So to those who were unaware, I competed in my first ever NPC Figure Competition this past Saturday. I had written about this in the past, but figured I'd write about everything in greater detail once it was completed so that I could help others as well. While I'm not a seasoned competitor, I feel my information could most certainly help others. Like I stated in my previous blog about competing, I began my prep back in October 2017. I will admit that I was very lax about it. I did track the macros (Macronutrients: Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins) but I also allowed myself to "cheat" every so often. A few gummy bears here, a few extra bites of peanut butter there, some cheese here... etc. In reality, it may not have made that big of a difference, but I couldn't help but wonder "What if I didn't do that?" I would have probably taken 1st place as opposed to what I did receive. DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I am absolutely ecstatic that I placed as well as I did. 3rd in Novice, 4th in True Novice, and 5th in Open Figure. This is a tremendous accomplishment, especially since this was my absolute first ever competition and I have atrocious stage fright. The competition was fierce and I'm extremely proud of everybody who got on that stage.
So typically (if you have a good coach), you will be asked to check in weekly. This prevents you as a competitor to veer too far off track and maintain vision of your goals. KEEP THOSE PHOTOS! As much as you may not want to take the photos because you feel "fat" or bloated, not ready, etc, do it anyway. You will have those photographs to reference back to and you'll see a world of difference from week to week. I assure you. Here's an example:
BIKINI & REGISTRATION
I had purchased my bikini from Angel Competition Bikini's. I was blessed enough that they approached me to become a sponsored athlete for their brand and jumped at the opportunity! This is where having a coach is detrimental to your goals because they will have a better idea on where your body will be come show day. Your bikini measurements will need to be spot on because it needs to fit like a glove on show-day! I ordered mine enough in advance so that if anything happened, I would have had time to take it to a seamstress to be taken in if needed. I also purchased a practice suit. I highly recommend buying a suit just for posing practice. This will save your wallet, your mind, and your show-bikini. Nobody spends a ton of money on something just to turn around and ruin it during practice. With that being said, register for your NPC Card online ahead of time. These are good for 1 calendar year (Jan 1 - Dec 31) and are a requirement for any competition you'd want to enter. If this is your first competition ever, I highly recommend registering for as many classes as you're able to afford. For example, I registered in Figure True Novice (for true first time competitors), Figure Novice (New Competitors), and Figure Open (this class is for all Figure competitors). They have the same options for Bikini, Physique, etc. There are options for Masters (35+) and (45+) if applicable. The only reason I recommend registering for more than 1 class is because you've busted your butt to get to this point! This is the ONLY time you can register for 3+ classes and get the practice you need. While I was completely exhausted by the end of the day, it was absolutely worth it.
What about the tan and shaving?
Oh lord yes. So as a competitor, you have to begin exfoliating at least 2 weeks out from your show. Use an oil-free scrub. There's a great one from Bath and Body Works that my coach gave to me. I used it every other day until it came to tan day (which is the night prior to the show for your first coat). Along with this skin prep, I highly recommend a Brazilian from a trusted wax location. This was the biggest life saver for me. When I didn't have to worry about ingrown hairs affecting the tan, growth showing around the bikini, and other possible issues, I had a flawless experience. Totally worth it. If you know you're goin to compete in multiple shows, I strongly recommend finding a European Wax Center in your area and buying a multi-wax package. :) Okay, back to the tan prep, 2 days prior to the show, you want to make sure you stop using perfume, lotion, oils, and deodorants. I saw it first hand, using these products can react negatively with your spray tan and turn it different colors. You do NOT want that to happen! So sleep in baggy, long sleeve clothes (light, so you don't sweat), and keep the AC Cranked with a fan blowing on your if possible.
Using the bathroom:
Guys, you have it so much easier than women in more ways than one. Ladies, I strongly recommend purchasing a She-Wee. Once you have your tan, you cannot sit on the toilet! And trust me when I say, you WILL splash on yourself no matter what you do and you will need more coats of tan to fix it. There's all I have to say about that :)
I was extremely nervous. To the point of wanting to cry. However, I didn't because during this process, I had made so may friends who have been my anchor during this process. One is my sports massage therapist, Elise. She was recommended to me by my coach and I couldn't be more thankful. IFBB Pro, Licensed Therapist, and genuinely AMAZING person, she stood by my side and made sure I was perfect for stepping on stage, even with her other competitors there. There are so many coaches that will ignore competitors that are not "theirs" and only want their people to win. So I am extremely grateful that I had her on my side. The other competitors, I had made friends with other female competitors that competed in Fitness/Physique and they were so phenomenal! Their energy was contagious and their hard work/determination was off the charts! Diamond, she is a diabetic body builder who was also competing in her first show. Let me tell you what, I love that girl to pieces and she motivates the hell out of me! Then there's Sheree. This little bundle of strength and poise, she and I had met at the gym and had posing practice a few times with mutual friend of ours, Chris. I cannot say enough great things about all of these people. A support system is CRUCIAL in this sport. Your body, your mind, your emotions have been put through the absolute ringer and they will keep you grounded. Do not be so stuck in your pride that you push them away, these are the people that are going to help you succeed.
