Adventures in Competing – Week 4 – Lifestyle

WEEK 4: Lifestyle

This week Stephanie, Erica and I talk about how each of us make competing a part of our lifestyle. It is so important to make this something you can live with as it is supposed ot be an enjoyable experience. If you are hating every moment of your contest prep all for the hopes of 2 minutes on stage being worth it, this will be the harder 3 months of you life and nothing will give you back that time. Coming up with a routine that works for you day-to-day and allows you to enjoy the rest of your life will preparing for your competition is the best way to go!

Rose Blackman – Young Professional – Eat Clean, Train Dirty, Think Nerdy

SiS: Adventures in Competing – Week 4 – Lifestyle – Rose

Stephanie Laurendeau – Stay at home Mom – Decide, Commit, Succeed

Erica Willick – Finance Exec & Mother – Strong Body-Mind-Life



Ready… Set… GO!

I have 78 days until UFE Halloween mayhem.

I have 43 weight sessions scheduled between now and then, half of those are leg days.

I have over 700 minutes of HIIT cardio to do or almost 13 hours – compared to many competitor plans which at 1 hours of cardio, 6 days a week would be 72 hours over 12 weeks!

I have exactly 9 total hours of steady state cardio planned – 45 mins, once a week.

I have 390 properly portioned and nutritious meals to eat until then.

And I have to go from this…

Please ignore the fact that my eyes look horrendously puffy… I just woke up.

To looking tighter, leaner and more muscular than this…

Me at competition weight

Me at competition weight

I’m going to be honest and say that’s a daunting task in 12 weeks. Many of the girls I know, including Erica Willick and Stephanie Laurendeau who will be in the same competition as me, are much leaner to start with and don’t need to lose the approximately 15 pounds I will.

BUT… I can also honestly say I am sooooo excited with my starting point (despite the clearly not excited face in the picture). I have so much muscle on me that I can’t wait to see. mostly of its in my butt which you of course can’t see in the picture above… but here is a side by side of my starting points between the 2 competitions (about a year and a half between them):

Starting Points 2

Side shot where you can see the changes a little better

Starting Points

Back shot – please ignore the fact that my back is warped… my spine sucks at its job

So you may notice that these are pretty much the worst pictures of all time. But I’m posting them anyways because I think it’s important for a lot of people out there to know that even though right now, buy industry standards I am fat, I actually love the way I look and I am very proud of how much I have changed my body. Yes I will be happy to shed some of the extra pounds I am carrying, but I love myself at every stage and that’s imperative!

Side note – I have the most horrendous DOMS right now and am having to postpone my first Plyo leg workout until tomorrow. I will not skip it though!


Vacation and Starting Contest Prep

I’m baaaaaaack!

Ok, so as I said before I wasn’t going to be posting a lot because I was on vacation and generally just trying to stay off of the internet a bit more and enjoy real life. But I have officially started my contest prep as of August 5, 2013! So along with prep I will be back to writing lots of blogs, and even more excitingly, posting vlogs as part of a project with Stephanie from Operation Competition Lean and Erica from Sister’s in Shape.

You can watch my first video here talking about what is happening for the next 3 months of my life. Also, in case you haven;t noticed my trend of loving research and generally being a huge nerd, I decided to make my personal motto for competing

Eat Clean, Train Dirty, Think NERDY!

Stephanie has her first video up now too which you can (and should!) go watch here:

SIS: Adventures in Competing – Stephanie’s Vlog #1

And once Erica’s is up I will update this post as I’m sure it will be stellar, in the mean time she has lots on her youtube channel which you can see here.

Competition prep this time around is going to be very different than last time. I’ll be talking lots about it, but some main differences are I’m starting my calories at 2000/day (many of you probably think I’m crazy, but I’m already losing weight), I’ll be doing mostly HIIT cardio starting at only 15 minutes 3 times per week and I will be much more regimented (mostly because I now know way more).

Another huge difference is my starting point. This past year I put on a lot of muscle, but also a lot of weight and my body normalized around 150 pounds (I was 133 at competition), last year I was between 142 and 145 at the start of prep but I only prepped for about 9 weeks. I’m actually really excited to see how my body does this time around because I think my metabolism is in a much better spot, and I really do have a lot more muscle on me. I don’t really have a weight “goal” but I am guessing I would look very lean and stage ready for the figure category at around 135 pounds, maybe as high as 138 if I can maintain most of my muscle!

I’ll talk more about what’s happening with the competition in my next post, but I do want to touch on my recent vacation…. guys I climbed 3 summits (all above 8,500 feet in elevation) in 4 days with my boyfriend!

Flexing at the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

We went to California and did sooooo many amazing things thanks to his sometimes excessive love of planning ;). I will admit right now that I drank copious amounts of wine while in Sonoma Valley.

