Laci Simmons - Physique Competitor
I've always been a physically active girl. I danced in a family Christian dance troop from age 8 until college. In school I cheered and ran track. Immediately after graduating from high school I joined the United States Army. This furthered my love of physical fitness through daily Army PT (push ups, sit ups and the two mile run). This required all body strength; no weights. In 2009 I gave birth to my first child, weighing 211 pounds. I went through a period where I had an eating disorder. It have gotten so bad, I couldn't produce breast milk. I had to learn to love myself all over again.
Years later I attended a military school in Little Rock, AR. I met two females who were both bikini competitors. They were pretty and lean! Lean I've never been, but was up to the physical challenge of getting on stage. I found a coach as soon as I returned to Charlotte, NC. My coach suggested I go into Figure because of the size of my thighs. Eventually, we decided to move over to Women's Physique. I started training August 1, 2015 and never looked back.
Diet: Honestly, my diet stays pretty consistent throughout prep and out of prep. The only time my diet changes is if my weight isn't going in the right direction, then my coach will tweak it accordingly! I'm currently on a carb cycle; 4 days low, 1 day high! What changes is the amount of cardio I do, leading up to the stage. Starting from 30 mins, up to 2 hours a day.
Failed diets: I've tried high fat, low carbs... this wasn't what I expected. Although, I was able to eat more nuts (I love nuts) didn't see any results. Carb cycling actually works VERY well for me.
Training: I love HIIT! Those explosive movements give me life. My last prep I didn't do any of that. All I did was lift and maybe an hour of cardio. I didn't know what worked for my body. It was a struggle trying to figure out how to lean out my legs. This prep cardio is life! Explosive training is life! I've noticed changed immediately in my physique. I run 3 miles Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I sprint and I even teach Zumba 3 days a week. I even considered adding crossfit into my regimen.
How did I build up my confidence to get on stage? Earlier I mentioned I was in a family Christian dance troop from the age of 8 until I was in college. I'm no stranger to being on stage, in front of scores of people. I like to think I'm very charismatic on stage. My first time on stage, I was told by many it looked like I've been competing. Truth be told, I was more nervous to do my posing routine than the actual mandatory posing. People asked why? I said "routines are what I do! If I mess up, I'll be upset with myself".
Contest day: Check in is scary! You see all these athletes lined up, to sign up, but fully covered, so you can't tell if she's physique, figure or bikini. Prejudging you see so many different wonderfully made bodies! You immediately think! She's getting first or she's getting first or I'm small compared to the other competition, but the crazy thing is, you never know what the judges are thinking. I've seen clear first place bodies, not place. It's crazy. Finals wrecked my nerves! I'm thinking is there anything else I can do to sway the judges? Will my routine place me differently? What do I eat? Where do I go? Can I take a nap? Lol. But finals proved to be the most fun of the night!
My plans includes making it to nationals, placing top 3, building my personal training, boot camp and dance business.