My husband and I decided to take a road trip to Columbus, OH this weekend to check out the Arnold Fitness Expo. http://www.arnoldsportsfestival.com/expo/ The expo had around 700 booths of the latest in sports equipment, apparel and nutrition. It was just one part of a HUGE Arnold Sports Festival. The festival featured competitions in several sports.
Our original plan was to go to see a Women's Figure Competition first hand, but we weren't able to make it there for that event. I did get to meet Nicole Wilkins Lee (http://www.nicolewilkins.com/home.shtml) who won the Arnold Figure competition Friday night though; she was a sweetheart! She actually works with the same company, Nutrigenix, as my trainer, Kelly Gonzalez. Meeting Nicole was really a treat for me. It was while reading the Jan/Feb 2010 Muscles and Fitness Hers magazine that I had decided to look into Figure competing. I never in my life thought I would be meeting the winner of both The World's Best Figure (and now the Arnold winner!) Don't be fooled by the pictures in magazines. The women look big and bulking, but standing next to her, I realized she was one tiny little woman!
Other women that I got to see and meet were, Jamie Eason and Christina Dugdale. I had learned about both women from www.bodybuilding.com. Meeting Christina was completely by accident. She was working a booth that was showcasing materials with her husband, Mark Dugdale. I looked over and thought, "she looks so familiar" and then realized it was because I watch all her cooking videos "Cooking with Christina" on the bodybuilding.com website! I got to chat with her for several minutes, telling her all about how much I love her cooking videos and how I love her recipes! Her husband reminded me a lot of my Marty; I stood there gushing over Christina, asking her if she came up with her own recipes, etc, her husband Mark just BEAMED. She wouldn't admit that they were her own recipes, but Mark stood behind her and just nodded his head yes and you could just tell that he was proud of her and thankful that she made food so great for their family (especially since feeding a bodybuilder is no easy feat!)
The one thing that struck me the hardest about all the women I met was that they were all very very small; short and tiny! I guess I just imagined them to be so much bigger. The magazines and videos make them look big and bulky, but they are all shorter than 5'5" (which is what I am) and maybe weight 120lbs, tops! Jamie Eason was a peanut! Christina Dugdale is not even 5'1" and my trainer Kelly Gonzalez is probably a good 3 inches shorter than me too! I was feeling a little discouraged. Kelly had warned me that most of the women in Figure competing are much shorter than me. I just looked at all these women and felt enormous!
I left the expo feeling a little deflated, very discouraged and somewhat scared. What am I thinking!?!? Is this really something that I think I can do? I was beginning to feel like my goals were unobtainable. Maybe I'm too tall. Can I ever get my body that lean? The doubt was setting in and I was really feeling not so good about myself. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that Nicole Wilkins Lee and I are about the same height. That made me feel so much better! I did have a major reality check in that this is going to be MUCH harder than I had anticipated. I'm ready for that challenge. I'm motivated and now that I've seen the women in real life, I have no doubt that I want to push my body to reach that level of fitness.