Nov 05

My 1st Figure Competition

Were am I?


Did this weekend really happen?

Friday I almost wrote a whole post on how there’s no way I’d place in this competition.  It’s my first figure competition, I’m too small… and frankly, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  I like winning.  I dislike disappointment.

I promise to share more later, but I’m still reeling and trying to get organized for the week!  Here’s the short version…


We loaded up the car and headed to the 4th Annual NPC Jen Hendershott Big Shott Bodybuilding Classic and All Women’s Fitness, Figure, and Bikini Weekend.

See my asparagus?


Upon arrival, we headed to the host hotel for check-in and the first 2 layers of tanning.  If you ever really want to step outside your comfort zone, sign up for pre-show spray tanning.  I was naked in a room of 20-ish other women waiting in line to get strayed by the tanning guy (yes, a guy… he was really great/professional though).  Once you got sprayed, you then had to stand in front of a fan drying until your next coat.  Did I mention it was cold?

I looked like an oompa-loompa, and modesty no longer exists in my vocabulary.


The pic above if from the next morning – my sweet hair stylist was texting me asking for pics of my hair and coaching me on how to do it up.  Love. Her.

We had an athletes meeting before the competition where Ms. Jenn Hendershott explained to us the order of events and introduced the photographers.  It was nice to have a relaxed gathering before things got crazy!  She’s standing on the the stage we would be walking across in just a couple of hours!


The competition is 2 parts: pre-judging in the morning, and the “big” show at night.  The tough thing is, all the decisions (except overall winners) are made at the pre-judging.  So you have to go the whole day sticking to your diet so you still look good on stage that night, but knowing there’s nothing more you can do in terms of placing.

It turns out I DID place.  4th in Figure Class A!  I’m still a little shell-shocked.


More pics to come when we get the professional shots in!  It’s safe to say I’ve been bitten by the bug – I cannot WAIT to start building and growing for my next show (hopefully March).

Below is a pic with the women from my gym (we ALL placed in out categories!) and our trainer, Steve.  I wish I had one with the boys!  Abdul took 1st place in his Men’s Heavyweight Class and 2nd in the Men’s Heavyweight Open!

Jenn (Physique), Christina, (Bikini), Steve, Jhoi (Bikini), and Me

More details and the post-competition download (read: sugar-fest) to come!!!


Thank you so, so much for all of the emails, tweets, texts, comments, and Instagram support this weekend.  each one made me smile.  I’ve never felt such support from a community before… I can’t begin to express what that meant to me.

How was your weekend?  Anything exciting to report?

When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone? ;)



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  1. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    you go girl!!! SO proud of you :)

  2. Khushboo

    Goodness Laura, you look fantastic! SO proud of you and congrats again…you deserve every bit of your success :)!

  3. Lynda

    That had to be amazingly hard & tons of discipline! I’m so proud of your accomplishments so far & I’m sure there will be more to come! Way to go! I love you!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Mommy. I took my Razorback with me. ;)

  4. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    Congrats!! You look great!

    Mass spray tanning sounds brutal!!!:-)

    1. Laura

      It wasn’t something I EVER expected to do. LOL!

  5. Sue

    Wow, congrats! You look amazing! All that asparagus munching did pay off in the end. ;)
    The highlight of my weekend: I went horseback riding on Friday, for the first time ever! Those horses are freaking tall, but it was so much fun. I can’t wait to do it all again!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I used to love riding. It’s so peaceful!

  6. Lee

    Congrats Laura!!

  7. janet @ the taste space

    Awesome, Laura! Way to go!!! You look fab! Bring on the peanut butter now, right? It will be nice to have a diet breather after all the weeks leading up to the competition. I can’t wait to see a recap of everything you’ve learned. :)

    1. Laura

      It’s been out of control with the PB! ;)

  8. Danielle

    Huge congratulations!!!!! You put so much hard work into this and have been so inspiring! So happy for you!

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much! It was sooo worth it!

