Crystal Shotwell - Bikini Competitor

I began competing in 2015. I struggle with my weight my entire life. My heaviest being above 250lbs in my teens. I developed a passion for health and fitness late in life. I love how I can push my body, break my “limits” and literally mold my body. Although I had achieved great success with losing weight I had finally hit a plateau and had been there for some time. I was approached by an online coach, via Instagram, Jonny Straws, for his guidance to get to the physical condition I had worked so hard for yet couldn’t achieve on my own. He saw in me the potential and he helped me bring my dreams to life.

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In off season I tend to stay 80% clean eating. I stick to a structure plan of healthy fats, clean carbs, lean protein and Nutrabio Whey Protein Isolate. I incorporate some not so “clean” treats every now and again and do 1 weekly refeed on the weekends, if conditioning is where it should be. I find my body responds best to this. During prep I still practice a little flexibility but as I get closer to my actual competition date I clean it up, dramatically. Its very structure with weekly carb refeeds, again, depending on conditioning.
I have tried Keto and although I experience much less stomach bloat/discomfort (I deal with IBS) I did not see the definition or fat loss I had hoped so and researched so much. My body is better suited for carbohydrates. All “diets” are subjective and Keto just didn’t perform for me like I had hoped.

On off season I lift 5 days a week and cardio 3 days a week, for maintenance and heart health. During prep season lifting stay the same, heavy, 5 days a week with 5-6 days of cardio. Cardio increases as the competition date nears. My diet does something similar. I taper off carbs and cut calories as I progress. Diet is of course the most difficult component. Exercise, for me, is something enjoyable. I also find food VERY enjoyable! So, I have to get very creative with my macros and clean foods to stay compliant with my goals.

Building self-confidence: That’s a great question! I have NO idea! I still don’t know how I did it or plan on doing it again! I have dealt with insecurities for as long as I can remember but that was one main reason I took on such a huge challenge with my first competition. Since then my confidence has grown, tremendously, and for that I am grateful. I think my confidence doesn’t just come from stage day, but from discovering what I am capable of achieving.

We each have the power to define the "mom bod". This is mine, currently, and proud of it! No shortcuts. No gimmicks. Not handed to me. Not blessed. Not easy. Not special or different in any way. I am relentless in my pursuit. It's just that simple. ?? BTW, this bikini from @abs2bfitnessapparel is ??...getting more & more ideas! ?? #mombod #fitmom #watchmework #youreworthit #trusttheprocess #limitless #transformationtuesday #beforeandafter #fashion #neversettle #workinprogress #priorities #momlife #gym #girlswholift #selflove #goals #diet #weightloss #strength #fitness #riseandgrind #abs #happy #bikini

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Show experience: Athlete check-in was very brief, not much to it. This last time my height & weight was taken to put me in the correct class. The show itself lacked organization and times on stage were cut short. Otherwise the overall experience was great! I leave each show with new friends, new support and a new drive to chase after my goals. There is a huge sense of family and comradery in bodybuilding. One more reason to LOVE this sport!

Life as an athlete: It has only opened up doors for me. I am now a coach with local and online clients. I provide them with macro/meal plans and at home or in gym workout programs. I am a group trainer at my local Anytime Fitness gym, I am a Nutrabio Athlete, NGN Supps Representavie and a Yupbrands Ambassador. These are accomplishments I once only dreamed of!
Competing has changed my life for the better, in so many ways. Yes, it can add stress to day to day life during prep season but it adds so much more purpose to it. I’m setting a great example for both my boys to follow their dreams and never settle. My experiences have even inspired others to make positive changes for their health. That alone is worth every struggle I have gone through!

I plan on continuing to build and work on my ideal physique. I have one competition planned for October 2017 in San Antonio Texas. I will possibly do one more for the 2017 season but I haven’t selected one yet. I also plan on attending Olympia with NGN Supps as one of their athletes/reps.


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