Vanessa Yepez - Bikini Competitor
I began competing because when I had graduated from college, I needed to change things up. I realized I was getting older and I no longer could live off of doing endless cardio and eating whatever I wanted. I realized I wanted to strive for something bigger than myself, and since my mom was on a competition team, I decided to join as well.
My diet doesn’t change much during the off season from the pre-contest diet as far as what proteins and carbs I eat. The amounts I eat however, do change. I find I am someone who benefits all around from a good balance of fats and carbs. When I remove my carbs, yes, the immediate weight loss happens but I also store a lot of fat. I have looked my best when I progressively decrease my carbs and fats as I get close to a contest. The plans I have tried that failed my expectations were those where I removed carbs for several days because my body would store fat and it prevented my muscle definition from showing on stage.
My training varies from 40-60 minute cardio sessions depending on whether I am on on/off season. I train 5-6 days a week also depending on whether I am on on/off season. The diet is the biggest thing, and I know if I am trying to do less cardio, then the carbs need to be changed up.
You wouldn’t believe it, but the stage is actually the hardest part for me out of the whole preparation. I am actually really shy and I struggle with displaying a persona who can be sassy and all around confident on stage. However, right before stepping on stage, I know that every prep I have done my very best to bring my best package, and that in itself is enough to show the world what I am made of, and all the hard work I put into my body and life.
By far my best experience was at North Americans last September (2015). It was my best performance and my best look. I had never felt so confident in my package. It gave me the fire to know I wanted to keep competing, and how much I loved the industry and what it had made me become as a person.
I plan to continue competing in the bikini division until I grow enough muscle size to switch over to Figure. I feel with my personality, I would fit better in the Figure category. I do yearn to earn my procard one day.