One big thing is to realize that it takes time, time to build up the muscles, then get cut. Just because you have part of your body that seems to be your strength, work that out as much as everything else. We didn't start lifting with my legs right away and we should have, lesson learned! My legs are my major area to work on for the next competition.
Trust the process, it seems crazy to think that one week of your life you will be in the best shape you could possibly be in. But it's true, it really isn't a maintainable condition, just know that with the proper training and diet plan, it will happen.
Get enough sleep! That was one issue I was having in the last month, not being able to sleep, I tried a lot of different things and nothing really worked. When you sleep your body is recovering and when you are lifting hard and on such a strict diet you really need that sleep to get through the process.
Shaving, definitely get a bikini wax, I will be doing that next time. It will just make things easier, plan on doing it about a week out and you won't have to worry about shaving at all in that area. Have a good razor and make sure you go in both directions on your tummy and back area, some areas didn't get shaved well and having to do it again right away sucked. Don't waste your money on the hair removal creams, I tried it on my arms, it took a while I had to use a lot and in the end shaving was just easier for me.
The tan, Jan Tana was definitely an awesome product to use, very easy, went on evenly, great color. It was cheaper than the spray tan, I spent about $60 on my tanning product, could have spent less got some more tips and didn't need the kit I got, just the competition color. The spray tans were $100, so if you have a friend that is willing to help you out with your color, it is cheaper by far but more time consuming. Paint on all the coats the night before, my skin was too saturated the next morning and it was more difficult to make sure everything was blended well. I don't think I'd try any other brand of competition color, this one didn't rub off too much either.
Nutrition, do not switch up carbs that final peak week, I did that and think it was part of my issue. I hadn't been eating any rice and I added that in, also it seemed like when I had sodium in me I looked better. We'll see what different ideas we come up with to have trial runs during my preparation for May.
Have a good team, this is huge. With David and Mindy doing my hair and makeup I was totally relaxed, make sure you have a good makeup artist, I can't stress that enough! I didn't have any need to put the competition color on my face, some competitors that did.....well, when your face is darker than your body, it's just not a good look. Mindy got mine about a shade or two lighter than my body and I felt so beautiful and got so many compliments on my makeup.
Practice, practice, practice! I can not stress this enough, PRACTICE your mandatory poses every single day and your t-walk as much as you can. No matter how comfortable you feel doing it with your coach or best friend turned posing coach, practice it every day so the poses come naturally.
Have fun on your big day, try not to stress too much, your moments on that stage are short. If you are shaking don't stress, the other competitors are probably shaking too, especially if it is your first competition! ENJOY your t-walk, strut your stuff, show off and be proud. I feel like I rushed through mine and hope to slow it down for next time, maybe be mentally present for it and enjoy myself more.
Here are a few photos from the competition that Summer's coach took, my hands are too high on the front pose, need to work on that and focus more on where I'm placing them for the mandatory poses, I was so freaked out I couldn't think of anything but smiling!
I really love this shot, right before I went out for my t-walk. I was completely in my head and then Applause came on and I felt almost relieved and totally ready :)