I felt really good when I was at Emily’s house and selected my suit. However after practicing in the suits especially the two piece, I realized that I couldn’t wear the two piece for the show.   It was way too big and when I walked I was exposing myself.  I already knew that I was going to be uncomfortable on stage since this was a new experience, I was being judged, and the poses could come off rigid.   I didn’t need to add to these feelings by having a suit that I have doubts about and think doesn’t fit well.

I had to do what I thought was right for me even if it meant spending more on a suit and possibly even not getting a refund from Emily for the two piece I rented from her that I wasn’t going to wear.   I went online and researched figure competition suits.  There were very few sites that specialize in figure competition suits, and Saleyla which was most prominent.  Some sites were for custom suits only where I would design my own suit (color, jewels, cut etc) but time was not on my side for that as I would need to get measurements and it would take about a month for the suit to be made. Additionally, custom made suits come at a premium in terms of investment.    I decided to purchase a pre-made suit from Saleyla.  I had many options to choose from and the price started at around $250 for a bedazzled suit with rhinestones.  It was more than I was prepared to pay but I didn’t have many options.

From my experience at Emily’s and what I learned about color selection, I was able to narrow down my choices by colors that I tried on at Emily’s.  I found a suit with dimensions that would fit me in a purple color.  I decided to move forward with that.   When I got it, it reinforced my decision and the direction I chose to take.

As for Emily, she was very cool and understanding of the situation.  While she still thought the purple two piece that I picked out at her house looked beautiful, she didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable and so we worked out something regarding the two piece that I rented.

When my new two piece arrived from Saleyla, I immediately tried it on and felt like it fit me just right.   The bottoms felt a little on the snug side but I could position them where I wanted the suit to lie by using adhesive spray.

John and I went to my coach, Emily’s house in Chicago for posing practice and suit selection.   This is the first time I’m meeting my coach, Emily.   Some people may wonder how I’m just meeting Emily now and our coaching has been done online.   Emily is a IFBB Pro and she has been able to manage my progress and tweak my meal plans and workouts through the pictures that I send her and the feedback I provide.

It was an exciting day and one that took me out of my comfort zone.

Today, I selected my suit for competition.  I will need a two piece suit for Figure and a one piece suit for Classic Figure.  In selecting suit colors, Emily took into consideration my skin color and hair color as she did not want the suits to make me look washed out.   I chose from suits she wore in past competitions and colors ranged from red, to purple to blue and yellow.  Each suit was ornately bedazzled with crystals.

There is a huge difference in these suits compared to the bikinis that I am used to wearing when at the pool or on vacation.  These suits are higher cut on the sides and have very little coverage on the back.  On the two piece, instead of the straps tying around your back they criss cross on the back and clasp into the hook on the bottom.

With Emily’s, expertise, I selected a navy blue one piece and a purple two piece.  After selecting my suits, I wore the two piece for posing practice.

Emily worked with me on proper position for front pose, side poses, and back pose.   She mentioned that a lot of it is muscle memory so your body/mind just think pose and smile.  For the front pose, you ground up from your feet and suck yourself in and upward arms coming out to the sides.  The most challenging part of this pose is to contract the muscles of your arms, pop your shoulders and flare your lats as your hands stay relaxed.  For the side poses you can put your back hand on your hip in a fist or back hand can go slightly outward and upward. We chose the former position because the higher up the fist on the waist, the smaller the waist looks.  Additionally, standing sideways v. straight on makes one look thinner.  As for back posing, I have a tendency to pinch my shoulders back which makes me lose definition.  Instead, my focus needs to be on  flaring my lats and bringing my hands forward.  In this position you almost feel like your shoulders round forward.

The poses were awkward and when performed correctly made my muscles hurt which Emily said was “natural.”    I learned that posing is all about muscle memory so you need to practice in your suit, wearing your competition heels, and strike the  pose with a smile.