Finale…

So this is the end. This is where I sign off. My Novice season is done, and it was good. Next year it will be different, it will no longer be my first go and you only get one go at your first go, so I wanted to capture my journey – I wanted to show what its like on the inside, I wanted it to be light but real, I wanted to show how much work goes into looking so good up on stage – I wanted to show the dedication, the discipline, the good bits as well as the not so good bits and I hope I’ve done that…sure I know I had my whingy moments, moments when I wanted to quit…and I look back on those and cringe or laugh at how pathetic I was being – hindsight is a wonderful thing, but those moments when I was experiencing them were real..to me :-)

Fortunately for me I’ve had some wonderful people around me to provide the appropriate levels of  ’foot application to gluteals’ :-)

I’m glad I didn’t quit because it has been so worthwhile and my novice season has been an amazing success. All of you who are still competing – good luck! You’re phenomenal – I don’t know how you keep going for so long! I’ve done a total of 15 weeks and 3 comps and it wiped me out!

I’ll be back next year…bigger and stronger…a real figure athlete instead of a random blow in with great legs! :-p

how could I not? who knew that an impulsive decision I made back in July could turn into such an incredible experience and take on a life of its own! The last 2 years has been a total physical transformation for me – each time I found some new strength or level of leanness I started to set little goals, then when I exceeded those, I set bigger goals. Eventually so many people had asked me which competition I was training for, that I guess my curiosity got the better of me. Funnily enough it wasn’t the physical side of competing that concerned me – I knew I’d be able to do the training, the real challenge was the concept of standing on stage in a sparkly bikini and stripper heels…that bit absolutely terrified me !

and now? Love it!

Every time I step on stage…its MY stage!

I love my sparkly bikini and strutting around on my stripper heels…and my physique -WOW! I love being lean and clean…can’t wait to see where I can go next :-)

So I want to wrap by saying a final thank you to all who have helped me  - it certainly takes a lot of team work behind the scenes to get a competitor up on stage, and everyone is essential!

thank you to all who have been following me and if I haven’t managed to completely put you off – if you’re even a little bit curious or interested in becoming a figure competitor – I say go for it!

you’ll be glad you did!

:-)

My Results:

INBA Universe Titles: Brisbane

3rd Figure Masters 40+

4th Figure Novice Short

5th Figure International Masters 40+

INBA Australian Titles: Melbourne

3rd Figure Novice

3rd Figure International

INBA Victorian Titles: Melbourne

2nd Figure Overall

1st Figure Novice

3rd Figure International

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Universe Day

OMG it’s 3am – I haven’t slept a wink despite being completely exhausted – I’m so wound up and tense about whether I’m going to be able to get my hair and makeup done, what time I need to get the bus, whether Jo is going to be there, my timings – I’m a bit nervous about things running early believe it or not – the other 2 shows have run very late so I’m not sure whats worse?

Anyway so much going on in my head I can’t even get into my meditation – I’ll give it another go, I do need some sort of rest!

4am

I can’t stay in bed any longer!! just too keyed up – I’ ve got the alarm set for 5:30 so I’m going to start my hair and makeup, I want my hair done at least by 5:30, that will give me 3 hours to do my makeup – and plenty of time (I hope!) do re do it in case it goes wrong!

I’m aiming to get the 8:30 bus so I can get to the venue, pitch my spot and then take photos – I really want to take in as much as possible of the day, this is my biggest show yet and I’m sure it’ll be a real eye opener with lots to learn!

I really want a drink – sooo thirsty! I stopped drinking water at 7pm yesterday, I thought I’d make it a bit earlier this time, I want to come in really dry – am feeling really dry right now thats for sure!!

figure check…back is looking good, biceps and chest looking good, abs…yep can pop those out. Lats…yes! huge and my shoulders are looking good

legs…how have my legs come up….

hmm…I don’ t think my legs have come up….hope thats just me being paranoid…ok calm down and focus and start doing hair.

4:30am

Ok got my hair all sectioned and it looks pretty straight, now I’ve got to try and get the twists into each section and put in the bling… tracking quite well so far…

5:15am

goddamn how do I get the bloody twists into it??? sod it! I’ll just put in the invisible elastics and bobby pin it

eek! there’s the alarm!

I need to eat!

ok calm down, focus – get the last bit of bling in!

5:45

cool! done…I’ve done a really good job! All the sparkly hair clips are completely straight and placed correctly so they will frame the pony tail

phew! that took forever…ok time to eat and I’m going to have 100ml of water + 100ml of tea (do like my cup of tea in the morning!)

6:00

ok now for the final bit of the ‘Jeannification’ process – the makeup!  I’m quite confident that I can get this done fairly quickly, as Giselle at the Illamasqua stand inMyer, Melbourne very kindly wrote down each step when she created my ‘look’ and I’ve practised a few times now. The fiddly bit will be the false eyelashes – trying to stick those on with these claws on without poking my eyes out is probably going to be the challenge here!

alright lets do it!

:-)

7:15

All Done!!! and it looks really good! I’m pretty chuffed with my effort – it even only took 1 go to get the eyelashes on! and no eyeball stabbing :-)

good job! :-)

you know theres been plenty of interesting learning experiences that I never in a million years thought I’d ever be exposed to in my life – stripper heels, sparkly bikinis, chocolate coloured fake tans, false nails, false eyelashes, doing stage makeup, wearing fake hair, wearing more bling than at a Mr T convention to name just a few areas of my new found expertise :-)

I’ve now got plenty of time to kill as I wasn’t planning on getting the bus until 8:30, but I just can’t relax, so I re-pack my bag – do I take after comp outfit? I’m meeting a friend but I’m not sure if we’re going to come back here after the comp or go to his house…I’d better take it just in case. I also pack skeleton makeup for touch ups during the day, food is all packed, towels, camera, lens, heels, spare bikini, pump up bands, pashmina in case its cold…Top Coat….I think I’m good to go

I might as well get on the 8am bus, get to the venue and get all set up. I’ll also be able to see all of the Physique category and take photos.

8:30

I’m here!

The Chandler Theatre at the Sleeman Centre and OMG! its an AUDITORIUM!

Its a HUGE, proper, conference type auditorium…you could probably fit 1000 people in here!

Wow…Yikes!

And the stage is nice and big…its going to be my stage today…I can feel it…I’ve tweaked my posing again – I can pop out my lats really well now so I can look massive and I also realised I was doing my side chest incorrectly and wasn’t showing my bicep properly – I’ve fixed that as well so I’m looking forward to putting it all together…3rd time is the charm…

:-)

lets go and check out the backstage area, then I can get my spot, check in with Jo Rogers – she said she’d be in early setting up her stand, so she’s probably here by now somewhere – there were a number of stands at the front, mainly supplement stands, but I didn’t see Style On Stage – never mind, I’m sure she’s here, it sounded like she was looking after a couple of people today.

The backstage area is right at the bottom of the auditorium and…its not very big! Compared to the area we had at Moonee Valley for the Vics and Nationals, this is not a very big area at all – and by all accounts its going to be a really big show, so I suspect its going to turn into bedlam very shortly once the main categories come in to get ready – good idea getting here really early methinks!

One thing that has impressed me so far is that INBA QLD certainly seem to have their act together – all the walls are covered in orange plastic sheeting! How smart is that!!

One of the complaints of venues appears to be the amount of cleaning required after an event to get all the dream tan/top coat smears off the walls – well thats not going to happen here!

There is a long table full of lollies and bowls of fruit  for the competitors to eat and theres about 10 hair/makeup desks with power sockets and mirrors – great idea!

Already its a hive of activity – people pumping up, people slapping on top coat, last minute advice being given, helpers, friends, hangers on milling about – no wonder we’ve been restricted to only 1 backstage helper…

Most of the mirror spots are taken – as you can imagine, but I finally manage to find a spot by one of the mirrors and as it turns out its right by the exit to the stage! excellent – I’ll be able to hear what category they are calling – and even better, just above me is a TV showing whos on stage and I’ve got a running order taped to the wall just behind me…I think I’ve just about got the best posy in the house! awesome!

:-)

I pitch my little patch of turf – towel out, food out, bit and pieces out on towel – heels strewn haphazardly on towel – make it look like ‘home’.

how are we doing time wise? its about 8:50 – plenty of time! Ms Physique isn’t due to start for another 10 minutes, so I think I’ll go and find Jo…back up the many stairs to the top of the auditorium to where all the trade stands are, and i ask at one of the supplement stands if Style on stage is here…the person obligingly points right opposite where I am standing….doh! I walked right past Jo’s stand!

Jo is tucked away behind a wall of Pleaser thigh high boots and a couple of racks of bikinis and she’s bent down completely focused on sticking sparkles to a really beautiful bikini – no wonder I didn’t see her! I wonder whose bikini that is? I don’t know if I could stand the stress of having my bikini delivered on the day, glue still wet! We have a quick chat and agree that Jo will come backstage at 10:30 to get my body shimmer put on.

phew, I feel a little more relaxed now that I know Jo is here and she’s all good to do my tan – I think thats what has been preying on my mind and why I’ve been a bit tense. Now I can get on with watching the show on stage and getting some good photos – I’ve decided to be Melita AND Matt today…

right…as if! Nobody can even come close to Melita and Matt when it comes to camera art! :-)

Ms Physique short class has just come on stage – they’re bang on time, and Jason Woodforth has this event running with military precision! there’s no messing about – Jason calls out the symmetry, approx 5-10 seconds for each turn then straight into the compulsories, 5-10 seconds for each, then everyone steps to the back of the stage, whilst Jason finds out from the judges who they want to call out, then repeat – its done in about 3 minutes!

wow – super efficient.

interesting observation….only 5 or 6 get called, and it looks like there’s only one call out…so, if you don’t get called out, it appears that you’re not going to get a call out and thats it for your show…note to self – must be on my game then, no room for error here.

