Erin Juarez - Bikini Competitor

I had decided to join the healthy lifestyle after having my 3rd baby. My weight was over 210lbs and everyday tasks started to become harder and harder to accomplish. Walking up a flight of stairs, rolling myself off of the couch, bending over to tie my shoes. I was introduced to a healthy lifestyle from a friend who was training for her first bikini competition. I watched as a supporter as she prepped for her big day. Meanwhile, I was dropping weight as well but eventually hit a plateau. After my friend won her trophy in an INBA show I imagined what it must feel like to be up on stage. I imagined what it must feel like to be able to have that confidence.

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I told her that my next goal is to compete as well to get my body in the best shape I could imagine. I was plugged into a team that would compete with IPL. Best thing was we all consumed the same natural supplements and the before/after photos of the past competitors blew my mind! My goal was to show myself what I am capable of in just 16 weeks. I started off weighing 150lbs and on stage day weighed 133lbs. I dropped 6 pant sizes and gained enough energy to balance work and home life. It was almost like an addiction. When stage day hit I knew this would be a regular thing for me. But the best feeling I had was that confidence I had been yearning for.

During pre-contest my diet consisted of building up my protein intake week by week. I didnít start off on the maximum amount of protein until 4 weeks into training. I consumed 6 meals a day with 20% fats, 40% carbs & 40% protein. Eating on time every day (even weekends) was crucial along with water intake. A minimum of 1 gallon of water per day. Not only did I consume a balance of macros but also a balance of vitamins and minerals. During off season I stick to a balanced diet with fewer calories than during prep time. But still sticking to the 20/40/40 routine. I consume meal replacement shakes and a healthy meal with snacks in between. The transformation I achieved in 16 weeks justified the nutrition plan which is what I intend to stick to.

Training consisted of 6 days a week with 1 day of full rest. Sprints, abs & booty along with a weight training routine. I focused on upper body in the beginning of the week and finished the week with leg day. My nutrition program came first so I had to schedule my workouts around my eating schedule.

Self-confidence: I kept a positive mindset and surrounded myself with people who were either at the same level of positive thinking as myself or higher. I shut out anything and anyone negative. My choice in music changed. I never watched TV and personal development became a daily routine which I still do today. I focused on my vision; how I wanted to look and feel. But more than anything I wanted my kids to be proud of their mommy.

The morning of my show I learned that a very well known body builder had passed away during the night. He was someone who had asked to sponsor me for my show but I was already committed to my team but couldn't wait to share my experience with him. My hair and makeup was already complete so fighting back the tears was a task in itself. I had a mix of emotions. Excitement, anxiety, adrenaline and sadness.

When they called my number to line up back stage I said a quiet prayer and reminded myself that this was the moment I had been working for. That my friends and family were waiting to see what I had worked so hard for. The moment I walked out on stage for the first time was surreal. All of the nights I had stayed up practicing my walk while envisioning what the judges would look like with the audience behind them had come to life. I could hear my family and friends cheering. My lips were quivering. It was more excitement than nervousness. I felt like a little kid who wanted to jump for joy but had to remain calm! During the finals I heard my number called out for the top 5! I wasn't expecting to place in the top 5! I had just wanted the confidence and transformation! I placed 5th in Bikini Mamas (kids under 3 years old).

Future plans: After I competed I coached my husband and my friend for their first show in IPL. They both won 1st place and I was able to feel a different excitement than a competitor. Being a coach and a supporter made me feel valuable. I'm currently coaching 4 people who are all competing for their first IPL shows as well and can't wait to see them experience what I experienced! I definitely plan on competing again to see what results I can achieve now that I've experienced a show and know what it's like to coach. I have resigned from my corporate job and now focus on being a Health & Wellness Coach full time as a Partner of Thrive Nutrition located in Lodi, CA. I plan on sticking with IPL as they are a natural league and perform WADA testing on their athletes.

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