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I am the proud owner of Pole Position Fitness in Long Beach California.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #10

So this is a very delicate conversation specifically for the ladies. I have been competing for well over 5 years. Since the beginning I have gotten terrible yeast infections every single show. I first thought it was from the diet, but that has changed throughout the year. Then I thought it was from the water loading, but I don't always do that. Then I thought it was from the sodium loading, but I don't always do that. I finally figured it out 2 years ago it is from the overspray from the tanning products. So I started wearing an itty bitty tiny g string when I tanned and they went away but I don't want any lines or anything. Then I started the research process and tried/researched 10 different tanning products. Same thing happens with all of them. Then I got this bright idea...Panty Liners. Hallelujah. I take a panty liner that is intended for thong panties. I face it sticky side toward me and stick it on to me. PROBLEM SOLVED!!! Now I use pantzies....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #9

Competing in itself is challenging you have to be organized and prepared and live in discomfort and isolation; but for most of us that compete it is an amazing experience. I love it!!!

So, in order for me to compete and limit the negative impact competing has on my life, so I can enjoy it that much more, I have learned some really cool things. I call these my competition secret weapons.

My #9 weapon is the 6 Pack Cooler
6 Pack is a company that developed a Meal Management System for competitors. They make it so easy for competitors to travel wit food. It is set up with dividers, drawers, pockets, places to put shakers, bottles, supplements, etc. You will love this system.

The small one is plenty big, fits under the seat in front of you on a plane, is light weight, and retails for $69.99 which is well worth the investment.

www.6packbags.com, get one today you will love it!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Central US Championships - Post Show Wrap Up

I am home from Kansas City and my head is spinning. I want to start off by saying I think the WBFF is one of the greatest organizations that I have ever had the pleasure of associating myself with and I want to thank Allison and Paul Dillett for taking a risk on all of us. The WBFF Central US Championships were held at the AMC Midland Theater in Kansas City with 200-300 amazing competitors. Every single competitor brought their A Game and then some. I have never seen so many sexy, fit and amazing people in a show in my life. OK, so I guess you're wondering how it went. I competed in Diva Fitness Model Tall and Masters. I placed 5th in Tall and 3rd in Masters; but there is a major surprise. The girls that placed 1st and 2nd in front of me won short and tall; and with one more pro card up for grabs for the night they awarded it to me. Let me tell you how it went. They called out the top 5 and I was called out. Then they called forward the top 3 and it was Micki, Gretchen and Me and they awarded me 3rd place. I knew at that moment I was headed to Boston in June in order to compete for my pro card one last time before World Championships. Then they awarded Micky with 2nd and Gretchen with 1st, and I was about to walk off stage when the announcer told me to stop. He announced, Gretchen you won your pro card for short and Micky you won your pro card for tall, and these 3 final scores are almost too close to count; so we have one more pro card up for grabs. My heart stopped. I looked at Gretchen and Micky; and then he said so how about we give this pro card to Sharon Polsky, our newest Diva Fitness Model Pro. My eyes instantly welled up with tears as Lindsay Messina and Chaddy Dunmore walked up to me with my pro card. Not only was I winning my pro card but 2 of my idols were handing it to me. I was joining the ranks of the WBFF Elite and I can't imagine getting it any other way. I am so honored and blessed to join the ranks of the WBFF elite as their newest Pro. Thank you WBFF for embracing me and taking me into your family. My world is spinning right now and I am just holding onto my chair and enjoying the ride.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Central US Championships - Final Week

This Friday I will step off of a plane in Kansas City and the whirlwind will start. Every time I compete it feel like a non stop train headed for the train station and I love every minute of it. My weekend starts with a car ride from my amazing brother to the airport, a plane trip to Kansas City, a shuttle ride to the host hotel, registration and the competitor meeting at the host hotel, early bedtime and early to rise, tanning face, hair, makeup, a trip to the venue and then let the games begin. I truly love every minute of this sport and this competition will be one of the most special I have ever competed in. Because of facebook I have had the honor to meet so many of the amazing women that I am going to compete with long before I ever arrive. These ladies are strong, passionate, beautiful, ambitious, and motivated; and I can't wait to share the stage with all of these amazing women. Watch out Kansas City a tornado is headed your way and they are the women of the WBFF.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #8