  9. Lisa

    Congrats!!! All of the hardwork and dedication has truly paid off!!!You look AMAZING!!!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! :)

  10. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so incredibly proud of you! You worked so hard and have been so dedicated! You look amazing! I can’t wait to see what you start working on now. I knew you would do well though ;)

    1. Laura

      Thank you! It’s going to be more of the same, but hopefully growing. :)

  11. Calee (@chimes)

    SQUEE! You look fanfreaking tastic!!! :) so excited to read the rest of the recap.

    I’m trying to enlist some of your discipline. You doing this is really motivating me to actually accomplish some of my own goals.

    1. Laura

      Calee, you make me smile. :) How were those lunges?

  12. Amelia

    OMG, Congratulations!!!!!! I’m so excited and happy for you! YOu are such an inspiration to me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

    This just goes to show how much dedication and training pay off. I bet you are on cloud nine!

    1. Laura

      That means so much to me… thank you!

  13. Jessie

    You killed it girl! So proud of you :)

  14. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    EeeeEE! Girl, I was SO excited for you when I saw that you placed. You look amazing, and you definitely deserve it – all of your hard work and determination? Eee! I’m so happy for you :D

    1. Laura

      You’ve been so great and encouraging… thank you!!!

  15. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Congratulations!! That’s so awesome.

  16. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Congratulations, Laura! You look awesome and I can’t wait to hear more :)

  17. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Congrats again! So proud of you! And I hope you’re currently enjoying a big breakfast with NO asparagus in sight. ;)

    1. Laura

      Actually, I am. :) TVP Oats!

  18. Kristina

    CONGRATULATIONS, Girl!! you did it, and you were fantastic! I cannot wait to hear more about it – enjoy that elated feeling, and some good food! XXO

  19. Tiff (@LoveSweatBeers)

    Way to go! Love the hair. You’re like an adorable little pixie… a tan pixie… with muscles. ;) Glad all that hard work paid off.

    1. Laura

      LOL! Muscle Pixie. Love it. Thank you. :)

  20. Lindsey

    so proud, Laura! I know you’ve been working so hard, and you’re an inspiration!

  21. Tess @ Cross Country Cajun

    Congratulations! So happy for you and all your hard work definitely shows and paid off! Congrats on the WIN!

  22. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    You are indeed a rockstar.

    Way to go Laura!

  23. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

    I’m SO proud of you- and you look incredible! :)
    I don’t think I’d ever have it in me to train/eat the way it takes to do a competition. I guess the actual event makes it all worth it? (Kind of like crossing the finish line after a marathon?)
    I hope you’re enjoying lots of junk this week and not thinking one bit about measuring things.
    And eat a jar of salt while you’re at it. :)

    1. Laura

      You could do it! It just takes discipline… which you have going vegan! :)

  24. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Awesome! That is so exciting for you. I’m sure you’ll go into the next one with even more confidence after this too.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! Yeah… it helps knowing you can do it without tripping. LOL!

  25. Parita

    Your hard work paid off! Congrats!!! :)

  26. Stacy @ Stacy Eats

    SO freaking awesome!!! Congratulations, you deserve it from all of your hard work!!
    Can’t believe that everyone gets spray tanned in one room – that would definitely be outside of my comfort zone.

    1. Laura

      It was kind of weird… but once I had a coat of orange on I felt like I was “covered.” Thank you!!! :)

  27. Courtney

    Your blog was the first one I looked for in my reader this morning because I was excited to hear how you did! SOO awesome! I’m so happy for you! You look AMAZING.

    Even the orange glow looks awesome on you (plus, I can’t believe how everyone is naked in one room getting sprayed! Craziness!).

    Can’t wait to read about the rest! :)

    1. Laura

      Awwww… really?! Thank you so much.

  28. Kat

    WOW YAY!!! So proud of you Laura! You’re an inspiration! xo

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much! xo

  29. Alex @ therunwithin

    Oh man you look so professional and just gorgeous! way to rock it. I seriously can’t wait to hear more about it, oh and that food you better be enjoying again!

    1. Laura

      Not even close, but thank you!!! :)

  30. Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile

    WOOO congrats!!! You look amazing!

  31. Bonnie

    I loved following your progress! Thanks for sharing this with us…what a weekend! So neat you placed on top of it all! Knew there’d be more in your future – so incredible – such an accomplishment, Laura!

