Kelsey Byers Fitness

Kelsey Byers Fitness

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COMPETING

 

 

 

COMPETING

Competing is a great goal to give yourself if you want to increase your motivation and take your body to the next fitness level.
 

My original goal of competing was just to prove to myself I could get on stage! The thought of being judged based only on my physique- and compared to other women- frightened me, to be honest! I mean, what woman in her right mind would want to put herself through rejection? LOL. Not me! But, I decided to take the "plunge" and just go for it! I decided in my mind that I was doing it for me versus a trophy.  This coming from a woman who never thought she’d be in a bikini again….ever.
 

After all, I was coming from a chunky, fifty-pound overweight body. The fact that I was in a bikini, on a stage with beautiful women....even being compared....heck, I just wanted to say "I DID THAT!"  Definite bucket list item.
 

I think you have to decide on your goal for the competition beforehand.  If you just want to prove to yourself YOU CAN do it, then you'll be happy placing or not placing as long as you give it your ALL.  To me, my body was my trophy.  The fact that I left my first show with a 3rd place trophy, that was icing on the cake!
 

So, if you are thinking about GOING FOR IT, here are a few things to consider.


Eating Disorders:
I want to say these things FIRST because I don’t think ladies think about it.  If you have a history of eating disorders, really put a lot of thought into committing to a show.  I’ve spoken with competitors who had eating disorders prior to entering the fitness world and training for a competition caused the disorder to resurface in many cases. I would seek guidance from a counselor or nutritionist to see if it's right for you.
 

Super lean body / realistic expectations:
Think about it, you are restricting yourself of cheat meals (I did) for 12 weeks, sometimes longer.  Your body is going through an extreme transformation and training program.  You get super lean and everything fits perfect.  I told myself I would be able to stay that lean (10% body fat) after the show because I felt great in that body.  However, after the show I realized that it’s not a healthy or realistic goal to stay that lean for long periods of time.  I was fortunate enough to have a nutritionist who kept me on the same meal plan that I eat year round, we just altered my portions. 

http://www.eatingmanagement.net/kim_porterfield_cn
 

Post Competition:
I made the mistake of going on a two week eating spree after my first show and I bounced back up to 18% body fat FAST.  Just ease into the cheat meals after your show is over.  Maybe have one or two cheats that weekend, then go back to your clean eating the next week.  You can always have another fun meal the following weekend.  It’s common to feel a little “fluffy” the month after a show.  Just don’t overdo the cheat meals and you’ll be fine.  Remember, 20-25% body fat is a healthy range for a woman.
 

Coach / Nutritionist / Trainer:
Super important advice- this is probably the most IMPORTANT decision you can make about competing.  Hire a professional to guide you.  Just because someone claims they know what to do and may have competed once or twice, does NOT make them a professional and equipped for guiding you on your journey to the stage.  If you take short cuts, it will show. 

Also, you want to make sure you are eating enough to fuel your activity level.  I have often seen competitors train hard for 8-12 weeks, following a low calorie meal plan they got from “somebody who knows what to do” for free or next-to-nothing.  These ladies damage their metabolic rate, making it harder for them to lose weight later.  If you cut corners, it will show.  I have even seen competitors back out of a show due to not being “ready” in their mind.  Don’t damage your body, it’s the only one you have.  Treat it like a temple and hire a professional.  I hired a certified nutritionist to help guide me and have never regretted it.

A professional can also guide you with water manipulation the day of your show.
 

Federation:
I chose the NPC (National Physique Committee) to compete in and have done five shows.  This was the federation that my nutritionist recommended, so I went with it.  If you compete in the NPC, place top 5 at a local show, this usually qualifies you for nationals (if the show is a national qualifier).  Nationals are usually out of state- here you can earn your PRO card (by placing top 1 or 2 depending on the show) and become a member of the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) and become recognized as a Professional Competitor.  Check out the NPC website for a competition schedule in your state.

 Here is a link to several bodybuilding and fitness federations: http://www.bodybuildbid.com/federations.html


Once you choose the federation, choose the division.  For example, I chose the Bikini division because that is where my body type fit best with the NPC.  The NPC also has Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness, etc.  Each federation has their own divisions.  A good thing to do is search YouTube for IFBB bikini, figure, physique and fitness competitors and see where you fit best.  A trainer or nutritionist can also help you decide.


Suit: 
It’s important to choose a suit that compliments your skin color and that fits you.  Bikini competitors can buy “off the rack” aka in the store or online.  Figure, physique and fitness competitors usually have their suits custom made to fit their bodies.  This can get expensive.  You can also rent suits or check eBAY.