Hello Ladies...we all know that having our suits crawl up our bumms on stage is not only really irritating, but it is also really distracting and can be pretty embarrassing. Most competitors use Bikini Bite or Spray Adhesive which both work great, but they don't travel very well and get really messy. Well what most of you don't know is that I have worked as a costume tech. and designer for the musical theater stage since I was 16; and I have learned some amazing tricks. Toupee Tape is a double sided sticky tape that is used to hold toupee's on sweaty heads and I use these to hold down anything. When you use Bikini Bite you have to turn to the competitor next to you and say "excuse me do you mind"...then the competitor peals back your suit exposing your ass and maybe a little more and with her face in all of your business has to apply, stick and push. With toupee tape I place it into the suit and then I just step in. No adjustments needed once it's on. 2 words of caution you have to stick it correctly the first time cause it is really really sticky. Also, hollywood fashion tape is not the same and in fact I don't like it. I tend to "glow" on stage (AKA sweat a little) and hollywood fashion tape would slip. The best toupee tape to get is the short strips either straight or curved, I prefer curved, but do not get the kind on a roll. It is super cheap. A 2 year supply is about $14. Here is a link to a site that carries it or any beauty supply that sells hair, wigs or extensions should have it, but they typically keep it behind the front desk. Good luck ladies and keep up the great work.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Central US Championships - 2 weeks out

 I want to start off my blog today by saying I really really love competing. It has less to do with standing on stage and more to do with my fellow competitors. These last 3 weeks have really shown me how special the women in this sport really are. They have reached out to me (a virtual stranger to them) to show their support and appreciation. Thank you ladies.

Tomorrow is 2 weeks until  the WBFF Central US Championships in Kansas City. It is so close I can taste it.

The subject of today's blog is Day of Show. I started a competitor corner on my website SharonPolsky.com and here is an excerpt. These are the pointers I figured out along the way and I want to share these with all of you.

Remember the way we look on stage has everything to do with our success. Show Prep and Day of Show work synergistically. Think of it this way. When you are competing you are like an amazing sundae. The Show Prep is the icecream and the chocolate syrup; and the Day of show is the whipped cream and the cherry. Without both the sundae is good but not amazing. The sundae needs the finishing touches. I am going to provide you with some tips here. I am not only going to give you the whipped cream and cherry; this cherry is going to even have the stem.