Ms Physique is all done – some fabulous looking bodies out there – the 2 overall competitiors obviosuly know each other very well – they’re having a blast up there laughing amongst themselves! thats good to see

time check….9:45

plenty of time!

I amble on backstage – time to be a bit of Matt! :-)

who am I kidding – there IS only one Matt… :-)

time check…10:40

wheres Jo? I know its at least an hour to go before I’m due on stage but they’re rattling through the program and are a little bit ahead of schedule – I didn’t believe Jason when he said that, but now I understand his confidence!

INBA Victoria…pay attention..!

I can’t find Jo so now I’m getting tense and a little anxious – I really wish Aiden was here.

Just having his presence there is reassuring – we know how each other works and I now know that I can depend on him – I’m going to have to do everything myself today which requires thinking – what category is on, how the timings are working out, which category I need to get my tan done by, which category I need to eat by, which category I need to start my pumping up  - at the Nationals, we discussed our game plan and then I let Aiden handle it all which meant all I had to do was focus on being on stage –  its playing on my mind a more than a little bit now.

Jo is back upstairs! damn now I’ve got to go up and down stairs – this is not going to help my legs…and I’m already unconvinced as to whether they have come up.

Dream tan is banned at this show, so I’m using Body Shimmer – its a really red sort of colour and definitely not nearly as dark as Dream tan. Jo smears this stuff all over me and pats it down – just in time! Figure International Masters has just been given the 5 minute warning – I’ve got to get pumped up yet!

Quick pump up – just shoulders, lats and then we’re lining up!

here we go….there’s some very familiar faces in this lineup – people I’ve been watching on my DVD’s and practicing my posing against! I’m actually going to be on stage with people I’ve spent the last 3 months pretending to be on stage with…

how trippy is that ??

‘Representing Victoria…number 91..Sarah Taylor!’

and up I go….

head up, shoulders back, wave to the crowd, confidence! and into my relaxed pose and…

Bugger!!! I forgot my rings and bracelet!!

I’m on stage without my bling…I feel naked!!

keep smiling! can’t go back and get them now!

show must go on! remember they’re only doing one call out – you’ve got to be in it!

I’m shaking like a leaf – this is odd, I have no strength in my legs – and its HOT up there, I’m already sweating and we haven’t done anything yet!

this body shimmer stuff is really pale and shiny – and its beginning to streak where I’m sweating….

keep smiling!

ok, front pose – butt out, back bent, big lats, big shoulders, rounded soft elbows and hands, squeeze glutes but not quads…smile look at all the judges in turn…am very relaxed up here can’t you tell? got it – this feels good

1/4 turn…feet are a little unco – am not very balanced on my heels – unusual….never mind – focus have 5 seconds to get this right…butt out, back bent, legs straight, glutes tight, quads relaxed, torso twisted as much as I can, arms rounded and soft..smile! good this is feeling good as well.

1/4 turn…ok BIG back…hmm… not much room – is a big lineup.. take a teeny step backwards out of the line so I can spread my back, hair off back, back bent, squeeze calves, but not glutes…this one feels good as well…I think I’ve got these down today

1/4 turn to front…same as last one – really feeling my lats popping…this is excellent…smile!

ok we all stepto the back of the stage – this is it…the call out…

Susie Calcino…

Donna Mcinnes Irons…

Helen Longmuir…

Terry Anne Grey…

pleeeease call me out!!!

number 91!!!

YAY!!! Thats me!! I got a call out!! WooHoo!!

ok, focus…legs are really wobbly, and am wobbly on my heels – hold it together!!

1/4 turns…all feel good – think I’ve finally got the hang of these – I can’t see how I look on the big screens, but I just feel that my form is good today.

Ok we’re back in line while they tally up the scores…and we’re holding…

and we’re still holding…

how long is this taking? I have to change my relaxed stance to the other side – my lead leg is shot…

top 5 in no particular order….

I’m 5th!!

5th!!!

thats awesome! and in such a high quality lineup…BIG smile now! can’t wait to tell Aiden – shall I tell him now or wait till i’ve done all my categories…?

FOCUS!! we’re not quite done yet

I get my medal – they’re heavy! I like heavy :-)

now we’re done…head up, shoulders back, wave to crowd (even though there’s noone I know!) walk off stage.

Phew! I’m so HOT and am really sweating – this body shimmer stuff has run everywhere!

We get backstage and there’s lots of chatter and excitement – I head over to Donna and congratulate her on her 3rd place which she’s thrilled at, then I head back to my spot – I really need to eat something – I can’t believe how I had no energy up there and how shaky I was, my balance was off as well – very odd.

shall i call Aiden??? no I think I’ll wait till I’ve done all my categories – if my posing is as good as I think it was just now, I’m really hopeful that I’ll have some other good news to report! Mind you everyone here is in incredible shape and looking in really top form – there’s going to be some really tough competition!

ok, so on current progress, I’ve got about 1 3/4 hours before my next category – I really ought to relax and put my feet up – but I also want to get some more photos of the other figure international classes – its a bit of a whos who in some of the lineups – I’ve seen Temeka Hyndman – who I’ve totally modelled myself on after seeing her at the All Female Classic in July where she came 2nd to Janet Kane, and there’s Michelle Fuller – in that beautiful bikini that Jo was finishing. Michelle always has the most beautiful bikinis – dread to think how much they cost, she must trust Jo a lot because she always seems to get them at the very last minute before she goes on stage!! Waay too much stress for me :-)

Photos it is.

I stuff my medal into my bag, wrap my pashmina around me so I dont’ smear all over the seats, grab my camera and head back out into the audience. In the short class theres only 7 competitors – hmm… maybe I should have entered that! And this is the thing that I just don’t get about figure international – all the competitors are really well defined and muscular – I really tried to focus on my symmetry and not flex, but some of these girls you can really see the separation in their legs..interesting.

The Open class 2 has Temeka Hyndman and Michelle Fuller in it!! Its like a whos who! And they come 1st and 2nd

The open class 3 (tall) has Nikki Croft and Amanda Francisty in it – I take about a million photos  as they both look so good and Nikki gets 2nd, and Amanda gets 1st – good work girls!

Unfortunately I wont’ be able to take photos of the overall, as I need to get ready for the Figure Masters which on current schedule will be in about 45 minutes. I’d better get some food into me as I’m going to need my energy.

Now where is Jo again? I’d better get my topcoat touched up – this stuff is really smeary and has run badly where I got sweaty on stage and where my pashmina has rubbed.

I can’t find Jo backstage.

Dammit that means another trip up the stairs. I go very slowly, I’m trying not to exercise my legs. Whilst I’m up top I decide it would be a good idea to find a bathroom – the whole 1 toilet thing downstairs is turning into a disaster when you’ve got 100’as of people all trying to use it!

Ok, Jo collected – she’s trying to finish another bikini! Back down the stairs and a top up of top coat. I’ve got about 20 minutes now so a few strawberries and some honey for instant energy, and round 1 of my pump up. This time I need to do the full routine – shoulder press, biceps, push ups, lat raises, rear delts and there’s a handy metal pole which I can wrap the band around and do rows.

yeah!!! Feeling the burn!! This is good, veins popping nicely…little rest then the 5 minutes call is given so just time to run through my pump up again.

Perfect timing! We’re lining up – another big group 14 of us and there’s faces I recognise from the DVD’s I’ve been practicing to! This is really trippy – I’m going to be on stage with people who have been doing this for ages and they’re all in great shape – you’d never know this was the over 40’s group – some incredible physiques!

I’m about mid group which is the perfect position to be in…I’ll be front and centre…look at me!

And here I go – again as I step on stage I wave to the crowd, although its such a strange feeling knowing that there’s no-one out there cheering for you – I guess that’s what you have to do, is to try and win the crowd over. I’m in my relaxed pose and I’m feeling incredibly wobbly and weak – what is going on? I’ve paced my eating well, I’ve had small sips of water at pump up – I’m probably up to 350ml for the day so I don’t think I’m any more dehydrated than previous times – mind you it is soo much hotter this time I’m really raising a sweat and we haven’t even started the posing yet!

Jason is running this efficiently as ever so straight into the symmetry and this time I focus on flexing everything hard as well as getting my form right – I’m really feeling good about my posing this time particularly my front pose and I’m also take my time just to make sure I get everything right. I do feel wobbly though, am bleeding energy and starting to get tired.

Next, into the compulsories…front bicep…good. Side chest…good – am so glad I figured out that little tweak that now shows my biceps better. Side tricep…get a good look at my back and calves – oops! Nearly over balanced there, my legs are shot!

