had a few things lined up in June, so that is why I started my diet a bit earlier. For the Arnold I only dieted for around 46 days. This time, it is upwards of 75 days. Each week I do make changes to my diet to keep my body changing.

I wanted to update pics here, but I am having issues with my internet. I have a PC but it takes forever to download my photos there, and I usually upload from my Mac.

I will see what I can do.


28 July 2008

I feel cranky!

This is probably where it all begins. Today. I do feel really cranky today. I am not sure why I feel this way. Could it be the low calories that I have been on for the last 6-8 weeks? Maybe. Could it be my training? Maybe. Could it be that mother nature is set to visit soon? Maybe.

It is really easy at this time to start taking it out on your family and significant other. This is one of the main reasons why relationships in this industry don't last. It is hard for the other person to 'take it' all the time. During this period of time before the show one has to really keep their emotions in check. Imagine if every time I did a show I would treat my significant other or children disrespectfully? How many more shows do you think they would support me in? I try to do as much or even more for them during this time. It helps with those final few days as I am kept busy. Also, they are benefiting from my extra attention (or at least I think they do), before I leave for a few days. (I leave for Vancouver in 11 days but who is counting.)

I don't know how I managed to do 5-7 shows/year in my previous 10 years of competition. I am only on my second show this year and am due for another break. I can sense that my body is tired. I know I want to spend more time with my family without having to prep my food. At times, I feel I am always shopping for groceries, and preparing meals. This seems to happen on average every 3 days. I spend quite a bit of time looking at my watch--when to eat next; when to train. It does get a bit much (near the end especially) and everyone needs to have a sense normalcy in their lives.

I do have at least 2 weeks of vacation remaining after the Nationals. I will be spending another week in Toronto and then back to the Maritimes. I love spending my time there, and anyone who has ever visited knows how friendly, and warm this place is.

Near the end of the week, if I can figure it out, I will post some video of my posing and my routine.


25 July 2008

2 weeks before I leave....and something I have noticed.

I am starting to feel a bit of pressure for this Nationals. It is pressure, of course, that I put on myself. In the back of my mind, I know the outcome is out of my hands. Sometimes, I wonder if I create 'issues' in my mind. If I am not feeling stress or worry, I wonder if I really should be worried, and decide to create drama.

Do you create your own drama in your life? For example, I have this really good friend, and we all close to her knows that she creates her own drama. We tell her she is addicted to it.

I mention this as my training is going really well. I am on vacation and am able to focus on my training, get plenty of rest, spend time with my son, husband, and friends. Basically, I am not killing myself training. This is, of course, in comparison to when I am working, or my training of previous years. I can say that my training so far has been fun.

Could it be that after all this time I have finally found a balance? Being able to compete and have a life? If this is true, I have to say that it has been a long road to this point.

Around this time I am somewhat moody, and a little on edge. This does not seem to be the case at this point. But, I do still have 2 weeks to go so we will see. In order to cope, I do let my hubby know and we talk it out. It is more me talking and him going 'uh hun'. ;)

I am appreciative and thankful to have Erik Ledin of LeanBodiesConsulting on my team. It has been easier to stay motivated. I am more enthusiatic now, since my workouts are more of a challenge. It is a joy to lift heavy, and see the progression and changes in my body. To have a second set of eyes and opinions really helps.

Sylvia Tremblay is once again doing my suits. She does amazing work and has great customer service. She lives right around the corner so this is really a no brainer. She also did my routine costume. She is competing too. In my class - the short class. This is going to be one hard class.

In CBBF Fitness there are 3 rounds. The preliminary Rounds are in the morning. There is Round 1 consisting of the physique round - 2-piece of my choice. Then Round 2 is the fitness round. Round 3 is during the evening show which is the same 2-piece, but the top 5 are called out and are compared again. Some tell me that this is not judged, but is just for show.

I feel my physique has made some good changes this week. I am doing my routine full out, and can hit all the moves. A good friend made a recommendation to put a few other moves in my routine but it is pretty packed. It was really hard for me to cut down my music which was designed for 2 min down to 1 min 30 seconds. I am not sure why the CBBF seems to do everything just a bit differently. Speaking of the CBBF - the quarter turn to the side - is the jury still out on that one? Is it facing completely to the side, a la USA, or with the upper torso facing front (torso twist)? Hard to practice that one when there are so many variations.