A lot of wine was had in Sonoma, some while listening to New Orleans Blues music live.

We had so much fun, ate a tonne of great food and were both incredibly active – I think we hiked a total of 33 miles (not kms) in 4 days and summited 3 peaks with changes in elevation of more than 3000 feet per day all with a 30-40 pound bag on our back! After all that I can tell you that my calves have never looked better! And just look at the view!

Just chilling next to some snow and a 2000 foot cliff… NBD

The vacation was really perfect timing, I had a great time and came back right at 12 weeks out from my competition UFE Halloween Mayhem on October 26th. Now the hard work comes!

UFE Halloween Mayhem

Alrighty, where to start? It was such a busy and exciting day after so much work to get there. It’s crazy how you can prepare for something for so long (10 months in my case) and it all happens so quickly! I learned a lot about how the shows work and things I will and won’t do next time. But instead of doing this piecemeal, I’ll just take you through the whole day…ok?

make up and tan done, just the hair left for me to do

The day started at 5:30 am about 30 minute before my alarm was set. I tried to go back to sleep but was too excited. I started eating my first meal around 6 am… sweet potato mashed with butter and maple syrup. It was actually delicious, but what I was really looking forward to the wine and mini eggs before getting on stage. 🙂 I went down for my tan appointment for 6:45. Can I just tell you that the tanning process is VERY invasive. For some reason this didn’t bother me at all, possibly because I was stepping on stage in very small bikini anyways, so really who cares? Also, there were about 100 other girls doing the exact same thing, so no one really cared that I was naked.They also did my makeup for me because even though I LOVE doing my makeup and consider myself quite proficient at it, I have never done stage makeup before and wanted to make sure I would look good under all that lighting. I think they did a wonderful job, the lashes stayed on pretty well and nothing smudged. I looked fresh the whole day despite being exhausted by the end of it. They did exactly as I asked which was to make it very dramatic, but in all neutral and bronze colours as I wanted it to look good with both my silver/black bikini and my brown and beige Pocahontas costume. It was perfect.

I was back in my hotel room at about 8am and started doing my hair. It was really helpful to have had it blown out professionally the day before. My hair already had a lot of volume. A lot for me is not a lot for a normal person since even though I have a lot of hair, it is extremely straight and does not hold a curl well at all. I spent the next hour curling and back combing my hair to add volume.

I then packed up my bikini, costume, heels, mini eggs, wine, rice cakes, natural peanut butter, honey, water bottle, scissors, hair spray, bobby pins, comb, curling iron, lip gloss, bikini bite, towel, yoga mat (for lying down on in case I needed a rest), flip-flops, cutlery, cork screw, glass, bracelet and earings into my laundry basket and packed left at 9:10 for the venue.

Unfortunately it was raining cats and dogs outside so I covered my hair up with the towel I packed and ran for inside, but my hair still fell a bit so out came the comb and hair spray! After a quick touch up all was well. The venue was at a college theatre and had a pretty good backstage set up, though the mirrors were pretty small. There was no one other than competitors and UFE staff allowed backstage, so you are basically forced to mingle with the other competitors. It makes for a really nice atmosphere and no one really feels too left out.

I met some great girls who I will keep in touch with hopefully. There was even some exchanging of tips for diet, recipes, blog sites, and how to make your butt that little bit perkier. 😉 Thre was even another CA in the line up who also went to Ivey School of Business (my alma matter), a girl in big pharma, and 2 others who went to Western (the university that I went to). Small world! It’s always nice to meet other career oriented young women who are putting fitness/health first!

After being briefed on the process for the day by the organizers it was a bit of a hurry up and wait situation. I wanted to eat my chocolate and have my wine about 30 minutes before I went on stage, but timing was pretty hard, so I ended up jumping the gun a bit and had it about an hour before. Oh well, I still had a pretty good pump. I had some fun pumping up with the other girls. I did a lot of dumbbell lateral raises, bicep curls and rear delt raises to make my arms and back come up a bit.

I had some glaze put on me to deepen and even out my tan from any blotches that had occurred between the application and the time we were going on stage. I also glued (with bikini bite) my bottoms to my bum. It feels weird, but it makes sure that nothing moves when you are striking a pose on stage!

I was so nervous to be getting on stage! I was shaking like a leaf, but my nerves were blunted a bit by the wine. I also started a mini dance party with some of the girls while we were waiting to go on stage in order to get some smiles going, keep our pump and disspell some nerves. It’s hard to be nervous when you are dancing 🙂 It was the bikini round first and I was 3rd in the line up.

