A look inside: Competition day!

With the competition done, the makeup and tan have been (mostly) washed off, and I’ve had a chance to eat some fun stuff I can finish off where my last post ended. I tried to take pictures to document the day to give you an even better look behind the scenes, but probably missed stuff – sorry!

The athletes meeting and registration on Friday night.

The athletes meeting and registration on Friday night.

Competition day is LONG, tiring, a little stressful, and exciting. In keeping with my prep, Saturday started off pretty rocky for me. At the registration meeting on Friday night, the judges flagged my suit as being a little too small and may result in point deductions. This obviously threw me off and I was worrying about it all night. Saturday I woke up and sent pictures to my coach, and I didn’t particularly like what I saw, paired with the stress over the suit problem and I was kind of a mess. Poor Kyle. I focused on doing my hair and makeup (which turned out great!), then headed over to the host hotel for my second round of spray tan before walking to the theatre. Athletes were told to be there by 9:30, but with my tan at 8:15, I was one of the first backstage.

Being a girl is a lot of work.

Being a girl is a lot of work.

I had another suit as a backup option, so I decided to use that one instead (after getting the judge’s approval on it). With that stress gone, I instantly felt better about the day. The show started and my category was on stage close to the beginning. It was a quick show, the judges kept everything moving smoothly and everyone backstage helped keep us on track. I liked what they did for this show – upon registering they didn’t give you your height category. Rather, they compiled everything and split groups up a little more evenly to avoid having one huge class and a few smaller ones. This still left me as the only person in my height category, but at least there were five other physique competitors to chat with! The prejudging went well, Kyle got some great photos of my mandatory posing and he said everything looked great. As I didn’t have any direct competition, my main focus was on the night show for the overall title.

Between the morning and night show, we hung out with the rest of our team, then headed home to relax. It’s so nice to compete at home! I rested on the couch and even had a nap with the dogs. It was a very careful nap to not ruin my makeup, but any nap is a good one at that point.  Ate some food, watched TV, kept my feet up and generally just relaxed. With the overall title in mind, we kept my food very clean and I actually noticed some small changes as the day went on.

Napping with the puppies between the morning and night show. TKO.

Napping with the puppies between the morning and night show. TKO.

Fine dining in the hotel lobby.

Fine dining in the hotel lobby.

The night show moved just as quickly as the morning. I did my posing routine (which I love), and then was able to watch most of the show as I waited for the overalls. I love watching every category, and it was great to get to see all my teammates on stage and see how they placed. Not to brag, but our team kind of kicked butt! Between us, we got 4 first places, a second, a fourth, and a fifth. Everyone qualified for provincials, too!

Hardware and peanut butter - perfect combination!

Hardware and peanut butter – perfect combination!

My competition for the overall was tough. She looked phenomenal and I was nervous.  She had the advantage of being a lot shorter, giving her a denser, more muscular look. Kyle was honest in comparing us, saying that she had me beat in some poses, and I had her beat in others – it would be a tight competition.  On stage, I posed as hard and “big” as I possibly could, and Kyle’s LOUD reminders for some poses definitely helped. We left the stage and I waited on the side with my coach.  When they called my number as the winner, it was incredible. My coach slapped me on the back and basically pushed me back out on stage. The huge benefit of an overall title is that it gives you a lifetime pass through to Provincials, so I never have to do a regional level competition again.  It’s a great feeling!


Pose down with my biggest supporter. His biceps are just slightly larger than mine...

Pose down with my biggest supporter. His biceps are just slightly larger than mine…

The team went out for dinner after the show – some of us made a quick stop at the best frozen yogurt place before (it would have been closed after we ate! This is totally rational). Everyone always asks what we eat to celebrate.  I had a burger with peanut butter and bacon on it, sweet potato fries, and a mini pumpkin cheesecake. It was fabulous!

Dessert #1 before dinner. I felt like a douchebag with the trophy, but the photo was worth it.

Dessert #1 before dinner. I felt like a douchebag with the trophy, but the photo was worth it.

It was a fairly late night, but we stuck to our usual Sunday schedule and got up early to go for a long walk around our neighbourhood, had our normal breakfast, and then we were off to a friend’s gym to do a photo shoot – True Fitness.  We hadn’t been to the gym yet, but it was awesome!  It was larger than it appears from the outside, and they have a great variety of equipment. We got there just after they opened to stay out of the way of the members and were able to wrap it up as it started to get busy. We left with a lot of great shots that I can’t wait to unveil!

A lot of competitors will take some time off the gym after a show, but all I wanted to do was train legs. I’d been out of the gym for three days already! Plus, after the big meal on Saturday night, I figured it was a great time to hit legs.  We had a terrific workout and it felt great to get moving again. The rest of the day was spent doing all the normal Sunday activities, getting ready to go back to work.

Rest day? Nope, leg day.

Rest day? Nope, leg day.

In terms of diet, I’m trying to be really careful this round. I’m back on my meal plan from two weeks ago, and will slowly add some carbs back into my week. Vegas this week / weekend will obviously throw this plan WAY OFF, but we’re planning on training while we’re there, and obviously walking a lot. When we get back, it’ll be back on plan to avoid any negative impacts like bloating. “Reverse dieting” is a mental struggle in and of itself. When you’re on prep, you know you’re getting on stage in a mini swimsuit to be judged which keeps you on track. When it’s all done, you have to keep yourself in check, and without that important event looming over you, it’s hard to say no to all the  great food (peanut butter) you’ve missed. But, being smart in this time is a huge advantage for your body and your mental health! No one likes how they feel or look when they’re bloated, uncomfortable, and clothes don’t fit. Wish me luck 😉

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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