Vanessa Yepez - Bikini Competitor

2019 Southern States Overall Winner

I started competing back in 2014, Iím a true Veteran! I came upon it when I wanted to change my physique Ė little did I know it would also change aspects of my personality that make me into the woman/individual I am today. My love for the sport didnít stem from the exterior changes I achieved, but rather the growth I experienced spiritually and professionally as a person. As soon as I recognized my personal growth in patience, commitment and understanding towards other aspects of my life, I was hooked.

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My diet is very similar during the off-season as it is in the on-season because I try to sustain a healthy level of leanness as I am constantly participating in photoshoots. Furthermore, I think my longevity in this sport showcases the ways I prep are in such a manner where my life doesnít change much from off-season to on-season. I follow a macro approach and this helps the mental part of this sport remain in a state of ďcalmnessĒ which I feel is imperative in the success as I believe keeping the cortisol levels is crucial. I am an individual who has been mostly successful in gaining muscle size with a higher protein and carb intake. As a whole, my fats always remain fairly low.

I would say my diet is always 100% on point. I believe the diet is the key component in a successful physique. My training is usually 1-1.5 hours depending on the area of focused and cardio varies from 20 mins to sometimes 2 sessions of 50 mins (LISS) depending on my level of leanness at that point.

All the diet plans Iíve tried have been successful as far as effectiveness, but mentally Ė following a strict set plan was not effective. I am no different than any individual and I too struggle with unsustainable lifestyles. Diets where itís a set meal plan 6 meals a day/7 days a week makes it very mentally challenging to commit to long term. IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is definitely my go-to approach.

Self-confidence: This has taken nearly 6 years of practice. I would say I can always improve! To be quite candid, the self-confidence stems from knowing that moment I step on stage, I did everything I could to bring my best at that point in time. In that moment, I know I dedicated equal amounts of effort towards every aspect of the prep, from the diet, training, posing and stage ďlookĒ to my mental and emotional health too!

My most recent overall win (NPC Southern States 2019 Bikini Overall Champ) would have to be my most significant win/experience in the NPC/IFBB industry. This It was, at this show where I recognized after 6 years of competing all the growth Iíve achieved thanks to this sport. This overall not only opened my eyes to appreciate the given point in my life I was at, but also gave me the momentum and spiritual energy and faith to bring an undeniable package to the 2019 USA Championships. To give a little background, Iím a very independent female. Iíve been taking care of myself since I graduated from college.

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My experiences in my personal life has made me into a very guarded individual Ė and because of that, I keep a very small circle of peers. Due to this, I would have to say that I am one of those few individuals/competitors that has 100% shown up to her events, alone. While Iíve had the opportunity to have my momís support at very few of my competitions, the reality is I had always shown up alone. There had never been anyone in the audience screaming my name or wishing to see my success and/or smile. While I am grateful and appreciative of these experiences as they make me a strong/independent female, it doesnít deter the fact that I too, want the comfort of knowing Iíve got people that support me. This is exactly what I experienced at Southern States. Winning the overall and hearing the expeditors, promoters and judges be excited for me made me open my eyes to the fact there has always been people cheering me on and wanting my success! I was just too focused on pre-defining a picture in my mind as to ďwhoĒ needed to be there. Seeing this growth is priceless, and I know I will forever hold this show near and dear to my heart, EVEN when I reach the pro league.

Being an athlete affects my life in the sense it forces me to never let my guard down. At the end of the day, my career is in Chemical Engineering and Bodybuilding is my passion/hobby. It is a very time consuming and financially demanding sport. If I want to continue to live my passion and dreams, it forces me to work harder than ever as a professional to not only cover the financial expenses of competing, but continue to build my own future as a woman.

My future plans include continuing to bodybuild and grow as an athlete. I have always had my personal trainer and nutrition certifications, so I always have the credibility to coach and/or train females if they want my help. Iíve got a lot of education, and years of experience of bodybuilding to share with others.


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