Posts Tagged ‘competition’


Hello, my name is Michelle and I am excited to share my fitness journey as so much has changed since sharing my first story with Socially Fit. I’m from the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago found in the far south of the Caribbean. I began exercising at age 11 and never stopped unless told to do so. I was forced to stop working out in 2003 when I had a surgery. The other time was more recent, in 2013 after the birth of my miracle baby. Yes I said miracle baby since I was told that I was not capable of having children due to my diagnosis of endometriosis in 2003. I’m a figure athlete and have represented my country in various international body fitness competitions. My last competition being the Arnold Classic held in Ohio in 2013 where I placed 5th in my class.

During my pregnancy I was able to exercise with some modifications as I went through each trimester. However I had an emergency C-section which slowed my return to exercising post pregnancy. It was recommended that I should not to work out for the first 6 weeks post pregnancy and that was the crucial time when my weight should be reduced. Instead I have only lost a minimal amount of weight and after two months began a training regimen.

With the new addition to my family life, exercising has to be strategic. Timing is key. We purchased a treadmill for our home so I can get more structured cardio done when the baby is asleep. Weight training normally lasts between 30 to 40 minutes and is done prior to or after training clients as I am currently a freelance Personal Trainer in north Indianapolis area.

I have set both short term and long term goals and they motivate me to everyday to wake up and accomplish the objective set out for the day, week or month ahead. For example I set out to complete a 30 minute cardio session at least 3 days a week as well as 4 to 5 days of weight training to build muscle. My nutrition has also become even more crucial thus food prep every Sunday has become the norm to allow me to ensure the proper meals are consumed daily.

Some of my fitness goals include me being my original weight before I became pregnant on or before my birthday which is in July. I would also like to challenge myself by preparing to compete in October 2014 either representing my country Trinidad and Tobago or taking part in an NPC Show.

My hubby and parents have always been and still are the best support system ever. Hearing my mom say, “I’m eating better and exercising to be healthier” is support and a great motivational tool for me.

My favorite body part to work out is back.  I have always loved the quick response my back muscles adapt to my exercise routines over the years and this time is no different.

Always motivate yourself from within. Make mental notes and write down your goals. Mark Twain said it best, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” My last competition pic has been a continued motivational piece for me. I would love to earn my professional status one day. “One day at a time I am getting close to my goal” has been my mantra. It’s what I tell myself with each workout and each meal I consume each day.

Follow me on Twitter @triniintownmich
Blogspot M.O.R.E. Wellness by Michelle
Or Facebook Michelle Blessed


Since my last story approximately two years ago, I’ve rejoined the workforce, commuted to another county, my mother survived cancer, I’ve competed in a small bodybuilding show, sold my house and divorced.  It’s been quite a journey.

The competition in February 2013 was small and a lot of fun.  I wasn’t the fittest competitor at the show, but I was the fittest ME.  Just being strong enough and brave enough to get up on stage after having kids and several years of training and getting healthier was a victory in itself.  I lost to my bodybuilding coaches, but no disappointment there. I did it for myself!

I am planning to compete in Women’s Physique this summer in Venice Beach.  Gorgeous plans, lots of fun and many friends will compete there. Again, I’ll be doing it just for myself. Free time and extra money are scarce these days, so one show is my only goal.

My work/life/gym balance is currently far from ideal.  I spend 3-4 hours commuting daily to my office in Orange County.  I have my daughters every other week but hardly see them.  My training is done whenever I can fit it in. Five days training per week is my goal, but fluctuates based upon travel times, the girl’s schedules, obligations, and a disturbing need for sleep.   This is the area of my life that needs drastic improvement, but the bills must be paid!

My primary goal is to find proper balance, spend as much quality time with my loved ones as possible and become as financially independent as I can without sacrificing my health, fitness or family time.

For the past 4-6 months I’ve been lifting as heavy as possible and building strength and mass. My upper body and legs have grown and definitely reflect it. I focus on individual muscle groups during each training session, but do adore training chest with triceps and lats with biceps.  I just started lowering the weight and am doing 20 minutes of some type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) almost daily now that I am working on leaning out so the muscle definition really pops. I am very careful to keep the cardio moderate, my ultimate goal is burning fat without burning muscle mass. I want to keep the strength I’ve worked so hard to develop.

While my nutrition is tighter now that I am working on getting leaner, I am much more loose with it than I used to be. I eyeball portions more often than weighing and measuring. Treats find their way in when I feel the need. I recently recalculated my macros and am playing around with 170 grams protein, 140 grams carbs and 40 grams fat daily.  If I don’t see the results I’m aiming for, I’ll change it. No plan is so perfect that it cannot be improved upon.  This isn’t a diet or a fad, it’s my lifestyle.  It gets tweaked as my goals and needs change. I eat a lot of lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.  Added sugar and processed foods are kept to bare minimums.  I’ve been doing this long enough that it’s no longer habit, but second nature.

