Well it took 3 months for me to sort out my photos, but here’s what the actual competition show day looked like, and what 14+ weeks of training and dedication all came down to.
Did you know that bikini girls have to pee in a cup, otherwise they could ruin their tan? Also, we had to buy a special product called “bikini bite” which is a specific swimsuit adhesive that glues your suit in place. Guess who had a mishap related to both?? Well, clearly it all worked out in the end, when my two new friends Frances, Stephanie and I all took home some hardware with top place finishes 🙂
Here’s my extremely photo-intensive, photo essay.
- 14 Weeks Out – My Journey to my First Bodybuilding Competition!
- Peak Week – Final Days
- Bodybuilding: the whole series
This day went by SO fast! I tried to take some photos along the way but there was a lot of excitement and stress. I had an early start and I could have actually missed waking up if it wasn’t for Eric’s jet lag! My alarm was supposed to go off at 5 am, so I could have my first meal, but I only set it for weekdays, not the weekend. Luckily, when he woke up, that made me wake up, and I was able to immediately get up, and start eating!
5:00 am – Meal 1 ** Cut water previous day at 2:00 pm. Only tiny sips with food **
6:00 am – Pick up from Stephanie and onwards to Hair and Make-Up by Jen and Chris
7:00 am – Meal 2
8:30 am – Second coat of tan
9:00 am – Meal 3
9:30 am – Be at the venue and rotate through “eating, pumping, posing”
11:00 am – Pre-judging (First Call-Outs determined)
(I previously described the structure of the competition after watching my first show, in this post. All the competitors go out and get judged as a group. Then, smaller groups of 5-6 are called out for further judging. Finally, the top finalists are determined as the judges ask certain numbers to step out in what’s known as “First Call Outs”. These are the final winners for the show, with the exact ranking to be determined at the evening show.)
Meeting my amazing supportive friends who came to watch!!
Lunch (Frances and I ate our chicken and rice haha)
REST: Hang-out at my place – Eric invited Frances and Andrew to come chill at my place. Eric cooked steak and shared stroopwafels 🙂
3:00 pm – Meal 4
5:00 pm – Meal 5
6:00 pm – Night show begins
8:00 pm – Final Judging
11:00 pm – Celebrate and EAT!
Here’s how it ACTUALLY went down!
Things ran late, really late! This is not a complaint (I enjoyed having extra time to calm down) but more of a reality check to anyone reading this and looking for guidance for future shows. Or, this is for any friends watching – it is OK to be late.
We didn’t wrap up the morning pre-judging until almost 2 pm, evening judging ended after 1 am, and we didn’t get to eat our first real meal post-show until almost 2 am!
More of the day through photos:
After my scramble to get up and have my first meal of chicken and rice, Stephanie and her boyfriend dropped by to pick me up. Here is Stephanie and our suitcases full of competition supplies!
We’re both wearing super baggy clothes, so as not to ruin the tan.
Feeling like a VIP getting all glammed up by @chrisfunkhair and trainer, coach extraordinaire Jennifer Weintz (more about her in my first post about Bodybuilding!)
While this was happening, Steph’s boyfriend was sleeping in the car – such a champ! 2 hours later we were ready to head to the tanning booths at the Marriott Hotel downtown.
Showing off our bronzed tans, trying to stay warm, and eating our next meals. Stephanie got to have pancakes – shows how Jennifer really personalized all of our programs depending on how we were doing.
Backstage Waiting Room
After getting our fresh coats of tan, we made our way to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and down a series of stairs to the basement and waiting room.
Here we are – all first time competitors and fast friends after meeting through our coach Jennifer at her posing class 2 weeks earlier (my post on posing class and making new friends here).
Eat, Pose Pump!
Funny details, like saran wrap on the walls.
And yes, keeping the legs elevated.
The waiting game… wish I had taken more photos. Here are two lovely ladies I met the previous night when we were trading snacks from our epic athlete’s bags!
Michelle and Amanda 🙂
Each of us got Popeye’s towels in our athlete’s bags and many of the competitors brought them to lay on.
