“Do You Still Compete?”

First Place Masters Bikini 35+ B Class, Team Universe, July 2013

First Place Masters Bikini 35+ B Class, Team Universe, July 2013

Whenever I hear that question now, I have mixed feelings, which range from a sense of longing for the stage, to complete relief that I have not stepped onto a bodybuilding stage for close to two years now. My short answer to the question, “Do you still compete?” is “Probably not.”

Though I competed in four Pro Bikini events, I was struggling so much with metabolic damage and perimenopause that I often think it wasn’t the best idea to jump onto the Pro stage only 4 months after I won my IFBB Pro Card. That sort of strategy might work for a twenty-something competitor who is at the top of the heap, but it didn’t work for my 47-year old body which had been beaten down physically, emotionally, and mentally. I honestly needed a break, but I pushed through, and as a result had ho-hum placings.

It has taken over three years for my body to return to a level of leanness which I feel comfortable with. I know you might assume that I was in a massive spiral with my weight and body fat, but it wasn’t THAT bad, at least not compared with many other competitors who spiral. Nevertheless, I spent over two years with excess fluff that I was not accustomed to at all, and I couldn’t stand how I looked or felt.

Here’s the breakdown of my stats throughout the years:

From age 21 through 43: Between 104-109 lbs., 11-13% body fat
2010 – Age 44: 112-113 lbs., 12% body fat
2011 – Age 45: 114 lbs., 12% body fat
2012 – Age 46: 115 lbs., 12% body fat
2013 – Age 47: FIRST HALF OF YEAR: 117 lbs., 11% body fat SECOND HALF OF YEAR: 119-126 lbs., 13-18% body fat
2014 – Age 48: 121-125 lbs., 14-18% body fat
2015 – Age 49: 119-123 lbs., 12-15% body fat
2016 – (soon to be 50): 115-119 lbs., 11-13% body fat

It has been a veritable see-saw for me over the years. I also firmly believe that I would not have gone through menopause as early as I have if it had not been for all the metabolic insults I made to my poor body as a result of competing. Since 2013, I have investigated every possible cause for the water retention issues which rather suddenly hit me. This year I have FINALLY been able to rid myself of the excess fluid around my midsection, but somehow that was at the cost of the fullness in my glutes which I had worked so tirelessly to achieve during the years in which I competed.

If you ask me what my plans are for competing, don’t be surprised if I evade the question. I realize with each passing day that competing is no longer something which I rely on to define who I am. I have paid my dues and proven my worth, and though I completely understand why people have a drive to compete, I am no longer chomping at the bit to throw on a ridiculously expensive, blingy bikini and stripper heels and put myself at the mercy of a panel of judges.

Great Bombshell Poster From Team U 2013 When I Went Pro

bombshell TU

The titles here aren’t completely correct here. I was the Over 35 B Champion as well, with a First Place finish to complement my Over 40 B First Place finish and my Overall Title in Over 40, but because I had already won my Pro Card, Second Place finisher Lindsay Oxford got her Pro Card as well. I guess that is why they decided to make it sound like Lindsay Oxford had won her class.

Four Years Of Team Universe!

Here are stage shots from all 4 years that I competed at the NPC Team Universe (2010 through 2013), stacked in reverse chronological order. I almost didn’t compete at Team U in 2013 because I had never done exceptionally well at this contest. Needless to say, I am so thankful that I had the stubborn determination to get back on that stage, because my wish finally came true in 2013!

To those of you who might be getting discouraged, DON’T GIVE UP!!! I can honestly say I looked better in the shot from 2013 (far right) which was taken days before my 47th birthday, than in the shot from 2010 (far left), taken on my 44th birthday. It’s been an amazing journey!

2013. Pro Card year! Overall Winner Masters 40+ Bikini 1st Place Masters 40+ Bikini B 1st Place Masters 35+ Bikini B 4th Place Open Bikini D

2013. Pro Card year!
Overall Winner Masters 40+ Bikini
1st Place Masters 40+ Bikini B
1st Place Masters 35+ Bikini B
4th Place Open Bikini D

2012 Team U 12th Place Masters 35+ Bikini 8th Place Open Bikini D

2012 Team U
12th Place Masters 35+ Bikini
8th Place Open Bikini D

1st Place Masters 45+ Bikini 11th Place Masters 35+ Bikini  8th Place Open Bikini D

1st Place Masters 45+ Bikini
11th Place Masters 35+ Bikini
8th Place Open Bikini D

13th Place Open Bikini D

13th Place Open Bikini D