For the last 12 weeks I’ve been preparing for my next fitness competition. This quest has completely transformed the way that I look and feel, which is hard to believe since I’ve always lived a clean and healthy lifestyle. I’m always amazed at the changes a new training program brings.
Gina Aliotti was my coach and she kept me eating a variety of foods so I never got bored. This was a big difference from my last prep, so I was able to eat foods that I’d never had previously pre-contest; Foods like pumpkin in my oatmeal, oranges, grapefruit, berries and Quest Bars.
Because of this, I got very creative in the kitchen, further helping prevent food boredom. Proteins like steak, chicken, shrimp or fish, chocolate egg whites & Gina’s Famous Protein Pancakes, all of which I loved.
This kept me sane. In fact, while eating with friends, they would see my food and couldn’t believe what I got to eat! The key to all of this was simple: Portion control.
I had tons of energy, and never felt deprived.
For cardio, I used the incline trainer in the morning and in the evening I’d use the step-mill (we have a love-hate relationship). My trainer and I focused on heavy weights with fewer reps for my upper body, with one body part per sessions. For legs, we lowered the weight and increased reps. We also incorporated hill sprints and bike sprints. My legs quickly looked leaner and longer (which is great since I’m 5’3!).
On competition day, I felt great but I was nervous about stepping on stage 5lbs heavier than my last show. But I put the number out of mind and stepped on stage at 128lbs. I never felt better!
My family and friends were all there to support and cheer me on, knowing how hard I had worked. They encouraged my journey with all their love and support. Juggling my lifestyle around my family with 2 young boys gave me a great sense of achievement. Without their support, I could not have achieved what I did.
Not only did I win the Overall Masters 35+, but also won the Overall Figure Champion at the NPC GNC Sand Diego. I made some needed changes and as a result I’ve achieved the best body I’ve ever had! We can always improve and make positive changes, no matter what our age or setbacks. That’s all the motivation I need to continue to compete, have fun and live a healthy life!
Photos by Zana Ikeda