Theresa McCollom - Bikini Competitor

During the holidays for 2012 I felt over weight and unhappy. Like so many people I made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and become healthier. I joined a CrossFit gym that January and started eating paleo. On the days I was not doing a CrossFit workout I would still make effort to be active and go to the local recreational center. I learned a lot doing CrossFit and lost about 20lbs. As many CrossFit people do I got injured, I ended up with a labrum tare in my left shoulder and could not complete many Olympic movements. After some physical therapy and realizing that CrossFit might not be my cup of tea any more I came across a deadlift video of one of Ken McCelland’s clients (The Anvil Gym) was pulling over 300 lbs. That is when I went to Ken in efforts to gain strength and later developed into aesthetic goals.

A video posted by Theresa McCollom (@workout_for_wine_) on

Diet and Training

If it is during off season or pre contest, I still typically prepare all of my meals for the week on Sunday. I find that if I have something ready on hand to eat I will be less likely to eat something unhealthy. During improvement season I am more relaxed with my diet, I try to maintain an 80/20 split. Where I am following the diet 80% of the time and eating intuitively the other 20%. I also understand that during a building phase of training to put on muscle you have to be in a caloric surplus, but there is a balance of enough but not too much. During contest prep I am much stricter with my diet, I do not eat out at all during a cut. Normally we lower my fats and carbs first and then adjust as needed for my body to lean out. My more recent cut I used a lot less artificial flavorings and toppings as I did the first time around and I think that help with my cravings.

I have always felt the plan worked well when I was prepping. The over use of the artificial flavoring was one thing I noticed this time around. There was one meal on my first cut that I have not been able to eat since then and that is Greek yogurt with some protein powder mixed in. The flavor, smell, and texture I just can’t seem to get past now.

Right now I lift five days a week with one cardio day and one rest day. I do HIIT about three times a week following lifting and then a fourth on the cardio day followed by some walking or yoga. I love training heavy and I have never found making it to the gym the hard part of this lifestyle. I have always found that I have better mental clarity when I work out. I find having strength goals during building season to really be a motivator for me. Such as personal bests for squat, deadlift and bench. Right now my diet consists of six meals with higher carb meals around my workout times, such as the meal right before and after. On my rest days/ cardo it is a lower carb but higher fat macro split.

On Stage

Building self-confidence: Honestly growing up I was a cheerleader and dancer, therefor the “character” part of being on stage came easy. Getting on stage is what it is all leading up to, and the getting the nails, hair, and makeup done helps bring the package together. Practicing the walk and poses really help it become second nature.

Athlete check in is always a straight forward and a breeze for me. My biggest worry is not getting a lie detector test time really late because I am not a night owl. I feel like prejudging is the most stressful part, because that is when you really have to be on your game. During the finals the judges have already made up their mind and now it is time to have fun with the t-walk, etc. I have done pretty well in my other contest but I was really shocked and surprised with how I did on the most recent one. I won my novice class and I almost broke down into tears on stage. I placed second in the open and I was very happy with that also. The feedback I received from the judges was to tighten up my abs and glute tie in and I agree with that feedback. I believe that both have been a great experience on how far I can push myself and I am truly grateful.

I am unsure if I will compete this spring because I don’t think I have had long enough time to make improvements. Mid-summer to late fall of 2017 could be in the works. I will be graduating this spring with my masters of science and therefor have a lot on my plate right now. Looking back on my journey from around 170lbs to my current off season weight 130lbs, I am truly grateful that I made changes in my lifestyle. Even more humbled to be answering questions for a website promoting healthier lifestyles. My journey did not happen overnight, but something that always stuck with me was “if it was easy, everyone would do it”. I am looking forward to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017.


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