I thought I would share some funny & difficult lessons that I have learned along my journey……
SUSTAINABLE – We all love the way we look when competing but that look is not sustainable! People tell me all the time how great I look when I am show ready but I rarely hear those words in the off-season. Everyone wants to look like a magazine cover but does not understand what it takes to maintain that look. Your biggest hindrance to growth can be trying to have that shredded look all the time. You cannot be super-lean year round or year after year.
NUDITY – You need to overcome the fear of nudity. I wore a suit during my first spray tan because I couldn’t stand the thought of being nude infront of someone. After seeing the spray lines, I realized I needed to be nude. I’ve become more comfortable – this is evident by the fact that I had a male spray tanner last year. The “bend over” tanning scene was brought to a whole new level. Terrence – are you reading this??
SPRAY TANS – This one is messy! A few tips a) as soon as you get back to your room get naked (yes again) and air dry some more. Set your room to a cooler temperate and dry. B) make sure you pack rag sheets or blankets to sleep on. I purchased a large brown blanket so I can wrap up in it when sitting and then use it for sleeping. C) for females – you do not want drip marks so I’ve learned peeing in a bottle or large cup and disposing in the toilet is the best way to go. I know it sounds gross but it is so much easier. I couldn’t figure out WHY I seem to drip only when I am spray tanned – finally figured out that stuff is sprayed everywhere – need I say more.
HAIRLESS – Get used to the fact that bodybuilders are hairless from the eyeballs down. Take it all off!!
HANGRY – (my friends term for hungry and angry) You need to learn to control your anger (moods) when hungry. I’ve said some doozy’s to my family and clients. I think I am improving each time and trying to be more aware. Lesson here is that just because you are committed to this training and diet doesn’t mean the ones you love need to suffer. I think I should start a list of some of my more memorable comments. Example, me yelling to my family “I can hear you crunching” as they are eating in the closet because they were afraid of me. Or me yelling at my clients during group training “don’t make me repeat myself or else you will pay for it (and they did)”. At the end of that workout they looked like they went through a tornado.
DIETING & BEING SOCIAL – This is a hard one to learn. Just because we are dieting does not mean that we should pass up on social events. It can be hard at times to watch your family or friends eating and drinking but remember it is not the food and drinks that make the memories; it is being there and participating. Life is short – embrace it!
MACROS IN THE OFF SEASON – I confess that this is the hardest lesson for me to learn and have not exactly mastered yet. Just because you are finished with your competition season doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and not track your food– you need to track macros year round regardless of what stage you are in with your training. The ever famous words –REVERSE DIET!
PROTEIN FARTS – This one is funny! During the peak of my 2013 show prep my husband of 20 years slept on the coach for the FIRST time because I gave him a dutch oven. Do not give dutch ovens when eating lots of protein and veggies.
LOSING WITH GRACE – Before you compete you need to figure out WHY you are competing. You need to learn that you cannot or should not ever compare yourself to anyone else. You need to compete to be your own personal best each time and cannot stress about the judges results. The focus needs to be making your own personal improvements each time and enjoying the brief time on stage as it goes fast. I’ve been that sore loser that said the judges were wrong – my ego was wrong! Go out there and be supportive and have fun being YOUR best.
OVER-TRAINING – Remember you grow while you are resting. If you don’t provide enough rest and recovery time, you will never grow. I de-load train every 4th week and listen to my body when it feels tired and REST. I’ve also learned that you do not have to do EVERY exercise in the books! Example, I was nervous because my coach, Eric, didn’t have rear delt flys in my program. His answer was “you do dumbbell rows, that hits the rear delt enough”. I do not use leg presses, hack squats or any of those leg machines, I just squat. Think your program through!
SUPPORT SYSTEM – You do not have to do this on your own. Hire a coach that knows what they are doing – I use Eric Helms with 3DMJ. Hire a trainer to keep you honest and give you that extra push, I have Anthony Vorachak. I am also lucky to have my family, friends and some fellow competitors that I can reach out to. Surround yourself with good support systems and use them. The best part is having someone to celebrate with you!!
Paul & I celebrating after I won My roadies – Nancy Tsongalis &
my DFAC pro card Julie Christian