Hair For Stage
I feel like this is where it all begins. I received the worse advice about hair for many years. I was told that I needed to grow it long and where it curly and it never worked for me. I just don't have that kind of hair. Sexy comes in all shapes and textures. You need to find your sexy YOU!!! Then you need to embrace that. Do not try to be something that you are not. What is most important here is that your look is clean, sexy and put together. I can not emphasize this more.
Makeup For Stage
The next step for stage is your makeup. This is where so many girls go wrong. Stage lights are very unforgiving. Many girls try to go for dark and sultry but unfortunately it makes your eyes look like black holes if you go there. Go for bright, fresh and young with some sexy eyelashes and for goodness sake please do not match your eye shadow and your suit color. The next really difficult thing is to blend your face to your body. Be careful using face powder. I do not use it at all. I also mix a little touch of tanner into my foundation to lift my face to a shade comparable to my body.  If you have a lean face do not wear blush it will make you look gaunt. Make sure you don't forget to fill in your eyebrows, they frame the face and you will look like an alien without them. Last but certainly not least lips need to be bright and fresh but I am not a fan of red lipstick. It is just too harsh.
Tanning For Stage
One word of advice....airbrush tanning. If you are going to a reputable show put on by a reputable promoter just use whoever the spray tanning person is that they provide. If you are worried about the quality remember that the majority of the competitors will be using this person so you will all look the same and it really does make it easy. Once you get tanned stay away from water, sinks and toilets are not your friend. Here is my secret I pee into a cup. I know kind of gross but I have learned my lesson with tanning.
Every federation has a different look that wins. I strongly suggest you look at the girls winning in those federations and get suits similar to those suits. Local shows are not what you need to be looking at. National caliber shows and pro shows is what to look for. Remember a local show is providing you with the experience to take you to the big leagues. If you wanna compete big league then you have to look big league. There is no right or wrong answer here and it doesn't have to be terribly expensive. Word of advice is match style to past winners but not colors. Don't be afraid to wear a color that stands out but still looks good on your skin when it is very very tan. Find a suit that you love on another competitor, find out who made it and go to their site. Maybe it seams like common sense but It's not for everybody.
This is where you get to have fun and the part of competing I love the most. I find that the 3 mistakes that girls make here are 1. Not a Clear Theme 2. Way Too Sexy/Trashy 3. Way Too Over the Top.
1. Pick a Theme...Make it a very very clear theme. For instance if I think of Tennis I think of Wimbledon which is known for all white uniforms. So, if I'm going to do Tennis I am going to do all white. Also, you want to bling it up. Bust out the bedazzler.
2. Sexy or is it Trashy...There is a fine line between sexy and trashy. Remember there are women on the judging panel and you do not want to alienate them. They can appreciate sexy but trashy just doesn't fly.
3. Keep it Simple...I find that girls are trying to stand out on stage and they are picking outfits that are way too over the top. The theme needs to be recognizable by both Men and Women. Remember there are men on the judging panel and if they can't relate to your theme you start at a disadvantage.
Yes you want to wear clear plastic stripper shoes but these are not all created equal. Whatever you get you will learn to walk in but I find that most girls go too conservative or way to sexy with these. What I mean by too conservative is that the shoe is either too small or to bulky. They do this because they think it will be easier to walk in. That is not the case bulky shoes are heavy and drag you down while you are walking and shoes that are too small make your legs look squaty. On the flipside wearing 8 inch platforms are not going to give you the long legs that you think they are. Keep it simple. You want a plane clear shoe with a pretty shape. If you need a strap with a buckle that is fine too not to worry. If you are very comfortable in your shoes then you do not have to change them for your theme rounds or your evening gown rounds.
This again is federation specific and you want to look at what the winners are wearing. You can never go wrong with rhinestones for any federation but feel free to bling it up more if that is what the federation is looking for. Wear earrings, bracelets and 1 ring. Never wear a necklace it will change your lines. 
No red, I feel the same way about red nail polish that I do about red lipstick; it is just too harsh. You wanna go french here. There is a great product called Shillac that is a no chip cured polish product. Once you go Shillac you will never go back. I literally can have a french pedicure that will last 6 weeks.

For more information from my competitor corner visit sharonpolsky.com


Monday, May 2, 2011

Central US Championships - 3 Weeks Out

This is it, This is it, This is it...crunch time. Lots of functional training, focused and clean eating, and enough cardio but not too much. These 3 things work synergistically to get the body I want on stage. Too much of one and I lose too much muscle, too much of another and I lose too much bodyfat...Get It!!! I'm ok with it though. In fact this is the part of show prep that I thrive on. Some say show prep is a science and some say it is an art, regardless what it is I love seeing how my body changes and responds. The best part about this is that it isn't the same from show to show. There are so many variables I can't control that I have to be dynamic with my approach. Constantly tweaking my synergistic combination in order to get what I'm looking for. (please note I didn't say what the judges are looking for it is all about my goals) This is the point where I track everything and keep the focus. Focus! Focus! Focus! With my new lavender wristband on I am working it.

With that said I finished my costume yesterday, am packing this week, and am walking/posing every day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #7

So when we are in competition season much of the time it is the little things that bring us joy on a daily basis. For me, I start to get very testy by the end of my week. I start feeling like each next meal I have to eat is a chore and my next bottle of water is an inconvenience. The inconvenience of water is two fold getting it in and getting it out. I feel like I spend my entire day in the bathroom; unfortunately I can't fix this problem as much as I'd like to. But I have found a little secret weapon to get the water in. I love BIG THICK STRAWS... At Smart and Final one day I could not find regular straws to go in my competition makeup kit (by the way you should always have these. Great way to sip water and not mess up your makeup or spill on your tan) so I was forced to purchase Milk Shake Straws. OMG that might have been the best day of my life. I stuck one in a 16 oz cup of water and in 3 drinks it was gone. So, my competition secret weapon #7 is the Milk Shake Straw. I can help you get the water in and your gonna have to handle getting it out.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Central US Championships - 4 weeks out

The WBFF Central US Championships in Kansas City are 4 weeks out.

For me 4 weeks out is a critical time to get my nutrition and workouts dialed in and make sure my costumes are almost complete.

