Category you compete in: Bikini
Date of birth: August 11, 1986
Hometown: Colorado Springs
Career: Personal Trainer and Crossfit Coach
What is your favorite contest prep recipe?
I modified a recipe from PaleOMG.com for a microwave pumpkin pie and made it into a warm breakfast. All you do is take an egg, a cup of pumpkin, 1/4c almond or coconut milk, 2 tbsp gluten free flour (or hot cereal or oats to add more density), ¼ tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt, vanilla, and pumpkin pie seasoning with either 1tbsp of honey or one banana mashed in to sweeten it. Everything gets mixed in a bowl and tossed in the microwave for about 3 minutes.
What part of your physique are you currently working on?
Always glutes! I love squats and in CrossFit we joke that “every day is leg day” because in doing the olympic lifts and many of the other movements we are doing some type of squat every day.
Name one piece of nutrition/fitness advice that has stuck with you.
Learn to love the process and track your progress. Positivity goes a long way. Being able to see and measure progress will improve your mindset.
I personally have been struggling with an eating disorder (anorexia and bulimia) since around 2009 and have been put into an inpatient hospital twice on the verge of death. My first time in I had to be forced into the hospital and committed at an all time low of 92lbs at 5’9”, I had attempted suicide and my kidneys were on the verge of failing from the purging. I didn’t think I had any issues until I was sent to a hospital in Arizona for over 4 months of intensive inpatient treatment. When I got out I relapsed almost immediately and a year later I had dropped back down to 100lbs and my liver enzymes were so messed up it was on the verge of failing as well.
When I was out the second time I found an amazing dietitian who helped me incorporate working out and putting on muscle so I could feel good about the weight I was gaining and trying to maintain. To do so I had to track my food and my progress with different means- using percentage of body fat rather than weight to shift the focus away from the scale. It was also around this time that I found CrossFit and started lifting weights and really enjoying going to the gym rather than just using it as a punishment for having eaten at all that day. I loved being able to compete against other people and it was great motivation for getting stronger. Now, instead of using the gym to punish myself or to try and earn my meals, I go in with the mentality that I am getting stronger and I have provided my body with the fuel it needs to get through my workouts. I deserved to eat and I deserved to perform well. I love going to the gym and seeing my friends and seeing what my body can do when properly nourished. Pursue your goals with a positive mindset and your body will follow.
Go in with a plan (measurable outcomes) and track your progress!
Having been in treatment, a meal plan is very important for me. I have to feel “ok” about eating and know that what I am doing is for the benefit of my workouts and my overall health and wellbeing. It’s been difficult to stray from having a meal plan- they even give you one out of treatment so even before I started competing I was following some sort of plan and weighing and measuring my food out.
Having a workout log is great especially when you’re just starting out. I have 4 years worth of journals going from a composition notebook when I was just starting out and attempting things out of magazines, to now where I track personal records for weight lifting and workouts. I love seeing my progress over time and going from only being able to deadlift 90 pounds to 245 gave me something to really feel proud about!
If you could compete in one other event (FBB, physique, figure, fitness, bikini) which would it be and why?
I’d love to try bodybuilding or fitness just to get to dance! Plus all of those women are just amazing in what they can do to and with their bodies.
I wanted the challenge of good competition with a community feel. I was scared coming into this at first but I have found that, at least at a local level, there are some people looking out for one another and it does feel like a community where we are all striving for the same goals but are still able to help one another out.
What do you like best about competing?
I also love that I can use my story to help people. Like I mentioned before I’ve struggled with a pretty severe eating disorder that was nearly fatal. I’ve used training to improve my mental outlook as well as my body and my ability to convince myself that “food is fuel”. Competing has been a great platform to open up conversation. I’ve shared my story both within the NPC and Crossfit communities and it allows people to open up. Many have reached out to me for help and to just thank me for letting them know that they are not alone. Eating disorders are so prevalent yet so misunderstood and swept under the rug that no one wants to reach out for the help they need. It is a struggle to stay in recovery, but getting so much positive feedback and being able to be there for someone else who is also struggling makes it all worthwhile and keeps me balanced.
And honestly? The training. I love having a goal and I am better able to push myself. Sure, it’s fun getting all dolled up and tanned (although walking in heels is still difficult!), but I love the gym. It is my family, my stress reliever, my goals, my therapy, my passion all rolled into one. I have a hard time sitting still so being able to focus my energy on something like this is refreshing. The training and meal prep and depletion- all of it- becomes much less of a “grind” if you truly love what you do.
What are your goals for the future?
The long term goal as of now is to work towards competing at Team Universe in 2015. Right now? I just want to squat and eat steak. That 200lb squat will be mine by the end of the year!
Steel City, Pueblo, CO- Overall in Novice and 1st open class D
The Warrior Classic, Loveland, CO- Overall in Novice and 2nd open class D
Supplement Giant Colorado Natural, Littleton, CO- 2nd Open class D
Team Universe, 2015
Living in Colorado I love the outdoors. I run, climb 14ers, camp, hike, shoot pistols, and have ridden horses my whole life. Outside of bodybuilding and bikini I have been crossfitting for almost 4 years and coach as well. I am also a certified yoga instructor and use my practice to keep me grounded. As long as I'm moving I'm happy!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned over the years when it comes to competing?
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again! You really have to enjoy the process and try not to be so concerned with the final outcome. Of course everyone wants to win- winning is awesome! But so long as you put in the work and really did everything that you could- meal planning and prep, really giving your all in the gym and having that confidence on stage- you can’t get caught up in the final result in a sport based on the subjective judgment of someone else.
My first show I didn’t know what to expect. First of all, I wasn’t even planning on it! My original “first time” was supposed to be at a much larger show- The Warrior Classic- two weeks later but my coach suggested I give this smaller show a shot and get some stage time. I trusted his judgment and trusted the process and ended up winning novice and my open height class. But most importantly- it was fun. I wasn’t being competitive, I didn’t look around and compare myself to the other girls there and I’m still friends with most of them via Facebook and other competitions. I knew the work I had put in was solid and this was my opportunity to show that.
My most recent show was also a last minute addition but I psyched myself out the whole time leading up to it because I knew who was competing and weeks ahead of time started comparing myself to them. It made me miserable and doubted my own abilities and turned this process of training and eating clean and putting in the work into that dreaded “grind”. It wasn’t fun anymore. I was greatly disappointed in my placing even though I was second and it put a damper on my whole experience.
From now on I’m focusing on the process. It’s about putting in the work, staying focused, enjoying the process and doing it for me. Show time is just that- you’re showing off your hard work! And it’s the only time I really get dressed up and wear heels.
What is your favorite contest prep supplement?
Right now I really love MuscleEgg. It’s nice to find a non-whey protein supplements that’s kind to my sensitive stomach!
“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee