Competition cut, modeling photo shoot & period health

The time is here and I’m SO EXCITED! It feels like forever and let’s be real, 3 years off from competition for a goal to step on stage as a bodybuilding competitor is a LONG TIME. With many moving pieces in my life, I am ready for it.

I am officially 12 weeks out from a show I have in mind. Coach John Meadows and I have a plan in place, so I can not just hit a local stage and hopefully win a Figure Overall title, but also go to a national stage (or two) and place to win my IFBB Pro Card!

Below is a little comparison of where I was my last show, Jr. USAs May 2016. Weight was 122 pounds. On right, current update from Feb. 13th. Weight at 147 pounds, feeling pretty thick! Ready to decrease the calories, increase cardio and pump some iron to lean out.

Being a female athlete, this is a topic that has become near and dear to my heart. For over 2 years, I did not have a period AT ALL, aka amenorrhea. I have never been on any conventional birth control. For quite some time, I was fine about not having one… until I realized that was an indicator something else must be “off” inside my body.

I started researching, reading and every time I went to a see a gynocologist, they would say, “Oh, you are fine! Let me give you some birth control to regulate it.” Although tempting, I always answered “no”. I got my period back in Feb. 2017, but then it was still on and off for several months. Extremely heavy flow, painful cramps and acne flare ups pre and post menstruation. Definitely NOT enjoyable and made me think, “why the heck didn’t I get on BC?”

Well, because, the idea of putting artificial hormones into my body did not appeal to me. I wanted to figure it out holistically. And now, it is even more important before I start dieting for my next #NPCFigure show.

I will say, this past two months, I have had CONSISTENT, TIMELY periods. Some cramping, moderately heavy flow, acne flares, but the symptoms are DECREASING. It typically takes 1-3 months to see a difference based on the following:
-Stress levels, including training intensity and cardio
-Sleep quality and duration
-Micronutrient deficiencies
-Diet changes

As I continue into #prepmode, I plan to track my period health and share some tips and advice I’m finding helpful for me. Obviously we are all different, so some things that work for me might not work for everyone. Find what works for YOU and your loved ones!

I’m planning to document my body transition and changes to help others in their journeys. I’ve even started to do some modeling and am excited to continue working with Hoot Photos in Atlanta! He’s already taught me a lot about improving my photographability… if that is a word haha! Excited to share the journey with you all. See more on my latest YouTube video here:
https://youtu.be/HOMBkwP95eg

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5 tips to succeed in your casted roles

This past weekend, I flew to Scottsdale, Arizona for the third annual Fitposium conference. I discovered it this past spring over James Patrick Photography’s Instagram profile and ponder it for a few weeks before securing my spot. Each year, I usually invest in one weekend for some sort of personal development. To be frank, some of the conferences I’ve attend the past 3+ years have become stale. Sure, I always had some new nuggets of information to learn. But, there was something tugging at me to travel to Arizona.

As someone transitioning from one industry to a completely different one, I was not sure what to expect. The two-day agenda was full of unique opportunities. And it did not disappoint! I had some powerful takeaways from Fitposium. Watch now for my five tips to succeed in your casted roles. You can also read more details below!

Do not treat your peers as your customers.

I was surrounded by other fitness professionals, entrepreneurs and models during the two-day conference. The industry has become saturated and, even in a conference setting, it can often be competitive. For example, during the casting call, I got nervous about what others were doing for poses and outfits. Should it have mattered? No. My brand is the only one I need to focus on at that moment in time. Do not worry about what your peers are doing. Majority of the time, they are not your customers.

Many of the keynote and session speakers hit on specialization. It used to be about knowing “everything” and being a “Jack or Jill of all trades”. But guess who is now getting all the business? The specialized ones. Speaker, Jill Coleman, creator of Jill Fit, asked, “What is your X-Factor?” Identify your customers, your niche, your true “passion” in the industry. Is it powerlifting? Do you love yoga? Vegan nutrition? Get clear and focus now.  This is not just advice for fitness professionals, but all professionals in their respective industries.

Strong Sweet Caroline | 5 tips to succeed in your casted roles

Know numbers to succeed in business.

I have always been a writer. I love marketing, public relations and photography. Where is my weakness? Financials. Even in my full-time corporate role, I was challenged a lot to improve on knowing my numbers. It helped me make it more of a habit but I need to keep growing it. The biggest reason businesses fail is because they do not focus enough on their balance sheet, profit and loss statement and operating budget. Even as someone in college, corporate or in your home, having a budget is essential to staying balanced and having less worry on financials.

The grind is not sexy.

I am experiencing this firsthand. There will always be things in life we are required to do that we may not love to do. You may have heard the phrase, “the most valuable things in life do not come easy.” This is the same with building businesses, relationships and the life we dreamed of. This is the opportunity to think futuristic and make shit happen. Speaker and entrepreneur Jon Boles stated that you must “position yourself to where you are going, not where you are.” But, in order to do that, you have to trust the process and do the daily grind. Hustle your butt off.

Strong Sweet Caroline | Blog Quote

Do not be vanilla.

One of my favorite speakers was Bizzie Gold. She is a serial entrepreneur who I’d define as a bad ass boss lady. She shared we spend too much time being wishy washy, trying to be all to everyone. You can have whatever ice cream you want. There are many brands and even different types of vanillas out there. We must identify who we are, being creative to showcase our talents and taking action each day that will lead to future expansion. Rome was not built in one day. Our lives and empires will not be either if we do not act DAILY and do not find a way to be unique in the crowd.