Frances and I – one final pose and photo together before getting on to stage.
Onto the stage
Once our category was called up (after all the men bodybuilders) we made our way backstage to get tan touch ups. We also had some kind women help apply bikini bite for us – the glue that holds your suit in place.
Pumping backstage – lifting weights and posing.
Sneak peak at the stage.
I got in line, and I was so nervous that I started adjusting my bikini, and at the same time, messing up the glue! Huge props to the girls backstage for fixing this moments before showtime.
And then we were on!
I was at the front of the line and my heart was racing as I stepped out from the curtains and made my way across the stage. We all strutted out and then lined up.
All the competitors were then sent to the back and separated into two groups. Each group was called out front so that the judges could evaluate more clearly.
In these smaller groups, we did our posing routine. First in the front pose.
Then we transitioned into side and back poses.
After each group went through their rounds, everyone was sent back in a line and patiently awaited the judges deliberation.
It’s an intense moment mixed with nervousness and excitement – waiting in the back row while flexing every single muscle all while smiling and looking like this is no big deal! I’m not even sure if I was breathing, but I could hear every cheer for my number from my friends yelling their lungs out.
There’s a pause, and one by one, the judges begin to call out the top numbers.
Based on my last show, I expected that they would call 5 athlete numbers.
After all, they only give out 5 awards at night.
The judges announced their top numbers and the corresponding woman would raise her hand and step out front. After the 5th number was called, I had a slight moment of “oh….ok….”
They called out an additional 6th number – Mine! 191!
So, I raised my hand just like the other before me, and then walked out to the end of the line to join the other women.
In this group of top call-outs, we were asked to go through our routines again. Front pose, side pose, back pose, back to front.
It was such a thrill to be on stage!
I was so encouraged that I could hear my friends cheering me on.
And I really admire and love the positivity that came from them! One of my friends yelled out, “191, you’re beautiful”. Another crowd member yelled out “*** you’re more beautiful!”. But then, I could hear my girl Tina in particular scream out “YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!!!”
What a perfect message 🙂 I’m so proud of my friends for sending out support to all the ladies!
And yes, aren’t they all beautiful 🙂
Top Call Outs
After the first call outs were over, I headed backstage with Frances and we hugged and screamed and giggled over how we both got “First Call-outs”
We then quickly headed backstage to grab our stuff and go!
I met my friends outside, and am so grateful for each of them for making the time to come out and purchasing a costly show ticket to come out and support me. Hearing their cheers gave me so much energy – I love them so much!!!
Jen even brought me gourmet donuts from Cartems!! (Eric claims he had the same idea but Jen beat him to it!!) Thank you! I had some Cartem’s cravings during the prep, but as my coach said whenever I admitted my cravings – Wait until the show and you can eat donuts out of your trophy!
By now it was almost 2:00 pm and time for lunch, so Frances and I went to Moxie’s with a group of friends (we only ate chicken and rice though, barely any water).
Back to my house!
Eric cooked Andrew steak and offered everyone Dutch treats. Best host ever 🙂
Another one of my good friends, Victoria, who also happens to be Andrew’s sister, was working during the day so she couldn’t come to the morning pre-judging show. But, she was hoping to make it to the evening show! It was funny hearing the siblings talk on the phone and how Andrew insisted Victoria come straight downtown after work, “otherwise she wouldn’t end up coming at all!”.
In the end, Victoria listened to her brother and came over!
Then Mike stopped by to head to the evening show with Eric.
The men stuck around at home around while Victoria drove Frances and I back to Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the evening show.
The Evening Show
As I alluded to earlier, the show was running behind, so us ladies hung out at Andrew’s StrongHold Fitness booth
Victoria, a talented hair stylist, used this time to touch up my hair and Frances’ hair and take fun photos together.
Then the waiting game…
For the night show, we got to put on all of our jewelry! (This isn’t allowed for the morning show). Despite all of us being extremely tired and hungry, there were still smiles backstage and new friendships formed. This is Frances and I with Erin, another competitor who finished top 5 in her category – congrats!
