Emily Bedell - Figure Competitor

Before bodybuilding I had competed in powerlifting in the winter with OCR in the summer. Theyíre polar opposites and I wanted more of a balance. My passion was mainly with lifting, but I enjoyed running too. I reached out to a friend who competed and she recommended a coach to speak to in terms of what it would entail. After speaking with her I was overwhelmed at first with the strict diet and 3-4 hours in the gym daily. I took time to think it over, but my competitive side got the best of me. I committed.

Happy #transformationtuesday everyone! Top is 2011, bottom was last week. Some of you know I spent most of my life dancing. I started college at Boston Conservatory as a dance major. After years of being told to never develop quads or arms and to focus on losing weight from my butt I threw in the towel. My heart was not in it and it wasnít what I wanted. I missed academics and quickly switched to the medical track (so happy with that choice now). With the drastic lifestyle change I gained 40 lbs (top pic). I lost confidence and knew absolutely nothing about nutrition. It was the first time my doctor told me to lose weight rather than gain. It was that low that drove me to start running then advance to elite Spartan racing. Next came powerlifting (that may still be in the future for me)??...and last but not least bodybuilding. Fitness and nutrition is a lifestyle and a journey. Never underestimate anyone. We all start from somewhere. ?? Much love to anyone out there trying to make a change. Donít doubt yourself. Weíre all capable of so much more than we think. #fitnessmotivation #lifestyle #grind #healthychoices #dontquit #womenwithmuscles #bodybuilding #nutrition #fitfam #makeachange

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My diet has changed a lot since switching coaches. My first season of prep was very limited carbs, lean protein, and only green veggies. No salt or condiments allowed besides salt free shakers, vinegar, and mustard. I was allowed red meat once a week. Since then I switched coaches and go by macros only. On season I choose to eat similarly to described above. No processed foods, no dairy, no sugar, no fruit, no alcohol. Off season I give myself those things maybe once a week. When it comes to any kind of diet on or off season I find restrictions I listed above work best. Even if youíre depleted and need a refeed meal I choose something clean. For example, extra rice and sweet potato are going to fuel me and build muscle rather than a bowl of ice cream. I keep in clean, simple and give my body what it needs rather than what it craves.

I would not recommend any fast diet (12 weeks) or anything that cuts salt. Salt is an electrolyte that helps with muscle and nerve function. You need it. Just be consistent with your intake. As for fast diets, sure it means less time in prep but youíre likely to lose a ton of muscle mass. Take it slow and donít starve yourself. This will keep cravings at a minimum and keep cortisol levels under control which will promote fat loss.

Iíve danced since the age of 3. I guess getting on stage at a young age helped me to not overthink getting in front of an audience.

On prep my training consists of lifting 5-6 days a week with cardio 5-6 days. Some people do a lot more, but myself and my coach are firm believers in recovery days for the purpose of muscle growth and to keep cortisol levels down. Macros shift depending on how much cardio/lifting Iím doing that day to either rebuild or lose fat. I manage meals by prepping at home. I usually cook for 3-4 days at a time so I never have to think twice about what Iím going to eat.

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I think everyoneís experience is different depending on your mind set. Of course we all want to win, but at the end of the day itís a subjective sport. Have fun! Do not overthink anything. I watch girls get so worked up before they go on stage and they look so unnatural. Once youíre at the show thereís nothing more you can tweak that day. The work is put in the prep time leading up to it. Believe in yourself and strut your stuff. Always be on time for check in because it can be lengthy. Prejudging is huge, BUT placing can change so keep it together til finals. Lastly, no matter what happens at finals smile and be thankful. Everyone there has worked incredibly hard and deserves to be supported. Always be a good sport.

I love what I do so that makes it easy, but there are times it can be hard. My meals/nights out are based around macros. Iím thankful for a husband whoís very supportive and flexible. Whether we like it or not bodybuilding is a selfish sport and just as hard if not harder on our supporters. Itís important to check in with those we love and see what we can do to make the process easier for them.

Iím currently one month into prep. Iíll be competing starting in August through early October. Follow my prep on IG @bedelle.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bedelle
Email: emilybedell49@gmail.com

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