What makes this most difficult for me is that I just completed the CT show, and although I did very well in that show I saw some areas for improvement. I am going to step up my cardio and my functional training this week and keep my focus on those improvements. In terms of diet; the week after my show I opened up my diet options in order to recover from my CT show prep. I had to get rehydrated and rebalance my bodies hormone levels. I did a great job of eating a lot of great foods and some fun cheats; but not too many. Now that my body is feeling balanced, happy, and full; now I am prepared for more limited food choices.

Limitations - No Processed Foods, No Alcohol, No Dairy....These are my 3 big limitations. All of my starches come from unprocessed sources like Yams or Sweet Potatoes. Then my diet consists of lean protein sources, lots of green vegetables, good fats and some fruits in limited quantities. Prep'ing this way still leaves me feeling satiated and full and my body really responds.

This is where I am lucky and love the process of competing. I make all of my own costumes. I ordered the fabric online last week and as of today I have all of the pieces of my costume already cut out. I will sew it and have it complete by Friday. I like to have all of my bags packed early so it is critical that I have all of my costumes, props and suits finished by the end of the weekend (3 weeks out).

4 weeks out is when I can really lose focus. My show is far enough away I subconsciously feel like there is a lot of time and I can feel like I have plenty of time to prepare; but if I mess up this week it can be unrecoverable.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #6

Creating and maintaining focus during such a long competition season is a big challenge for me. In addition I find that having a busy personal life will distract me from my fitness and business goals. Conversely, having a busy fitness/competition life will distract me from my personal and business goals. So finding harmony among all 3 aspects for me is the hardest part about competing. Last year I went through a very difficult time in my personal life where my goals and dreams were shattered in a single day; but I had to pick myself up by my bootstraps and make the best of a challenging situation (like so many of us have to). I went to visit my good friend Alex Navarro and as I sat on her bed feeling sorry for myself I looked up and saw her dream board. It reminded me of when I did those in my 20's and how great it was for me. I returned home from that trip and made my dream board and it was the best thing I could have done last year; and I will continue to make a dream board for the rest of my life. I include my person goals like "only love the deserving"; and my professional goals like "host a booth at the IHRSA convention"; and my fitness goals like "Eat clean 6 days per week" and "Do yoga 2 days per week". I hang my dream board right outside my closet and bathroom, so every morning I have to take a look at it. One last thing I do is add to it. There are fun shapes of paper on it and as something special happens to me or I hear a great saying I add that to my board. Lastly, I add mementos to the board to remind of special things as they happen; a plane ticket for a special trip, a fortune cookie from my best girls wedding, and most recently the top 5 medal and blue scarf from the opening number of the WBFF Fitness Atlantic competition. This really is a great way to remind myself of the many things that take me off course, create an imbalance in my life, and distract me from all the things that mean so much to me.

My dream board when it was created

My dream board now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Central US Championships - 5 weeks out

WBFF, Central US Championships are a little less than 5 weeks away. This week is critical for me and I have to stay really focused on my goals. Right after you complete a show it is so easy to blow off the next week and not eat right and not work out. Well this is not an option for me when the next show is 5 weeks away. So, here are my post show steps for success...

Step 1 - Debrief from my last show. It doesn't matter if I won or not I still need to do this. I look at photos, get feedback and am really objective here. What can I improve and stays the same.
Step 2 - Establish my new goal (this one is easy WBFF Central US Championships)
Step 3 - Put on my new wristband, lavendar (check out my secret weapons for this)
Step 4 - Sunday, have one cheat day that has all of my favorites in moderation in it.
Step 5 - Monday, get back on plan. After the first show all I have to do is stay on plan, no tricks.
Step 6 - Start food journaling, blogging and finding the focus it takes for the next one.
Step 7 - Book Travel - Now I can't back out.

