Natalie Bouchard - UFE Pro

3 years ago, my journey started when I was 172 pounds, health issues, busy mom and hectic travelling career. I didnít want to turn 40 feeling that horrible. Iíve always done weight resistance but had a horrible eating and drinking lifestyle. I hired a body building nutrition coach and as I started to see my body transform I became more and more inspired by body builders and kept getting deeper into the process and challenging myself more and more. Very dear friends of mine pushed me to compete. I really wasnít sure I had enough muscle to hit that stage. Ha ha. Sure glad I have great friends and tried it out!

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Diet off-season vs. pre-contest: The biggest difference between my 2 diets is that I eat very little carbs pre-contest. That helps me maintain a higher daily caloric intake (I donít go below 1500 cals/day) but still lean out to achieve 9% body fat. Off-season I carb cycle, it helps me build new gains but also allows me to remain leaner. I eat around 1800 cals a day right now but Iím still working on my reverse diet from my last competition. Goal is to reach 2,200 cals per day.
My body doesnít respond well to grain carbs everyday. My physique becomes overly soft and Most importantly I donít perform at my best. All bodies are different.

During prep, I lift every evening 6 days per week and I do fasted HITT every single morning. During the off season, I rarely do any cardio. And I lift 5 days a week. But when I gain extra weight ... like I did over the holidays I reincorporate HITT for a short period to lean out without needing to reduce my daily caloric intake. The body responds better to HITT for that reason and weight drops fairly quickly. As for diet, I meal plan weekly. Itís a must. If I donít plan out my meals, I wonít be successful.

On stage
Confidence: I did pageants when I was a teenager. That part didnít scare me one bit. But for my first competition, it was just scary to trust this unknown ďprocessĒ... trusting that the diet and exercise program will miraculously change my physique so that I can fit in that Bikini was so scary.

I competed for the first time in May 2017! Won the UFE provincial (Alberta) competition in the Fitness and Fitness Model categories. This led to UFE Worlds in Toronto. I won a gold medal in Fitness Model and a Silver Medal in Fitness. I then achieved my pro card and won 3rd place on my pro stage debut. Iím immensely proud on how far I got in just one year ! It blows me away when I look at my transformation photos. Iíll admit that 2017 was my most challenging year but by far my most rewarding!

Life as an athlete: It did complicate things. Ha ha. But Iíve learned to let go of absolutely everything that does not line up with my goals as a Mother, Wife, Business woman and now Athlete! I learned to let go of the ďperfect homeĒ the ďperfectly dressed kidsĒ I basically donít fuss over the little things like I used to. I also learned to surround myself with the right people! People that believe in me!

Future plans: I will keep working on my physique. Glutes and quads are a big focus of mine right now. My goal is to win the World Championship November 2018.

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