I am 24 years old, currently working full time in accounting for technology consulting firm in downtown Seattle. Over this last year I have developed a passion for fitness and my health. I have always had an interest in both, however this last year I have taken it upon myself to become educated and also live the lifestyle. I will never go back, and only hope to improve and grow!
I grew in the small town of Lake Quinault. Most people have do not know where this is so I always say its near Ocean Shores and Aberdeen. When I say I grew up in a small town I seriously mean SMALL TOWN. Let me put it in perspective for you, my school was K-12 (yes that’s right, kindergarten through 12th grade) all in the same school, and combined (k-12) there were about 300 students. This means, my graduating class was about 14ish students. Where I grew up there were no grocery stores, no fast food restaurants, no movie theatres, no nothing. By the time I moved away (after completing my AA at the nearest community college 45 minutes away) there was only one gas station in the entire town. Where I grew up everyone knows everyone, you know their parents, where they live, sisters and brothers, what sports they play, ect…most people don’t understand how people grow up in like this, but it was normal to me. It was a beautiful place to grow up, but not much to do, not many people to meet, and not any opportunity. Even as a young child I had a desire for more, I dreamed of moving to New York city all the time when I was younger. I think there were benefits of growing up in a small town. Big schools have clique’s or groups, also what you wear and have seem more important. There were some disadvantages, opportunities and options were very limited, such as sports and clubs.
I attended Grays Harbor Community college to obtain my Associate’s degree. After that I transferred to The University of Washington (Tacoma campus) and obtained my Bachelor’s degrees. I am happy with the route I took looking back, I enjoyed my time at UWT. This was also the first time being away from my hometown.
I remember the first time I discovered competing. On day about three years ago I was on my way to work, for the first time ever my little civic went out, my wonderful co-worker picked me up, I worked that day, and after work went to the Fred Meyer’s down the road to kill time and wait for my help to arrive. I ended up in the magazine section and somehow stumbled upon Oxygen Magazine. It was like I was instantly hooked! I could not understand how I did not know about this magazine before, the women inside the pages looked amazing, healthy, fit. Also near the back I found the pages of women who compete. When I got home I subscribed to Oxygen Magazine.
Competing has been something I have had a desire to do since I discovered it years ago. My problem was that I was not sure how to do it, how to get my body in shape. I give it a few (tiny) attempts (and I mean small.) I would follow my friend around the gym and he would tell me how to do certain workouts. If he didn’t go to the gym, I didn’t go to the gym. On top of that I had a complete lack of knowledge about how to eat properly, and what proper nutrition looked like. I still have SO much to learn, but I also feel like I have learned so much in just one year.
Last December for some reason something clicked for me, I was not happy with my body, I was at my heaviest weight, and was simply unhappy with my body. I knew something had to change. So I did. I re-upped my Oxygen Magazine subscription, along with a few new ones. Went grocery shopping, started preparing my food, and got my booty in the gym. I relied heavily on bodybuilding.com for workout information, and youtube.com to figure out how to do workouts. The gym can be very intimidating, I look back now and remember myself, in oversized t-shirts, my written workout in hand, trying to teach myself exercises and hoping to death I was doing them correctly. I felt so conscious of those around me. To date I feel like my biggest advise for anyone that feel conscious of those around them………headphones and music. It allowed me to block everything else out and concentrate on myself.
My progress was slow, but I was noticing changes, I am thankful I snapped photos every couple of weeks with my phone. Sometimes I felt like I was not making progress, but I was able to look at my photos from a few months ago and see improvements. A few months in, I decided I wanted to finally commit myself to compete. I was going to finally do it, my long time dream of competing. I set a date show date in June 2012, about 5 months out I went to a posing coach, it was a group posing class. I felt like I was in over my head. Looking at the girls who knew how to pose, already had abs and looked stage ready, I decided to pack my freshly purchased heels in the back of the closet and concentrate of getting my body in shape. I ended up going to my June show, as an audience member, not a competitor which ignited my desire to compete. I felt like I would do it now. I set a new show date of October 2012, a few months out from the show I ended up meeting Heather in the gym. This was the single most important factor to my success and my actually getting on stage. Heather was training for her first show also, it just so happen to be the October show that I was hoping to participate in, and were about the same height so we figured out we would be in the same height class. We exchanged numbers and agreed to do some posing practice together. From there Heather and I figured out so much together, we took posing classes together, practiced, did cardio, talked about suits, figured out how to tan….we pretty much talked and researched everything together. She was my support system and I am beyond thankful to have met her. We had a great first season competing, and realized we were hooked. We have a few shows in mind for this next season, we are both just working on our bodies, always working to get them in better shape.
I feel as though the fit lifestyle was perfect for me, I feel like there is no going back for me. I love spending my time in the gym, eating healthy, resting, and doing it all over again. I think some feel as though they are sacrificing other parts of their life…not me! The last few years I have always felt like I was missing something, I was not doing enough in my life to be successful, I had not found my niche, after getting into this lifestyle that void disappeared. I always feel like I am working towards something. Everyday is an opportunity to get better and improve.