DO: Contra Costa 2014

Last July I walked into my first consultation with my fitness coach and told her, "I don't want to compete, its not for me." That quickly became a lie.

My first NPC Bikini fitness competition was an experience I will never forget. I never originally intended to compete, but after losing 20lbs last year I thought, what the hell...Let's see what other goals I can achieve. I ventured onto this fitness goal because I was curious to see how disciplined I could be and how focused I can be. After all, I had to face a lot of my own fears hitting that stage.  And a lot of that scared me. My husband said it best on his Instagram post. I overcame the feelings that I once believed, that I was ugly, that my stretch marks had scarred me for the worst. I climbed a mountain to get onto that stage and there was no turning back.

My division was the Novice B class, which consisted of 35 and under women between the heights of 5'1" - 5'2". I was competing amongst 12 women and I believe I may have been the only mother on that stage in my division. Needless to say I was completely frightened and nervous and there were definitely moments where I wanted to run. I ate and trained intensely for 12 weeks, and I earned the right to be on that stage. So I got on there with my stretch marks and all. I gave it all I had. I was full of fear, the moment my feet hit the stage I completely forgot all the posing I had practiced and all I could remember to do was smile, no matter what.

The bright lights, the judges, the audience, it was all intense and scary.  Thought I barely knew what I was doing, it probably was one of the happiest moments I've had in my life. I was beyond elated at the fact that I did it! I accomplished something I thought I could never in my life do. I chased the unicorn and became one. With determination I turned into these females that I have spent years dreaming of having their physique. Instead of wishing I slowly began believing. I didn't place top 5, but I came home a winner for all that I have overcome, for all my accomplishments. For 10 years I believed my body was doomed because of motherhood and it took me 10 months to get into the best shape of my life. It all started with believing.

I wanted to thank some of the awesome females I met at this show, Tracy, Michelle, Linda, Emmy, and Paula. You guys made my first experience awesome! I came into this experience not knowing what to expect from other competitors, but you guys were so warm and loving. A special thanks goes to Sharra, my long time client and room mate. The laughs were countless and I hope to experience this soon with you again! As I always do, thanks to my coach for pushing me and bringing out the athlete in me. My swolesisters who came to support me at the show, and of course my husband who has always been there loving me no matter what. 

This experience was not only about getting healthier and getting in shape, it was about loving myself enough to try. 

Here are some of the photos from the show. 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.