Rear Bicep – BIG back remember to SPREAD not crunch, round into abs and thighs…breathe out, breathe out more…and crunch….I can’t hold this one so I throw in the Side abs quickly and grab a breath before moving back into relaxed pose – phew! Am glad that’s over, am breathing hard!

Keep smiling!

We all move to the back of the stage, its callout time….please let me get a call out!!

Number 91

That’s ME!! I’ve been called out 1st – yay!! Front and centre posy!! Wow.

project confidence – my smile is huge now – and its real! I’ve got front centre posy – this stage is mine today! this is a real confidence booster!

Symmetry all goes well, compulsories all go well – I’m really in the zone I can feel every pose just sliding into place – all that practice is paying off, the poses are beginning to pose me – and just as well – its a workout up here!

phew all done and back in line and relaxing – this time I am relaxing a bit more than usual, I can’t hold the flex and they’re holding us for ages again – I have to change sides twice to rest my legs.

Finally! top 5….

3rd…number 91..Sarah Taylor!!

3rd!!! I got 3rd!! in THIS lineup I got 3rd!!!

OMG!! thats huge!!!

I’m stoked and practically bounce off stage :-)

back at my patch the first thing I do is eat – I’m tired. I have a tiny sip of water as well – its hot backstage now with so many people milling around and the heat up on stage is really taking it out of me – I didn’t expect this at all. I need to sit down.

time check – 2:00

Jamie has just txtd me to say he’s here – I haven’t seen him for 8 years!! it’ll be interesting to catch up with him again – and this is going to be a bit of an eye opener for him, he’s never been to a body building comp and he’s not going to recognise me in all my stage finery!  back up the stairs again….I’m really not helping myself here…

and there he is!! yay – he hasn’t changed a bit! it so nice to see him! we head downstairs to my little home for the day – talk about baptism of fire – poor Jamie! he doens’t know where to look – there’s mostly naked chocolate coloured people every where – and even some guys just changing into their posing trunks…right in front of us!

theres no room for modesty backstage at a comp!

I’ve got about 2 hours now before I’m due on stage again, so we decide to head out to watch the Open figure classes – this is going to be good.

The short class only has 6 people in it – including Janet Kane! I’m glad I didn’t enter that category – I wouldn’t stand a chance! all the ladies look incredible – they’re so much bigger than I am and their conditioning is perfect.

and the result….is an odd one…how come Janet didn’t win?? she came 2nd! thats interesting…

ok here comes Open class 2 – Temeka Hyndman and Michelle Fuller are both in this category – and again I go a bit click happy! I want to get as many good shots of these guys as possible!

and the result…Temeka 5th and Michelle 4th…well I didn’t expect that!

Open Class 3 – its a huge lineup this time and Anita Hearn who beat me at the Vics is in this lineup – she is in great shape  and I expect her to do well

Anita Wins! good work!

Now I must get back stage and prepare for my final category. I need to eat again, and i just have to have something to drink – just a little sip again, I’ve got about 100ml left now which I’ll save for when I pump up.

I’ve lost Jo again!! I head up the stairs but shes not at her stand…she’s backstage!

so I tramp back down the stairs – am getting a bit fed up now – I’m tired, thirsty, I have a headache – I just want this to all be done for me, I dont want to have to stress about finding people to put my tan on, I dont like this body shimmer its just so streaky and there are people using Dream Tan. grrr.

wish Aiden was here – am really missing him.

Finally I find Jo for one last pat down. Ok I’ve got about 1/2 hour – i tuck into a few rice cakes, some chocolate and a few more strawberries, then I need to get out of the backstage area – its just too hot. I find a nice cool dark spot just behind the stage and sit down – I have to get my legs raised as I’ve pretty much been standing up all day and I need to rest.

I’m getting nervous now – this is my main category, I so want to do well but physically I’m struggling.

Ok 15 minutes or so – pump up round 1 – looking good, veins popping nicely few teaspoons of honey and a sip of water, then back to my dark cool spot -I could really go to sleep right now – my mind is wandering I can’t focus…

I vague out…lights are on but nobody is home..

my reverie is interrupted by the 5 minute call

5 minutes…right focus…its showtime again

round 2 of pump up..I can really feel the blood pumping into my muscles…

ok get us on stage NOW – I’m ready…

theres 10 of us in the lineup and again I’m near the middle, excellent…

and here I go for the 3rd time today…this time it feels different – Jamie in the audience and he’s promised to take lots of photos - better give him something to take photos of!

I get through the symmetry and compulsories and I feel that I’ve hit my poses really well again – I’m exhausted though and I’m shaking like a leaf – my footwork is not good and I nearly overbalance in the side tricep pose again, but I just manage to hold it – I’m really having to concentrate hard on staying upright!

now to the call out…

ME again!! front and centre…this is great!

alright..focus…give it everything you’ve got…just one more time…

…and relax…phew…we’re done – I’m very pleased with my performance. I know I’m looking good, I know I’m not as big as some of the girls I’m up against, but I definitely deserve to be there and whatever result I get now is a bonus…I’m exhausted, I’m tired, and all of a sudden I just want this all to be over and done with…

keep smiling…and hold the relaxed pose…

come ON!! give us the result already – I can hardly stand up here!

and…here we go….

4th!!!

I got 4th!!! AWESOME!!!

What an incredible day I’ve had – I’m so excited, I can’t wait to tell Aiden now – I’ve held off all day – he’s probably itching to know

Finally I can relax, I’m done. Its been such a long day, its been the most stressful of the comps but also the best – I was up against some really good competitors and I did well. I’m very proud of myself.

now I just want to go home. I’m tired to my bones.

Jamie comes backstage and helps me pack –  I slip on my faithful blinged up trackies, stuff the heels into the bag, and guzzle a litre of water – boy did I need that!!

feeling a little better we head off to the car…I’m soo looking forward to getting to his place for a shower, a beer and my first post comp meal…

I feel incredibly light – like i’ve just woken from a long sleep, the sun seems to be brighter I can see everything more clearly..now is the start of post comp life…I briefly wonder how i’m going to adjust now that I’m not consumed by comp diet, training and preparation…but it doesn’t last long, for now I concentrate on enjoying the drive along the river on a beautiful evening with nothing more to complicated think about than enjoying some good food in good company.

cheers! :-)

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rehab…

My first post comp meal was perfect. I had a beer – well, pear cider - and watched the rugby world cup final with chips and nibblies. This was followed by a lovely home cooked beef borguignon with horseradish mash and green beans followed by a lovely homemade flourless chocolate cake with bluebrries, raspberries and cream – and I went back for seconds of the cake, it was delicious!! :-)

I was a bit pissed – I had a second pear cider then I couldn’t finish my glass of wine

And I was full!

Then I went back to my hotel – if I had gone straight to bed, that would have been the sensible thing to do, but I’d bought a packet of gluten free shortbread fingers, which I had intended to take to the comp to eat afterwards, but I forgot them…

so what did I do?

I pigged the whole lot. A whole packet of butter shortbread biscuits…I’ve NEVER EVER eaten a WHOLE packet of biscuits in one go!!

EVER.

Why did I do it? I wasn’t hungry, I felt so guilty afterwards and ill. After months of total discipline why go and do something dumb like that now?

it was stupid.

Then on the plane home – I didn’t have any food with me, I hadn’t planned that far ahead and didn’t buy anything at the airport because a) 99% of typical airport food I can’t eat – its not gluten free  b) most of it is total junk c) I forgot.

having got up at 4:3am (again!) to pack, I had my breakfast at 5:30 as usual – yoghurt and berries – yay! so by the time the flight left at 9am my stomach was trying to tell me it thought my throat had been cut – i.e FEED ME NOW!!!

but the only thing I could eat from the menu (Jetstar!) was pringles – now I used to LOVE pringles, but now I just didn’t want to contemplate it – its complete crap!

fortunately I had a bar of 85% organic cocoa chocolate and the remnant of the nut butter from sunday on the plane with me – so I inhaled the entire chocolate bar (felt sick! I dont really like chocolate) and then got a plastic spoon when the drinks trolley came round and had 3 teaspoons of nut butter.

The hunger went away but I did not feel good at all – I just felt unclean!

I REALLY wanted a tuna salad – or ANY sort of salad!

Getting home, there was only a few tomatoes and some wilted spinach in the fridge, so I popped to the local quick-e-mart. Now I was faced with a complete dilemma! what on earth did I want to eat? I couldn’t decide! There’s all this food, but most of it I can’t eat, a lot of it I wasn’t even going to consider eating (the ready made ‘convenience’ foods!), so I settled for chicken, eggs, an apple, veg, greek yoghurt, an avocado and some mature cheese, and because it was a cold wet shitty day outside, I felt like soup, so I also got a packet of organic thai green curry soup – which I could throw extra veggies and chicken into.

so back home I tucked straight into the cheese….I used to be a complete cheese freak – love my cheese!!

yuk!

???

but…I love cheese…don’t I?

apparently not anymore.

so I poached up the chicken and threw some spinach and snow peas into the soup and had 2 boiled eggs.

I haven’t touched the avocado yet.

I guess what I’m finding is that I’ve got so used to such limited flavours that its all a bit too much at the moment.

I didn’t even like the nut butter on the plane – now THAT surprised me, because all through this comp prep its been the nut butter that I loved!

