Sher-Rhonda Braithwaite - Figure Competitor

Back in the early 90's, I would follow my Aunt Avonelle Watson to her competitions. My favorite part was pre judging, the rivalry back then was friendly and awesome. I said to myself that when I get older I would be just like my Aunt. Years later after having my son, I regained my focus decided to compete in 2015.

My off season diet has more variety, I am eating pasta, rice, and different types of vegetables. Where as when I'm in competition mode, it's very restricted where I'll only eat ground provision for carbs. Lean meats such as Chicken and fish, for the vegetables broccoli and string beans. The calories are reduced gradually during competition preparation, leading up to the show. I'll have 4 to 5 meals a day. I eat very basic for show if I don't need it I don't eat it but for my first show, I did try taking the salt out of my diet a month before the show. I looked good for my first show even placed second but I felt awful I know I would not be doing that again. I was lucky that I didn't get any cramps on stage. Felt so drained, only the excitement of placing second overpowered my feeling.

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Training: It's really tough during contest preparation. I'll weight train for an hour and cardio twice a day 20 minutes each session 5 days a week. I'll get in my carb meals after training to help replace what I lost. My cardio session is mostly on the treadmill with the highest incline at a pace where I am barely able to even speak.

I have been a part of our countries carnival festivities where we cross the stage in bright costumes. Though in this case you are never alone on stage. Knowing that I had to go on stage alone for the figure competition was a bit frightening. I started practicing every week and figured if I continued to practice should I get nervous, my body would go into automatic mode on stage. My method does work as practicing really helps to give you an added boost of confidence and your posing comes naturally.

My last show was in October of last year. I competed in Barbados in the Darcey Beckles Invitational Classic Bodybuilding & Fitness Championships. We were greeted by the organizers at the airport which really made me feel welcome. When we were at the athlete check-in, I felt honored and it was an amazing feeling to meet other competitors from across the Caribbean. The night of the show was so exciting but also nerve racking at the same time. Tamisha Lewis who just won overall at CAC a few weeks ago was in the line up as well as Ramona Morgan another veteran to the stage. Just before going on stage Ramona and Tamisha were the best; two comedians really and they really made me feel so comfortable. To top it all off, I placed 3rd and I was so proud of myself to stand with these girls out of 6 competitors. I would say by far it was the best experience to date.

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Being an athlete changes you, it makes to tougher mentally and physically. If you can compete there is nothing that you can't do generally in life. A lot of people look up to me, they want to know what I eat, how often I train. Persons will walk up to me and admire or they will ask for pointers. It's a really good feeling knowing hard work does pay off.

I plan to compete in the Amateur Arnold Classic in Ohio next year and this will the biggest show for me to date.

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