Weekends sure seem to be flying by these days.  I spent this last one in Atlanta with lots of blogging friends at the Haven blog conference.  I can sincerely tell you that the women of Haven are so genuine and fun to be around.  I'm so glad I went and I encourage any of you thinking about going next year to for sure go!   

If you've been following my blog for the last three months, you know I was preparing for my second NPC bikini contest.  I competed for the first time last July and I got the itch to do it again mostly because I needed to get back in shape after falling off the wagon after my first competition.  I had a harder time sticking strictly to my diet this time (I'd say I did 90%, but I had dessert cheats along the way that I shouldn't have had).  And that's the thing about a contest like this, when you get there for the day of the show, you can surely tell who cheated and who didn't.  Or maybe whose been training longer because their bodies are just crazy good.  The competition in Houston was fierce this year with so many phenomenal competitors.  But, committing to competing in a bikini contest also caused me to train harder and eat better than I would have if I didn't have the contest looming.  That's the real reason I competed, because the contest day has never been my favorite part. 


This year, I placed 9th in the Bikini Novice division and 13th in the Bikini Masters division (ages 35-44).  I'm proud of what I accomplished and definitely feel like the women who placed above me deserved it.  I'm not crazy about my stage pictures, but I figured you might want to see them.   It's wild how nervous you can be with only a few seconds on stage, but this audience was really big and intimidating.  I wish I was smiling more in the photos.  My coach, John Sherman, even texted me later and said I needed to smile more at the night show, which I did. My cousin (a fellow competitor) gave me a tip to start smiling right before going on stage and then placing your tongue against the back of your two front teeth/roof of your mouth to hold your smile in place.  It worked later!

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