For brekky today I had berries and greek yoghurt which has been fine – thats been my treat during comp season so I guess my tastebuds haven’t been desensitised to it – thank goodness!

Again at lunch I didn’t bring anything to work so I was faced with the same dilemma – what to eat?

Now there’s at least 10 sandwich bars within 50m of my work – which of course is no good for me as I can’t eat bread!! but there is a good ‘real’ food place so I headed over to that

for…..

green salad with salmon! it was lovely – rocket and crunchy green beans, bean shoots and mixed beans – but I was hungry afterwards – not enough protein! so I had a small tin of salmon as well afterwards :-)

What I’m finding is that now I can eat whatever I like, I actually don’t want to or maybe I’m scared to..???

I don’t want to get fat!

I know I need to put on some fat for health reasons, but I really don’t want to.

I don’t want to eat carbs any more – I’ve had mash potato 2 nights consecutively but I don’t feel good afterwards.

Tonight I’ve had a gluten free pizza – my first pizza in 2 years!

It was odd – it was sort of nice, but in a bland sort of way, but now you should see my stomach – its a hard little football!

This whole food thing is starting to fill me with trepidation..I’m going to have to rehab back into food…

I’m more than a bit anxious about this…having said that I guess the good thing is that at least I’m not going to be tempted to splurge and binge! I couldn’t imagine anything worse right now!

am going to switch back to comp diet tomorrow to clean out.

it looks like I’m going to have to take real baby steps…

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Miss Figure Interstate

Friday 21st October

Today I head off to Brisy for the Universe Titles!!! I still can’t quite believe that I’m going to be doing an international show..at my 3rd show!! Its so surreal, this whole figure thing has gone from a spur of the moment ‘lets see’ and has taken on  a life of its own – and I’m strapped in and going along for the ride..

YEEHAA!!!

:-)

I’m up and about at 4am as usual, but as I’ve set the alarm for 6am I decide I’ve got plenty of meditation time and I’m still feeling mentally and physically drained – I’ve had a touch of gastro since last Saturday and coupled with the week before’s emotional ups and downs, this is really beginning to affect my stamina in a big way – as in I have none! :-)

so plugged in, after a couple of deep intense mental rehearsals of universe day and a few ventures to the top of the mountain I’m hungry and ready to get going.

First order of the day – EAT! Chicken, sweet potato and a nice cup of tea. You know, I used to hate black tea, but I kind of like it now. Same thing with black coffee with no sugar – I’m not sure it’ll stay a regular thing once I’m back to normal, but its certainly kept me going and isn’t nearly as offensive as I used to think it was! :-)

Next on the agenda I need to pack up all my food. I’ve decided to try and take enough food to last me at least until Saturday afternoon, I just don’t want the hassle on Friday night of having to try and find supermarkets and cook when I could be completely exhausted and should be resting with my feet raised to drain any fluid from the flight. I am a bit concerned about the flying and what it will do to me – earlier in the year when I went to Adelaide for the Rugby 7′s, my stomach was puffed up like a football for days afterwards – I seriously looked liked I was 4 months pregnant!

That would NOT be a good look on stage….

so I’ve got 1.5 kg of baked chicken which I slice up and it fits nicely into one of the compartments in my wonderful ‘MuscleNutrition’ food bag that I won at the Aussie titles (its soo awesome – I  Love it!), then I make up a huge garden salad – for lunch today and tea tonight, then I’ve steamed 2 meals worth of veggies – all done and it all fits nicely into the compartments – yay!

I also pack into my food bag a selection of spices, my organic salt, comp day chocolate, nut butter, supplements, herbal tea bags and lots of packets of tuna – handy tip there from Matt – the Safcol ‘tuna ina bag’ are perfect for travelling, as you can’t take tins.

Food all sorted for Friday – happy.

Right next on the agenda – pack the tarpaulin! also got the daggy old towels – check

after show outfit – check

comp day bling, bikinis, shoes, comp day makeup and hair accessories – check

pump up bands, exfoliator band and apricot scrub for after show – check

BCAA’s, casein + lgutamine mix for 3 days – check

3 water bottles – check

doing well so far

I’ve decided to try and drink as much water as I can before the flight so I don’t dehydrate too badly and then have to play catch up – am doing well so far, its about 7am and I’m up to 1.8 litres – if I can get up to 4 by flight time, and I think the flight is 3 hours so another 2 litres on the plane should keep me on track.

7am better check if Qantas are flying!! dont want to get to the air[port and look at a departure board covered in red ‘Cancelled’ notes!

Cool – Qantas are flying and I’m all checked in – I changed my seat from mid plane to the last row…right by the toilets! Why would I want to change to that seat? Well, as you can imagine, the result of drinking so much water is that I have to go to the bathroom roughly every 1/2 hour…or less…I figure I’m going to be up and down like a yoyo so I want to know when those toilets are free! :-)

time check. its about 7:45 – feeling pretty relaxed and on track.

Ok, next thing to do is pack my hand luggage. Now usually when I fly my hand luggage consists of passport, boarding pass, and a good book. Thats it. I generally travel light whenever possible. However as today I’ve got to take my food bag, and just in case my luggage gets lost (!! I know – paranoid! soo unlike me when I travel! But I just can’t take that chance – I’m still actually nervous that I’ll get to the airport and the flight is cancelled anyway! ) I’m taking my comp bikini, skeleton comp makeup, and shoes as hand luggage. I also want to take my laptop, and my book. The trouble is I can’t take a huge kit bad AND a fairly large food bag as hand luggage, the flight attendants might just notice that and insist I check something else in.

so the only thing to do is see if the food bag fits in to the kit bag….which it does!!! YAY! now to try and stuff everything else in around it…it all fits…just…but I can’t zip it shut! it doesn’t matter how much I squeeze it and sit on it – those zips are not going to do up all the way. Oh well…maybe nobody will notice…I hope! :-)

After all that exhertion, I’m hot! and then I try to lift my hand luggage – WT….!!! bloody hell its heavy and I’ve got to lug it all the way into town to get my spray tan before heading off to the airport – its going to take me ages. Damn. I was planning to leave the house at 9:30 for 10am tan – better leave at 9:15…its normally a 20 min walk, but this is really going to slow me down.

Shit now I’m a bit behind its 8:45 – that took waay too long, I’ve got to eat and clean the kitchen – I know – but I hate coming back to a filthy kitchen!

all done, 9:20 final run through…tarpaulin, shoes, bikinis, makeup, hair bling, towels, after comp outfit, food, laptop, book, supps, exercise bands, camera – check

contest colour…

where is the contest colour?

and the body shimmer?

bugger! nearly forgot that tan and body shimmer!!! How could I possibly nearly forget the tan and top coat!! Isn’t that what my nightmares were trying to tell me??! that  should have been number one on the list!

phew! glad I remembered just in time, quickly undo my case and squeeze in the contest colour, 2 types of top coat (don’t know which one I’m going to use so better have both!), mini roller and painting sponge – now I’m running late..and its bloody well raining – shit, do I wear my rain proof jacket and get all hot and sweaty or do I try and take a brolly?

I go with brolly – this is going to be tricky – I’ve got my camera slung over one shoulder, I’ve got my hand luggage tearing out my other shoulder, I ‘ve got my wheelie case and a brolly!

I manage to get out the door – I know I’m supposed to be strong, but this is going to test me right now!

Head down off I plod into town to get my tan. After about 5 mins, I have to stop and put the hand luggage down – its killing my shoulder, I’m going to have to repack the airport and try to make it lighter. Off I go again and make another 5 mins before I stop and rest – I’m running out of energy, my shoulders are hurting and I’m all hot and sweaty – now I’m starting to get pissed off.

Ok I can do this, just make it over the bridge to the lights by Dohertys  Gym then I can stop again.

right made it, now its just 150meters to sportsbet where I can dump everything in the changing rooms – its raining really heavily now, thank goodness its not windy as well – trying to juggle all these bags and fight a strong wind would be beyond me right now. How is it I’m now in a complete stress when I had it all under control!

Made it to sportsbet! phew. I throw the bags in the chaning room, I’m late for my tan, I have to pee, I’m all hot and sweaty my tan has rubbed off where the bloody kit bag kept banging on my hip – not happy.

:-(

I grab my phone and run out of the changing rooms trying to call Nikki to say I’m on my way, then as luck would have it (or not!) I run into a friend who I haven’t seen for ages and who wants to catch up – but I dont have time to chat so I just give a brief wave as I run past on the phone, juggling the bloody brolly.

10mins late and I need to sit down for 5 to catch my breath and calm down after the 2 flights of stairs up to the tan place

ok, ready to go – I ask Nikki to do the blend she did last time – its super dark, I love it and it has to last until saturday morning – so lets go dark dark dark!!

alright!!! Looking good – am a deep chocolate brown, yay! time to get to the airport!!