Always tell your story.

Past Olympian Erin Stern, Your Marketing BFF Tana Nelson and Chris Powell and Heidi Powell all shared a common message: tell your story. Story telling is the oldest form of communication. It’s how we build relationships. It’s how we impact the world. It is the most important way we communicate to anyone. Never forget to tell your unique story. Many people do not know I have traveled to different countries, spoken on stage in front of over 20,000 people or raised alpacas. They do not know I grew up on a farm, moved across the country three times and that I left corporate sales to pursue a dream larger than myself. But now more than ever, I am empowered to share that message.

Strong Sweet Caroline | 5 tips to succeed in your casted roles

Strong Sweet Caroline | 5 tips to succeed in your casted roles

I am empowered to help other people create elegant strength and joy in life’s journey. I know who I am to the bone. And this allows me to give my best talents and gifts to the world.

 

4 ways to push beyond limits

This year of “moxie”, I’m striving to push beyond limits. I want to be a change agent. What does that really mean? I’m working to better define it. However, what I have learned is how I can push myself beyond limits, each day, one day at at time, to reach my goals.

Unknown Opportunity

Last week, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed. An image caught my eye. It was a contest for the Arnold Model Search. I had not heard of this before, but explored further. The Arnold Fitness Expo and Arnold Classic, held in Columbus, Ohio is one of the largest fitness events in the U.S., right in my back door. I have attended two times in the past and have already purchased tickets for my third experience. My interest heightened when I read about this “model search”.

Vote for me daily here!

I followed through the link to read the requirements and deadlines, and I had one week to gather details and submit. Deep down, I’ve always wanted to model. I think it is a unique talent and art form. Not just that, but being a fitness athlete (wow, I finally feel comfortable describing myself that way) model is a different avenue. I did my first “photo shoot” after my national debut at Jr. USAs in 2016. It was thrilling and I know I have some room for improvement on posing. However, at that time, I was lean. I was jacked and tan. Right now, I am not that.

My goal right now is to build muscle and strength for shows in fall 2017. I am up 12 pounds from my last stage weight, which I’m guessing will change this year. Nonetheless, I had to decide if I was truly comfortable shooting photos at this physique.

Could I just submit 8-month old photos instead?

doorway
May 2016 after Jr. USA bodybuilding show.

This thought crossed my mind. But, then I stopped myself.

Who is the true, vulnerable, transparent me that I want to show the world? This 24-year-old woman, right now, at 5’4″, 137 pounds.

caroline_weihl1
January 2017 – feeling confident and strong.

On a whim, I reached out to a good friend who does photography as a side business. She was able to fit me into her busy schedule. Although she had never done a fitness photo shoot before, I’m glad she made the attempt! She turned around the photos within a few hours and I submitted my application.

Pushing Beyond Limits

This is something totally new, out of my norm and is very exciting. A lot of things that I have found to enjoy the past couple of years have only come from moments of pushing beyond limits. Because of this, I wanted to share the concept and four ways you can push yourself beyond limits.

1| Create a new habit.

If you are wanting to make a change in your life, think of it more positively and not necessarily taking away something, but perhaps adding or replacing an old habit with a new one.

This has been key in improving my eating habits. Instead of grabbing a candy bar at the store, I will buy yogurt or fruit. I have identified my weakness as sweets and cater to it accordingly by creating a new habit.

Maybe you realize every moment you feel “bored” you start to watch SnapChat stories or scroll your Instagram or Facebook feed. What could you replace the little habit with instead that could add to your joy and productivity?

2| Overanalyze, reflect, act.

I have a tendency to overthink and overanalyze a lot of things. For a long time, this held me back from potential.

In the gym, I have a limiting belief of how much I can squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench, etc. If I am approaching a challenging workout, I will overanalyze. However, I will then reflect on how I feel, past workout progress and my goals. And then, I will push full force to act and execute.

This little mental process has helped me overcome some of the anxiety or overwhelm I cause on myself. Do you tend to overanalyze and need to move past it to succeed?

3| Aim for best case scenarios.

“Worst case scenario, I lose a chance at ‘x’. Best case scenario, I am one or two steps closer to reaching my goal at ‘x’.”

Humans are good at talking ourselves out of ideas and activities with worst-case scenarios. But, what if instead, we aimed for the best case scenarios? I have a goal this year to work with a new life coach (outside of fitness). I have a few I want to reach out to. But for some reason, I still have not done it. The “what if” factor keeps holding me back. What if they don’t respond, can’t make time, I sound amateur, etc.? If I don’t reach out to them in the first place, I’m still sitting her stagnant, unchanged. Is that what I want? Or do I want to get closer to my goals and dreams?

Aim for the best case scenario. For me, that means contacting potential coaches! What about you?

4| Ignore the haters and do it.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway.”
Ellen DeGeneres
The more you attempt to do different than what others do, except or imagine for you, the more you will know your true supporters [and haters]. God created this life for you. Live it through His lens and the purpose you belief He gave you. That’s what matters most.
Criticism stinks. Our society is judgmental as hell. But if there is one theme you’ve picked up through this article, it’s that action is king.
criticism
With these four ways to push beyond limits, what’s next for you? What is your new habit? How will you overanalyze, reflect and act? What is your best case scenario to aim for? Ignore the haters and do it.
If you want to show some love, please vote for me here: https://www.gomdfu.com/arnold-womens-model-search/ and share with others! Thanks and keep pushing beyond limits.