Felecia Golden-Jones - Bikini Competitor

I can honestly say that I have always been cautious about my weight, and my lifestyle has always included some type of exercise throughout most of my adult life. When I began to approach menopause around the age of 52, I started noticing that most of the exercise I attempted was not working as well as it had in the past. As a result, I started looking for ways to motivate myself and to take my workouts to the next level in order to stay in shape!

At the beginning, my goal was simply to do a fitness photo shoot with my husband, but around that same time, I began working at Cornerstone Salon Spa as a Stylist, and a couple of the stylists there were into the fitness scene and had decided to do a competition Ė the first for each of them Ė and that really motivated me, so I started working out with their personal trainer, Jerome Teasley, at the Pro Fitness gym in Greenville, South Carolina.

Jerome asked me about my goals and I told him that I wanted to get my body fat down from 30% to somewhere in the mid-teens, and to tone and shape my legs to do a photo shoot! That was it . . . well, at least thatís what I thought. Boy was I wrong! He felt that I could compete and immediately put me on the fast track to prepare -- which meant that I only had a total of 11 WEEKS to compete in my first bikini competition ever!!! At the beginning of the 11 weeks, I weighed in at 142 pounds and 30% body fat. I am thrilled to report that, by the day of the show, I weighed in at 112 pounds and 13% body fat! Whew!

Diet and Training

My pre-contest diet consists of eating every 2-3 hours. First thing in the morning before any meals, I have a tablespoon of lemon juice. Then Meal #1 consists of 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 cup oatmeal with stevia or a 1/2 cup of berries. Meal #2 includes a protein shake along with a Granny Smith green apple or 15 almonds. Meal #3 includes 4 ounces of lean protein, a small sweet potato, and a cup of green vegetables. Meal #4 consists of 4 ounces of lean protein, a 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of green vegetables. My 5th meal is a protein shake along with 10 almonds, and then (if hungry), I eat a 6th meal which is 4 ounces of protein, and a cup vegetables.

I donít add any salt or sugar to anything and I drink at least a gallon of water per day. I also take fish oil or CLA supplements along with multi-vitamins.

When I followed this pre-competition diet plan, I lost a total of 30 pounds in 11 weeks -- going from 142 pounds to 112 pounds, and from 30% body fat to 13% body fat.

This is actually my first off-season since I competed. My typical off-season diet is as follows:

Meal #1 1 whole egg + 4 egg whites, a 4-ounce white potato, and a multi-vitamin
Meal #2 1 Ĺ scoops of a protein shake and a 1/2 cup white potato
Meal #3 5 ounces of chicken, lean beef, or turkey; or 6 ounces of fish, plus a cup of brown rice or sweet potato, and 5 ounces of vegetables
Meal #4 5 ounces of protein with 2 cups of rice
Meal #5 5 ounces of protein with 2 cups of green beans or broccoli
Meal #6 Greek yogurt with about 15 almonds

I generally drink 1 Ė 1 Ĺ gallons of water per day, take CLA's or fish oil supplements, aminos and multi-vitamins. If I decide to have a cheat meal, I normally have it on Saturday evening to replace Meal #5. If I need a snack, I usually choose fruit, a clean protein bar, or a rice cake.

I have to say that I honestly followed the pre-competition diet to the letter, and it was very effective for my first competition! The one thing that I did notice was, for my body type, I definitely needed the cardio and I had to cut back on most of the carbs once we were closer to the actual competition, so itís definitely important to work closely with your trainer to customize the plan thatís perfectly aligned with your goals, fitness level and body type.

When Iím in contest prep mode, I lift with my trainer five days a week, working every muscle group and lower 2-3 days a week; and I do cardio for 45 minutes or hit for 20 minutes, seven days a week.

Thereís also the piece about how I balance my training regimen with me diet. Hereís the thing. When Iím in the mode of training to compete, I'm in the gym training at 5:30 am every morning Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday -- consistently incorporating cardio every time.

Not only do I have to worry about training, but also balancing work and home at the same time. I HAVE to be organized and have a strong, understanding support system. For example, prepping my meals every Sunday or Monday is an absolute must. I proportion my meals accordingly and refrigerate 2 - 3 daysí worth, and I put the rest in the freezer and remove it as needed. No matter what I'm doing it was a must to get my meals in every 2-3 hours . . . which can be tricky at times for sure!

On Stage

Building self-confidence: Stay positive!!! I made sure that I surrounded myself with positive people. My husband, who also works out and has an awesome physique, encourages and supports me, and that makes a big difference. Because heís that way, I knew that he would be very critical and tell me the absolute truth when it came to stepping on that stage. The minute he said I looked awesome, I knew that I was good to compete and my confidence definitely grew from there. Itís all about maintaining a positive mindset and environment.

Oh wow. It was incredibly exciting knowing that I could actually compete in a fitness competition -- and then to win FIRST PLACE in my very first competition in my category. To simply say that it was ďexcitingĒ is actually an understatement. Itís really hard to put into words, but I can honestly say that It was life changing!

Not only did I win, but I was 10+ years older than my competitors. I also placed in the Top 4 in the open category in which I was 30+ years older than most of my competition. That in itself was a personal accomplishment! It was a wonderful experience overall, and all the girls were amazing and supportive.

I am so pumped about whatís to come! Iím currently getting prepared to compete in my second competition next year in March 2017, and my goals are to increase my muscle tone and to bring even more confidence to the stage and to encourage women of any age!!

As Oprah Winfrey once said, ďWhen I look into the future, itís so bright it burns my eyes!Ē I am just so thankful for these opportunities and to be an inspiration to others.

Email: prov31tob@icloud.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felecia.golden

Competition Prep Guides

Felecia Golden-Jones