Its all changed at the airport – all I have to do is drop off my bag because I’m already checked in. Easy right? But there’s no bag drop counters…they’ve all gone! All there is now is a row of bag drop conveyor belts with touch screen consoles next to them…hmmm…

So i head to a free conveyor belt and put my case on it – it weighs 18.5 kg!!! crikey! what the hell did I put in it??? no wonder I struggled dragging the bloody thing into town along with my kit bag full of rocks!

right so how does this thing work…hmmm..touch screen…scan bar code on boarding pass..

its not scanning…hmmm..try one of the other bar codes….

nope still not scanning.

stupid machine.

ok lets try my qantas card – just as well I’ve got one isn’t it? ok card scans…now its telling me it can’t read the luggage tag…what luggage tag?? I don’t HAVE at luggage tag…how do I get a bloody luggage tag when there’s no freakin desks where they print luggage tags!!!

so now I’m going to have to go and find out where to get a bloody luggage tag printed – not happy, I thought it was supposed to be QUICKER and EASIER…

its only quicker and easier for the qanatas staff who no longer have to sit behind a desk printing luggage tags!!!

ok breathe, calm – somehow I’ve managed to walk past the bank of self check in consoles. So now I have to go through the check in process again and I get my luggage tag printed and now its back to the conveyor belt to try and get the damn thing to put through my bag.

What annoying about this process is that at each stage I get asked the same questions – do I want this seat (yes), do I have dangerous goods (no) – you’d think that they’d link the systems so that by answering the questions at the first stage in order to get your luggage tag printed, you dont have to do it again when putting your bag on the conveyor belt.

HOW IS THIS QUICKER AND EASIER THAN A CHECK IN PERSON BEHIND A DESK!!!!

Finally my bag goes through, I’m in a shitty mood by now – its 11:00 only an hour before my flight, I wanted to be in the qantas club relaxing by now.

Now i’ve just got to get through security – I really hope they let me take the food through, I just don’t want the hassle of arriving in Brisy having missed potentially two meals.

They let me through – phew, qantas club here I come I need to get some water into me and have an earlyish lunch.

I can’t settle in the qantas club, I’ve got abut 25 minutes before boarding but I’m up and down every few minutes getting another glass of water or heading to the ladies or browsing the magazines or buying some bottle water. I inhale lunch, then decide i need to put BCAA’s into the water – which involves unpacking several things from my kit bag – I’m like one of those dotty old bag ladies, pulling things out of a bag and shuffling things and putting them back into the bag in exactly the same order!

Time check…11:50 – why haven’t they called the flight? it should have been called at 11:45…oh no! don’t tell me there’s something wrong – don’t tell me I’ve gone and jinxed it with all my negative thoughts…it says go to gate, so thats what I decide to do – am starting to get quite anxious now.

Dammit – I’m at gate 12 – its the furthest gate from the qanatas club, I’ve got to lug the kit bag for miles and the zip tag just broke so its all hanging open – great. So off I go…it takes 5 mins to get to the gate as I have to stop 3 times to rest! I have a bruise on my hip where this bloody bag is hitting me…the only bonus I can think of is at least it wont be this heavy on the way back because I’ll have eaten the food and won’t need to be carrying 2 litres of water!

At the gate, there’s a lot of pissed looking off people milling around, obviously there has been no announcement about whats going on – its 12 and we’re supposed to be departing at 12:05 – no chance of that now. I’m wondering if I should head back through security to the check in area and investigate getting another flight…I am really getting stressed by this – I just want to get to Brisbane!

then we get an announcement – the plane was late arriving so its just being cleaned and we’ll be boarding in 10 minutes. Ok, I can wait…

I think…

ok, 10 minutes are up….nothing happening…come on…I want to get to Brisbane..TODAY….

finally they open the doors and I’m in the first section called…shuffle shuffle shuffle…present boarding pass – it doesn’t scan. Not again, so the attendant tries again and again and it just wont scan – for F***s Sake! She’s about to send me to the desk to get a new boarding pass when the other attendant displaying some of that all too rare commodity -common sense – suggests she ‘just put me through’

YES PLEASE!!

Finally! I’m on the plane, more bag lady shuffling of stuff and I can finally sit down – I cant relax though, I try to read my magazine, but I can’t concentrate, I flick through the qantas magazine check out the entertainment – but not really interested.

It’s not a very full flight so I have a spare seat next to me – always nice, means I can curl my feet up on the seat and not get puffy ankles – yay! this is good news.

now get this plane off the ground….

but no, not to be – we’ve now missed our slot so its going to be 20 minutes before we get another…

bugger.

I’m starting to not care any more – can anything else go wrong?

yes it can….

now the weather is causing havoc – the clouds are so low that air traffic are being super careful getting planes landing and taking off, so theres 7 planes ahead of us so once we do move into the queue we have no idea how long we’ll be waiting for take off clearance.

oh well, what will be will be.

might as well see what films are on…nothing really grabs my attention so I go for ‘Bridesmaids’ that should be a compolete no brainer – might even be able to fall asleep – am really beginning to fade.

ooh! we’re rolling – we’re pulling back from the gate, this is progress.

back to the dumb film

after about anther 20 mins we’re out onto the runway – we’re about to go…GET THIS PLANE INTO THE
AIR…PLEASE!!

yay!! at long last – about an hour late (only an hour??? feels like DAYS!!) we finally take off – NOW I can relax. I’m so tense.

The rest of the flight is nice and uneventful and we soon arrive in a sunny brisbane.

I’M HERE!!! WooHoo!!

Now i’m excited – lets get to the hotel and check in, I’ll register as soon as I can, get unpacked and then get my legs elevated.

I’m so exhausted, I sleep most of the way. the taxi driver can’t get me to the door so I’ve got about 50m to drag the rocks…

but its the wrong hotel!! The taxi driver dropped me at The Oaks Festival Towers – how does that sound anything like The Oaks CHARLOTTE Towers????

bloody hell. Sense of humour is definitely being stretched to breaking point.

So now I have to walk 100m back down the street in the direction I just came from – I’m hot, tired, cranky, hungry and thirsty.

NOT HAPPY.

again…has not been a smooth day so far, I just need to sit down and recouperate.

I finally get to my room – its pretty cool and I’ve got 1/2 hour before I can register. BIG sigh of relief…I can unpack, have a cup of tea and then go and get my number!!! :-)

3:05 off up to room 2208 – we have to be buzzed up – but guess what – it doesn’t look like the floor release is working! there’s 3 of us trying to get up and the button in the lift just wont stay activated – finally we get a staff member to select the floor.

And then they’re having system issues! What is going on today? – there’s gremlins in the air or something!

I’ve got my number!!! :-)

91

Lauren Webb another victorian was just in front of me and she got 90 – my successful number from the Vic Titles – lucky Lauren.

Jason who checked us in is quite confident that they’ll have the event running EARLY (maybe they could give some tips to INBA Victoria!!) so he advises us to be there at least an hour before our category and there’s buses every 1/2 hour.

I’m on at 11:10, 1:35 and 4:10 so I think I’ll get the 8:30 bus. I want to be there nice and early, check in with Jo, find Lindy Olsen, and I’d like to take some good photos for Melita. The overall Physique is on at 9:25 so I should be there just in time, then I can get some shots before heading backstage and pitching my spot.

ooh that means its going to be an early start! I have no idea how long its going to take me to get my makeup on and hair done – I’ve done a little practice and I can get my face done in about 30mins – thats without the eyelashes though..so maybe an hour for face. Then I think hair will also take at least an hour and a half, because I haven’t been able to quite get the hang of the twisting and putting the clips in the top knot is really fiddly. So that means at least 6am…oooh!

I’ve also got my INBA Universe 2011 t shirt and hat – I’m quite chuffed with that – gives me a bit of a shiver…this is really happening and they’ve got Kit bags…Australia Kit bags – in green and gold – I’m going to get one…for representing Australia.

canI just say that again…?

I’m representing Australia.

I will get on the plane on Monday with a green and gold bag that says ‘Australia’ on it.

WOW. I’ve got goosebumps.

All of a sudden I have a little moment – I don’t know what to say.

I hope I do everyone proud.

Alright, now I’m done with everything, I can finally get to my room and chill out – and boy do I need it, am exhausted – I bumped into Nikki Smith in the foyer and she told me that I looked  ’out of it’ so definitely time to make friends with my new home.

here’s my new home for the next few days – its pretty nice

I really do have a tarpaulin on the bed!

And I f0und these brown blankettes in the cupboard – how thoughtful of the hotel to provide something I can use as an alternative to my towels! :-)

phew! sofa, tv, cup of tea, food and rugby – now I’m happy

I made it – I am Interstate, I am settled in now I can just take it easy and switch into normal countdown.

listen to me…talking like I’ve been doing this forever

:-)

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Clothes? Where I’m going, I don’t need…clothes…

to paraphrase the words of the Doc in Back to the Future…

packing for an interstate figure competition is certainly a different experience, in fact the whole staying in a hotel whilst competing in a figure competition is a whole different experience I mean there’s a lovely big bed – that I can’t sleep in because I don’t want to get fake tan all over it.

There’s a nice looking pool that I can’t swim in because it’ll wash off my nice fake tan and there’s gym that I can’t use because i’ll get all sweaty and….my fake tan will run,

I’m in Brisbane where its nice and sunny and I should be outside…getting a real tan, but I don’t want to get sunburn and….spoil my fake tan!

