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.
This time around I ate a variety of foods so I never got bored. This was a big difference from my last prep, I was eating 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 & 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). 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. I 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!
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Photos by Zana Ikeda