My son was in the picture and well, I thought it to be funny to post this one.

22 July 2008

A humbling experience...lessens learned.

I have to tell this story. I have to get it 'out of my head'. (For those of you with conplusive minds that don't tend to shut off - yes, I have these tendancies too.) I am being completely honest. NO BS.

In March - 3 week after the Arnold I decided to do a small show here in Montreal Quebec. It was close to my home and I was 'in shape' from the Arnold (or so I thought). The show was to qualify me to attend the 'World Qualifier' which will be held in Laval Quebec in March of 2009. I had not planned to attend the world qualifier this year (which was in Winnipeg) but since the show was basically in my back yard next year it would have been good to go. Also if I do not win my pro card this year (the show coming up in 3 weeks), then this would be my back up plan for shows to compete in. (I would go to the Amateur again, and then the World Qualifier in 2009). So my reasons to do this show was:

1. to qualify me for WQ of 2009 &,
2. get my face out there in the Quebec fitness culture &,
3. show that I am serious about winning my pro card by only competing for CBBF events.

You might think that after all my years of competition and living in Quebec for the last 8 years, the FCPAQ (provincial body of the CBBF in Quebec) would have see my face before (and some have) but I wanted to be seen by the Quebec judges and see how the shows 'goes down' in this part of the CBBF. I knew that at Nationals some of the judges are the same and I just want to show them my stuff. This practice is nothing new. Many pros compete in many shows during the year, to hopefully get a better 'look' at the bigger shows.

I took a good friend of mine to the show with me for moral support.

When we arrived at the show, we went to the mandatory athlete meeting. At the meeting the regular things happened: sign in, hand in your music, show your bikini (making sure it was not too small), and that is about it. The guy signing us in was pleasant, and there was myself and one other girl competing. Great. Two fitness gals. The guy taking my music was asking me for my posing music - and well I never clued in - 'posing music?'. Fitness gals don't pose is what I thought. I told him that is my routine music and he responded like 'oh yeah' just the routine, shaking his head. I thought that was the end of it.

The next day, during the prelims everything went well. Everyone was back stage, tanning up. In Quebec they do things a little differently - for the figure girls - they do the quarter turns, but they also do individual posing routines of walking across a catwalk, and doing open handed bodybuilding poses. Kinda like strutting their stuff across the stage, and well 'prancing' is what I call it. Great that is what the figure girls do.

Fitness was up and we did the comparison round of the quarter turns. 3 weeks prior to this I did the Arnold show, and the 1/4 turn to the side, we face completely to the side now. Well, I did this in Quebec too. Apparently I was not to do this, and well was to the 1/4 to the side, the old way with my upper body facing front, lower trunk facing side. Seemingly no one corrected me as I stood onstage, and would feel the effects later.

The routine round was awesome. The crowd was nuts and loved watching my routine. I loved performing it for them as they were so responsive. Quebec has a great bodybuilding and fitness culture. They really understand the sport, and what it takes to get up on stage.

We wrapped up the morning prelims, and went back to the hotel for a nap.

During the evening show, as I was waiting backstage, I did have a girl come up to me and ask me if I was 'so and so'. I said sure, that is me. She wondered why I was here. And I explained to her my goals, and she seem to understand. She seemed to imply that this show was a bit small for me, and various others (her words) were wondering too why I was here.

I was a little bit taken a back by the implication that certain shows are perhaps beneath me just because I have some experience. I love to compete and well, regardless of the stature of the show, when you decide to change federations you have to follow the rules and well, start at the bottom and work your way back up. Sure the year previous I did go to Nationals, but that is a completely different stream of shows, from the WQ.

After we did a quick set of quarter turns, it was back into the fitness outfit for the routine. The crowd was even bigger than the morning. I was so pumped to be doing my routine. It went perfect, and the crowd applauded and cheered. I love that feeling. Perhaps that is what I am addicted to. The admiration of the crowd when a job well done is performed.