I paid for this? sometimes I think I’m not very bright :-p

and there there’s the packing…

have you ever packed for a weekend away – only 3 days – and your baggage somehow weighs an absolute ton yet there’s hardly any clothes…and no its not all shoes!!! :-)

My main bag weighed in at a hefty 20kg – I can’t even begin to remember when I last went ANYWHERE with 20kg of luggage – I’m definitely the pack light sort of chick – even for Kilimanjaro I only had 16kg of stuff and that was for 10 days and was mainly mountain gear to keep me warm at-15C – that’s a LOT of clothes and a sleeping bag!!!

And what the hell did I put in my hand luggage?? Rocks? It was a serious workout lugging that around various airports!

It must have weighed 12kg at least! I think I’ve torn my poor shoulders out of their sockets!

so how on earth have I managed to bring 30+ kg of baggage for 3 DAYS!!!

Here’s my decidedly odd collection of stuff:

1 Tarpaulin (to protect bed from fake tan leakage)

3 old bath towels (to cover me at night in leiu of the hotel bedclothes)

2 pairs stripper heels

2 sparkly bikinis

2 bottles fake tan

2 types of sticky gooey top coat – haven’t decided which one to use

tan roller and paintbrush – just in case the spray tan lady doesn’t show up, even though I’ve confirmed the booking – paranoid? me? never!

2 stretchy exercise bands

2 fake hair pony tails

5 pairs of fake eyelashes (got to practice putting them on with the fake nails – thats going to be tricky!)

hairbrushes

hair clips

hair bands

hair jewelry

combs

costume makeup

normal toiletries

compartmented ‘INBA Muscle Nutrition’ food bag, – how good is the food bag!!! I think I almost like it better than the trophies and medals…almost…

spices

salt

BCAA’s

Protein powder

pills – lots of pills! sorry supplements! :-)

1kg cooked chicken

3 plastic tubs of steamed veg

2 chicken salads

6 packets of tuna

2 jars of nut butter

2 bars of chocolate

jar of jam

3 empty water bottles

2 pashminas – again in lieu of bedclothes

extra tracky top in case cold at night

oh, I almost forgot, here’s the clothes part:

1 pair of stilettos

1 dress

just in case you’re wondering – I was wearing a tracky suit on the plane…hey I know I’m in great shape right now, but I’m not brave enough to get on a plane in my birthday suit…

:-)

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Peak Week III – Universal Bikini Reflections

only 4 days to go!!!!

Miss Figure Universe here I come!!

so…

how do I prepare during my last peak week?? bet you can guess…

yep, thats right….same as last time – it ain’t broke so don’t fix it!!!

Matt has taught me well :-)

I’m not going to do any cardio this week as I’m feeling a lot leaner than either of the other 2 comps – last week I shaved tiny amounts off my food so I was eating exactly the amounts on the diet sheet that Melita gave me on day 1 and I did 3 HIIT’s – I think just that little tweak has kicked my body to a new level – I certainly feel that it has as I’ve been really emotional again for no reason and in an incredibly negative head space – I burst into tears at training on Thursday – just as well Aiden knows how to turn me around!

And at the weekend I just sort of stopped – I spent the entire of Saturday afternoon in bed because I was running on empty – zero energy – how heavy are eyelids!!!

and Sunday was the same :-)

I’m going to miss my lazy weekends I think…

and then I got to thinking about what else I’m going to miss when I’m not doing this anymore, am I going to miss anything?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my me time and having the space to do my own thing and not be rushing around trying to fit in with other peoples schedules  - I’m going to miss that for sure!

the training? well – I’ve found it hard but easy if a funny sort of way – I mean Aiden loads up some heavy weights I push, pull, lift or squat until he says “ok mad dog, you’re done” then I sit around chatting – how hard is that?? I can talk underwater with a mouthful of sand – easy! Then I may or may not pull up sore for a few days.

Once I get back into mountain training – THATS going to be hard, Aiden’s evil little brain has been working overtime – I can see the glint in his eye already – he can’t wait to smash me with kettlebells, sprints, boxing and stairs – there will be no talking…at least thats what he thinks :-) we still haven’t found out what my limits are, but he’s going to do his utmost to find them!

note to self: get new weighted jacket for stair climbing – seen a nice one that can hold up to 20kg – should do the trick :-)

bring it on – am looking forward to getting outside to train now that the weather is picking up, so no I’m not going to miss the training, a bit of variety will be nice!

the diet? again – easy! its so boringly simple that there is no thinking involved – I love that! I can do my entire weeks food shopping in less than an hour and 3 or 4 days cooking in less than an hour! done!

you try biosignature modulation – then you’ll understand why I enjoy competition diet

and who needs crappy convenience food?? – that would take more time to open the packet than it takes me to throw together my lunch or tea!

and I LOVE my tuna salad in the mornings – after a heavy training session with Aiden, I’m usually hanging out for my tuna salad – I inhale it! and I’ve discovered which tomatoes I like – I didn’t really like tomatoes, but now I love those Kumato’s and little Perino tomatoes – YUMMY.

The best bit of comp diet – NUT BUTTER – how good is nut butter??  think I’m going to keep ritual of 2 (ish) teaspoons before bed, I soo look forward to my nut butter every night who needs cheats or treats when I can eat nut butter EVERY DAY!! :-)

so, strange as it may seem I will miss the diet…I’ll have to start thinking about what I eat and have to get creative again….maybe I’ll have to hire a personal chef…

The posing practice? Nope, not going to miss that – it’ll be good to have my evenings back – I’ve got other work to do now!

The bikini and heels? they’ve done their job – they get their last outing this weekend and then they’ll be hung up…for this season?? till next year? for ever…???

well thats a decision that will probably be made whilst I’m hanging off an ice axe on a volcano in Ecuador. Till then, I’ve done so much better than I ever dreamed of – who knows 3rd time lucky….? I’m just going to go out there and have fun – got nothing to lose at all – its been a blast!

I’m thinking of framing the winning bikini…it’ll go straight to the pool room :-)

along with the medals and trophies…

For someone who’d never stood on a pair of platform heels 3 months ago – duck to water! I never thought I’d say it, but yes I will miss the bikini and heels!!

The competing? yes I will miss competition day – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie backstage, I’ve met some lovely people and I think without exception everyone has been willing to help, share their knowledge and time. I love getting up on stage and although I’m competing against other people its also very individual – my performance and result is not dependent upon anyone else’s performance – which I like. I mean, if I don’t do well its because I didn’t do well and if I don’t do well, it doesn’t let anyone else down..in fact someone else will do better :-)  I like that.

I’ve learnt so much – mostly about me and my body and how it reacts to extreme physical conditions – mountain climbing is one form of extremeness, but competing is a whole other ball game because of the dietary limitations and as it turns out my body appears to handle it quite well – the emotional side of this has been something else altogether – WOW, was not prepared for the ups and downs at all. I thought I’d got used to it but last week was a shocker! I was in a deep hole all week – really negative space, hence the tears at training!   :-)

I’m definitely not going to miss the rollercoaster effect at all!

There’s also some bizarre things I’ve learnt – like how to do up buttons with false nails on, how to paint myself from head to toe with a mini roller, how to pirouette in a pair of platform heels, how to transform into ‘Jeannie’  - and this weeks lesson – sticking on false eyelashes with the claws on. THATS going  to be interesting! :-)

So for now I’d better get to bed need my rest for my last training session of the week tomorrow, one last go at smashing my back – bring it on!

and then the fluffy stuff starts – tan, nails, massage, tan, pack! fly (as long as Qantas ARE flying…), rest, tan, tan,

POSE  FOR AUSTRALIA!

I find that hilarious – a pom, representing Australia…

stranger things have happened :-)

its going to be fun! I can’t wait

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The light…

I did the shopping this morning – chicken, broccoli, snow peas, green beans, tomatoes, salad, asparagus, cucumber, nut butter, tuna – easy, same old, same old…

so…whats so fantastic about that?

well I just realised that it’s my last competition shop! after this week…NO MORE DIET!

WooHoo!!!!!

there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

what to eat first?

soo many choices!

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Aussie Titles Retro

Retro time!

What went right?

What went wrong?

What could be improved?

Ok

What went right?

pretty much everything!

Sam was early, and we got through hair and makeup super quickly.

Aiden was bang on time even though he got stuck in traffic.

I remembered the map this time so we didn’t get lost and the traffic was waaay better – we didn’t go anywhere near Elizabeth Street!  It only took us 25 mins to get there!

Arriving nice and early meant we could get a spot and relax, plan our day find out what we needed to find out and then just get on and do it.

The organisation was much better this time – much slicker so timings were closer to the running sheet

We didn’t lose the running sheet!!!

We got our pump up times correct

I got my tan on in plenty of time

I ate the right amount of food

My condition was excellent and my legs came though perfectly

My posing was heaps better this time – even though the stage was so crowded I made sure I moved closer to the judges or out of line so I could give myself space

I got 2 3rd places!!!!

What went Wrong?

not much really – the only thing that we got wrong was when the figure international was called to the staging area and there was a whole extra class that had to go on before my class. I didn’t have the bands to maintain the pump.

but then neither did most people so we were pretty much all in the same boat as none of us knew that we’d have to wait so long.

We learnt that lesson very quickly and for the Figure Novice I made sure I had a band with me.

What could be improved?

My posing – I stuffed up the rear double bicep pose in figure novice. I just saw a video on YouTube and it was horrible – I crunched my shoulders together instead of spreading them!