  32. Danni @ Healthy Kitschy Vegan

    Congrats! <3 It's so nice to see that all of your hard work paid off!! :)

  33. RavieNomNoms

    Like it was EVER a question that you were going to place. COME ON! You are amazing! :-)

    1. Laura

      I was SHOCKED! :)

  34. Laura

    What an incredible weekend for you. I’m so proud of you for 4th place- you earned it! And I’m not at all surprised that the bug has bitten you. :) That’s how these competitions work isn’t it… races, figure comps, it’s all so addicting and fun!

    1. Laura

      We are all gluttons for punishment in our own ways! ;)

  35. Beth

    Amazing, girl! Super excited for you! All of that hard work, dedication and strict following of the diet paid off. You look fantastic! Congrats!

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Beth! We need to get together soon!

      1. Beth

        Say the word, girl. I’m free pretty much every evening except Thursday for the next couple of weeks.

        1. Laura

          I can do this Thursday, or next Wednesday…

          1. Beth

            i could do next Wednesday. Time? Place?

  36. Alysha @Shesontherun

    You look so pretty! I’m so happy for you!!! xoxo

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Alysha!!!

  37. lindsay

    so so proud! even though i think you should have gotten 1st. And the spray tan, naked, sprayed by a guy? THat sounds so… entertaining?

    1. Laura

      LOL! Thank you, Linds. :)

      It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. He was really cool. We were joking about drinking beers. The worst was being so COLD.

  38. Nadiya

    CONGRATZ! So proud of you! You worked so hard sticking to your routine/diet and now it paid off. I can never understand why people get fake tan (unless for your case!) and wow that must have been an interesting experience :S I just have a question :P What does Figure Class A mean?

    1. Laura

      Figure is the category I competed in (there is Bikini, Figure, Physique, and Bodybuilding). The Class is th hieght class – A is the shortest (up to 5’4).

  39. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I’m SOOOOOOOO proud of you!! I was showing your pictures that you were posting on FB to Kirk’s family this weekend. And we were trying to figure out if you placed once we saw your medal. So excited you exceeded your expectations!

    1. Laura

      Wait. Kirk’s family was checking out my bikini shots? LOL!

      Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and inspiration. I cannot wait to celebrate with you guys in CO!!!

  40. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    What wonderful news Laura I am just beyond happy for you and so, so, so proud!!!! Let me know when you want to go get arepas!!

    1. Laura

      Yesss! This week has gotten away from me… are you around next week?

      1. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

        I’m pretty sure I will be! I’ve got to cover for a co-worker so there may be a day or two that I’m not able to get extra lunchtime but we will work something out!

        1. Laura

          OK – let me know when you know what days work!

  41. Jentry Nielsen

    Wahoo! Congrats girl! So happy all your hard work really paid off! You look amazing up there!!!!

    1. Laura

      Thank you!!!

  42. Shannon Colavecchio

    so happy for you!! I need to get over my self doubt and do one of these!! and we all can’t wait to read about your post-show #EAT!!:)

    1. Laura

      You should do one! You already look stage-ready. :)

  43. julie

    you look amazing!! congrats girl ALL of the hard work totally paid off xoxo

  44. Alexandra

    THIS IS SHEER AWESOMENESS :D You looked fantastic Laura, huge congrats on the medal too!! All that hard work TRULY paid off, you should feel so proud!!
    I’m looking forward to the epic post-show noms post haha

  45. Lisa

    You are so incredible! So proud of all the success you had in this journey! You look amazing!! Look at what all that hard work and determination got you! Awesome!!

  46. Michelle

    YAY!!! I must have missed when you posted this, I was waiting anxiously to see how you did. AWESOME AWESOME JOB!! And funny story about the tanning experience…I was thinking about that recently and wondering…umm…yeah I’m gonna have to get naked in front of a bunch of strangers. Ah…oh well!
    Cannot wait to see the more pics!!! Congratulations again!!

    1. Laura

      Haha – yeah, all modesty went OUT the window. :)

      Thank you!!!

  47. Wendy

    Congratulations Laura! You should be so proud of your accomplishment! I can totally relate to losing all sense of shyness when it came down to the tanning – LOL!!! Yes, getting painted UGH- my least favorite part – especially trying to wash that stuff off! I took an hour long shower and still could not get it all off! I cannot wait to hear more about your experience! Way to go – you looked amazing!

