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

25 February 2010

VI days to go!

It is almost here! I can feel the emotions starting to well up inside me. It has been an extremely long journey this time around. When I returned from Sri Lanka, I had only 52 days to get ready. Some girls start dieting before the Arnold invite lists are announced. However, all that is behind me now, and I know that I am ready.

It is funny when things finally start to take shape. You get smaller, and your clothes get much, much bigger. When my undies start hanging off I know things are going well. Plus the veins start to pop all over, especially after a meal with any carbs in them.

Today was routine practice. I dread routine practice, but love performing the routine. Once I get to the point where I run the routine through without my lips turning blue is a good day. Today was a good day. I practice in different shoes than what I perform in as they are a bit heavier and have much more padding on the toes. My other performance shoes, are more dancer shoes, are lighter, and well there is not much padding in the toes or support, as they are a soft sole in the arch (to make pointing your toes look like pointed toes). Not something that I recommend, but due to the pounding on the wood floor over cement, it hurts my body much less.

Here are a few new songs that I am completely in love with to get the motivation flowing.

Kesha - Blah, Blah, Blah

Imma Be - BEP

Telephone - Lady Gaga

Replay - Iyaz


Body wise I am think I am ready, ok, maybe the judges will say something different ;) I really cannot ask for more. I just have to go out there and do what I have practiced to do. I will be practicing more routine, and more posing before I leave on Wednesday for Columbus but it is a comforting feeling knowing that I am ready to go onstage. I just need a few beauty moments, and well things are good to go.

What am I expecting from this competitive experience? I would like to be able to go out there on stage and represent myself well, and represent Canada well. I want to remain competitive. That I look like I worked hard to be there, and did not just 'show up'. I want it to be evident that I prepared for this show.

In Canada, we do not have that many active pros right now. I understand that it is very hard to compete, especially after you spend much of your amateur career trying to reach the top and a pro card, only to hit the pros, and then spend more time working your way back up the ladder. It can be very frustrating. I have lived many frustrating moments in my amateur career, and hopefully will be able to transfer this understanding to my time in the Pros. I just need to be patient. Patience is a virtue, and I am willing.

In my routine, I just want to perform well, so I am proud of what I presented.


I am not getting any younger and there are other things that I do want to be doing. Competition prep is time consuming and really I have not realize it until this year. After this show, I am not sure if there are other shows on the horizon. I say this as I have spent more time with my son in the past few weeks, and do see a difference in my mindset when I am preparing for a show, vs when I am not.

In the past few weeks many things have changed like I mentioned. What I have not mentioned is that I took a break. I had to go. I had to leave. January was a huge month for me. After much discussion...actually 7 months of discussion...I decided to take a break from teaching. Yes, I did it. I felt completely guilty for leaving my students as they were wonderful, but I was not in a position where I was happy. My family was unhappy. I was unhappy. I was working 50+ hours week for a part time job. My son was going to daycare all day and I was teaching once 75min class. I spent more time with these other children than my own child. It was a scary decision but I knew when the principal told me what the workload was going to be next year, on paper it looks like 50% but in reality it was not. I could not do my best work, and do my best work at home, so I had to leave. And the best part of it is, all of my co-workers said, 'good for you'. I was surprised, as I felt really guilty & shameful for leaving mid-year, but there was no way I could survive or else I would have been on stress leave. Maybe they knew what a raw deal I got this year, and were happy that I wasn't just putting up with it. Either way I really happy to have these people in my life. They are immensely supportive and encouraging.

With my leave of absence my job is still protected for next year. I have to put in my request for what I want to teach for next year by the 16th of March. So after the Arnold I will have some really hard decisions to make.

But, I do have some ideas of what I would like to do with my "in the meantime". Personal train others, and prep girls for shows. I am also preparing a 'coach for a day' service. Basically I would be your personal consultant to the stage & cheerleader for the day for your show. It would be more local to the girls around my area, unless there would be a demand for my services elsewhere. I am also preparing for an exam in June which is in line with personal training services. I have many ideas and cannot wait until everything is in line, and ready to go. I will post what shows I plan to attend on my website. And I am free to travel as I need to. Something I have not been able to do since my college days.

I can say that I am in a really, good place right now. :)


This weekend is filled with:
  1. packing.
  2. cooking, lots of cooking, to do for the week. And freezing.
  3. routine practice, and posing.

Did I forget anything?

See you all really, really soon,


21 February 2010

10 days to go!

Here we are; the final stretch.

