Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My reflections on the St.Louis Pro

Last weekend I competed in the St.Louis Pro Bikini. It was my first show of the season and my 5th Bikini show ever. For those of you who don't know, I earned my pro status as a fitness competitor in 2008 and started competing at the age of 16 in the NPC. My switch to bikini has been kind of a love/hate relationship with myself, lol. I love the division, I love the look, and most importantly I love the sass we are able to bring to the stage. On the flip side, bikini is what it is....BIKINI. There is no standard look and easily the most subjective division in all of the IFBB. With that said, there is only one round that will make or break you...and you either flaunt it or you dont.

Am I glad I did the show? Absolutely. Was this the best placing I've ever had in bikini? Uhhh...NO. Was the lineup competitive? YES...everyone looked great from top to bottom and everyone looked like they belonged on that stage. Even some of the less familiar names "brought it" this weekend. Was the judging fair? I believe so. As with any show there will always be a few placings that could have gone either way, but for the most part...the judging was fair. This was one of first shows where I felt all 3 callouts were actually judged from 1st to 14th place. And with that said, I am ok with my placing.

If you don't know how the judging works...basically they judge what shows up. The overall theme for the my lineup this past weekend was hard, hard, hard. Actually many of the girls showed up harder than the figure competitors. That I did not anticipate simply because I had attended the Arnold just two weeks before (thinking that was going to set the standard for the rest of the year) and I found a lot of the girls to be softer for that that show. YOU NEVER CAN TELL! So in comparison to the other girls...I was a bit softer and therefore penalized for that. On the flip side...had the girls been softer and a few girls leaner and harder...they would have been penalized. I brought in a tigher package than I did at my last show, yet I placed a lot higher at my last show. Get it??? YOU NEVER CAN TELL!

Your best bet is to train for YOU! If you like how you look and how you trained for your show, then so be it and let the placings fall where they may. After prejudging I knew I hadn't placed well and began feeling disappointed and questioning myself and why I continue to put myself through this haha. And because we all train to excel and do well... I allowed myself to be disappointed and "sulk" for about a good 20 minutes. After that, I got my groove back and remembered how lucky I was to be a pro and be amongst good people.

This was my first pro bikini show my husband ever saw me compete in. Last year he was in Iraq and missed  everything I did that year. Not to mention it was great to reconnect with old friends whom I only get to see a few times a year at these shows and connect with new ones. We kind of share a "sisterhood" because so few of us do what we do. At the end of the show, I recieved some really constructive feedback. Yes, there was actually HOPE and yes there was actually something I could do to improve! I will never have "legs for days" nor will I ever be the "american girl next door"...because I have a flava of my own.

There was one feedback in particular that I had recieved that really stuck out to me because I had never had it mentioned to me before or even thought of it myself. I was told how striking I was in person, but for some reason on stage and it wasn't translating that way. They mentioned how I didn't even look like same person on stage and for that reason I became just another body, another number. Hmm...something to think about. Looks like I better rethink those colored contacts, clip in extentions, and heavy makeup!

I would like to think my wonderful husband (who cooked so many of my meals and has been my biggest supporter and sponsor) my awesome family and sisters (who always remind me to be humble and persistent, oh and that I ROCK), my nutritionist Layne Norton for making this experience knowledgable and pleasant, and Joyce VanSeters for Fitness Professionals for representing me in the best possible light. And for anyone else who has supported me in my journey thus far. I have learned so much from all of you.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oily face....not so cool!

What I am about to share with you is absolutely life changing. It's almost as good as finding the cure for cancer.... well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit but damn it this stuff works! If you are like me and 80% of most women, we all have problems with our oily "T-zone". Yep, it's the one part of our face that always seems to give way to oil. A long time ago, I was told to invest in a good primer. Smashbox sells their top of the line primer for $42. It comes in a .93 fl oz bottle and other high end brands go for about $25 and up for maybe a fl oz bottle. SAY WHAT! THAT'S JUST WRONG!!!

I stumbled upon this discovery by accident. I was actually researching some good foundations for oily skin and saw people raving online about these two products: Phillips Milk of Magnesia and Monistats Chafing Gel. Then I realized the primer we use is just as important as the foundation we use. This process involves 3 very simple steps: 1. moisturize your face, 2. apply a thin layer of Phillips Milk of Magnesia all of your oily areas and 3. apply Monistats Chafing gel over the milk of magnesia. After that...apply the rest of your makeup like normal. I picked up both of these products from Wal-mart under $10 total. What it basically comes down to is that Monistats Chafing Gel has practically the same exact ingredients as most top of the line primers with the exception of a few binding agents.

Well after careful review, this stuff works. I first experimented with this product traveling through the airports (for some reason when I fly...my skin doesn't like it. I get really oily and feel yucky.) At the end of the day, my skin was oil free and I didn't even wear powder! My sister really put it to the test under stage lights and I am happy to say...her face and foundation stayed matte perfect all day long! No shine or greasy look us girls can get when wearing foundation all day and moving around. I know it sounds weird putting Va Jay-jay cream all over your face, but ladies...get over it. I will pay $4 bucks any day for a big tube of primer that works! You have to wonder though...who was the first person to think of this? What made them put Phillips Milk of Magnesia and Va Jay-jay cream on their face, lol. I don't know...but whoever it was, THANK YOU!

Here is a very informative youtube video that I feel does a great job in explaining the breakdown of all of this. You will thank me later, lol. Enjoy