WBFF Central US Championships, Here I Come!!!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Fitness Atlantic - Post Show Wrap Up

I am so excited to share todays blog. I home home from Fitness Atlantic and I won Fitness Model Masters. This is the best federation I have ever competed for; and I'm not just saying this because I won. (those of you that know me, know I am very honest and very objective) The WBFF are getting it right and it is only going to get better from here. There were 3 very distinct and separate categories for the ladies to compete in and this is exactly what I was looking for. Figure Ladies looked like figure competitors and were rewarded for it, Fitness Model Ladies looked like fitness models and were rewarded for it, and Bikini Model Ladies looked like bikini models and were rewarded for it. The judging was GREAT!!! What is so great about this is that you know exactly how to prepare for a competition. This doesn't mean that your going to win because you never know who you are going to be competing against, but you know how to prepare and can look the best that you can for that category. Thank You WBFF for creating this amazing organization for us to compete in and thank you Fitness Atlantic for providing and amazing venue, etc.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #5

I know it's been awhile since I've given you some secret weapons. So here is another one. We all love to have french pedicures for a fitness show, but it is so frustrating when they chip before we ever make it to stage. Well, have you ever heard of Shilac....Shilac is this amazing permanent and no chip nail polish. I love it. I can even do my fitness routine without it chipping. It really is that amazing. So call a couple of nail studios and ask for a Shilac French Manicure....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Final Week - Fitness Atlantic

I have made my lists, checked them twice and have even finished packing. This last week is all about the finishing touches. Prep my body for my glorious gravy to be slapped on (Tanner), making sure my pearly whites are white (Teeth), getting my nails done, hair washed and blown out, last of the grocery shopping with food prep, and staying calm cool and collected. I really couldn't be any happier right now. Zero distractions = Complete focus. Just wish one thing, my girl Alex was gonna be there with me. Hey girl, this ones for you!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2 weeks until showtime

This is it, Fitness Atlantic is 2 weeks away. Most of my preparation for a show is finished by now. My nutrition is perfect, because at this point why on earth would I slip. 2 weeks out is all about CONFIRMATION; confirming travel (and printing all of my confirmations), mapquesting all of my directions (hotel, venue, etc. and printing those directions), completing my final shopping (eye lashes, wax buffers, etc.), and contacting the promoter if I need to (in this case they have done such a good job communicating with me I don't need to but I will print the information they sent to me). 2 weeks out I do step up my cardio a little bit just to get a good sweat and practice my walking and posing every day for about 15 minutes in a posing suit; just so I stay sharp and can fine tune posing my physique. 2 weeks out is where I start all of the beauty treatments hair -  fresh cut, color, etc; facials, exfoliating my body so my tan looks good, waxing, and nails (at the end of the week). Lastly, I pack. Everything will be packed up in my bag this week. I leave very little to be done the week of show because it will lower my anxiety level. This is where I start to get really excited about competing. This is actually my favorite week of the process, the show is so close I can taste it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #5

So I have shared quite a few of my secret weapons and I only have a couple more for you. This one is one of my favorites My Binder. Yes it is as simple as that. I keep a binder of everything I have learned over the last few years. It has tons of tabs in it. Tabs include things like Tanning, Makeup, Hair, Competition Suits, Off Season Workouts, In Season Workouts, 5 weeks from Comp Workouts, 5 days to Show Workouts, Off Season Nutrition, In Season Nutrition, 5 weeks from Comp Nutrition, 5 days to Show Nutrition, and Ask the Experts. I then put my show prep for a specific show inside a manila folder in the front of the binder. I carry this with me everywhere I go when I am prep'ing for a show. It is another visual aide that makes show prep so much easier. Lastly, on the outside of my folder I write down sayings that make me feel powerful and successful.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Competition Prep & Travel. Like Oil and Water. Don't really Mix

So, as many of you know I travel all over the United States offering my one of a kind teacher training program for pole fitness instructors 3 weekends of every month. I am on one of those trips now and it reminded me to share my travel tips. In addition, this is the number one question I get from fellow fitness competitors; "how do I stay on plan within 5 weeks of show and travel?"

The key to any successful enterprise is preparation. I prepare my food in advance. I prepare my post it notes. I also prepare my eating schedule against my travel schedule.

