I started my “career” as a figure competitor in 2007. I entered my first show, with FAME, and came in 2nd! It was a strange experience, I knew nothing about eating clean, working out for hypertrophy, or setting foot on stage. Like a good student, I followed the advice of my genius homeopathic doctor, George Tardik, and learned to lift like a boy from my trainer Ana Blazanin. I owed my success to them. I remember backstage was pretty amazing, there was no catty competition from the other girls. We were all in the same boat and we all worked bloody hard to get there. It was a really supportive environment. I didn’t go out on stage expecting to win anything, so it was an amazing feeling to place at all, which is evident in this photo…
Afterwards, as any competitor can attest, there is a sort of “what now” kind of feeling. I did it. I stepped on stage in a bikini and clear heels. So, what now? I took some time off to “grow”. What I really did, was avoid the gym as intensely and eat what I liked. I’ll admit, it was nice to be “normal” again. I’m the type of person who, when faced with a task, I go full on into it. I don’t cut corners. I followed my show prep to a “T”, and didn’t cheat. Not even a little bit. I think that’s why most people pig out after a show, they have been too focused on following their plan, that they don’t just make it become their new lifestyle. Eating healthy isn’t rocket science, and it’s certainly not a part-time thing. I treated it like that back then.
2009 rolled around and, after some umming and ahhhing, I decided I wanted to return to the stage. I didn’t put on as much size as I should have, given the amount of time off, because I didn’t dedicate myself enough. Sure, I hit the gym, but it wasn’t my priority. Life got in the way; moving house, changing careers, etc. I was working full time as a news anchor, and part time as an ambulance dispatcher. On top of that, I was volunteering once a week. I was a busy girl, with not a whole lot of “me” time.
I decided to show with the IDFA organization. And, again, I placed 2nd.
I was beginning to see a theme developing and would laugh, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” My goal was to place 1st, then I would retire. I changed trainers, opting for an online trainer. I followed the plan like a good student, but I was miserable. I missed out on family BBQ’s, gatherings, meals, summer patio season, etc. I worked hard at the gym, then realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be to get 1st. I couldn’t afford my online trainer anymore because we purchased a house, so I decided to take what knowledge I had attained so far and come up with my own plans and workouts. The workouts I was good with, I read and absorbed anything I could get my hands on – all the latest scientific diet and workout tips from pubmed, and advice from bodybuilding forums and blogs. Nutritionally, I ate as clean as possible, but I wasn’t 100% committed.
May 2011 was to be my return to the stage, again with IDFA. I started to focus and prepare in November 2010, but I was leaning out too much, and not increasing muscle. At the time, I intensified my distance runs, so that I was in the best running shape possible, and could easily sail through the physical portion of the Police application process. I wanted to be a cop. And, as luck would have it, I was hired that March. I spent the summer at the Ontario Police College. Running. And lots of it.
One of my bucket list items was to one day attain my Pro card in Figure, and I finally did!