Because of all of the support I had, I was able to place in all 3 of my classes and I couldn't possibly be more grateful.
Right now I'm prepping for my SECOND show! The Salt Lake City Showdown that's happening during FITCON (local fitness convention). I'll let you all know how that one goes later ;)
Everybody should take a chance to visit places outside of their countries and gain new perspectives on the world. For those that don't already know, I was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan and spent a large majority (10+ years) of my childhood on the small island. I left for good in 2002 and hadn't been back since.. until December 5, 2017.
Day 1: Kyoto
Have you ever been to New York City? Imagine NYC population and multiply that by about 6. I'm legitimately not joking. There are so many people that when we took the city tram to the train station, people were packed tighter than a sardine can. It was hilarious if you were a fly on the wall (if you had the room). Everybody got off on the same stop so that was nice. Let's fast forward to the famous Bullet Train! Legitimately, this train has a maximum operating speed of 200 mph and it feels like you're riding on a cloud. Complete with bathrooms, a snack cart, and even a smoking section. First time riding on a train, not a bad way to begin! The 2.5 hour train ride from Tokyo ended in Kyoto. We stayed at the beautiful Sakura Terrace - Gallery right across from the train station. To have the full Japanese experience, you need you use the Public Bath and it is wonderful to say the least.
Imagine Waffle House but 100X better and with curry! I have loved this restaurant ever since I was a child. Here's a photo! Legitimately this is all I need to say; when you visit Japan, it's not a real visit without stopping by CoCo's.
*Oh, check this out. All the tables have a call button for the servers! They will bring you water and your utensils, then whenever you're ready to order you just depress the button and a bell will chime with a number on a board that the servers can see so they know you're ready. Talk about prompt!
MAIKO GEISHA - KYOTO
Have you ever wanted to know what it was like to be dressed in full traditional Japanese Kimono, hair, and makeup? While in Kyoto, you must stop by Maiko Geisha for the full experience. Complete with steep narrow stairs, various kimono designs to choose from, and wigs to wear. The girls at this shop will make sure you're ready to go!
You'll even get to take photos and prints to remember by. There are even tons of options to walk around the town; I saw that plenty of time on the days to follow while walking the various temples. But, I will save that for my next post. :)
Well, here we are. I've been talking about this for years and now, it's finally becoming a reality.
So to follow along, I'll give you a little back story. Since I was deployed, I used fitness as an escape from everything that was happening. It was relatively simple; wake up at 3am, eat at the same dining facility every day at 6am, 12pm, and 5pm, go to bed at 10pm, wake up and do it all over again. Was it exhausting? Yes. But it was well worth it. The changes I noticed in my body and my mind were something that I couldn't begin to explain.
Fast forward to 2017.
I've maintained a certain level of activity and dietary control, but have been wanting to get into the competition circuit. I've hired the one and only Dallas Rae as my competition coach. She's competed at the WBFF level and that's where I'm going to be one day, so what better person to learn from? Not to mention, she's local to Salt Lake and let's admit that I need all the help I can get for posing and stage presence.
My biggest challenge right now is the diet. Everybody always says "if you want it bad enough, you'll make it happen." But honestly, it's not as easy as people play it off to be. When you're so used to eating a certain way for so long, it's extremely difficult to curb the cravings, adjust your habits, and control the impulses. We're 18 weeks away from my first competition and I've just placed the order for my custom figure suit from my sponsor Angel Competition Bikini's.
I know this seems like a pointless ramble to you, but I wanted to keep everybody updated since I promised I would once I began the journey to competing. I'm not going to hide anything, I'm not going to make this look easy because this is not going to be simple. This is a challenge and this is going to teach me the capabilities of my mental and physical strengths and develop my weaknesses. I hope that through this journey, you'll find the motivation to make a change within yourself and do something you've always been afraid of.
Quite a few people have asked me what my current workout playlist consists of; unfortunately for me, that's a LOT of songs. (I currently have over 5600 on my ipod, and 50 on my 3 workout playlists) But, I will post 1 right now.
Our Last Night - Never Forget You
Our Last Night - Eleanor Rigby
A Day To Remember - Bullfight, Bad Vibrations, Life @ 11, You Be Tails.., Violence, Dead and Buried, Best of Me
Limp Bizkit - Nookie
Escape the Fate - No Consequences
Psy - Snoop Dogg - Hangover
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Misery Loves Company
Chris Brown - Look At Me Now
As I Lay Dying - A Greater Foundation
Korn - Falling Away From Me, Make Me Bad, Freak On A Leash
We Came As Romans - What I Wished I Never Had
Parkway Drive - Crushed, Dark Days, Vice Grip
Escape the Fate - Ungrateful
Bullet For My Valentine - Waking the Demon
Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek (Roksonix Remix)
Krewella - Come and Get It
Roadrunner United - The End
Static X - I'm With Stupid, Push It, Destroyer
Life is about challenges and feeling an array of emotions.