After that round, we were told to get back into our bikini's for the 3rd round - this is where I was confused.

The 3rd round consisted of the fitness gals, prancing like the figure gals and doing a posing routine to music - like bodybuilders. The other girl did not have music either and knew nothing of this round. (or at least she seemed to be on the same page with me - like hun? What are we to do?). This is something that i would have practiced had I known this round existed.
The other girl went first, and she looked as though she knew what she was doing. She did great. I however, I am sure, looked akward, and well out of sorts. I certainly felt off. When I got off stage the other girl and I exchanged high fives, to signify - wow, we got through it.

When it came time to announce the awards, 2 things always go through my mind.

1. Look happy for the other girl (s) when your name is not annouced, and

2. Answer to the question: Did you do the best you possibly could? If the answer is 'yes' the outcome for me (whichever placing - 'is what it is' - you will hear competitors say this a lot). If it is 'no' I still have to accept whatever placing I receive. (but I always try to prepare my training for a yes answer)

Well needless to say I was annouced 2nd. 2nd against a girl who has never competed before. I was a bit surprised. Even after they had given me the best routine award. I guess I did not know how to feel.

Many people came up to me afterward, and said that the federation was 'teaching me a lesson'. I was a 'transfer' from another federation or various other federations. Ok, I though well how long are they going to consider me 'not' to be apart of the family. I mean I have my membership with the federation, I have paid my money, what more do they want? Maybe I just don't believe that this would be the case. I really cannot believe the hype or that there is politics. I am perhaps still a bit naive or whatever you might call it. Or perhaps I just want to always believe that people do the right thing - all the time. I was asked many times who was my trainer and where did I train - maybe just for information purposes...but after telling them I do everything; confusion would appear on their faces.

After a while I did come to the conclusion that I was a bit embarrassed. Embarrassed that I lost to a girl who has never competed before. Why was this important? Well, since I want to have my pro card this year, and I cannot compete well against a girl who has no experience - how can I possibly best those girls at Nationals who have a lot of experience. (God, that feels so good to say it). This is my biggest fear, and why I probably was so upset at the time, but could not verbalize it.

I did wait around for the judges to see what feedback I could get - something I will never recommend for other girls to do in a such a subjective sport (and with your emotions running high & food running low, not a good idea - maybe a quick email a few days post show when you have recoved, but I digress) - I received so many pieces of advice - your shoulders are ok, your shoulders are to small, your butt is soft, your inner thigh you need to work on, your calves are too big - name it they mentioned it. The judges were arguing between themselves on what information to give me. I was even more confused and just thanked them so that I could go and drown my disappointment and embarrassment in some food.

After much reflection (in my friend) and various other friends in the industry - I have a new perspective on this show. What was I to learn?

You cannot have the highs without the lows, and well yes, maybe I was not at my best. I think I may have strayed a bit on my diet, and well I was not at MY best. I see that now. I did not bring the package I brought to the Arnolds, and well, did not even think anyone would be competing in fitness. (how many girls opt to do fitness nowadays....? Figure is stacked). Maybe (as some would mention to me, their words not mine) they were punishing me for competing for other federations years before. (I still don't believe this one...although have these thoughts...). I know now I needed to refocus and work harder for this show (for instance Nationals). This is where I really want to shine. I know that I am capable of good work, and just have to be on stage to show it.

But if I do look at my goals/reasons for doing the show - I accomplished them all. I met all my goals. The goal was not win, but the other 3 reasons mention - mostly to qualify for WQ next year in 2009 in Laval.

Nationals will be a good showing for me. I know what to present, and whatever the outcome I will still be working out at the gym the next day, eating well, and keeping active. That is just who I am. It would be amazing to be able to compete as a Pro in the IFBB representing Canada at least for one year. I mean, I am not getting any younger; but least with each show I am getting wiser.


20 July 2008

18 days till I leave for Nationals

Here we go - the final 3 weeks. This is probably the roughest time for a fitness/figure competitor. You are so close, and have to watch everything that you do. Your diet (most of the training), your training, for me routine practice, supplementary cardio (if needed), rest, your emotions (as sometimes they can be wacky), and try to maintain focus as the light is at the end of the tunnel is near.