1. Food Preparation: Some foods travel better than others.
* Bad Travel Foods: All the squashes turn kind of sour. Fish like Tilapia require more refrigeration and it gets this weird gel that congeals around it. Asparagus and all frozen veggies and fruits turn really soggy.
* Good Travel Foods: Hard Boiled Eggs, Ground Beef and Turkey Balls, Tuna Packets, all Veggies only slightly baked never boiled, brown rice, quinoa, and swt potatoes. Flax oil pills, so I don't have to check bags. Whey protein powder pre measured into single scoop baggies. Grapefruit and apple are the best traveling fruits but berries are really challenging. Strawberries travel best.
* Storage: All of the foods I prep are placed in zip log bags or really cheap storage containers. I like storage containers better. My zip lock bags always leak so if I need to use zip lock bags I double bag it. Never mix foods because they have different expiration. My storage containers and zip lock bags are the key to easy travel because as I eat something I throw the container away. Never carry dirty stinky storage containers home. I also set up these storage containers in bulk. I do not separate them by meal. This started to confuse me and took up too much space. Lastly, I never pack extra food. This will encourage me to eat the extra food.
*Refrigeration on the Road: Not everything needs refrigeration. Most of my trips are 5 days. If they are any longer then I will only stay in a hotel that has refrigerators, Motel 6 actually works best for me. On a 5 day trip I don't really worry about refrigeration. I request extra Ice Buckets. I only ice my meats covering the entire container with ice, then I place the veggies on top.

2. Prepare my Post It Notes.
I prepare my post it notes with each of my meals per day per post it note. I always have to travel with materials for work. I place all those materials in a binder.When I open the binder the post its are stuck to the inside of the cover of the binder. This is a gentle reminder to stay on track. I used to actually label the travel containers but that was really confusing for me.

3. Prepare my Eating Schedule.
Although I normally eat 5 meals per day when I am close to show, travel plans don't always allow for this. Oddly enough you would think I eat less meals but I actually end up eating more meals when I travel. Usually 6 or 7. It is the exact same amount of food just less per meal. If I plan on eating 6 or 7 meals, every 2 hours, and I miss a meal because of my travel or work chaos I can easily combine 2 meals. Also, I will always plan a snack or a meal while I am sitting on an airplane. There is nothing worse then having some guy with potato chips crunching next to you and you still have 2 more hours before your next meal. My airplane days are the biggest challenge. I look at my flight itinerary and make sure a meal is planned during that time, then I start backing out my meals 2 hours from that flight. I include my eating schedule on my Post Its for that day. If you are on vacation and are site seeing I still do the same thing but my food has to be on the go foods.

So this is my 3 step approach to traveling while prep'ing for a fitness competition. I hope it helps.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #4

We all have competition secret weapons that have to do with the way we workout. I have already told you about Helix for my cardio. My next workout secret weapon is Power Yoga. I do yoga all year long, but starting 5 weeks out I step it up with a very specific yoga class. I drive 45 minutes once or twice per week to Bryan Kest's Power Yoga in Santa Monica and a class by an instructor named Vytas. A mix between traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Kest's Power Yoga, and a little bit of general fitness with a yoga flare; this class never disappoints. It is not only instructionally dynamic, challenging and mind clearing; but the environment from the room to the people I am surrounded by is exactly what I need during this time.This packed room full of a variety of yoga styles and levels pushes me in a way nothing else can; especially when I'm exhausted and depleted. I am completely drenched with sweat by the end, I feel energized, I am at peace with myself and the world around me, and my body is flexible. I think Vytas' quote explains it best for me, "Try dropping out of the rat race for a mere hour and a half. Leave that insanity at the door and join us." I think every single competitor can relate.

 Vytas, thank you for what you do for me and so many others.....


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Branding for Fitness Competitors

So, about a month ago I started working with some PR people for my business, polepositionfitness.com. During those meetings they started asking me questions about my competitions. In an effort to sell me their PR services they explained to me that I should start looking at running my competing the same way I am running my business and really work on branding "ME". So this is what I did, like any good student, I started my research. I really think these PR people are getting at something. I started looking at some of the great fitness/figure/bikini competitors like Monica Brant and Jamie Eason; and they really do look like a brand not only when I see them compete but also when I see their modeling work. I have really taken this to heart and started working on branding "ME". I have recruited top makeup artists, stylists, hair designers, etc. to help me figure out my brand. We started by looking at all of my old photos from competitions and found the look that I had the most success with and the look that I felt the best with and after a few updated tweaks we have figured out how to brand "ME". So no matter what hair, makeup, costumer, choreographer, photographer, etc. I work with I am going to stay true to this brand. The reason branding "ME" is so important is because it creates visual recognition for promoters, judges, photographers, magazine editors, etc. Think of this visual recognition like Nike, you would recognize that swoosh anywhere. So, what did branding entail. My makeup person developed a bright, young and pretty look for me. She provided me with a diagram of that look that I can hand to any makeup artist to implement. In addition I purchased all of the makeup and carry my own kit for the makeup artist to use so I can always stay true to my brand. I did the same thing with my hair designer; including color, cut and style and took pictures of the front sides and back. Then I carried this out with all of the other professionals like my stylists, etc. All in all I am really happy with this approach to competing. At least it makes the process of competing a lot more interesting and it also makes show preparation so much easier. Thank you to my team that was able to make this happen for me.

