Jessica Liu - Bikini Competitor
Jessica: I initially started a diet and training program with my first trainer who have competed before. I approached her because she looked fit and I thought she would be able to help me. At first, I thought that I would just train and diet as though I am preparing for a competition but wasnít actually competing. It got to the point where I needed to challenge myself to see if I can actually do it as I wasnít getting the results that I wanted. Thus, I made the decision to compete about a year and a half ago.
Diet off-season vs. pre-contest: My diet pretty much stays the same, although the amount of cheat meals I get per week changes. The diet I found most effective are the ones Iíve stuck with and was consistent with. Also, eating consistently (6 meals a day) at regular intervals was key to losing fat.
Failed diet: I would probably say the diet that my first coach put me on failed my expectations. She pretty much had me on 800-900 calories/day diet with no cheats, no carbs or fats and I was still a few months away from my show. I was also down to just 4 meals a day. I lost muscle mass and did not lose fat or weight during this time. I believe it wasnít effective because my calories were so restricted that my body actually held onto fat. My metabolism also slowed down because I wasnít eating at regular intervals (you canít really do that with just 4 meals a day).
I do fasted HIIT (usually on the Stairmaster) every morning, and then train after I have my first meal in. I work a different muscle group each day, and I make sure to switch it up between having a high rep/low weight week with a low rep/high weight week to shock my muscles.
Self-confidence: Going into my first competition, it wasnít really a specific goal to build my self-confidence. I just wanted to challenge myself. I think cultivating that self-confidence for me came through the process of prep. I started to appreciate what my mind and body could do and handle, and knowing that I was able to stay discipline and consistent gave me a new found confidence in just the way I approach obstacles and challenges. By the time I stepped on stage, I was excited because I had this sense of achievement and that I was finally following through with something Iíve set out to do and felt proud of how far Iíve come.
I recently competed in the Albertaís Bodybuilding Associationís Muscle Beach 2016 in October, 2016. It actually came up unexpectedly because my coach (the one Iím with now, Dustin of Full Force Fitness - my fitness team) called me 7 weeks before the show, and said that I was competing for that show. I competed at Northernís in June 2016 (about 3 months) beforehand, and I didnít place. I really wanted to compete again, because I knew I could do it. My coach told me he would assess my body and see if he thought I would be ready for Muscle Beach. Usually people do not compete back to back, but my coach knew how much I wanted to compete, and he believed I could do it.
I gave 100% into the prep before Muscle Beach, and this prep was when I really started to see a huge transformation in my body and also my passion for this industry grew. I was a lot calmer during this Athlete Check-in because Iíve done it beforehand. I was still nervous during Prejudging but I was a lot more confident in my posing and how I looked. Stepping onto that stage again was such an incredible feeling. I thought about all of the sweat, blood and tears that went into this prep, all the times I said no to that chocolate cake, or glass of wine, or whatever the case may be, and it was all worth it.
My coach told me to have a small cheat between the Prejudging and Finals, so I had 16 pieces of maki rolls and I was in heaven! During Finals, when they announced that I was top third in my division amongst 24 other competitors, I was shocked but was so happy. Iíve developed a newfound respect for myself and what I was capable of. The entire experience was incredible.
I want to continue building towards success as a fitness model. I want to be a voice of empowerment and inspiration for others, especially for those who have struggled or is struggling with eating disorders and depression. I am a survivor myself, and my love and passion for fitness stems from being able to accept oneís own body and embrace muscles, curves, everything that embodies strength and resilience. Eventually, I would like to train more clients (I have a few online clients now), and continue to build my brand.
I have also just been sponsored by Hard Magnum Nutraceuticals, a supplement company which I am so honored and proud to represent. I will continue to educate others on Magnumís products as I stand by the products, the athletes and of course, the founder of this company.
I can be reached through my email: email@example.com
I can also be reached through Instagram: jessliufit