Danielle Vaughn - Bikini Competitor

I began lifting in the gym in 2015. I had no clue what I was doing, has no muscle, or a reason for doing it other than I wanted to become healthier and stronger. I was constantly at the gym and people would ask me what I was working for and if I was going to compete. It was never something I saw myself doing. I didn't have the confidence for one. For two, I had an unhealthy relationship with food and couldn't see myself changing my poor habits. My best friend Kinsley was prepping for her first show and the more I learned about it, the more I was intrigued. I went to her show and I just saw myself on that stage. Like I was meant to be a part of this lifestyle. I slowly changed my eating habits and with the help of my coach Corey Lynch, was able to see my way to the end!

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My first competition was the Natural Indiana April 8th where I placed 5th in bikini class A open and 7th bikini novice. (I got first call outs for both, in novice they called out 7 girls during pre-judging and the top 5 at finals. I was on the far right so 7th) I am competing again August 12th.

I'm taking a couple of weeks "off season" which I haven't been tracking macros or measuring foods, just intuitively eating, mostly healthy but enjoying some foods, too. About 12 weeks out I'll begin a full prep again which will be counting macros, staple foods such as chicken, fish, rice and potato and veggies. I think eating those foods keep me most energized and results in me building muscle best. Since this was my first prep it was a definite learning experience. I've found that my body responds best to fats rather than carbs. The morning before my show I had a bagel and that is something I wouldn't do again. Also, between pre and finals I had a salad. I was so flat come finals. I'll be eating steak and sweet potato in between shows next time!

The confidence came with the changing of my body. There were times I didn't know how I was going to get on stage and do my routine but then I gave myself a pep talk. I've put too much work into this to let fear have that hold over me. Truly, coming from the girl who took zeros on paper in order to not have to give a presentation, I did not know how I was going to pull that off. One thing I have learned is facing your fears is EXHILARATING!

I had really good lifts and energy until the last 4 weeks of prep. I never did my cardio like I should have but that's a mistake I won't make this go around. Incorporating HIIT at least 3X a week and MISS every other day when it's grind time.

Sometimes when you're going into something new, you don't feel like you fit in but from walking up to check ins at the hotel, to get sprayed nude in front of other girls (awkward) to walking to the backstage by myself not knowing anyone, I never felt out of place. I worked hard and I deserved to be there. It just felt right.

With that, as stated above, I am competing again. This time learning from my previous mistakes and taking what I've learned from my last prep to bring a better package.

Being an NPC athlete affects my life in all of the right aspects. I know what I want and I know it's worth it so missing those events where there's free food or whatever doesn't affect me. I'd rather spend my weekend night at the gym than in the bar. Everything about being committed to this sport is worth the sacrifices that come along with it. I'm so glad I gave it a chance.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donutsandbikinis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleliftchick
Email: daniellevaughn83@gmail.com

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