Erin brought up an interesting point when she learned that Frances and I had become fast friends – she said that as friends doing this together, it was good that we both got first call outs, otherwise it could have gotten weird. Both Frances looked at each other immediately, scrunched our faces and refuted that! But, it’s a valid perspective and I admit that I am so happy to have been able to fully share that experience together!
Showing off the bling with Amanda and Michelle!
Top 5 Results
Usually, there isn’t much mystery or surprise as to who the medal finishers are. By the end of the morning pre-judging show, the top 5 have already been announced. However, as mentioned earlier, I was called 6th in the morning – the dark horse of the show, haha!
I was delighted to have been part of the first call-outs but I knew that I wasn’t guaranteed a medal. And so, as we all lined up again for the evening, I felt that this evening show portion was even more suspenseful. I knew I wasn’t as muscular as the other girls, and I was called last in the morning. But I also remembered the encouraging words of my coach – Every show is different. It’s not just the muscles, it’s the whole package: your confidence, how you pose, your suit, hair and make-up. Your stage presence.
When the judges announced the top 5 winners, I questioned if I heard my name correctly, and I didn’t want to step out in case I misheard and pulled a Zoolander, accepting an award that wasn’t mine! As it turns out, it was my number, so I went to the X marked on the stage and happily accepted my medal.
It was incredibly rewarding and exciting that both Frances and I came away with these prizes in our very first show! Same with Stephanie (not pictured), the 3rd and final competitor that Jennifer was coaching. Frances and Stephanie came in 2nd place, and with their Top 3 finish, they qualified for Provincials, the next level of competition!
Quick shot with out coach backstage! And friends!
And then finally, Frances and I got to devour our Cartem’s donuts. We shared of course 😉
And the other medal, courtesy of Eric, a giant Srtoopwafel cookie.
WHAT A DAY!! Met so many wonderful people, including all the dedicated competitors backstage. Congratulations to everyone who showed up – I know how much time and dedication goes into something like this now. Prepping for a bodybuilding competition is one of the most time consuming and challenging things you can undertake – both physically and mentally. Major props to everyone who commits to this and also for stepping on to that stage to get judged!
More post competition thoughts in a future post, including advice and final words from Frances and Stephanie!
But first, favourite part of show day from those two:
Stephanie (pictured with her bf – thanks again for driving and waiting in the car!!)
“All of it! The way you finally get to see all 16 weeks come together for the final moment. Also getting pampered is a plus you get hair and makeup done and you feel so incredible. Then you put on a bedazzled bikini and get to strut on stage. The stage part is what sold me that adrenaline rush just like I felt with dance. Plus finally eating carbs again, it was like I can’t believe I don’t have to eat an entire cucumber to fill me up aha.”
Frances (pictured with some of her friends that showed up with surprises!)
“This is a hard one. Without exaggeration, every moment of show day was a happy and exciting one. But if I really had to choose a favourite it would have to be seeing my friends and family who came out to support me. Right after I stepped off stage I went out to the venue lobby and there were a bunch of my loved ones waiting for me with hugs, congratulatory flowers, and…you know it…TREATS! I might have cried a little. To be able to share such an amazing accomplishment with people who are dear to my heart brought the purest feelings of love and joy. I will never forget it.”
I’ll write more in a future post, but for now, a favourite part was challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone – I crossed that line and ran!
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.
In the meantime, all of my Bodybuilding Journey Posts
- 14 Weeks Out – My Journey to my First Bodybuilding Competition!
- 7 to 5 Weeks Out – Accomplishments, Picking Out My Suit and Getting Tips From a Top 10 Canadian Competitor
- 4 Weeks Out – Watching my First Bodybuilding Competition – Vancity Showdown!
- 3.5 Weeks Out – Applying this Determination to Other Areas of my Life – Biking to Work Even in the Rain (and my first accident)
- 3 Weeks Out – That Prep Life – Easier If Single? Tips from Another 1st Place Competitor
- 2 Weeks Out – Another First, Making New Friends and Being Real
- 1 Week Out – Last Posing Class, Motivation and Discipline
- Peak Week – Final Days