Last weekend, I was in Columbus for a Mike Davies camp. I had gone to a camp in July of 2009, just for a little motivation and it was just what I needed to keep on top of everything. This time was for the same reasons.
The weekend is filled with 4 huge workouts, posing and bootcamp. I met some wonderful girls. Funny, welcoming, and very friendly. Those who I have encountered in the industry who truly love what they do and love competing are so enthusiastic, and smart.

Weekends like this really put a positive perspective on everything. I think I am so attracted to the bootcamps as it is a time when I know I can hang with girls who are just like me. I remember my weekends away competing as time with the girls. In conversations with them, I sensed that they felt the same way. We would have a lot of laughs, eat really well (diet food, and then of course non diet food) and share our stories of training, tips & tricks, and motivation ideas.

I was in much better shape this time than last time I attended camp. The post workout soreness felt like a one hard workout, and was able to walk normally when I returned.

I noticed some huge changes in my physique in the last couple of weeks.

I was looking back on a few posts from when I began my blog and stumbled upon these:

This is me 6 months (Oct 06) after having my son and just about to compete:


And this is me from about a week ago:

And from the back:


I think looking at these I think it can be said that I have made some improvements.

My waist is still not as small as I would like, but after having a baby I think I have come along way. Things change after a baby, move around, and sometimes don't go back to where you want them to go. I have had a friend who competed 3 months after having a child. I did not know how she did it. Babies love protein, and I found that having a child took all my muscle away. The next time, (if there is a next time) I have a child I will not push it so hard to get my body back. Giving up your body for 9 months, ++ months to get back into shape, can be hard on your mental state; especially if you are not ready. I will be ready the next time. I will also continue to workout regularly while pregnant - the first time I did not. I gained 50lbs + in the process. It was a long road back to get my muscle back.

Workouts are going well. Routine is going well. It is a fun routine, and I am hoping that I am the only one doing this theme - Be Italian by Fergie.

Here is a part of the song:

Inspiration & Motivation

I have also adopted 3 songs for inspiration for the training period.

Ke$ha - Tic Tok

Evacuate the Dance Floor - Cascada

Empire State of Mind - Alicia Keys & JayZ

I always have a few songs to listen to before I get on the stage. I don't watch the other competitors - and in this case, I am really not watching the other competitors. I looked at the list again of who will be competing at the Fitness International - and see that I am and should be proud to be doing this show. The amount of talent that will hit the stage for this show adds up to a total experience level of about 110 years between the 15 of us! That is on average 7 years of experience each. Incredible! These are some very, very experience girls, and again, I am so proud to be able to share the stage with them.

I am looking forward to just performing really well, and soaking up the moment. I know I have expectations for myself, but I do have to remind myself that I am new to this whole IFBB Pro scene and need to be patient. I have always had coaches in my life tell me to 'slow down' as I always want to 'run before I can walk'. I am starting everyday to get more and more excited. It is hard to maintain the momentum in training/diet when the show is so far away, but now that it is just upon does get a little easier. I have aspirations of making it to the Olympia this year, so a top 6 spot is what I am aiming for. Ok, a little lofty considering the lineup, but why not? I only live once, and well what if I die tomorrow? I just want to be able to 'got for it' and be proud that I actually did that. I always want to do my very best, and whatever the outcome is - so be it.

Webcast -
I am really excited that the show will be webcast by - here is the main page.

Arnold Main Page
- If you scroll down you will see WEBCAST - when the page is ready you can bookmark it.

Those around me have never seen me compete in a long time, and it will be wonderful to share with them what I have been doing for so long. The hear all about it, and now they will be able to experience it too.

I will also be at their booth all weekend long. What a fun weekend!

So for this week I plan to train, eat really well, get my beauty stuff out of the way, start packing, and cooking. This week is going to fly by and really I cannot wait.

I think I am just hungry. I cannot wait to eat....bread. Mmm...bread.

Talk soon,


08 February 2010

26 days to the Arnold!

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."
Maya Angelou

The countdown has officially begun. There is less than 24 days to the Arnold (on my calendar anyways), and I have begun to feel the pressure. The pressure to get everything ready. My body, my costume, my routine, my suit (ok, I delegate that one - but the pressure for it to arrive before I leave), my posing and of course my head. I have to get my head ready for this event. To be able to calm my nerves or fears when the time comes to preform. This is my biggest goal every time I compete. To do the best that I can under the pressure. Basically to be perfect under the pressure. That way what ever the outcome I can accept there is no more that I can do. The physique round does not scare me the way the routine round does. I wonder how the figure girls feel? Or the bodybuilders? Is it the same kind of pressure to do well for themselves?

