Contest Prep

The Bodybuilding Bride


Earlier this month I tied the knot with my long time better half of over 11 years! My wedding was awesome and actually took place eight weeks before my very first bodybuilding competition; basically I was right in the thick of contest prep during the biggest day of our lives. Just because it was a special day didn’t mean that I would be slacking off from my regiment and indulging like a maniac in everything in sight and the same goes for my honeymoon beach vacation the following week. Here is what I did to stay on track, but while still having the best time and enjoying every minute of this incredible occasion.

Although most would probably say to themselves “It’s my wedding day, why would I hit the gym? I just want to be pampered all day long”, that wasn’t me or my groom to be for that matter. I woke up earlier than usual (at 6am to be exact) to get my workout in. Thankfully I was staying at my mom’s place, who’s building happens to have a fully equipped gym, making it very easy for me to alleviate any potential excuses for slacking off. I had a great workout; the gym was quiet as there were only two other people there and the is a great view overlooking the water so I got to watch the sunrise will simultaneously completing my sets of bicep curls. I even made sure to give myself enough time to practice posing following my workout; at this point it’s so important to practice for at least 10 minutes per day in my competition heels. I also made sure that I continued with my usual supplements, shakes, well balanced meals and kept myself hydrated throughout the day. The main event went smooth and then it was time for our kickass reception and for my weekly treat meal! The food was delish! As I don’t drink alcohol, I opted for a couple of mocktails instead during the party and had an awesome time!

The following day we headed out for our honeymoon. The 4 hour plane ride to the south was bearable but dry. Traveling by plane is always known to cause bloating due to the super dry air onboard. Although I was constantly drinking tons of water throughout the flight, I had massive dry mouth and could feel my belly gradually getting more bloated by the minute. I did plan ahead and packed some snacks and supps for the trip (check out my video here for more details on what I packed to keep me on track) and they were a massive help to keep me from having to resort to the unhealthy stuff instead. When we landed it was so humid and hot, that again the bloating continued. It’s just one of those things that tends to happen during travel, especially when going to a climate much hotter than what you’re used to.

We chose wisely when it came to our accomodations; the resort had several fully equipped gyms and plenty of restaurant choices including a massive buffet with tons of options. In terms of nutrition, I focused on always eating tons at each meal and adding some whole grains, beans and a treat or two of the local cuisine. Obviously I wanted to enjoy myself without going overboard, so when I did eat something “off plan” I made sure it was something special and local that I can’t just get at my grocery back home, and I also made sure that the portion of these treats weren’t too crazy either. I couldn’t track my macros, so I just had eyeball everything. It was challenging in that I knew and could taste that there  was oil, salt and seasonings were added to pretty much everything, so my salt and fat intake was definitely higher than usual, but I kept everything as balanced as possible. A very nice surprise that I discovered on my first day was that the buffet had soy milk! Although it was sweetened, I had some everyday as I wanted to get a little extra protein wherever I could. I also used it to make myself a quickie version of overnight oats at breakfast every morning; I found at the buffet plain rolled oats so I would take a few spoonfuls of oats, add some soymilk and then top it with toasted coconut and pumpkin seeds and then let it absorb for about 20 minutes. It was great and everyday day I got to have oatmeal and a good amount of fiber and complex carbs.

Working out with my hubby!


In terms of sticking with my workouts, well I’m happy to say that I got all of my weightlifting workouts in. Now the gyms didn’t have every piece of machinery that you’d typically see in the large fitness centers, but they had more than enough for me to work up a good sweat and challenge myself too. The problem with the machines, was that the weights were all in kilos instead of pounds and the minimum weight on the machines was almost double that of the machines at my local gym. So for the exercises that I complete that are in the higher rep and lower weight range, it was next to impossible to complete. My form was off and I just couldn’t do it, instead of giving up altogether I focused on alternative exercises with free weights instead, and it was just as good. Unfortunately, my cardio session were a bit scattered, not because of laziness or some lame excuse, but because it was really stuffy in the gym. Even with ac, we might as well have been working out right on the beach, because it was super hot. Physically there was no way that I could get through 20 minutes of intervals in that heat without risking keeling over, so I did shorter session with intensity instead.

Another key component to my staying on track was that I knew I would have to stay as hydrated as possible throughout the day. So I made sure that I always had water with me. What was very funny was that on our first day, the reception employees told us to drink at least 2 litres of water per day to avoid getting overheated and sick. They then mentioned “I know it’s more what you’re used to, but very important”. I couldn’t stifle my laugh as I am now up to drinking 5 litres per day for my contest prep, so needless to say, this would not be an issue.

This trip was amazing and relaxing; it definitely helped temporarily diminish the intensity of bodybuilding in that my main focus was taking it easier and lying on the beach everyday, instead of always thinking about my upcoming show. Prep can be very hard and stressful on the body, so this vacation allowed to incorporate some relaxation into the mix and get a new perspective in terms of how I can continue including some extra “me time” even when back home.

I am very happy to say that although I did come home bloated after a week on the beach, it only took a few days for my body to start feeling normal again (check out this video here on how I managed to debloat and fast). What’s more, is that once I started getting back into my usual regiment my body rebounded very quickly and I started to see big changes and progress once again. At this point I am 7 weeks out and well on my way. For the first time, I was able to go on vacation, actually enjoy myself without going overboard on the food and coming back several pounds heavier. Instead I took in all of the experiences at my fingertips while staying healthy without any kind of deprivation and strictness. Best vacation ever!

Start It, Finish It




Leave a Reply