Here are several sites I recommend:

http://www.crystallinibikini.com/BIKINI-DIVISION-SUITS.html
http://www.sweetrevengebikinis.com/website-draft/index.htm
http://shop.bunnycouture.com/
http://www.beachbunnyswimwear.com/collection/collection.cfm?categoryId=315
http://www.suitsyouswimwear.com/figuresuits2.php
http://www.chynnadolls.com/
http://cynthia-james.com/
http://www.vizioncouture.com/

Shoes (You’ll wear heels on stage in figure and bikini): http://www.suitsyouswimwear.com/products.php?cat=Clear+Shoes

Competition – Expense:
Something you should know that I wasn't really prepared for...is the price of a competition. It's a bit expensive.  You will need a suit, the clear high heels, a tan (around $100-$175), your food, makeup and hair (I did mine myself for the first show)....hotel room....your NPC card (around $100), contest entry ($90-100).  Anyway, you get the idea. Just be prepared and save your money.

Sponsors:
Some competitors are able to get sponsors for shows.  This might include friends, family members or supplement companies.  If your goal is to get sponsored, I would recommend sending your resume and some fitness photos to the supplement company's athlete manager.  You don't have to have professional photos, but it does help.  Also, if you have a following on social networks, be sure and tell them how many people you reach daily with motivation.  They like to see that you have an audience and are marketable as an athlete.  Most supplement companies will sponsor you with supplements, but some will actually sponsor competition costs.  Never hurts to ask.


Posing:
I would also recommend practicing posing and stage presence with someone who has had experience. You can also YouTube the IFBB Bikini or Figure pro’s for demonstrations. 

Schedule a Photo Shoot:
I can't tell you how many athletes I've seen pass on photo shoots before competition and regret it later.  Your body is in tip-top shape and it's a major accomplishment to be PROUD of!  I would recommend hiring a professional photographer to capture some images of you right before or the day after your show.  You can use these images on business cards, your website, social networking, to send to modeling agencies and magazine submissions.  I recommend researching your favorite magazines and shoot images similar to their style if you want to submit to them for possible publication. 


THE DAY OF THE SHOW:
You will probably be up early for hair and makeup.  I would recommend getting two coats of spray tan the night before, depending on your skin tone.  You can always have a touch up the morning of check-in.  You typically go check in for a show and then spend a few hours waiting to go on stage.  Bring a blanket, pillow (to sit on) and all of your food to last for half the day.  I typically bring a small cooler and small rolling suit case with makeup, hairspray, etc.  Bring your phone, iPod, a book….something to keep you busy.  Most of all, relax!  Your hard work is done!  Time to get on stage and show off your hard work!!! Let your confidence shine!  You typically have a break before finals, so go back to your hotel room to REST.  Bring enough food to last you all night because finals can run late. 


NOTE TO SELF:  It’s a good idea to pack a back-up suit in case your tan stains your suit.  Yes, this happened to me at my first show in a white bikini.  Good thing for back ups! 


Support:
Before you start training for a show, it’s a GREAT IDEA to tell your family and loved ones.  You will need their support.  Not everyone always understands the goal to compete, so just be aware of that.  My best advice is to not push your views or lifestyle on anyone.  There may come a point in your training that you get moody or impatient- just remember that this is YOUR GOAL and try not to take your choices out on other people.  Remember why you chose the goal in the first place and FOLLOW THROUGH!  You will be glad you did.  Training for competition can also bring out those in your life that are negative.  I would distance yourself from negativity at all costs.  Training for a competition takes determination, drive and persistence.  Don’t let the opinions of others get you down.  Stay positive!

I welcome your feedback.  Please let me know if I left anything out and I’ll be happy to add it.

Kelsey





 

Free Advice - How to Get the Body of Your Dreams

Okay ladies- free advice- I lost fifty pounds on my own, but it took years of trial and error and avoiding fast food and alcohol.

My life was blessed the day I hired my nutritionist, Kim Porterfield.  I was referred to her by Jamie Eason, who also learned about clean eating from their office, The Institute of Eating Management. 

http://www.eatingmanagement.net/kim_porterfield_cn

 

My husband was very skeptical and said, "why would I pay someone to teach me how to eat?!"  I finally convinced him though.  Sure, I was a healthy size 8 when we got married, but I had zero definition in my abs and hated my cellulite in a bikini.

 

We were spending around $400 a month going out to eat, so I told him we should spend $200ish of that one month for the first visit with Kim.  He didn't realize we were going out to eat so much, so finally he agreed.

 

Our first visit with Kim made us realize that so much of what *we thought* was healthy or ok, really wasn't.  It's amazing what food companies can lead you to believe based on wording on packaging.

 

We started cooking our meals and cutting our twice a week restaurant visits down to once every 2 weeks.  We eased into the lifestyle and started eating every 3 hours, 5-7 meals a day.  It felt like a lot of food at first, but our bodies soon told us when it was time to eat.  Our metabolisms kicked in BIG TIME.  It was only 2-4 months of being consistent with food that strangers would stop us at the gym or grocery store to ask questions. "What do you do?" was the most common question. Our workouts stayed the same at 4-5 days a week of lifting.  The ONLY thing we changed was food.

 

When I tell people about how clean eating changed our lives and bodies, some people are not quite ready to dive in and that's okay.  The seed is planted.  That's all I'm here to do is plant that seed in your head.  This is your life and you have to figure out your healthy moderation and what YOUR goals consist of. 