    1. Laura

      I’m surprised the La Quinta hasn’t called me to demand I pay for turning their shower orange. It was already dirty though. Yuck.

      Thank you so much!!!

  48. Tina @ Best Body Fitness

    Big big big congrats! Can’t wait to hear more details and see more pictures. even though competing wasn’t for me bec of the triggering aspects personally, I still LOVE the whole energy of it and hearing all about it. So proud of you!

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much! I was so grateful for your support when I started freaking out a bit. ;)

  49. Eating 4 Balance

    Jen Hendershott talked to you guys? Oh man, she is so cool! She’s from my hometown and some of her family went to my church. I remember seeing her competition pictures in the newspaper growing up and being like, “WHOA!”

    That would definitely be stepping outside of my comfort zone. Honestly, if I had been in your place, I most likely would have walked out. Lol. Kudos to you though! Everyone needs to step outside of their comfort zone once in a while.

    And great job at the competition! Can’t wait to read more about it!

    1. Laura

      She did! She was one of the organizers and was incredibly nice!

  50. Layla

    So stoked for you!! You look amazing and I love that your hard work paid off. Supahstah!

  51. Kierston

    CONGRATS!!!! You looked and did awesome!!!!

    Contagious isn’t it?! ;)

    1. Laura

      Completely addicting. Thank you for all the encouragement and support. And CONGRATULATIONS #1!!!

  52. Eva @ Commited2Nutrition

    Oh my gosh, congratulations, Laura!!!! that is incredible, and you must be on cloud 9 from the whole thing. My former roommate competes, and she totally has to do the “stand naked and get spray tanned” in front of everyone, ha ha. That will knock shame out of your system real quick!! I cannot wait to read more!

    1. Laura

      I am! I feel like I shouldn’t have to be at work right now. Ha!

      Thank you! :)

  53. Sara Grambusch

    Congratulations! I totally called it. I bet bulking must sound like a blast right now.

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Sara!!! I am still in shock.

  54. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Congratulations!! You did fabulous and you look amazing! The tanning part sounds a little uncomfortable, but placing is just awesome. You deserved it!!

    1. Laura

      You get oddly used to standing around naked after a while… ;)

      Thank you!!

  55. Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land

    I am so happy for you! Way to go, girl! I knew all along you would do amazing. You look stunning up there, and I can’t wait to hear more details. It has been so fun to follow along on your journey to here–you inspire me.

    1. Laura

      Candy, that means a lot coming from you. You inspire me! :)

  56. Leanne @ eatandgetmoving

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAA I’m SO SUPER excited for you girl!! :D :D What a great result for your first show! I bet it’s addictive ;-) lol I’m so happy for you! You look amazing! Can’t wait to see more pictures!! You’re a real inspiration! And…. thanks to you I can now do 3x 11 push-ups instead of my 3x 2 two months ago :D That was my goal to reach by the 16th of Nov. (my birthday) but I’m there a little sooner, and I’m gonna continue to get bigger and better myself ;) :D

    1. Laura

      I’m SO proud of you with the push-ups! You might be at 20 by your birthday! Keep me posted. :)

  57. Elle

    What a fun day and an awesome experience! Congratulations. You look sensational!

  58. Jody - Fit at 54

    So excited for you!!! YES, it definitely is stepping outside the comfort zone!!!! I was scared you know what when I did my bodybuilding one. I did it a second year & was done. Had my fill! ;)

    I think in the gym I step outside the comfort zone at times & did a lot more when I was younger. I think I need to do a bit more of that in my old age BUT not pushing myself to get too crazy! ;-)

    HUGE CONGRATS! It is hard stuff!

    1. Laura

      I bet you were incredible I’d love to build up to doing Physique one day.

      Thank you again for everything – your encouragement was a huge help. :)

  59. Tamara

    Way to go Laura! Can’t wait to follow your journey to the next show!

  60. Purely Twins

    congrats girl!! you look amazing!

  61. Miss Polkadot

    Wow, that’s awesome, Laura! All of your efforts and perseverance paid out in the end! I’m so impressed by you.

