Valerie's First Bikini Competition

Such a crazy weekend!  One of my clients, Valerie, had her first (and my first!) bikini competition in Norfolk.  She won first place in her age division and I am so proud of her!  She’s worked so hard, every day, physically and mentally to prepare for this competition.  It’s not easy work, but she was focused.  She WANTED this challenge.  She WANTED to make a change with her body.  She WANTED to have fun.  Because this was her first competition of any kind ever, she had no expectations.  She just wanted to do her best and have fun in the process.  And, she did.  Here’s how it all began….

But first, at the competition, we wished the one and only Ernestine Shepherd a very happy 80th birthday!  At one point she was the oldest living competitive bodybuilder in the world.  Before she left the stage, she dropped and gave us a few pushups!  It was pretty amazing.  

Ernestine Shephard

Back to Valerie.  One day, approximately 20 weeks ago, during our weekly training session, I asked Valerie if she would be interested in competing in a bodybuilding show.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  “I don’t want to be bulky,” she says.  I told her there were many different physiques divisions, such as bodybuilding, bikini, or figure.  I suggested the bikini division for her.  I had her go home and research bikini fitness competitions so she could see the differences in physiques.

After doing her research, I referred her to bodybuilding coaches with experience for her meal plan and workout schedule (because that’s what professionals do – I always refer if it’s out of my expertise).  My job was to put her through the workouts ensuring safe form, intensity, and proper weight selection.  I also had to assess if she was ready to increase intensity, move up in weights, or had the energy to workout.  She worked out with me three to four times weekly during her 18-week prep.


One grueling workout done!  

Her meal plan was restrictive but doable for her.  She measured every bit of food that went into her mouth and she ditched the alcohol.  She did have cheat meals (1x weekly) and that worked for her.  She knew exactly how many proteins, carbohydrates, and fats she was eating daily.  The food part of this process was most important.  Yes, Valerie worked out before prepping for this competition, and yes, she ate healthy, but when she really started tracking her foods, she was pleasantly surprised at how much her body changed by cutting out processed foods, measuring portions, and drinking lots of water.  (You would never guess she ate 5 – 6 meals daily, huh?)  She leaned out and all of her gorgeous muscles defined her body beautifully.

Fast-forward 18 weeks and here we are – 1st place in the Bikini Over 35 division!  


Nice work, Valerie. I am so proud of you.  Thank you for trusting me to guide you in this process.  It takes a village:  Valerie had many coaches and trainers (4 in total) to get her through this one competition.  And she had the support of many ACAC members who were following her from day 1.  I love our ACAC community.  We hold each other up – everyone wished her well and told her to have fun. She did it – we did it.

How lucky am I to be a part of this community.  I know not every one wants to be on stage for a bikini competition, but you can work towards a goal and succeed and I can help you get started.  Are you ready for a change?

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About Teresa

I am a personal trainer and group exercise instructor and have been in the fitness industry since 1996. I understand the struggles of losing weight and maintaining it - I've been there. Read my story and let me help. My passion for fitness is helping others achieve their health and fitness goals, while having fun in the process!