Tina Merriman - Physique Competitor

Tina: I was a drunk, a selfless being who had no confidence, no self esteem, was just another number in the world. I was desperate! After being shipped off to a rehab centre, I made the biggest change of my life. I gave up alcohol in 2006, I had to find a replacement for my horrible addiction. The gym. I started in casually in the gym in 2008, and was encouraged to do a competition...figure. So I did.

Had some good success in my first year, coming 2nd in the novice figure nationals. I then continued to train for the next 4 years but couldn't get back on a focused diet. I had to set another goal. I hated wearing high heeled shoes so decided to give the physique class a go. Much more suited to my body type. 2014 I got back on stage and won the 2014 overall nationals. I worked my butt off that year and was totally wrapped with my success. Finally I was beginning to feel like someone who had something. My self esteem improved, my self worth and I slowly started to believe in myself.

2015 came around and I set my dates, trained hard, ate well and competed again, to my surprise, I managed to win the 2015 overall nationals. I was stocked with my achievements, but still the most satisfying achievement was the battle with myself. Some days the head games were challenging. I would get through some days literally minute by minute, meal by meal and train by train. I loved the journey but hated it at times. But I couldn't give in, or I would be letting myself down. It was a matter of keep on keeping on.

I used a lot of my inner strength, I learned through Alcoholics Anonymous, to get be to where I needed to be. The toughest challenge has always been with my head. 1 day I would look at my body in the mirror and think...yet it's getting there, others I would look and think yuck, what am I doing... The choice I started to make was to stay away from the mirrors, head down bum up and do what I needed to do for the day. I love the sport, love the challenges love the process, love lifting and adore muscle, that's what keeps me training to the best of my ability.

I try and keep a clean diet off season so I can keep my weight and head above water, unfortunately for me, I have to fight not to pick up things I shouldn't. I have to see the main goal at the end of the year. I start getting serious and focused about my diet about 16 weeks out from a comp, I'm a very last minute person so I tend to muck around before I start to pull my head in over it. I don't lose weight easily, but I find it easier to build muscle and get bulky, which in good in some areas but had when trying to lean out. I have to really push myself as my body does fight me a bit, however we seem to come together in the end.

I don't go over board on new bikinis, but I do like to have my tan right. For me, I'm up there to present a package of muscle, symmetry and condition. I do find I go into my own zone, during both prep and contest day, I guess it's my way of finding that inner strength. I'm currently looking at a couple of dates this year (2016). Nationals being one and I also like to do a lead up comp. As of yet I haven't confirmed which ones I do. However for me right now, I'm trying to make as many changes as I can.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tinalmerriman

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Tina Merriman

Tina Merriman