In Figure Novice each of us went on and did 2 poses before coming off stage – I did front double bicep and side chest – I should have done the rear double bicep.

I must try and be more fluid in getting into my poses and a bit more theatrical rather than functional.

I wasn’t quite as lean as I was for the Vics.

2 places…

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Whatever…

8:03 am

its taken 2 days to kick in this time – today I’m flat as a pancake and am finding it increasingly difficult to summon any sort of enthusiasm for anything. I didn’t want to get out of bed to train today, I didn’t want to eat chicken and sweet potato again, I didn’t want to do the cardio that I know I need to do for the universes, I didn’t want to go to work – I dont really care if the data gets converted or the testing gets done.

I’ve got the Universes in 12 days, but right now I’m struggling to get myself ‘up’ for anything – I’ve got to confirm my tan lady, check my hotel and flight bookings, I’ve got to work out what food I need to take to brisy or if I need to take food, I need to check if there is a decent supermarket near the hotel, I’ve got to find out from Jo what she will help me with and what I need to do/bring, has she talked to her hair and makeup lady, has she booked her? but I can’t be bothered to do any of it – its ADMIN!! I hate ADMIN, its chasing people up, tedious drivel that takes up brain space – I want it all sorted out for me so that it just happens!

On Sunday after being on such a high from the show, coming back to an empty house and having to soak bikinis, clean the bathroom of all the dream tan, wash my hair piece, unpack the dishwasher and cook tea – what a crashing downer!

it would have been nice to have my tea cooked for me…

I am tired.

Not the ‘I didn’t sleep very well tired’ kind of tired, but tired through and through, mentally and physically. For 2 years I’ve been pushing myself hard, in the case of Mt Kilimanjaro my body was breaking down by the time I got on the plane, twice I broke down in tears on the summit climb, nearly quitting and although I had 2 weeks of rest to get over the bronchitis when I got back, I never really stopped. When I was going through my emotional breakdown earlier this year my diversion was to increase the physical training…to the detriment of my shoulders.

Then throw in the complicated rules and regulations of biosignature (too much thinking!) and now going through the highs and lows required to get to the extreme physical condition that you need to be in to compete – today I’m over it all. I just want to hide away and not have to do anything, see anyone or go anywhere.

I’m questioning myself again – why I’m doing this? why am I putting myself through all this? for what? whats the point? what am I really getting out of this?

I’m also concerned that by removing myself from the world to focus on doing this that I now have no connection to reality - I listen to people at work talking about how their kids are sick or how they got pissed at the weekend or what they ate for breakfast/lunch/tea, how they’re tired or how they’re so proud of themselves that they went to the gym once this week or they feel so healthy because they ate the side salad with their pasta last night or they feel so guilty becuase they cheated on their ridiculous fad diet.

It all seems so mundane, inane and pointless.

I’m concerned that I’m turning into one of those self absorbed people who have nothing else to talk about except their diet/exercise/competitions, have I let this define who am I?

I’ve got so many things I want and need to be doing once I’ve done the Universe titles, but right now it all seems too big and overwhelming I don’t even know where to start

I need a break, a complete getaway where I dont have to think or do anything or see anyone

1:32 pm

sooo tired….coffee required.

2:34 pm

amazing what a hit of strong coffee can do! and chatting to someone who has a thing called ‘ambition’ - I always love talking to people who have dreams, goals and something bigger than they are and they are actively working at achieving those dreams - its so refreshing!

I’ve decided to book a treat weekend for myself – after Brisy, maybe I’ll hole up in the park hyatt and live on room service or head out for a spa weekend in Daylesford or Bright, I love it up there cycling along the Ovens valley or walking up in the hills – yeah that sounds ideal – blow the cobwebs away and get my hiking legs in gear again, or listen to some jazz at the Beechworth bakery…in fact the more I think about it, the more I like it…

I’m going to do it - yay!

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Australian Titles 2011 – Comp Day

What an incredible day again!

After breaking a ceramic nail and having another tanning nightmare, I was a bit nervous at how the day was going to turn out, so trying to keep myself calm and relaxed, I figured the best thing to do would be…nothing!

I decided it would be best to do exactly what I did last time, it worked then so there was no reason to get myself into a tizzy and try and change things now. I guess the familiarity of ‘routine’ – can something be routine when you’ve only done it once before? – would act as a natural calming influence.

so brekky was chicken and about 50g sweet potato at 6:30 ish which is very late for me, but the timing worked well because it meant that I could have my tuna salad at 9:30 before switching onto comp day carbs. Having eaten I felt a bit better and although I was very thirsty, I stuck to 100ml of water with brekky which would allow me 150-200ml when pumping up prior to getting on stage. I think the only thing that I’ve found a bit uncomfortable is the thirst factor – you often don’t realise how much you actually do drink – for example theres my cup of tea with breakfast and then I probably get through another glass  of water when taking my fish oil, multi vits and moo poo capsules, then generally another glass with breaky to help the dry chicken go down, but I can’t have any of that on comp day. Then at the venue there’s water dispensers EVERYWHERE – even right by the steps to get on stage!!!

now thats just cruel! :-p

but like with everything to do with competing, you just have to do what it takes and that means absolutely minimal water so I dry out during the day and come in nicely ‘shrink wrapped’ and vascular.

After brekky, I decided to go back to bed to try and get in a good deep meditation – I didn’t sleep very well, so I really needed the down time and brain rest, but it didn’t really work becuase I was a bit too anxious about how the day was going to work out and what I needed to do, so I got up again about 7:30 and went to get the paper – again comfort in routine.

I’d just read the stars – always read them 1st :-) and this year they’ve been very prophetic all year, really wish I’d cut them all out and kept them, never mind can’t do that now. Anyway I’d just finished reading the stars – nothing in particular to think about so that was good – when Sam texted me to say she was downstairs – shes’ EARLY!! This is good.

By now, we’ve got the ‘Jeannie’ look down pat – this is the 3rd time Sam has done it, so she just got on with it and got it done – we were all finished by 9:30, well ahead of schedule! so by now I’m beginning to relax, I’ve got time to sit down put my feet up – literally – and wait for Aiden to show up at 10:30.

Mind you I couldn’t settle and focus on reading the newspaper, so I went through my bag again to make sure I had everything:

2 pairs of shoes – check

spare bikini – check

makeup – check

hair stuff – check

towels – check

dream tan – check

bikini bite – check

camera – check

phone is charged – check

water for afterwards – check

strawberries – check

rice cakes – check

chocolate – check

almond paste – check

jam – check

all good, and theres still 25 mins before Aiden gets here! So I try and settle down to read the paper again…

About 10:25 Aiden calls – he’s stuck in traffic going nowhere because of the Melbourne Marathon!! Oh bugger – completely forgot that was on and he has to go through the route along Alexander Parade to get to my house – damn!

This could throw a bit of a spanner in the works, and I start to get a bit edgy. Aiden reckoned he’d be 5 minutes and he would meet me outside the building so we could just head off – I figure I’ve got time to touch up my hair and put my lippy on, when all of a sudden Aiden calls again – he’s here! Yay! we’re still on time!

So I grab all my bags, and camera, check I’ve got the show tickets, show running order and directions to the racecourse and juggling all of this head out the door.

We’re in the jeep today, no fancy cars this time, just the beast, no time to be pretty so I just throw everything in the back, Aiden pulls a kamikaze u-turn across City Road, nearly throwing me out of the car and we’re off!

Today he’s got some very mellow tunes playing – including one of my all time favourites, ‘Hallelujah’ Jeff Buckley – this song gives me goose bumps! I love it :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4

Avoiding Elizabeth Street this time there is no traffic at all and green lights all the way – yay! love this and it only takes us 25 mins to get there! Very pleased now we’re ahead of schedule :-)

Arriving in good time, we’re both much more relaxed, we’ve gone over our game plan and are comfortable with how we want today to pan out, so we’re both in a good positive space – old hands at this game now! :-)

As we enter, I notice that they’ve changed the stage around so it covers the whole of one wall – its 3 times the size of the stage they had at the state titles! its going to be a huge show, and  judging by the category we saw as we entered they’re going to need every bit of space because there were a lot of people on stage! Yikes – wonder if my groups will be so big?

Backstage there’s people everywhere,  people arriving, people pumping up, the sound of dream tan being slapped on, people heading off for their turn, categories being called, out names of late comers being called out, people lying on the floor with their legs propped up on chairs, tables against the wall whatever they can find to make sure they don’t hold any fluid in their legs. There are people getting changed – no room for shyness here – its just clothes off and bikini or posing trunks on who cares if anyone is looking!

Its a hive of activity, trainers encouraging their competitor, last minute instructions and posing practice in front of the mirrors positioned around the room. There are 2 small partitioned off areas one for men and one for women ‘changing rooms’ for those who do want a bit more ‘privacy’ and thank goodness its a bit warmer than it was last time!

So where to park our stuff? – it seems like every spare bit of wall, window or boarding is taken and nobody wants to set up camp in the middle of the room where everyone can see you – and I’ve got to keep my award winning legs under wraps for as long as possible! can’t give away my secret weapons! :-)

Matt Nicholson is looking a picture of sartorial elegance as usual :-p as he wanders around taking photos of Anna and Skye sticking bikini’s or slapping dream tan on someones bum with one of his interchangable lenses (including the big one that Melita likes…)

Its about 11:15, we have loads of time as I’m not due on stage until 1:20 according to the running sheet – so I send Aiden off to find out the scoop – who is on stage, what are the timings like, is Wendy (friendly judge!) here and can he get to talk to her to find out what the judges are actually looking for in the figure international i.e pumped or not pumped!