Here is an example of what my makeup artist provided me. Thank you Denise Larsen you are amazing. http://www.paradigmbeauty.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

3 weeks until showtime

Fitness Atlantic is 3 weeks away and I have a lot of preparation to do. Not only am I going to step up my cardio and limit the variety of food I will eat; this is also when I start working on stage preparation. Every day for at least 15 minutes a day I will work on my stage walk and my posing wearing the same shoes I will wear on stage. I also go through and confirm all of my travel plans this week. Last but not least I start checking off my packing list and laying everything out. I leave everything out on my dining room table until the Monday before I leave. This gets me really excited about competing.

My Packing List
Bathing Suits - In Baggy
Outfits - In Baggy
Evening Gown - In Garment Bag
2 shoes
Jewelry in lunch bags, inside of each Suit/Outfit Bag
Hair Stuff
Makeup Kit (small just the essentials)
Tupe Tape to hold my suit bottoms down
Extra Tanner/Rubber Gloves/Buffing Pad
Baby Wipes
Scissors/Safety Pins/Sewing Kit/Tweezers
Flip Flops
Head Phones/Ipod
Sweats to wear with tanner
Clean sweats to wear home on the plane
Cell Phone Charger
Photo Shoot Stuff

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #3

Eating clean for me is very easy, but eating really structured can become a little bit challenging because I am so busy. It is difficult to eat on time and to eat exactly what I'm supposed to during the 5 minute breaks between fitness classes I teach. Every Sunday I prep my meals for the week; but that is not enough. I also prep my Post It's. So, my secret weapon #3 is the Post It. On Sunday I post on my fridge a Post It for every day of the week with my meals for that day written on the post it. As I eat a meal or pack a meal to take with me it is checked off the Post It. I save all my post its week after week until the show is over. If I love the way my body looks like on stage (not if I won or not) I journal those meals. This journal will become the framework for the meals I use to prepare for my next show. If I feel I came in too hard or too soft I go back and look at the Post Its, alter them and then journal what my diet is going to look like for the next show. So needless to say I go through a lot of Post Its; but I love them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #2

So we all have to step up our cardio before we compete, but I hate cardio. So rather than stepping up the amount of cardio I completely change what I use for cardio. I would normally do step, or spin, or run...So when I am getting ready for a show I do the same duration of cardio but I use a HELIX...It's like an elliptical but instead of peddling forward and back you peddle in and out. The HELIX really is my cardio secret weapon 3 weeks out from show.

Friday, March 25, 2011

To Backup or Not To Backup

I know that almost every coach out there is going to disagree with me on this, but I am offering this to you because of my experience. It is a common opinion amongst competitors that you should bring a backup of everything you wear on stage from swimsuits, to jewelry, to evening gowns, to sportswear outfits; but I strongly disagree and here are my 3 reasons...

1. I feel it is far more important to carry-on all of my bags when traveling; the airlines can lose your luggage.  So I have to pack light and I just don't have room for all that stuff.

2. Every time I have traveled with a backup (or seen fellow competitors travel with a backup) I have second guessed my decisions. Literally, 5 minutes before walking on stage I am still asking myself if this is what I should have worn and not fully committing to it. This is one of the worse things I can do. Make a decision and own it on stage.

3. The more stuff I have with me the more stressed out I am when I can't find something. Especially when I am sharing a room with 2 other competitors. Ladies you know who you are. We can't even figure out who's stuff is who's by the time we leave after a show.