I get very motivated at this time. Especially when I search the internet to see who will be competing in fitness. I know for sure from the previous year - Chantal Dicaire, Sylvia Tremblay, Allison Black, Tamara Vaughn, Ocean Bloom, and maybe Meagan McCurdy. All very talented fitness gals vying for the one pro card - an issue for another time maybe. It is going to be one tough show, as all the bodies of the girls I just mentioned are very different. The judges never give an indication of what they are going for. Everyone just seems to accept the fact that it is big, bad, and somewhat hard. I don't want to say hard - as some of the girls last year (IMO) were not hard, just big and bad. So maybe they are going for more of a shape, than leanness. I can never tell.

This year I am focusing on bringing my best shape. One that compliments the physique that I already have or should I say - been given by my parents. For the routine - I always try to bring the hardest routine that I can. That is the fun for me. I love to show off, and have the audience reaction of applause. That gets me pumped.

Erik has reassured me that I am working hard enough. Even though my cardio is low, my weights are heavy and intense. Love that. It is great to be lifting heavy. Routine is coming along as I am running it full out now. Twice today. That is about as much as I can handle. Then I am spent and need to eat.

Now this week - again diet was on, training was on. I still have quite a few days to make changes, and I am only doing around 2 hours and 30 mins of cardio. The diet has been hard as we have had many social events, and parties at our house this summer. So I am baking and cooking, and not even licking my fingers - nothing. Cannot have one taste of sugar at all.
This week I am going to cut back on my yogurt, and cut out my sweetener - I usually don't but since this show is so important I don't mind making a few sacrifices. Right now I am only eating the following foods: oatmeal, egg whites, no fat yogurt, bananas, chicken, ground chicken, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, protein shakes and dill pickles. Sounds really boring, but it is only temporary and I know that all those other foods that I love will still be around after the show.

Here are some pics from this week - on Friday.

11 July 2008

28 days to go.

I am home now from my 5 days in Toronto and then a 16 hour drive to the Maritimes. I spent around 9 days in the Maritimes. My training in the Maritimes was good. I was staying near the beach (which was a no brainer), but there was no gym in the area. So I had to commute to the city everyday. To and fro from, back and forth, to where I was staying to the gym on a daily basis, started to get a bit annoying. Where my home is, everything is very close, so having to wait to get somewhere is not something that I like. In my car anyways. If I walked a bit (like in Toronto) that is not a huge waste of time as I am exercising at the same time. Driving does not allow for that.

I also still have work to do from school, and other things in fitness to take care of so I needed to be home to do just that. Plus with my son, travelling with him, well, he was very reluctant to stay with relatives. Sure there is an adjustment for him, but if it is with the same person every day, that would be ok, but shuffling him to house to house well, has to be hard on him too. I know he enjoyed his time with the family too, but now that we are home....I can see that he missed being home too.

I LOVE the Maritimes and would stay there all summer if I could. Maybe next summer.....;)

Training has been good, considering the flux in my schedule. Diet has been perfect. One day I had a small blip as I went into town, thinking I would be back for supper. Well, got into my car to go home for the afternoon/evening and nothing happened. My car would not start/turn over, nothing....not one noise. Called CAA. Got a tow to the nearest shop to see what the issue was with my car. This can put a lot of stress on a person, but luckily I was at a friend of the family's house, and well, they were very generous to help me. Found out that my starter had gone on my car - it is not that old - 8 years. But I hear that cars don't last very long anymore. I would think they would last longer than 8 years - and I only have 110 000 km on it. Over 8 years...that is not a lot.

Still even with this I managed to eat properly.

Routine - started front half, back half. I am considering changing the music, but then again maybe not. Things are done and I know what comes next so maybe I will go with the familiar rather than something more current.

Today was my cheat meal - egg salad sandwich and peanuts - very exciting.

Here are some updated pics as of today. I still have 4 weeks to go.

