2014 was my first time, e-v-e-r entering a Body Building competition. But as a 57 year old woman, I was challenged by the many physical changes middle age bombarded in my direction. Afterall, I ask you… who can’t relate to the multitude of aching body parts, widening mid-section, drooping skin, waning strength and look of utter exhaustion?? “Thoroughly disappointing” is all I could say. I don’t even have the badge of having had multiple children to hang my hat. Good grief…
I was curious to learn if a consistent commitment to a healthier diet and resistance exercise routine would counter some of this torture and possibly, just maybe…reshape this aging heap. My buddy Jenser Gomes and I pal’d up for this “Fitness Challenge”- he entered a Men’s Physique competition and I went all out and entered a Bikini competition. (Remember, I had NOTHIING to lose). With dogged determination, we forged onward and November 2014 competed through the National Physique Committee federation.
The end result was a notable physical change- I did gain muscle and with that- extra calorie burning capacity, burned down a whole lot of the superficial fat. This did go far in reshaping my body but the greater transformation was so much more than THAT. Consider these benefits and how they might apply to you:
- the added muscle didn’t make me big or masculine, it actually gave me shape and curves
- the “shape and curves” reminded me that at 57, I was still 100% woman and more feminine than I had even remembered
- big bonus: I could actually remember things…think sharper…maintain greater concentration and focus
- met a whole ton of amazing women that I would otherwise not have had the pleasure or opportunity to meet, expanding my otherwise narrow window to the world
- retained friendships with these women who have acted as key motivators for me to continue a better lifestyle at this critical time in my life
- built a self confidence level for me that was sorely lacking- see?? All of us are plagued by areas of self-doubt
- challenged me to continue to press beyond my self-imposed boundaries and maximize my potential as a woman
- instilled in me a level of fearlessness that positively impacts on all other aspects of my life
- allowed me to share this experience with other women who may question their potential
- imparted to me a new energy source that beats the exhaustion which had begun to dominate my physical and mental existence
This year, at 58, I’m entering a new Body Building category- Figure. This category calls for a higher level of muscle definition and balanced proportion. The posing routine is more structured and specific. I think I’m probably better suited to this category than Bikini and have accordingly dedicated a much longer period of time to preparing for the show this month. I have had some great mentors this year but have to call out Heather Lewis, my trainer, and her husband Frank Formichella, my coach and nutritionist, as the KEY components of my team. I owe everything I have learned about Figure to Heather and am eternally grateful for the guidance and selflessness they both have shared with me. Please look up Heather Lewis on Facebook to just get a glimpse of her many successes and accomplishments in this sport! And join us October 10 in East Haven, CT for the National Physique Committee East Coast Cup, hosted by Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym. Dare yourself to make a change this year and choose a challenge that moves you in that direction!