Getting started, overweight, after having two children and multiple abdominal surgeries was HARD.  It was even more challenging to keep stepping into the gym when progress was slow, or seemed non-existent because I couldn’t see the changes happening fast enough for my liking.  It seemed like all of the incredibly fit people I saw at my gym were born that way and found it an effortless process. I have never, ever forgotten how that felt. I know better now and my passion is to help motivate others to take that first step. Encourage them to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Small steps now lead to BIG changes later. The journey to health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.  I want others to believe in their own inner strength and learn how to channel that into self-motivation.

The past year has been the most challenging of my life.  It’s also been the most rewarding.  I’ve fully embraced my inner strength, further developed my outer strength and emerged with the clearest vision of just who I am and, more specifically, who I am not.  I am perfectly imperfect and the people in my life who truly matter embrace me for who I am, not who they want me to be.  I am grateful for each new day.  Love and respect yourself first.  Then allow others to.  Love more.  Train harder.  Eat better.  Dream bigger.  Don’t compare yourself to others be the best possible YOU!

TWITTER: @OrganicOutcast
FACEBOOK: The Organic Outcast (warning: haven’t logged onto FB in months…)

The Art of Body Building

This week’s shared experience comes courtesy of Shane Pottie. He lives in Nova Scotia, where he is currently a personal trainer, transformation coach, and avid bodybuilder. We met Shane on Twitter and have had a great relationship with him for some time now. For the past three years, he has been either training for or competing in the Nova Scotia Amateur Body Building Association (NSABBA). In his own words, Shane tells us how he got started and what it takes to compete in this sport.

Shane Pottie

It all started three years ago when I met this guy at a friends party. He was a year older than I was and two weeks away from a bodybuilding show. I always went to the gym to train for hockey and  to get into better shape. So when I saw this guy he was easily the leanest person I have ever seen. He was “RIPPED” and must have had 30 or 40 pounds over my small 145 pound frame. I wanted to look like that! After discussing body building with him I left the party motivated to get back in the gym. I started by taking both my training and diet more seriously and I set a goal to compete one year later. I was fortunate to have a lot of help from locals that have competed in the past to guide me with my training, diet, etc. 

When I trained before I began to body build, I never worked on my legs. My excuse was that we did enough leg work playing hockey. That was a big mistake. Learning to squat and deadlift correctly were the most challenging because I never practiced those exercises until later in my training. I love doing them now and I highly recommend taking the time to learn compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and presses (especially the overhead press) before anything else because you will put on some serious size incorporating these into your routines. Currently I am trying to find time to learn the Olympic lifts (snatch, clean and jerk). I plan on trying a routine that tailors to this training style after my next bodybuilding competition.

Shane before body building

 Currently, I am two and a half weeks away from competing and I train six days a week with a ninety minute cardio session a day. This close to a show my diet is very strict with no cheat meals. I also have to drink seven litres of water a day. This will really dry up the body and give it that vascular conditioned look that the judges are looking for on stage. Posing practice is very important as well preparing for a show because it can make or break your placing. I practice for about an hour or two a day.

 My diet changes three or four times throughout my preparation for a competition. As I lose more weight, I need to drop calories and take out certain foods, especially closer to the show to prevent my body from holding water. Without changing the diet, just like training, your body becomes used to it and you will stop seeing results. The supplements I am currently taking are; BCAA’s, Whey Protein Isolate, Caffeine, Omega 3’s, L-Carnitine and R-ala. 

I am working with a new coach this year but usually there is a lot that goes on in the last 48 hours. Last year was my first contest and I had to drink as much as ten litres of water and put sea salt on everything. Within the last three days we drop these, then bring them back into the diet the night before the contest. I wake up the day of the show as dry as a bone. It looks like the water has been sucked out of my skin. I recommend hiring a coach if you plan to enter a contest, even for the last week because it can be difficult figuring out the process during that time. After a competition I might take one or two days off but I am usually back in the gym that Monday. I enjoy training and eating clean 24/7.

Shane (left) during last year's NSABBA competition

In a bodybuilding competition there are male and female categories. Men’s/Women’s Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Fitness. As far as the category of bodybuilding goes there is a pre-judging round in the morning where most of the judging and comparisons are done. Then you have the night show which usually starts at 6pm where the competitors do their individual posing routines and then they are called back on stage for comparisons one last time before the placings are announced. In two and a half weeks I’ll be on stage for the second time. I love this sport because it helps me to remain disciplined and motivated. I like setting the long term goal every year to compete because without setting personal goals we would have nothing to motivate us every day we wake. Competing is what motivates me to stay in shape and live a healthy and fit lifestyle.

 I’d like to thank the team of Socially Fit for featuring me in their blog. Live fit and have fun! Please make sure to check out my fitness channel on youtube and follow me on twitter and facebook.