During a single challenge you can feel elated, depressed, agitated, triumphant, and question yourself. If you keep pushing, you will find out who you really are.
I have changed the direction of my modeling and ultimately, my life. Where I once was a lingerie and glamour model, I am now aiming more towards fitness/lifestyle/glamour/fashion and for somebody like me it's not easy. My bookings have taken a hard hit, my self worth has been questioned and my relationships have suffered.
In the end, I know this is worth it because I'm out to set that I am more than just a body; I am a heart, soul, personality, and spirit. THAT is what you are capturing when you see me whether it's with your mind or your camera. This is me and just like I overcome each goal I set in the gym, this will be just another stepping stone in my career.
I say that to tell you that no matter what you're doing in life, if you're not happy and are dreading it then it's time for a change. It may be difficult at first and it might not seem worth it, but if you know in the deep down depths of your soul that it's what you want, get after it.
To those who are continually standing by my side and supporting me, pushing me, and sharing your stories with me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and look forward to showing you that you can change your stars.
Photo: Dejan Dimkovski
So, I've been wanting to bench my body weight for a while.. ever since high school. If I remember correctly, the most I've ever done was 120 on flat-bench. Now, today, I benched 125. ULTIMATE PR!
While it may only be 1 rep, it's enough to know that no matter what, as long as I keep focused on the goal and keep pushing myself, I will reach it and set a new standard for myself.
That is applicable to ANYTHING in your life.
This is also my post to say that I doubt I'd be able to push myself as hard as I am without my boyfriend Matt or my family with Millecor. Any ideas I have about new exercises, diet problems, bitching about cravings, or anything in general, I know Matt is right there. So, this one is for you.
Can you guys guess how old I was in the left photo? I was only 12. Guess what I was making? If you guess brownies, you were right. I ate over half of it by myself. I was 12 years old and well on my way to becoming an obese teenager and adult. My father had literally just passed away when this photo was taken. He passed from Congestive Heart Failure.
That's when you have excess cholesterol buildup in your arteries and your heart cannot pump enough blood to your body and essentially works itself to death. My father was a very tall and skinny man, but just because you're skinny does NOT mean you're healthy.
We had just moved back to California from Japan and he was just remarried to a woman I was unaccepting of because I felt it should have just been the two of us.
Over the next few months, I learned I had a mother and siblings. So, mother gained sole custody of me and I had a whole new life to live in Washington.
I was sent to the doctor every 6 months to have my cholesterol tested... My first test the doctor said I had the results of a 60 year old male who lived off fast food. Since then, I have participated in every sport I could, spent hours outside working, and watched (for the most part) what I ate. --
I still have my moments 14 years later but I have much better knowledge about my heart health now than I could have ever imagined. I'm not telling you this for a sob story, but to show you that YOU CAN change your stars.
#fitfam #inkandiron #veteranswholift #teammillecor #mass #rangerup #leighmichelle#musclemass #beproud #makeprogress
Alright guys, for those of you who are unaware, I have officially teamed up with Millecor - Supplements. A little background, this is a company owned and ran by a Marine and proceeds from EACH purchase are given back to organizations that LEGITIMATELY help fellow brothers and sisters who need it. Now, not only do they basically give away money, but they also have allowed me to give you guys all discount codes! On the website, if you are a Veteran (Current/Retired), LEO, First Responder you are automatically given 25% off (when proof is shown) and the directions are super simple, so I highly recommend doing it. Ontop of this HERO discount of 25% off, you can use LEIGH5 to add an additional 5% off your order! If you're not qualified for the HERO discount, simply use LEIGHM for a quick and easy 20% your total each time!
Now, a little bit of information. For my daily routine, I use the Millecor Women's Multivitamin every morning, followed by my MILLETOV Pre-Workout Cocktail. Not only does this stuff taste great when mixed with ice, but it's really given me the energy boost I need to push the weights and my body to it's max potential when followed with drinking my Millecor Amino's during my therapy gym time. Throughout the day, I will also drink my Millecor Protein with SILK Almond Milk and it's so yummy that I look forward to the next protein shake I gotta take.
There are so many of my friends who have tried this product and I firmly stand by it 100%. Those who know me will vouch that I do NOT endorse products that I don't believe in. . . which says a lot about me. So, if you're needing a boost of even just a good protein to add to your day, stop by the website and pick up a bottle to try. I guarantee you'll be hooked like I am.