 

Another thing- I figured out that by spending that $200ish at first and investing in my body, any outfit looks good on it.  I don't know about you, but I used to be guilty of spending hundreds of dollars (okay, probably thousands over the years) on clothes that I thought would make my body look better.  When you have the results you want, it's amazing how a tank and shorts from Walmart can make you look like a million bucks- seriously.  Okay, not trying to blow up Kim's inbox or anything.  If you are interested in eating portions specific to your goals, you can contact The Institute of Eating Management or email info@eatingmanagement.com.

 

If you aren't quite ready for that step, start eating the FREE plan posted below.  It WORKS!  Don't worry with diets, pills, all the other crap out there.  Focus on your body, WHOLE FOOD and training.  Supplements ONLY supplement a clean meal plan.  The end. 

http://www.labrada.com/kelseybyerschallenge/kbchallenge_mealplan.pdf

 

HOLIDAYS

Hey friends!

The holidays are a few short months away! Who shops ahead? I do! I like to get all my gift shopping done before Thanksgiving to avoid the crowd and ENJOY the holidays. I'm a planner!

On that note, the holidays are a tough time for many as far as healthy food is concerned, including me. There are plenty of holiday parties and opportunities to "slip" on the clean eating.

You gotta have a plan in place. During that month of celebration, I PLAN my cheats like normal, I simply allow a few more. I might skip a cheat meal one week if I know I have two or three parties the next week. The last thing you want to do is feel miserable come January 1st. Another thing, after a cheat meal, I make sure to eat a clean meal 3 hours later to keep my metabolism revved up.

Pack some healthy snacks in your cooler and keep that in your car. It really works! Even sneak a healthy dish into a party for an extra option.

Approach this holiday season with a PLAN in place and you'll be much happier with your body, yet you'll still enjoy yourself! Win-Win!

"Fail to plan if you plan to fail."

Baby Byers

Surprise!!!! Kent Byers and I are very excited to announce that we are expecting our first BABY in February!!!!

We feel very blessed and appreciate your support! We can't wait to meet Baby B!!!

 

Kent and I have been talking about babies for two or three years. He said he would leave it up to me because of everything going on with fitness. Well, I decided we were ready.

The day I stepped on stage at the Arnold Classic for my last bikini competition in March, I quit taking my pill. It took 10 weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We feel very blessed because I have friends who have tried to get pregnant for years. We are just praying the baby is healthy and Kent is convinced it's a GIRL.  We'll be happy with either, of course.

I have been sick the first trimester, so I'm looking forward to wrapping it up shortly. Morning sickness, evening sickness- you name it. Thank goodness for anti-nausea pills from my doctor.

I've been working out 3-4 days a week. Yep, throw up in the morning and hitting the gym at night. Haha. Making it work. I nap when I need it and definitely not missing any rest.

The first week morning sickness hit, I could only stomach soup and crackers....but now I'm back to my clean meals. My portions are slightly smaller and I've added in some fruit and milk.

I am documenting my pregnancy, but I know everyone experiences something totally different. I just want to keep my body as healthy as possible for growing this little one. Kent has been the best hubby ever and helps me out so much. Lots of movie nights.

I'm not worried about putting on some pounds- I've lost 50 before so I can handle this.

Also, I have had cravings, but I was ready for that being a competitor in the past. I aim at a cheat meal or two each week. Moderation is key. Thank you all for your support and I'm looking forward to lots of fun pregnancy projects coming up.

 

Vacation and sticking to your goals

Great question on Facebook:
"I'm going on vacation for 10 days to Hawaii, but I'm worried about not being able to stick with my clean eating. How am I supposed to handle a round trip 10 hour plane ride and 10 days in Hawaii without having more bad days than good days? I feel like most meals will be eaten out, and I was hoping you had a plan or system to help stick to my eating plan. Do you have suggestions for people taking vacations like this?"

 

My answer:
Did you know you can carry any food on the plane in a small cooler as long as they are whole foods? (no liquid, peanut butter, condiments, etc.). That being said, my hubby and I usually bake some lean turkey or beef patties because we can eat them easily on the plane. Chicken even works.  Rice cakes are easy carbs to take too. Once you get passed TSA, buy some little snacks like greek yogurt, raw almonds, water......even fill a plastic container with ice to keep your food cold.

You can freeze your food the night before and that helps too. You'll be fine. While you're on vacay, just stick to eating every 3 hours. Choose a lean protein and complex carb at each meal - veggies when possible. We have gotten leaner on cruises before because we can eat that often.

**You can also check a cooler as luggage and pack your condiments, food, etc. We use gel ice packs when we do that for longer trips. Just use a luggage strap for the cooler in case it gets thrown around during travel.  You don't want that food falling out.

Just stay active, HYDRATED and eat frequently and you'll be fine. You can always pack Lean Body for Her shakes and put a few things in your luggage for later. Enjoy your trip!

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