While he’s gone I amble around the backstage area and head over to talk to Nikki Croft and Donna McInnes Iron who were 2nd and 1st respectively in the figure international at the vics – we’ll all be doing the figure international class again together and they’ve both backed up from the Vics in shows every week! I’m glad I havent’ done that, I think the 5 weeks I’ve taken just training has really helped my physique, I feel that I look the part now and theres actual substance to my muscles. I’ve certainly had a number of people saying I’m looking good, but I’m thinking thats just what people say – we’ll find out when I get on stage, after all its the judges I have to impress!

Aiden reappears so I head on over to get the gos. It looks like they’re doing they’re best to keep on time by making sure there are always 2 categories assembled in the staging area and as a result are only running 20 mins behind at the moment, its 11:40 so we’ve still got about 2 hours to kill. If they’re calling out categories early we go through the running sheet and decide which category I’m going to get dream tanned and then which category we’re going to pump up. We’ve decided that we are going to do a pump – shoulders, chest and back only  - just to make sure. There’s some really good looking physiques here so I can’t take anything for granted, I have to present in the best state that I can.

Right, Plan made…now what….?

The thing is, unless you’re getting ready to go on stage and tanning up or pumping up there isn’t anything to do really except wander around and chat to people or sit with your feet up trying to relax – there’s plenty of poeple lying with their feet up listening to ipods and I wish I’d brought my headphones so I could do some meditation. I’m a little bit lacking energy, so its probably a good time to have a nibble on a rice cake or 2 and a few strawberries – Aiden tried to pretend to be a food nazi and make sure I wasn’t pigging out and ruining my nice definition, but he knows he doesn’t have to worry, so that didn’t really work as I just took the piss out of him :-)

The trouble is you can’t really eat either – a couple of rice cakes and jam or a few strawberries and thats about it because you don’t want to overload on carbs or get a bloat happening. The idea is also to stay as relaxed as possible because if you stress you could get cortisone build up and everything will go flat. None of this is very conducive to being able to do anything.

so thats exactly what I decide to do – nothing, makes Matt happy! :-)

Aiden decides he’s going to watch a few categories and try and catch up with Wendy, as long as he’s back in plenty of time to do our thing thats fine by me, I’m just trying to stay relaxed.

Theres always a sort of tension in the air – with people about to go on stage watching whose just come off to see who has the trophies and what sort of condition they are in to try and gauge what the judges are rewarding. Then there’s the quiet talking amongst groups about who should or should not have actually won – everyone has an opinion!

Bored now. I amble around with my camera a bit but nothing really grabs my attention. Its about 12:15 so I ask Anna and Skye if they would mind plastering the dream tan on me – I know its very early but then its one less thing to worry about just in case…don’t want to get caught out like we nearly did last time!

here’s me getting slapped!

time check…12:45 ish still got about an hour. now what to do…

few more strawberries and a rice cake with jam…

I can’t sit down because I’ve got the dream tan on…bugger.

so….I amble downstairs and have a peek at whats going on, I’m not particularly interested on who’s on stage, so I head back upstairs. I’ll get my heels on and do a bit of posing practice – remember not to flex my legs! I’ve got the front pose for symmetry sorted now – somehow in the last few days I’ve cracked how to pop out my lats and shoulders – as Wendy said think like a coathanger – and I look huge!  Awesome, I’m really going to give this a good shot!

Aiden is back, now we’re starting to get close and I’m starting to get a little nervous – anticipation rather than omg nervous.

Our target group get called so we know we’ve got about 20 mins and its time to do an initial pump up – shoulder press, bicep curls, lat raises, press ups and t baggers – inverted rows. Just one set of each and then I slurp a few teaspoons of honey for a quick hit of energy.

We’re just done with the initial pump up when the figure international group gets called to assemble at the foot of the stairs.  This means that I’ll be on very soon and it looks like we’ve got our timing spot on which is good so both of us are feeling pretty good about this.

We do another run through of the pump up and then as nothing seems to be happening, so we run through it again. Just as we finish the 2nd run through we get called to the stage assembly area – this is it, here we go again. My veins are up, my tan is smooth and shiny and dark chocolate coloured this time, my definition has come up beautifully, I’m as ready as I can be. Aiden wishes me good luck and heads off to put the bands away and get the camera – I’ve got him well trained now! :-)

So the figure International group all head to the stage area – theres about 40 of us!!! so this time round we’re in height categories which is a relief  - it means I’m not going to be sandwiched between two giants getting elbows in my head!

When we get to the stage area theres still another group waiting to go on! Oh No! thats means we’re at least another 10 – 15 mins way from getting on stage! I’ll have lost my pump by then and Aiden’s got the bands its too late to go and find him because he’ll be in his seat.

Damn.

And its cold!!! Thats odd last time it was nice to get the staging area because it was so much warmer than the backstage area – this time its the other way around. All of us are feeling the chill, which of course isn’t going to help any of us maintain our fullness!

Some of the more experienced girls have brought their bands or even weights and a few trainers have also come along to help their girl – damn, another lesson that comes from experience!

We’re all milling around aimlessly waiting to go on, a few people are chatting to each other, I don’t really feel like talking as I don’t want to miss any instructions or anything.

Finally the Figure Intermediate finishes and the guys get up on stage – surely we can’t be too far away now! I’ve been doing a couple of sets of pushups and some hard poses to try and maintain some semblance of pump, but I dont’ want to do too much in case I get cortisol build up and everything goes flat. Now that the guys are on stage, we get called into our height groups – I’m in Class 1 – short and we’ll be on first. I’m 2nd last inthe lineup which I’m a bit annoyed about because I applied 5 weeks ago so I should be much further forward, but when I went to register, there had been a stuff up somewhere and they didn’t even have me down for Figure International. This is going to make it much tougher to get noticed – there’s 21 of us!!!

Just looking at my group, I reckon I’m definitely one of the better looking, probably in the top 10, but its going to be close…

Ok instructions time – pay attention! Because there’s so many of us we’re just going to be called up and stand in line easy

it seems to take an eternity but I’m finally up there smiling and ‘relaxed’  and I’m looking out into the audience to find Aiden. I can hear Melita calling out my name so I look over her way she’s smiling so I think I’m looking good.

We go straight into the quarter turns – there’s not much room! I take a teeny step out of line just to give myself that bit more space – I learnt that from last time – no one is going to take my spotlight!!! :-p

I feel that I’m holding my poses well I really feel that I’ve cracked spreading my lats on the front and back pose, I remembered to squeeze my calves but not my butt – I can hear Aiden as well, this is good that my name is being called – I can hear Melita as well so I take encouragement from that.

Now they’re doing a call out – fingers crossed!!! they’ve called out 5 people….

and they’re calling me!!! yes!

so there’s 7 of us in the call out and I’m standing in my front pose when I notice there are big screens at the back of the room…and is that me??? surely not…that person has HUGE lats and shoulders….!

It IS me!! wow – I’ve totally nailed the front pose – I almost start to laugh but then I remember where I am  and I’d better stay focused on the job at hand – but this is great, if I’m at this end of the stage next time I can sneak a peek at how I’m holding my poses and make quick tweaks if necessary – Excellent! I notice Wendy on the judging panel so I smile at her and she nods at me. I can hear whats being said by the Judges and Wendy has to explain to two of them that in figure international we only do the symmetry poses….hmmm…thats a bit of a worry…shouldn’t a judge at the ntionals know this????

ok Sarah FOCUS!!

Quarter turns again – side, back – feels good and Melita is calling out ‘great back’, Aiden is calling out ‘great back 120′, I think I’ve got the back pose down as well – this is feeling good and competitor who is still in the lineup and who I’m now facing is telling me that my back looked great when I was facing forward – thats so nice of her to say that!

And then we’re done and we move back into line. I’m expecting the judges to call out other competitors but they don’t – straight away they announce the top 5….

and I’m in the top 5!!! This is amazing…

so they call out 5th place….not me

4th…not me…

OMG! I’ve come in the top 3 at the nationals!!!

3rd place….ME!!!

thats incredible!!! There is an IFBB Pro in the lineup and she hasn’t even placed! the 2 competitiors who beat me at the vics….haven’t even placed!!!

I’m so excited – I can’t wait to get off stage and show Aiden the medal – its solid and its bloody huge :-)

So I get off stage and hurry to the backstage area – Aiden is waiting he’s got a huge grin on his face and is just as excited as I am – I dont know what we talked about as we went back to our area its all a bit of a blur – talk about being on cloud 9!!! I’m blown away.

Once we get back to our area, Aiden manages to calm me down and tells me to start focusing on the novice category which is first up after the interval. I ask Aiden to find out how long we’ve got for the interval because I need to quickly stuff a bit of food, just a couple of strawberries, a rice cake with jam or two, get my other heels on and find Anna or Skye for a dream tan top up and then we still have to pump up – mind you I’m still on such a high I’m just pumped anyway!

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