Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back and Forth and Back Again

For the past couple months since my show, I've felt a bit lost. I knew the post-contest blues would strike, as they do every year after I compete. What I didn't anticipate was a complete re-evaluation of my fitness goals. Since getting completely blown out of the water in Figure at Team Universe, my head has been spinning in different directions.

My first thought was to add some size in order to be more competitive in Figure next year. Then I realized that I don't actually WANT to get any bigger. Although I may not have the amount of muscle necessary to compete at the National level, I don't feel that adding more muscle to my frame would actually look better. When I get bigger, I tend to lose my shape and turn into a little brick - no waist, straight up and down, and thick from front to back. Looking like a brick is NOT my goal.

My next thought was to try to lose some muscle and perhaps compete in Bikini. (Remember last year when I was tossing around the idea of switching to Bikini?) I went back to doing plyo-type workouts and changed my rep ranges on exercises. Nothing much seemed to change, except I lost some definition in my arms, which I'm NOT okay with.

Then while I was helping one of my friends pose and listened to her talk about her upcoming show, I realized that I really love Figure. While I think the bikini look is beautiful, I've worked too hard to build muscle for the past 14 years to just turn around and diet/train most of it off. Besides, I like the amount of muscle I've got right now.

Like I said ... my head's been spinning.

At this point (and that's not to say that things won't change yet again), I'm focused on retaining my upper body size, but bringing my legs down a bit. Since spot reduction isn't realistic, it'll be interesting to see how this plan actually works. I'll keep you updated!


  1. Hey Kari... That is kind of how I was feeling as I was well into my prep.. Not really wanting to put on more size and definitely not wanting to lose it. I like my muscularity in my upper body and feel that with good posing it might bring that tight look to the stage, not trying to talk you into it but your post comp bikini pics looked fantastic. But you can always look at Cheryl Brown for Figure... small gal who didn't need to add size to look right. :) I think you look beautiful in any shape you take and have no doubts that you will find what is right for you.
    Glad to hear what you're up to though! Always love hearing your plans! :)

  2. I totally know what you are talking about. I LOVE... like L-O-V-E figure... I love the posing, the way the women look, EVERYTHING but realistically for me there is no way that I could/would ever be happy with putting on any more size to compete on a National let alone Pro level. I think you have what it takes though. You have a beautiful Physique. My switch to Bikini was hard and I still find myself practicing the figure poses here and there but overall I am glad I made that switch. You'll do great in whatever you decide but I think you are a Figure girl :)

  3. I think you're definitely a figure girl! At first I wanted to compete in Bikini but now I've grown to love the body of figure competitors. Sure, some of them are too big for my liking but my goal isn't to compete at that level just yet. I don't know what I would do if I was in your position...

  4. Thanks ladies! It's a relief to know I'm not the only one with this struggle. I'm glad you've all found the division that suits you best.

    Lacey - I do use Cheryl Brown as a comparison. I actually competed with her in a show in 2009 before she turned Pro. She's much thicker in person than she appears on stage - but she still looks fabulous.

  5. It is really hard to know what to do, but the journey is part of the fun! You have fabulous muscle and you should do what you love, the rest will come...it always does!

  6. If you take the time to clear your mind, and I mean really just clear your mind and weigh out all of the options, I'd wager the answer will appear for you - kind of like those optical illusion pics that I can never do!

    Listen to yourself at the end of the day - because in the end, you're the boss and YOUR opinion matters! Good luck!

  7. I think most of us who compete question our fitness goals at one point or another. As long as you view yourself as a winner (which you are), it doesn't matter what others say.

    Live fit! Live healthy!