05 July 2008

Trip to Toronto

My trip to Toronto last week went great. It was a busy few days. Drove up on Wed. Shot on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Then I drove back to Quebec on Monday, stopped in at my school to finish up a few things and then kept driving to the Maritimes. It was a very long day.
I managed to stay on my diet for the whole time away, with the exception of Sunday night, and Monday as I ran out of food. Even though, I still managed to eat well while travelling, and my cheat foods are not really full out binging cheats. I did get in 3 days of workouts, mind you they were not as intense as I would have liked. Saw some of the photos and would love to share, but I have to keep them underwraps until September.

No cover shoot for Oxygen yet. I did do some wonderful training shots, which is great. I am looking to progress to the next level. I do my own leg work, and don't have an agent. I also don't live in a hub that puts me in a more likely position to shoot with various magazines. This can be very frustrating. I also worked with Cathy Chatterton, which were have been emailing for 2 years now, so it was wonderful to finally meet her. Also with my sponsor - Slimquick Extreme - so that we could update all my photos. Hopefully those turned out, as I did work with Glen Grant. Great to work with him in a professional setting.

While in Toronto I made a few observations; I am not a 'city chick'. I grew up in a relatively small town, or various small towns, and am quite shocked at the few random events that happened while in Toronto.
I do have to mention the positives - such as taking the subway and walking everywhere. I used to do this all the time when I was in college, and do miss it. What a great way to get in some extra cardio. My friend and fellow fitness gal - Liana Saadi - offered up her place to crash while I was in T.O. It was a wonderful area, near U of T, and everything was in walking distance. Since I live in the country, and have to drive everywhere, walking is not something that I do often and when I do visit the city, it is refreshing to just take in the sights and sounds.
With walking everywhere, you do up your chance of getting injuries - oh, let's just mention almost being hit by a woman in her car, not paying attention to the crosswalk signs. Luckily I was paying attention.
There are many sights to behold when on the subway as well - couples making out without noticing everyone else watching them...or maybe it was just me watching; a guy with so many sticks, and piercings coming out of his face some could think he was a distant cousin of a dart board; and people just sleeping, randomly - everywhere. I guess if you live here, you learn to get used to these sights. I am a huge people watcher so for me this is very entertaining.
I think I could just ride the subway, and watch people.
It was also Gay Pride weekend in Toronto. Although I did not go, Liana did attend and shot some very interesting photos. I did not know you could just walk around naked for the day??

I am currently vacationing in the Maritimes and will post some pics soon. I am finding it a bit tough to get to the gym, so I am trying to keep my diet on track. I am staying 30mins from the closest gym so to train, and return home takes about 2 hours. Still have not started routine practice yet. I will be doing that for sure next week. Just wanted to get my bearings first. I am finding that I am hungry sooner. This can be a good thing, but I still have 32 days left to diet, and I just don't want to get too lean too fast, and then I look too skinny. The other girls are so beefy that I just want to make sure I preserve all my muscle.

I will be moving to a different house next week. This should be a bit more consistent in my schedule. I am coming to realize that is the most difficult part of the summer - trying to keep a consistent schedule. Dieting in the summer is not what I would choose to do. It is all in line with achieving my pro card. I am not happy that the National show is in August, and really don't understand why Canada continues to do things so backward. A late fall show - say in October/November, or an early spring show in April/May would not fit well into my schedule in terms of travel, but in terms of timing & the diet - for me it would be much easier. I would be at work, with a consistent schedule, not a lot of travel involved, be very busy all the time - which I find helps to keep me on track. Not sure if I am just making excuses, or am having a bit of a minor bitch session here. Ok maybe this is a mini-vent. Thanks for reading, talk soon,


21 June 2008

47 days and counting

School & Work
School is pretty much over for me as of Friday. I corrected all my exams, entered my marks, and well just have to clean up my classroom a bit, and things are done. That means around 7 weeks of vacation - no bad for a teacher. We do get 12 weeks of vacation a year. This is very much a lifestyle choice, and every time summer rolls around I am sure that many teachers are thankful for this 'perk' of the job.

