I did it! Finally did my first figure show! It was not my choice at first to do a show, I was even against it. Yes, that's right! But let me tell you why I changed my mind, how it was and why it is the best thing I have ever done in my life.
In August 2017, I was about to do my first show after only one year of training. I thought I was ready so I spent a lot of money in advance for it but unfortunately, some bad things happened and I had to give up on my dream, my prep, my show... my money. Life went by and when I started to feel better, around January, one of my friend asked me when I was going to compete. I remember answering him; never. I felt like doing shows was now a trend and everybody was doing it for the wrong reasons. I did not want to go on stage just to feel better about myself or to gain attention, following or more. I did not want to go on stage because I felt it was unhealthy, unhealthy for me. I felt like if I was going to compete, I would not like the person I would become. My mind was not in the right place.
So, what happened?
Months went by, I went back 200% at the gym, focused on new goals and my mind changed. I worked (and still continue to) on myself, inside and out. I then met a now former training and business partner who told me he wanted to compete. I told him as a joke:
''If you do a show, I'll do the same show with you''
Well, he took me seriously so my joke became real. We met the same coach, Philippe Lebrun, and I jumped straight in. My mind was now in the right place. However, the guy quit without telling me but I continued anyway. I am thankful because if he had not tell me about this show, if he had not challenged me, I would not have competed and it is the best thing I have ever did.
I began my prep with one thing in mind:
''The important for me is to finish my prep, to achieve my goal and to be proud even if I don't step up on stage''
Yup. You can say it is stupid, it will never be goal to win. My goal will always be to give the best I can, to give my 10000% in every aspect of my prep and life, to always do it with a smile and to beat the old version of myself. The first place will come with it. If it doesn't, I will be happy anyway because I will have improved myself.
I personally don't think I could go through a prep if my fuel was the idea of getting first, I would give up. If it works for you, it works for you great! But I've always preferred the journey than the destination. When I travel, my favorite thing is to be at the airport, to be in the plane, the journey to get there. The same thing applies in every aspect of my life.
When I got on stage, I was so calm. I knew I had done everything I could and I was proud of myself. So fucking proud!
I don't wake up at 5 AM to do fasted cardio, eat the same food, deal with hunger, lift heavy weight everyday just to win. I do it also because I want to prove myself that I can. I do it because I have always gave up so close to my goals every time. So close to the end, I have always convinced myself I could not do it. Doing and finishing this prep meant I broke a pattern in my head. I will continue to break the pattern and if I win, I will. But I will always be proud of myself more than anything.
Hunger, Frustration, etc.
I'm a robot. If my coach tells me to eat dirt, I will. If my meat is 100 grams, it is 100 grams and not 105 grams. Did I feel hungry? Of course. Did I let it to go to my head? Never. I even ate my chicken frozen one time, it was a chicken pop-sicle. There were no microwaves or ways to warm it up, it was not fun to eat but I did.
I knew at the beginning that being low carbs would affect my mood so I chose it would not. I would decide of my mood and that's it. In fact, being low carbs helped my brain to focused after a time of adjustment and I felt better on low carbs day. After all, it was my choice to do a prep and my choice only so no one had to feel my bad mood. My posing coach, Mimi Capes, also helped me to understand it was possible to be happy even on low carbs low calories and to always be kind anyways. Everyone was telling me the opposite but I listened to her.
Like I said in the beginning, I had the idea that most people were doing it for the wrong reasons. I suffer from really bad anxiety and social anxiety so I was a little scared that most people would not be nice or anything. I was wrong...
I was so wrong. I have met some wonderful and amazing persons. I saw some incredible camaraderie within the competitors and even coaches. We were all supporting and cheering for each others and helping one another. I remember at the finals, I did have time to pump so I asked the girl in front of me, Shannon, to help me by blocking my arms as I was doing lateral raises to mimic the effects of weights and she did with a big smile and I will always remember this moment.
My family & Support
I would have never expected the support I had. I did not even tell my parents I was doing a show because I was afraid of their reactions. After all, it is the only sport where you go on a stage in a flashing bikini and high heels, showing your depleted body and being judged based on your look. But it is so much more than this! (I'll save this for another post).
When I told them... they were a little bit suspicious. My father reacted in the most father way but in the end, they became my number one supporters. I couldn't ask for a better support.
If you want to do a show, you have to be sure your mind is in the right place. You also have to make sure you have the budget! It is expensive and it will always be more expensive than you think. Make sure your coach knows what he or she is doing because you don't want to fuck up your body. Embrace every second of it.