My 2nd Bodybuilding Competition Reflections and Lessons for Success

I wasn’t sure if I would do another competition after my first one in 2016. It was hands down the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, since I had to dedicate an insane amount of time into training and meal prep and decline most social invitations.

Given all those sacrifices, why on earth would I subject myself to that strict regiment again?

Well, for starters, the reward of setting an ambitious goal and then doing whatever it took to see it through was thrilling!

The process of building a consistent routine where I was seeing and feeling positive results was addictive!

The opportunity to share my journey with others and teach people that anything is possible when we put our mind to it was an unexpected delight!

Sharing lessons after my first competition – photography: @davidfournierphotography

I swear my brain got seriously rewired in the bodybuilding process and I gained a huge amount of confidence in myself after my first show. I learned that our bodies and mind are absolutely capable of more than we can imagine. The best part was channeling this newfound determination, confidence and grit into other avenues of my life, like pursuing entrepreneurial pursuits, such as my Young Professionals Personal Development Events and working as Co-founder on social impact venture, LookLab.

Very happy with my Top 5 placing 🙂

What was different this time around?

Having gone through the process once before, I understood that changes don’t happen overnight and that mindset made a huge difference. I trusted the process more this time and I knew that consistency was key. Some weeks you may experience significant change and other weeks, you see nothing at all. Typically during new exercise routines, this is the time people want to give up. They don’t see results and think the whole routine is a lie! But patience really is key, and by focusing on consistency, you are training your body to form those healthy habits.

Making friends backstage at my first competition.
2018: My girls (Megan, Kelsey and Charm) – we all were being coached by @jenniferweintz!

I would credit my success to a few things, that I will share below. But first, let me define success.

What does success look like?

Like my first bodybuilding prep, success was showing up.

Success was being accountable to myself. If I was going to set a goal that I want to compete again, I wanted to prove to myself that I could commit and and improve. I wanted to be kinder to myself this time, doubt myself less and “cheat” less!

Post show feature by @davidfordfoto

I will also admit, that I wanted to earn a higher placing. In my first competition, I was proud to place in the Top 5, but I missed the cutoff to compete at the next level (Provincials, then Nationals).

The beauty of this particular competition was the opportunity to compete at a National level and even a Pro-Qualifier. Background: Many competitive athletes in this sport have the aim of reaching Pro Status and being able to compete in Pro Competitions. The is a very long, and extremely dedicated process. I can write about that more another time if there’s interest!

Olympia Bodybuilding Competition

How to set yourself up for success

Number 1: Remember your why!

The first time around, I was embarrassed and afraid of sharing my ambition and journey. I was so scared of failure.

I confided to my coach that I was scared of becoming a meme, and having people in the audience question why I was even standing on stage.

Crazy self talk huh?

My coach helped me through it in a couple ways.

She reminded me of my goals – I was doing this for me, not for anyone else.

I was proving to myself that I am capable of sticking to goals and challenging myself in new ways.

That I can do a pull-up, have muscles and yes, even have abs!

It was also reassuring for me when she said she would
“be honest and let me know if she thought I wasn’t ready for stage!”

With my coach and mentor @jenniferweintz

Update Oct 2018

Fellow competitor Charm (@charm_singh) put it well for her 2nd show in October:

Her why – “I’m a winner no matter what!”

Number 2: Find your tribe!

I was too scared to tell anyone during my first competition.

It was only once I was close to the competitions that I slowly started to confide to more people – people who I didn’t think would judge me too harshly.

Everyone was so surprisingly supportive when I did this in the Fall of 2016 that I wondered, why didn’t I tell people earlier?

Why are we so scared to ask for support and help?

I know the answer.

It’s the fear of failure.

This fear stops us from sharing our goals and ambitions. We think that if we share our dreams, we open ourselves up for criticism and scrutiny.

Well, that’s probably the case, but who cares?

You are the only one who has to live with yourself at the end of the day.

This time around, I told everyone!

I made it public on my social media (@poymeetsworld).

I told my colleagues!

I met some of the other competitors that my coach was training and we would meet up to go to workshops together! We would share training progress and encouragement. It was so helpful to have this supportive community.

My 8 Weeks Out Blog Post here about attending a posing workshop:

My new friends and I created a supportive whatsapp group to check in on each other and share tips!

My girls (Megan, Kelsey and Charm) – we all were being coached by @jenniferweintz!
Michelle and Jen! They were also in prep for future competitions and we all shared the same coach – @jenniferweintz!
My favourite people celebrating a post-competition meal with me! I craved steak, sushi and yam fries!

Number 3: Utilizing meal delivery!

Food and meal prep is such a HUGE part of this your fitness journey.

You can’t out-train a bad diet.

So it all begins with nourishing your body with healthy, nutrient-dense foods.

Ever since training with Jennifer in 2015, I have know how important it is to shop for the right ingredients and dedicate time to cooking it.

Well, the downside is that when you’re eating 6 meals a day, this can take up a significant amount of time!

Enter – Meal Delivery! Thankfully I had partnered with local Meal Delivery company 2 Guys with Knives (@2guyswithknives) and was able to customize meals to perfectly fit my bodybuilding macros of high protein, moderate carbohydrates (for pre and post workout) and moderate fats.

More why I chose them here:

They even provided healthy protein ball treats to share with fellow competitors! I was so happy to share these with the other women!

2 Guys with Knives helping me make friends by giving me goodies to share
Really appreciated my friends coming out to support me and joining for a meal!

In summary:

I credit those 3 lessons above for helping me the most going into my prep the second time around!

I am grateful for the opportunity to compete once again and it gives me a lot of joy to share my lessons and experience with a broader community!

During my competition and afterwards, I began to train a few friends and LOVED IT.

Reach out if you have questions about your own health and wellness journey.

Bodybuilding Posts – a few highlights

Some of my previous posts on bodybuilding:

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