I walked out with a huge smile and as much confidence as I could muster. Hit the points on my T walk, strike a few poses as each point and went back to stand in the line up. Once all the girls were out we were called up to the front of the stage for quarter turns so the judges can get a good comparison. Then we go back to the basement. It was a quick change and we had to go back onstage. In this organization the fitness model category has 2 rounds: bikini and costume (or sportswear when it’s not the halloween show). Some quick touch ups back stage, get into costume and back up to do the same thing in outfit #2.

The morning show ended and I was able to get changed and head out to see my friends, aunt and boyfriend who had come to watch. We talked for a bit and then they had to go. It was about 2pm at that point. It was still POURING! Not good for my tan but I needed some food, thankfully I had brought the leftover steak that I had the night before. So I ate that with some butter from the Tim Horton’s at the school, while Andre ate a muffin and some timbits. I had a couple which gave me a little tummy ache from the gluten, but nothing too terrible. Then Andre and I goofed around taking some pictures, but there was still a couple of hours to go before the night show. We found a bench and I passed out for a little while which felt great as I couldn’t sleep much the night before.

Finally it was time to go back down to the basement and get ready for the evening show. It was pretty much the same process as the morning except that the costume and bikini rounds were reversed, so I won’t bore you with the details. The only difference what that there were the awards at the end.

I don’t think they really thought the awards ceremony through because they had all the girls in high heels come on first and then we had to stand on stage while they went through everyone’s awards. My feet were KILLING by the end. If you have liked my Facebook page you will have already seen the top ten line up.

I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t place so that’s not news. The top to line up didn’t have much consistency and I asked the judges what the were looking for, but there wasn’t much they could tell me. So I will just accept that I really liked what I brought to the stage and am happy with how I did regardless of what the judges results were.

No matter what though, it is still really hard to hear that your best effort doesn’t even make the cut 😦 I was really disappointed, but that’s the nature of the beast when you stand up and submit yourself to someone elses judgement of your body.

After the competition Andre and I went out for extremely cheesy nachos, some chicken wings and a swedish berry cocktail or 2 😉 it hit the spot. I was stuffed, but because there was not gluten I didn’t feel sick. We got back to the hotel around 1am and I finally got to shower off all the awful tan. I’m glad it was a hotel shower instead of my own, because I had to lather up about 3 times before it all came off. Even so, I’m a little orangeish today according to my boyfriend. He lovingly referred to me as “tangerine”… I was unimpressed.

I learned a lot and had a few emotional realizations which I will write about at a later point because this post is getting looooooong. Thanks for all your support!

Choosing happiness

Oh my god I have 2 days left before the competition!!!!! That is insane. I started carb loading today and actually got to have oats this morning (plain oats with egg whites, 1 splenda and cinnamon, but still 🙂 )  They were surprisingly sweet. I think my taste buds have adjusted to no sugar, so having high sugar things like honey, maple syrup and chocolate on the day of the competition will be interesting.

All the distilled water I have to drink today, plus a little bit for friday.

Today I have to drink 6-8 litres of water… challenge accepted! I am already past 2L and it’s 11 am. I got this! Tomorrow however, I am having as little water as possible 😦 That will be hard since I normally drink 3-4L of water per day.

Some of you may have noticed a slightly whiny note, perhaps verging on upset in my last few posts. I was not having a good time! This week has been really hard, let no one tell you that the peak week process is easy, because it sure as heck is not! My brain is not functioning properly at all and that is extremely upsetting, plus my body is just physically exhausted. I, however, got through my last workout yesterday (by employing the tips I talked about yesterday 🙂 ) and have not cheated even a little teensy bit on my diet. So I am pretty proud of myself!

In an attempt to get out of my slump I made a list in the post yesterday of the things I am excited about vs. worried about for the upcoming show. Writing those things down actually made me feel a lot better and it reminded me that you really can choose your mood (to some extent). I am still feeling underfed and my brain is still not working, but a couple of days ago I was just wishing the show would be over already so I could go feed my brain and body! Yesterday I thought to myself – I have worked for 10 months to get here… why in the world am I wishing it away?

I have made a decision to be excited, to be happy, to look forward to this show and own that stage. I might not win, I might not place, but I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy every second I can of this process.

I met up with Norvic last night, the trainer that has been helping me through peak week, and ran through my walk and poses. He corrected a few things and reminded me to let my personality show on stage. I have to make the judges remember me. He also really helped my confidence by telling me 1) the water weight is coming off nicely 2) I am looking depleted enough and can start carb loading and 3) he thinks I will rock (as long as I remember to keep smiling, chest out, shoulders back, bum “perched” – his words).

As of right now, the meal after the show is no longer what I’m looking forward to. I am looking forward to the show itself and showing everyone that I have earned a spot on that stage. I am ready for Mayhem!