Alicia Marie - "KRISPY KREME!"
At the gym one day I overheard two women talking about the ESPN Fitness America finals in November 2002. I had completely forgotten about those competitions! I said to myself, "Now is the time to do it!" I attended Cathy Savage's camp in February - where I proceeded to disgust everyone with my exquisitely sordid tales of my love affair with the donuts (which is why Cathy gave me that nickname!) - FELL IN LOVE with the whole thing and competed in my first Figure competition in March 2003.
I won the title, which solidified belief in my abilities and gave me the self-confidence to enter in others. Since then, I placed second in Bikini Atlantic and I was a Top Ten Finalist in 2003 Bikini Universe. I also received my WNBF pro card when I placed first in my division and then captured the Overall title in Figure. With Cathy's (and Linda's and Mia's!) help I hope to take the plunge into Fitness! I am excited/nervous. Watching all of you talented, amazing and beautiful women compete up there on stage has been inspiring. I am not yet a certified personal trainer or a nutritionist/dietician (still studying!), therefore I am not authorized to give advice on training or to offer personalized fitness and conditioning programs. Having said that, many people have asked me either at competitions or via e-mail what I do to prepare for the rigors of Fitness and Physique competitions and judging panel critique.
What I can tell you is that I do change my personal workout regime up a bit if I get bored (which is often). You have to make it fun. Try something that you might actually enjoy doing. The diet portion of the program - a necessary evil for the competition-bound - that I am required to employ plays a large role in how my body will adapt to my upping the ante on training when it is time to buckle down for the big stage.
I am a BIG proponent of making getting fit and staying active a part of your life - as crucial as eating, drinking, working, sex…anyway, remember when you were a young child and it took just about EVERYTHING your teachers and parents had to keep you still? For (most) young children the concept of "burning calories" was an unknown. Was being sedentary even a thought? Though the emergence of video games, internet and cable television has changed things a bit since my day, I remember wanting nothing more than to run myself silly in circles whether it be by playing hide-and-go-seek, tag, red-light/green-light, etc, etc. What changed? Well for one, WE GREW UP. No more gym class or recess to ensure that we were afforded our daily dose of "running it off." Mom can't tell us to put the box of cookies down anymore...our energy levels lower from lack of activity, our metabolism naturally slows - not to mention that we desk-jobbers spend how many hours moving nothing but our ten fingers? As an adult, we are ultimately responsible for our own activity levels. So get moving! Obtain professional advice if you are unsure of how to get started. When I am packing up to leave work and it seems that everything is acting against the idea of a gym jaunt, I put this in my mind: RECESS!
Like I stated earlier, this is what works for me. Every individual body responds to different methods individually. What works for you might be entirely different! You (and your trainer) have to decide what your goals are and progress from there. Most importantly, have fun and don't forget to chart your progress.
One thing that I do actually do is EAT. They don't call me "Krispy Kreme" for nothing! I try to stick to a "loose interpretation" of the "fitness diet" which includes limiting sodium, upping my protein intake, cutting back on saturated fats and sugars, choking down LOTS of water (I am not naturally inclined to like the stuff, so yes, it is choking it down!) and lastly - especially before a competition, lowering - not cutting out - my total carbohydrate intake. I am lucky that I do like my protein shake recipes! I reward and, for the most part, never deprive myself. There you have it.
I consider myself an expert in this arena. One, because I love "beautification" treatments and two, because I believe that looking your best can equal feeling your best. Taking care of your skin, hair, and nails (minute but necessary) are all components of maintaining your overall appearance. I included this section with the Fitness information because in competition, the glorified ideal of health, fitness and beauty - a "total and complete package" - is what the judges are looking for: A fit, healthy woman, who takes pride in her appearance as well as her accomplishments.
As a model, looking good is not an option - it is a necessity if I want to work! My overall presentation is my product. I am always sure that when I get called for a booking or appearance, that I am looking my best. Even if I don't particularly feel that way at that time! People will notice - and remember. I am FANATICAL about my skin. A lot of different makeup and products are used on my face on a regular basis so I am sure to cleanse well (using a deep cleanser), use a light toner and lightly moisturize my face. Now that my teen years are behind me, I am addicted to under-eye creams. Because I do a lot of body parts modeling, I moisturize A LOT. People who know me are never surprised to see me slathering petroleum jelly all over my legs!
My hair is another story. Yikes - out of control! I have a hairstylist that does her best to keep my mane in check. On a regular basis, de-frizz silicone gels, flat irons, wide tooth combs and deep-conditioning treatments are my collective savior.
Last, but certainly not least, I obey this commandment: TREAT THYSELF! Go SPA-ing. Get a facial/manicure/pedicure/massage/mud wrap! I deserve it!
Whether your goal is to get up there and compete (the most rewarding experience I have ever had) - or just to increase the level of your own overall health and wellness - be sure to set realistic goals for yourself and to celebrate each step of the way. I sure do!
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