Lauren Findley - Figure Competitor

Lauren: I began competing 2 years after I graduated college. Growing up an athlete, I was always had an intense competitive drive. I ran division I track in throughout my college years, and when my career ended, I yearned for competition, but had no idea where I’d find it in the “real world”. I began working out with no goal in mind until I met my (now) fiance. He told me about competing and suggested I try it out so that I could work toward something. From the moment I stepped on stage, I developed a passion for bodybuilding that I never would have imagined.

Being a competitor, nutrition is something I have to constantly be mindful of. Contest prep dieting is extreme, and something that should not, and cannot be maintained year round. During contest prep, carb cycling is what works best for my body, interchanging high and low carb days, and then repeating. I have found that post show reverse dieting has been very helpful to me; slowly increasing carbs in my diet without binge eating to avoid gaining unwanted weight quickly.

Stepping on stage for the first time can bring about a multitude of feelings: fear, excitement, anxiousness. The first time I competed, I had very little idea of what to expect. However, I put aside the fear of the unknown and strutted my stuff with the biggest smile. The pre-stage jitters are always there for me, but having confidence is everything. Stepping on stage and showcasing how hard I work to build my physique is something that I truly cannot describe; it’s is an incredible feeling. One of the most important factors of competing is letting the judges know that you love being on stage and showing how confident you are in yourself.

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My last show was on June 11th of this year, and I was so excited. I prepped for 16 weeks, eating clean for 20+ weeks. I had never worked harder for something in my entire life. I practiced posing every night, never missed a training or cardio session, and never skipped a meal. The prep was grueling, and it tested my patience several times. The only thing I could keep telling myself on show day was, “You are ready.”

When it was my time to finally step on stage, everything else left my mind and all that I could think was “This is your moment. This is YOUR time.” I ended up center stage in my open and novice classes, ultimately winning both classes as well as the novice overall. June 11, 2016 was one of the most amazing days for me. I felt accomplished. I felt like all my hard work had paid off. I felt strong and beautiful. I cannot wait for the next time I step on stage.

I will be competing in a national show next year, but until then my plans are to put on some size, as I am still somewhat small for figure. I am so excited for what the future holds, but for now, I will focus enjoying the process.

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A photo posted by LF (@laurenlf) on