I have struggled over the years with perfectionism, and how I can try to have things be 'just ok' at times. As a mom, this was easier for me to handle. As an athlete - much harder. I can control the outcome or at least try to by being my very best. But when you compete against the very best, sometimes you get a rude awakening. I hope for the Arnold that I am at my best, so that I can leave feeling satisfied with my experience. I have wanted this experience for so long now....that it sometimes does not feel like it is going to happen. That someone is going to come along and say - oops we made a mistake you are not actually on the list. Where does this voice of insecurity come from? Each day I do try to make the most of my time at the gym, with my meals, and routine practice so that I know that I am doing all I can to be at my personal best. There are times when I wonder if it is all enough; is it all worth it? Do other girls go through these similar emotions when in the throws of contest prep?

I am happy to be seeing changes in my body. I had a changed a few things in my personal life and was concerning that my body would not respond like it used it - but I was wrong. It did, and is responding, and I am on track for the show. I was considering the Phoenix show, but knew that traveling twice in a month for my family was a bit much. Any more than once a month, is really hard, and besides, I miss home too much. So my decision to only focus on the Arnold was because I am going to a Mike Davies camp this weekend. It is just the big push I need to lead me to the Arnold. I loved my experience last time. I couldn't walk for a week. I am in better shape now, but somehow I am not sure if I will be pain free. I am basically there for a butt kicking, and well he tends to kick everything - legs, arms, back, shoulders.....

My routine practice is going well, although it is hard. How come I have done this for all these years, and never viewed it as 'hard'? Everyone else told me it was hard, but now, 11 years later, I realize - yes, it is hard. Maybe it is the twinges of pain I feel every now and again. Or the getting back into the gymnastics that hurts temporarily as my body becomes adjusted to the pounding. But wow, you really feel alive when your whole body is sore.

I finally have some costume ideas, and am hoping that everything will come together on the day of the event.

The Arnold is going to be a busy weekend - I will be competing on Friday during the expo, and Friday night at the Veteran's Memorial. Then on Saturday at the booth & Party with the Pros, and then on Sunday at the

I would love to meet you, so make sure you stop by. The line is always quite long, as we do give away a lot of product, so you will have to be patient.

There are times when you want to quit - I think it is around this point. When you get to around 3 weeks out, and you see changes happen daily, but still the time feels slow. Maybe it is low motivation, or else it could be that I am just hungry. Not crazy eat my arm off hungry; just it is cold outside, I am in comfy clothes, and I really would like to be eating comfort food.

Training is going well. I am still working with Erik Ledin - of He is a great sources of information for me and I value his knowledge tremendously. I love having someone who knows that much more than me. It is very inspiring.

After coming back from LA for the Fit Expo, I realized how much I really just love the industry. I love being at shows (always have), love seeing all the fit bodies, it motivates me to stay in shape. Once a month is good. To be reminded to try to do better at your workouts, maybe push a little more.

Training others has always been on my mind, and well, there is no better time like the present to do that. So for the next little while, I will be researching much about a career in personal training and nutrition. I have already looked into doing my nutrition degree, but since it has been more than 5 years since I have been in University I am looking at a full 4 years - and a 2 hour drive to get there. Not really an option for someone with a family, and well, 2 other careers on the go. So for now, I will be preparing for a nutrition certification, and keeping up my CEUs for my NSCA-CPT certification which I have had since 2007. It will be a lot of work, but I am thrilled to be learning more in a subject area that I love - training & dieting.

I think life is trying to send me a message, and really I have to listen. There are moments when you have to make a choice. I remember my University professor giving me an assignment that I did not quite understand what he wanted. After much discussion, and some meetings I handed in an assignment that I though is what he wanted ( really smart students sometimes are not smart, just smart at figuring out what the teacher wants).
He calls me into his office and told me that I could do the assignment over (it took about 10 hours), or take a pass. He then told me that maybe because of my fitness, I should make a choice - to do teaching or do fitness. I told him I told him that I did not understand what he wanted, and would take the pass. I also added that I felt as though I could do both. Since 2001 I have done both, teaching and fitness. However, recently there have been many incidents that are making me believe that I should be choosing just fitness.

My mac laptop provided by the school crashed recently - everything from the last 4 years was gone. Assignments, tests, some marks, attendances - any thing and everything a teacher would make up and save. We teachers are closet pack rats. We save everything.

There are other things that have happened that I really won't get into, but man.....could life be screaming at me any louder?