On the eve of competition week, I reflect on the 7 month journey and it really has been a journey.  When I started in November, I needed some help and guidance to get my nutrition and training in check.  My nutrition was not producing the results I was looking for and thankfully, the time I spent in the gym helped me to combat what I was eating which included meals that were more carb focused than balanced.

I was searching for the right formula to help me lose weight.  I got caught up in diets and products touting shedding pounds when I experienced just the opposite. I was putting in time at the gym, lifting weights and doing cardio.  I thought the scale going up was muscle weight.  Afterall, muscle does weigh more.  However, my clothes were tight and my waist was non-existent.

I was eager to transform myself and learn.  In working with Ray I did just that.  Ray’s expertise as a former competitor and show promoter has been invaluable.  Additionally, his personal experience with weight loss and keeping weight off has helped me transform my relationship with food.

After seven long, hard months of dedication and countless hours in the gym, learning about and seeing first hand how macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) impact the body’s ability to develop lean muscle.  Through the meal plans that Ray’s created for me, I have learned which foods to eat and how my body responds to those foods.

As I’ve said from the beginning of this journey, success is getting to the stage.  I am one week out from the stage and I feel good. I am proud of my accomplishments and dedication.

Ray and his staff’s communication help competitors to feel prepared going into the show.  Information was shared including timing of event, pre-tanning preparation, and a list of competitors.   Unlike last year, a list of competitors in each division was not sent out.  Like other competitors, I do like seeing the field of competition.   Instead, Ray sent out an email that read “Your biggest competition is you.”   This could not be more true and is a great motto to live by for the show and in life.  Be your best and show your best self.