Diet & Training
Diet this week has been perfect. I made some huge strides in my physique this week. I am off to Toronto on Wed for a few photo shoots, so I am pushing the weight loss a bit faster than I would normally this many days out from a show. For the Arnold Amateur I only dieted for around 46 days. To have the process already started is a huge relief, as I will be traveling a bit, and then on vacation - but still bringing my food everywhere.

What am I eating - the same as most girls - oatmeal, yogurt, bananas, broccoli, sweet potato, chicken, salad, light dressing, some nuts, asparagus, dill pickles, eggs, egg whites, protein shakes, and that is about it. Oh, and my morning coffee.

Training has been consistent, and intense. I am making sure to get all my reps/set in, my cardio, and have some rest in there too. Since I am not 'teaching' I do have a bit more energy as I am not on my feet all day, and training at the same time. I still see that improvements can be made in my glutes (but what girl would not say that) - it is the last thing to come in on my physique. I like lifting heavy as it is challenging, and motivating. I can see my body taking that competition shape. Erik sent me a new program that I am very excited to have. Higher reps for some exercises. I like the higher reps as I feel stronger this time around. Usually I am just doing my workouts but am not mentally there - just going through the motions I guess. This is what I really needed - someone just to give me an extra 'oomph' to get excited about the gym again.

I have not started routine practice yet. I have managed to alter my music to make a routine that was 2mins down to the CBBF regulated 1min 30 seconds. I made sure it was not more than this even though some girls have been known to go over. I want to win this show, and something as little as going over the alloted routine music time could affect the outcome. CBBF has not been known to 'time' the routine but the one time I would not pay attention to this small detail would be the one time they do time the routine.

This summer I am planning quite a bit of travel. Some girls find it hard to travel and diet, and well for me I find it easier. Maybe it is because I am busier, have more people around me, and well they understand what I do - so there are no questions. They still even after all these years have questions, but then it keeps me more on track knowing they are 'watching' even though they are not really watching.


Here are some pics from Saturday 21 June:

16 June 2008

52 days and counting....

I cannot believe how fast time flies. This week has been very hectic for me. The first 3 days were spent at a math conference as my school (actually the province) is bringing in 3 new math programs for grade 10 next year. That was a good break from being at school, as I was able to workout and focus on my training, and still do my regular job.

Back home on Wed night, however, a major thunderstorm came though and in a nutshell, the power was out for 3 days at my school. The students are into exams during this time, and all the exams had to be moved to the following week. My students are a bit disoriented as they have more time to study, but usually they do worse on the exam, and longer you wait, the more they tend to forget come the actual exam. Plus they get 'summer fever' early and thoughts of prom draw nearer, making it hard for them to focus.

On the training front, I had a very good week. Dieting was ok. Sun/Mon/Wed really good. Tues had supper out, Thursday was quite stressed and ate some popcorn, and Friday is my cheat day - so egg salad sandwich it was. However, I try to maintain some consistency in my diet, getting in all the protein timed, every 2-3 hours. Some carbs but changing to more fats near the end of the day. This has been the best week yet, and I can only expect near week to be better.

I am trying to set up some photo shoots near the end of the month so training is in higher gear than it would be for this amount of time before the show. Starting to see changes in my physique. Routine practice will start this weekend. This week I am going to be swamped with exams and marking, as school officially ends on Friday. Everything has to be done on Friday. Since I am to be so busy, this is a good thing. Staying busy helps with the dieting.

Here are some pics of this week:

07 June 2008

The weekend....and 9 more weeks to go....

Ahhh, the weekend. We are always glad to see it arrive, but for me and my alter ego - the fitness competitor... it is not always a welcome sight. I enjoy the time I have to relax, and train but if there is any spare time, in which I am not busy, my thoughts tend to stray to food. It is not particularly tough in the beginning, (as is now) but near the 4-6 week mark from the show, there are moments when I just want time to pass so that the show can be here.

For this I tend to keep myself very busy - cleaning is one main thing that I do during this time. I organize parts of my house that normally you don't pay too much attention too...for instance: photos; having the laundry completely finish (washed, dried, folded, and put away); clean under the bathroom sink; hall closet; linen closet; basement storage; various cupboards/pantry, etc. You get the idea.