  62. Brittany

    AMAZING PHYSIQUE!!! Good job!! :D

  63. Allie

    This is awesome! You put so much hard work into this endeavor and it turned out great! I’m really, really happy for you!

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Allie! :)

  64. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    So amazing, lady! Congrats!

  65. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    Great job girl!! I’m so proud of you!! :)

  66. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    Oh my goshhhh, congrats on placing!!!! I knew you would! You rock, and you were so on point with your diet and your muscles look GREAT from the pics you’ve been posting anyway. Woohoo! I’m so very proud of you! You looked great (even extremely tan lol) and I love that pic of you with the hair done and your eyelashes all long and curled up :) You look beautiful and I’m looking forward to more posts!

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Kammie! Those eyelashes were crazy!

  67. Meister, Running While Smiling


  68. Choc Chip Uru

    I am so so proud of you my friend, you look insanely awesome :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  69. Fran@BCDC

    Excellent, Laura! I’m so proud of you!! You look great and the spray tan story makes me laugh. I could Never do that!! What fun, no compared to you…Nothing exciting happened this past weekend! Hooray for you!!

    1. Laura

      Haha – you’d be surprised at what you can do once you’re shoved into the moment. ;) Thank you so much!

  70. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    Holy shit, Laura! I’m so friggen happy for you. You did it! Congratulations! Sorry, I got a little excited and decided to keep the curse word in for added ooomph. :)

    1. Laura

      LOL! I had to go back a re-read to find the curse word. I’m a fellow sailor.. ;)

  71. Holly

    Fabulous! Congratulations again! (Can you tell I read these posts backwards?) BTW, your bikini is awesome.

    I used to be a nude art model – sometimes I’d pose with a guy – so I can totally sympathize with being naked in a cold room with a bunch of people staring at you. :)

    1. Laura

      A nude model?! I’m impressed!

  72. Life's a Bowl

    You are so freaking AWESOME!!! WOO HOO, congrats girly!!!

    And mad props to you for the nakey tanning :P I would have been a giggly 10-year-old girl the whole time!

    1. Laura

      LOL! That was almost harder than the competition. :)

  73. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    You Go Girl!!! Hard work pays off! Couldn’t happen to a better person.

    1. Laura

      Thank you SO much! :)

  74. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    Sorry for such a belated congratulations, but I am so impressed by your dedication to this! You are awesome. :)

  75. Runblondie26

    Wow, have to say again how incredible you look! You were lean before, but it’s pretty amazing how much muscle mass you put on. Congrats on your award!

    1. Laura

      I’m hoping to put on a lot more! Thank you again. :)

  76. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit

    Wow, way to go! So happy for you and glad you enjoyed it. Although man, I’m not sure I could do the whole tanning thing – 20 women? All naked? In front of fans? Ah!

    1. Laura

      It was not on my list of things to do in life… but the worst was the cold!

  77. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Sorry I’m a little late my friend…been running around like crazy. But I’m so stoked for you that you placed 4th!!! What a tremendous accomplishment and such a great feeling to know that all you worked paid off. Keep on trucking!

    1. Laura

      I was wondering where your commentary on my bikini pics was. LOL! Thank you, Glut! :)

  78. Kelly@Chow-Daily

    Just got a chance to check out how you did last weekend, congratulations! Thats awesome that you placed in your very first competition ever! I really loved the color of your bathing suit, definitely a better choice than the dark green ones some of the other girls were wearing. Must have been an awesome feeling! The last time I stepped outside of my comfort zone was when I started CrossFit- never had I lifted a weight or done a squat before, and the first few classes were quite intimidating!

    1. Laura

      Thank you!

      Totally understand about CrossFit. I did it for 3 week and was so nervous with every new move!

  79. Hannah

    Oh you fabulous woman you!! I’ve been away from the blogworld for a bit lately, and so looked forward to catching up on your blog. YOU’RE AMAZING!!! WHEEEEE!!!!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I’ve been slammed too… missed you!

  80. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    Obviously I’m embarrassingly behind in blog-reading, but CONGRATS! You are amazing and inspirational! <3

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much!! :)

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