There are a number of reasons why people suggest you bring back-ups so let's talk about them.
1. What if you get tanner on your garments?
BE CAREFUL....I think the more experienced you get the less this happens. I wear white almost every show and I don't put my outfit on until I walk on stage and I take it off as soon as I walk off. I would be more likely to get mustard on it then tanner.

2. What if it breaks?
I can speak for myself (an avid seamstress and costume designer) and probably most of the seamstresses out there, if you are paying for a garment it shouldn't fall apart.
What if it does? safety pin it. Judges are 30 feet away and with the glitz and glam of the stage lights they are never going to see a safety pin.

3. What if you don't know if it is going to fit?
I agree for your first couple of shows you might not know how things fit. Even as a beginner this only ever really effected my swimsuit, so who cares if you bring a second one of those. My outfits and evening gowns were never unwearable because I was bigger or smaller then anticipated. This is where we have to be honest with each other, packing is not the issue here. You really have to be honest with yourself. The day before you leave for your show you should try everything on and if it is too small then you need to really think hard. Is it ever really going to fit. By this time you should be within a pound of your stage weight. I find that beginners are hopeful they are going to fit into it when they wake up the day of a show, like the dream time elves are going to come while you are in bed and you are going to lose 5 pounds over night. Not likely. AND....how stressful is that to have to wait to wakeup the day of a show in the hopes it will fit. Make sure everything fits before you leave when you have time to really fix the problem.

So, there is one thing that I always bring a backup of and that is shoes. I always bring 2 pairs of shoes at 2 different heights. If my legs are wobbly or the floor is slippery then I might need a shorter pair.

So these are my ideas on Backup or Not To Backup. The old adage you can never be too prepared doesn't always apply to me and I like to formulate a plan well in advance and stick to it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #1

In January of this year I started a program for my clients called GAP (Goal Assessment Program). My clients create a short term goal and for every new goal they start they start with a different colored wristband (like the live strong wristbands). I decided to apply this to my goals and my training. I am going to wear a different wrist band for each show. For Fitness Atlantic on April 16 my wristband is white. I wear it all the time. It is a great reminder even when I am at dinner with friends and getting so much pressure from them to eat something bad "it's just one bite", or drink something I don't want "it's just one sip"...that these are my goals not there's. What is really cool is that you can write on your wristband with a sharpee marker or you can order a single wristband with a msg already printed on them. This is my wristband and I kind of like the sharpee. It makes it more real, organic, and personal for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

4 weeks until showtime

So this is where I really turn up the juice. I pull out all of my secret weapons and really get focused...My suits have been ordered and received and they are amazing. malibustrings.com is a great sponsor. As of last Friday the 18th I start weekly photos, caliper measurements, weigh ins and circumference measurements. I will do these every Friday until show. For most people this is to make sure they are dropping enough bodyfat. For me this is not the case. I have such a physical workload it is to ensure that I don't peak too early and don't lose valuable muscle....For me competing is all about this process; the preparation. It really is what makes it fun for me. My time on stage is just bonus. As for my measurements from Friday I am right on track and feeling great. I have not missed a single workout and my meals have been perfect. I really feel like I am going to compete the best that I can. Lastly and maybe the most exciting is last night I was featured on The Body Shop. A great radio program about competing. It was such an honor to participate in this. Thank you life for all of the wonderful opportunities you hand me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prep for showtime - Nutrition

Starting today my program is all about Nutrition. When prep'ing for a fitness competition I start limiting my food choices about 5 weeks prior to the show. I typically eat clean all year round so these limitations aren't very shocking to my system but very effective. The really big one is NO DAIRY for the next 5 weeks. The only things I miss are 1/2 and 1/2 in my morning coffee and greek yogurt. It's only 5 weeks, I will survive.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 weeks until Showtime

So, this blog starts my 5 week countdown to the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Show. I have decided to compete in Bikini and Fitness Model. The decision to move over to the WBFF was a very difficult one for me. I loved competing in Ms Fitness, but without a national final this year it is pointless to spend all that money at regional shows without the payoff of a finals. I will however miss performing and competing in Ms. Fitness. The really issue is that I don't know how much longer I can keep competing at my age, so I had to change my competition goals this year and a WBFF pro-card sounded like a fun idea. This is a new organization for the United States and getting involved on the ground floor is exciting to me. So here goes, 5 week countdown to WBFF Fitness Atlantic. I can't wait.