Another thing is being online. Although now I find myself with less time online, if I do have a few moments - I log on. I know that as the show draws closer, I tend to look up the competition, see who is attending, catch up with friends, results of shows, various fitness/figure message boards.

There are times that I create things for me to do at work. The things that I would put on hold and 'do later' tend to get done sooner. With being a teacher the work is really never done. Not even in the summer. You are planning new lessons, getting ideas, talking with colleagues, conferences, administration stuff, and always planning for the next year.

During this time of preparations, I find that I am more involved at home, more involved at work, more involved with friends, and family. I do not put my own life on hold just because I am preparing for a show. I do however, let those around me know that I am 'training again'. And that is about the end of it. Luckily I have been doing this for a while, and my extended network is very familiar with what I do. I have explained myself many times, and really don't mind explaining to anyone new who may be apart of the staff. They usually have questions, and luckily I love to talk, so it works out well.

Those who do not like to explain yourself 'all the time'; have patience. People around you don't know what you do and are generally interested. If they make rude or sarcastic comments, try to explain to them in a 'matter of fact' way. Some people in your life may never understand what you do, but I feel if you hold your ground long enough people will come around. You just have to firm and direct with your explanations. We would like more fans of the sport, and maybe a few more athletes as well. I would love to hear some of the comments people have made to you and how you reacted.

Do I stay away from social events? I try not to. If you would have asked me this 5 years ago, I would have said yes. But now I have found that I can do both and still be successful at fitness. I always somehow thought that the more I suffered through my preparations somehow this would translate into a better result at the show. I am so glad to have let all those foolish beliefs go.

I have a son now, and he keeps me very busy. Not that I am recommending kids, but they do keep you on your toes. Some moms I am sure would say they fall victim to eating off their children's plates (you know who you are), and those who compete know that this is a huge 'no-no' at any time. (extra food = extra calories) He is now 2, and loves being at the park, being outside, and I cannot wait to bring him to the beach this summer. If anything, at this time in my life, he keeps me so busy that eating is just to fill the void, and move on to the next activity.

There are times that I do sit down and truly enjoy my food. These are considered special occasions. If they happen everyday, they are not so 'special' anymore. I know that the food will be there tomorrow, so I don't have to eat all of it today.

CBBF Fitness Nationals - still many days are this weeks updated pics.

04 June 2008

64 days to go

This week has been particularly difficult for me. My hubby is away, and it is the official last week of teaching at my school. So that means I am uber stressed for my students and how they will do on their exams. In my high school they write exams for 2 weeks. So after Friday I am not teaching anymore, but have plenty of work to do for the next year.

My diet right now is about 80% clean. I cannot go from eating regular food, to eating diet food in one day. Others might be able to but I prefer to gradually get into my diet. That way I do not suffer from mood swings or feelings of being 'deprived' of those things I used to have in my diet.
My diet off season, vs on season is not that different. I just take out the 'extras' that I like. Or the extra special meals that I have at friend's houses, or eating at a restaurant. If I skip meals off season that is ok, however, in season this is not ok.

Workouts this week are not consistent as I had to take Tues, and Wed off due to my hubby being away. Thurs am I will be back in the gym, Friday and Sat. I will try to find time to work on modifying my music so that I can being to get my gymnastics, and flexibility skills back on track.

For my students, on the last day of school I always do a back flip. So that is 4 back flips on Friday as I have 4 classes. I am very excited to see the end of this year.

Not sure why but this year at school has been particularly stressful for me. Even recently the stress came out in my skin. I look like a teenager again. I am over 30 and still get major breakouts. I notice this happens when I change my diet to on season, and then usually I am ok for the rest of the prep. Anyone else experience this?
(side note...just found out what my breakouts are....cold sores...I am really stressed about my students and their math exams...wonder how they feel?)

I will post some updated photos this weekend.

01 June 2008

9 weeks and 5 days to go....

Currently I am on a strength/mass building program. Upper body and Lower body workouts, 4 day split.

