Michelle Sotomayor - Bikini Competitor

Growing up with my brothers as my best friends I had always been kind of athletic. At the age of nine my mom signed me up for self-defense martial arts. Five years later I became a black belt, and did kickboxing shortly after. After high school I was no longer in karate or kickboxing and kind of really lost myself to the college scene. Honestly, I partied a little too much and after a couple years I really wasnít sure where was my life was going. I know I needed to make a change. I signed up for my first gym membership at the age of 19 with my best friend. I would make it a point to hit the gym at least 4-5 days a week, kept drinking only for the weekends, and was even able to quit smoking cigarettes.

Year after year I did this, and the gym eventually became my sanctuary. It helped me block out any stress going on in my life. The more time I spent in the gym, the more recognition I received on my body from friends, family, and even strangers. People admired my hard work and even reached out to me for work out plans or meal advice. A lot of people saw how much work I put in the gym and a lot of them started to ask if I was doing a show. I always had thought about it, but had no clue where to start until my cousin, Anibal, pushed me to do my first one. My family believed in me so much they wanted to sponsor me for my first show. The show was UFE Fury in Chicago on June 18th of this year 2016.

My diet when Iím off season is pretty flexible, thankfully. I allow myself two cheat meals a week while I stay on track aside from that. Except, during off season I can have more of a wide variety of meats and carbs from steak, to lean ground beef, and even whole wheat pasta. I always give myself at least 9 weeks out before a show to start my competition prep. During my prep I get back to my daily vitamins & my post workout whey protein. What I found best for me during prep is counting my macronutrients. For everyday my goal is to get as close as I can to 40% protein 40% carbs and 20% fat.

During the first five weeks of prep I lower my cheat meal down to once a week and once Iím four weeks out no more cheat meals for me. I donít really watch my calorie intake till Iím about 3 weeks out and thatís when I start cutting down. Once Iím ten days out I start carb depleting. Thatís when the magic happens and you start seeing cuts and definition you never knew you had. Something I had tried that didnít work too well was the beginning of this prep. I was eating six small meals a day, but my mistake was I still snacked in between those meals on nuts & yogurt. I was constantly bloated and felt soft no matter how much I worked out. I started to cut out a meal, stopped snacking, and fell back on the macro counting and my body starting toning up quickly again. Eventually thru trial and error, you will figure out what works best for your body.

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My routine workout regimen is hitting the gym six times a week, every other day is leg day and alternating is upper body. I do fasted cardio for 30 minutes four times a week and weight lift at night for an hour and a half. The easiest way to balance my training with diet is to always be prepared. Meal prepping is a must!

The best part, I believe, about doing shows it that you get to push your body to a point it has never been to before. In the process you are creating the best version of you, and what is more beautiful than that? The fact I gave my total devotion to my prep was all that I needed to build my confidence.

Doing my last show was exhilarating! The day of, I honestly never felt so beautiful in my life. I didnít have a coach or team so looking around not knowing a single soul it was definitely comforting to make friends quickly with some beautiful, genuine girls. The second I got on stage all I could think about was winning. When the night show cameÖsurprise, surpriseÖ. I didnít even place. I went back stage after the show and thought hard. I could either walk away crying or with my head held high. I packed my bags & smiled, I know I gave all that I had without any ďwhat ifsĒ and that is all that mattered to me.

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My future plans consist of NPC shows from now on. I got my judges report back and found out I didnít place in UFE because I was ďtoo toned.Ē I wonít have to worry about that in the NPC. Thanks to my sponsorship with MAW Nutrition I ended up meeting my current coach, Sarah Lyon. I thankfully got signed onto the team and now will be training with The Underground Athletes for my future shows. I am currently six weeks out from the Midwest Gladiator in Chicago. So letís see where this takes me! There are endless goals to be achieved in the fitness industry!

Michelle Sotomayor
Email: michelle_sotomayor@yahoo.com
Facebook: facebook.com/michelle.sotomayor.35
Instagram: @michellemybelle0704

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