You’re a Figure What?

I am a figure competitor.  If you don’t know what that is, let me explain.  Many of you may have heard about Fitness Competitions and have seen snippets of women in amazing shape doing one arm push ups in glam fitness outfits and doing back handsprings and stuff.

That is NOT what I do.  BUT – I have the utmost respect for them and wish I could do a cartwheel let alone a back handspring.  When I was in my teens, I was over fifty pounds overweight.  I lost a lot of it through doing the Slim-Fast diet, but when that no longer worked, I did some pretty unhealthy things to lose weight (a post for another day).  Anywhoo, I was always in awe of those women on stage, dancing around with their beautiful lean bodies.  I remember thinking to myself when I was 17 – “I am going to do that someday!” 

Well…. that was kinda impossible.  I was not athletic.  In fact, I could barely run the mile on the track at school.  However…. I did join the track team because I liked lifting weights.  I threw the shot put and the discus.  It was fun and I got to hang out in the weight room and lift with the football players (good times!)   However, my eating was terrible and circumstances got me kicked off the track team and that was the end of that. 

Fast forward 12 years….  I got my eating under control and joined a gym.  I met the man of my dreams and he asked me to marry him (YAY!).  I started taking step classes and something called “body pump” and built some pretty decent arms for my wedding day (also YAY)!  I loved being at the gym so much, I became a group fitness instructor.  I loved it.  It afforded me the opportunity to teach something I loved.  Could life get any better than having an amazing husband, a great full time job AND a part time job teaching fitness???  UM, YEAH….  I got pregnant!!!!  (YAY yet again!)  🙂  I was 129 pounds when I got pregnant with my daughter (at 5’4″, that was pretty good for me).  I stopped teaching fitness becuse I was afraid of exercising while pregnant (another post for another day) and by the time I delivered my beautiful, amazing daughter, I weighed 207 pounds.  Here’s a tip gals, don’t EVER lie to your anesthesiologist about your weight, by the way, when they are performing your epidural…. LOL

I lost most of that weight through diet (thanks Weight Watchers!) and walking on the treadmill.  A year or so later, I got pregnant again.  This time, I decided I was going to watch what I ate a bit more carefully and I exercised throughout the pregnancy (nothing too crazy, but I was one of THOSE women who took spin classes up until my belly no longer fit behind the handlebars…. )  I also took water aerobics with a great friend (I highly recommend it!) and managed to only put on 40 pounds with my awesome, amazing son. 

I went on Nutrisystem after my son was born and lost a lot of the weight that I had gained.  I felt good, but I never really felt like I had that look that I always wanted.  The lean, muscular look that I saw in magazines like “Oxygen”. 

And then it happened.  I saw a friend’s before and after butt pictures on facebook.  She was wearing a beautiful, blinged out bikini and she looked like she was on stage in a bodybuilding competition.  But, she was not a huge muscle-y bodybuilder that we so often think of sterotypically (another post for another day:-)  She was lean and athletic looking. 

So I emailed her.  “Whatcha doing?”  I asked

She was a binkini competitior, she said.  I had no clue what that was, so I looked into it.  And here we come back full circle to the the beginning of my post.  The fitness division of bodybuilding (remember the girls doing the one arm pushups?) was waning in popularity back in the late 1990’s.  So, in order to attract more competitiors, the Figure division was founded.  This would allow women to train and present their physiques on stage but WITHOUT the demanding aerobics routine!  So, basically, the competitors wear two- piece swimsuits with lots of beautiful bling on them and high heeled shoes and present their hard earned bodies by doing a series of poses called “quarter turns”.  The judges critique based on the amount of muscle (which is very feminine) and leanness.   Out of the figure division came the “bikini” division, where the competitiors are a little less muscular and a little softer and pose a little sassier than the figure division. 

So, I became a bikini competitior. 

I will explain how and how long and all that good stuff in yes, another post.  But this year, I have switched from the bikini division to the figure division.  I will be presenting myself on stage in 6 weeks in a bling-ed bikini, showing off the hours I put in the gym and the good stuff I put in my body. 

Stay tuned for all the good stuff that goes along with that.

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About Pepper A.K.A "Greek Lightning"

Wife, mom of 2, roller derby athlete, lover of heavy weights and sprinting like the wind, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods addict, pharmaceutical employee by day, bodybuilding cupcake baking superhero by night.
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