I am working with Erik Ledin of I have always done all my own workouts on my own for the last 10 years. But since having my son, I have found I have less time to sit down and develop my own programs in order to see some results. It is great to have Erik on board to get a second pair of eyes, and keep my workouts interesting and motivating.
I was starting to feel a bit stale in the gym.

Soon, we will change up my program again so that when I start practicing my routine it will not be too much for me to handle. My routine is quite athletic, and I need to reserve some strength and power for that.

My diet right now is about 90% clean. This weekend I had a few treats - a muffin, egg salad sandwich, granola bar. Will I beat myself up about it - no! I know that during the weekdays I am very clean with my diet - perfect - like 100%. And if I am having an off day I will have a mini-cheat - a granola bar - or nuts, or yogurt - something that will satisfy me, but not set my diet back 3-4days. I try to be very clean about my diet during the year, and do have treats one to two times per week. If I am feeling like I need to cheat. If I do not feel the urge - I just don't cheat. If I am balanced emotionally, feel strong at the gym, am sleeping well - no need to change things.

Weekly I will weight myself just to see, but ultimately I do let the mirror and how my clothes fit be my guide.

Since the Arnold I have been trying to put on size as that is what they like in Canada. I know that I have, but a bit more and I think I will be more symmetrical. Changing federations is tough as you never know what the CBBF is looking for. The look changes from year to year. It can be very frustrating, but you either have to accept this or not compete. You cannot let the possible outcome affect your performance.

Do I try to give the judges what they want? Yes, and no. When it comes to the routine, I always try to present the best package that I would be happy with. I do take a similar attitude to my physique as well. I like to come in as lean as I can get as that is what I am happy with. I just always hope this is something the judges will reward. Sure I do want my pro card, but if you constantly listen to what others have to say, you will be always second guessing yourself. Sometimes having too much information or getting too many opinions will mess with your head in a negative way.

30 May 2008

Pro Card here I come - 10 weeks out.

(Yes, I cut my head off on purpose) - and this is considered 'off season' for me.

This week marks the 10 week point from the CBBF Fitness & Figure Nationals to be held in Vancouver BC, on August 9th 2008. Over this period of time I will be sharing various thoughts, photos, and some training and diet info leading up to the show.

Bottom line - I am competing for the CBBF now, and want to be an IFBB Fitness professional this year, so that I hit the Arnold stage as a pro in 2009. I am not getting any younger.

Some might be thinking wow - 10 weeks out - that is so late. I usually only diet for 6-8 weeks before a show. Fitness is just my hobby and I work full time as a math teacher at the local English high school. I am also a mom of a 2 year old, and do have to spend time with my husband now and I am pretty busy. Or a better translation of that word 'busy' is that I am on my feet all the time, and moving around my classroom a lot. Expending calories is my job, and having my food ready to go is essential as the day is so compact. Once I arrive at work, it is go-go-go from 7:30 am to 4pm.

I am choosing to start a bit earlier as I am not sure how busy I will be in the summer leading up to the show. I would rather be ready a bit early for the show, and just coast into the show, than to have to make up the lack of weight loss with more cardio near the end.

My day starts at 4:20am, and I am at the gym by around 4:45am - 5am. I do my workout for one hour and then I am back home to shower, eat, and get ready for the day and be at work by 7:45am.

Luckily, I competed in March so my routine is finished, and needs to be practiced. However, it is 2 mins long and in the CBBF - the routines are 1 min, 30 seconds long - so I have to shorten the music and the choreography before I can start practicing it full out. I am expecting to have the music to be done by the end of June. Whenever I have time to sit down and re-edit my music is when it is going to get done.

Next week is the last week of classes for my students and then they are in exams. So I am not officially finished, but I am officially finished teaching. Just some marking of tests, end of year meetings, and wrap up before the end of the school year. I am very glad to see this year coming to a close. But I will get into that later in the summer.

I would like to be posting at least once a week, but we will see. My main goal for doing this is to show you can prepare for a show, and have a good diet that does not drive you or those around you crazy. Also I want my pro card, and if things do not happen to work out in my favor at least I have something to look back and, re-evaluate and see where I could improve and make changes.

Till next time,