Courtney Lillich - Bikini Competitor

I have always been active my entire life (all of my family was involved in some sport, I played basketball with my twin sister). A few years ago I decided to train and run for my 1st half marathon where I ended up injuring my knee. I wanted to have some sort of goal or activity to train for since I could not run and someone mentioned bikini fitness bodybuilding. I was under the impression that it did not require much cardio (which I was totally wrong about) but my knee ended up healing eventually and I was underway into competition preps and fell in love with it.

Here is my ~5 1/2 month transformation ?? . Prior to February, I took almost a 3 month break and obviously enjoyed the holidays ??Within these prep months I had 2 shows (NorCal Sac and Vegas USA nationals) . . Coach and I focused on improving my glute-hamstring tie in per judges feedback and I'm happy to see that's exactly what I achieved ???? I'm always a work in progress of course, but I pushed my legs harder than I ever have. I was sore 24/7 in all the right places ?? . . This sport may not be for everyone, and that's ok! But I know I love pushing myself, earning my achievements and knowing I worked day in and day out for these results, no one else. With great support from friends and family, some days are easier mentally, but ultimately it was my choice and responsibility to never quit. ????

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Obviously during pre-competition training the diet is very strict for me. However, I am a type 1 insulin dependent diabetic so I need to watch my food intake regardless of competition prep or off season. BUT during off season I allow myself cheat meals and sweets in small amounts that I do not get to enjoy during my pre comp food. But I do try not to go crazy with food and stick to a meal plan for the most part when Im not on prep. I have a coach that helps me with my diet. I actually am unusual than most bodybuilders in that I build muscle so quickly and easily that my coach has to keep me from gaining too much for the bikini division! When it comes to cutting and losing weight with the diet aspect, my coach and I have found low fat/low carbs/high protein work best for me. We played around with high carbs/low fat and high fat/low carbs but my body did not respond as well. I make sure to eat 5-6 small meals a day and do fasted cardio as well.

My training program includes a ton of different components; upper/lower body weight lifting, plyometrics, interval incline sprints, HIIT workouts on treadmill, elliptical and good old fashion running at a steady pace. I love boxing class for the extra cardio. With my diet, I prefer to do fasted cardio (cardio before eating). Due to my diabetes, sometimes I have to eat my first meal prior to cardio depending on my blood sugar levels. I always follow up my training sessions with my post workout meal. For the remaining meals I end up eating about every 2.5 to 3 hours throughout the day. I look forward to my post workout meals because those are usually the largest meals of the day!

I was literally a deer in headlights my 1st time on stage and could not get my lips to cooperate and smile! I looked angry, hahaha. Since my 1st comp (I have done about 6) I have practiced for what seems like a million hours with posing with my coach and in classes or by myself. The better you feel with posing, the more confident you are. I don't think the fear of tripping in the heels and falling on my face will ever not be in the back of my mind.

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I recently did the July Vegas Nationals show. Doing a national show is very nerve racking and stressful, yet exciting. You think you are ready but then see 1,000 other gorgeous ladies that look amazing! Checkins are usually simple, you meet with your team and coaches and they check my bikini for adjustments and my posing to make sure I show my best angles. You then register and get your important (hopefully winning) number that goes on your bikini. Some will argue that Prejudging is the most important part of the entire contest and I agree. Sometimes you play a waiting game in the back rooms before you get those few seconds on stage to catch the judges eyes. The second I step on that stage, my mind is focused and I don't even know what else is going on around me! I don't see or hear anyone in the audience, my smile is aimed right at the judges. For me, I am usually more relaxed with finals depending on how prejudging went.

Being an athlete, especially one with diabetes, affects my life 24 hours/7 days a week. I am always monitoring my blood sugar levels because of the intense training I do. I am always trying to push myself to the max and always thinking about the next days workouts and what I need to achieve. If I am in competition prep I do unfortunately have to miss some family dinners out that involve lots of yummy food. Sometimes I am so tired that I have to stay in on a Friday night, but I am more than ok with that. The friends and family in my life that understand how important training is to me understand and know that I will be able to join them eventually for tasty meals.

As far as competitions, I'm planning on having an off season to work on parts that the judges had feedback on. I would like to do another show early next year and then right into another national level show. Always working for that pro card!!!!

Contact: IG @cornut34

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