Nov 11

Kentucky Muscle Weekend

Body building has no finish line.


This is both inspiring and frustrating.

You work every day – like all goals in life – to be better than you were the day before.  This past weekend’s competition, Kentucky Muscle, was the biggest one I’ve ever done.  I didn’t place in the Top 5 (I came in 6th)… and while I knew I probably wouldn’t it was still a little disappointing.

Not going to lie… the “trophy” was a sword, and that just made me want to place more.  Who doesn’t want a sword to display at home?!

Kentucky Muscle pre-show


What I am proud of is how I’ve progressed since my last show.  This time around I had made gains and, more importantly, I felt better than I ever had before.  This morning of the show I felt centered, confident, and ready to get one stage with my best package yet.

On stage, I wasn’t as uncomfortable as I’d been in the past.  My posing still isn’t the best, but it’s better.  I am confident enough to walk out with a smile, know I’m not going to fall over in my stripper heels, and look directly at each and every judge while I move through each pose (that part is maybe the hardest!).

Kentucky Muscle


Back stage was also fun.  I met some new friends and had time to hang out with my House of Payne teammates.  It’s a crowded space, but everyone made the best of it; I’m continually amazed by how kind other competitors are.  I bummed rice cakes (which I’d forgotten) and goofed off with the girls in my class as we lined up to get on stage.  I almost had them convinced to enter the stage doing the “walk like an egyptian” dance. ;)

You may recognize my partner-in-crime, Lisa, from my last show and birthday trip to Napa.  Hannah, the blonde in the picture below, won overall Physique!

Backstage at Kentucky Muscle


The best part is always the meal afterwards.  We didn’t finish until almost midnight, but that didn’t stop our group from heading to a local late-night pizza spot.  See the pizza on the top right below?  I ate the entire thing.  With a Kentucky bourbon barrel beer.  And a peanut butter Oreo (which are fantastic, btw).

My trainer and I stopped at a local brunch sport, Toast, on the way out of town for one final indulgence before I got back on the wagon foe next weekend’s show.  We split some #yolkporn served on toasted brioche with harissa hot sauce and bacon, and a fantastically decadent bread pudding pancake served with a blend of warm rum raisin syrup and Irish crème sauce.  Sugar coma heaven.

pizza and brunch


Last, but certainly not least, I was especially excited to see Brittany!  She lives nearby and came to hang out between after pre-judging and for the night show.  Seeing one of my favorite Blends made the waiting game so much easier.  She is hilarious and kept my trainer and I laughing the entire time.

Thank you, Brittany!!!  I can’t tell you how much seeing a familiar face helps!

Me and Brittany


I’ll do a longer recap after next week’s Colorado show.  I spent the few hours after I got home grocery shopping and meal prepping to make it through a crazy week of work, workouts, and travel.  Lisa and I are headed to compete with the lovely Heather in her bikini debut at the end of the week!

I hope you all have a marvelous start to the week!



That’s the short and sweet recap… I’m about to fall asleep.  Thank you all so much for the tweets, texts, comments on last week’s posts (I swear I’ll catch up one day), Facebook, and Instagram.  It meant the world!

Do you view your goals as a progression, or is there a finish line?

What would be your “treat” food of choice after something like this?  Heather just texted me with an amazing food idea for next weekend… woo hoo!



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  1. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta

    Congratulations! Nice job Laura. You look amazing, and we all know how hard you’ve been working to get where you are. Good luck next week too. It will be fun to see Heather in her first competition too.

  2. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    You look amazing Laura and you have so much to be proud of. I love that you felt so confident out there which is a testament to all your hard work. I’m really excited for you and Heather and your competition next week!

  3. Jenny @ simply be me

    Congrats! And good luck next week!

  4. Lucie@FitSwissChick

    Girl , you look amazing and we are all so proud of you!! Show off that hard work!! Great job!!!!
    I don’t think goals have a finish line, but they change. Even during the process, goals can change and I think that’s the best thing to actually reagh it – to be flexible and adapt goals to your circumstances and lifestyle.
    Ps. Rum Raisin syrup???! Who do I need to pay to get this???

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I totally agree with you on goals… so important to remember we can adjust our course, too!

  5. Mitchell

    Such great work Laura! Way to go :D

    Even if you didn’t place top five, the confidence you developed this time round will see you top three next time like BOSS ;) And I would have been a little taken aback had you NOT finished that whole pizza, it was too well earned :P

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Mitchell! The confidence improvement is what I’m most proud of this season. :)

  6. Sue

    Great job! You’ve made some amazing progress!
    My treat meal would definitely include chocolate. Always.

    1. Laura

      Chocolate for sure – goes without saying. ;)

      Thank you!

  7. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Soooo proud of you Laura- and merit for looking at what you’ve achieved since the last one in contrast to this one! Having followed this second round of prep ‘with you’ the personal and physical gains have been more than evident, and you continue to inspire (and perspire).

    Can’t wait to see how you and Heather go next weekend- that pizza and the brioche…faceplant.

    1. Laura

      Thank you, my friend! I’ve also improved my twerking. :)

  8. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    You look amazing Laura! You have gained a lot of mass and definition. I definitely think of goals as progression rather than a finish line. It’s frustrating at times but it’s what keeps us going. Good luck with this week!

  9. Natasha

    This is so inspirational!!! Your hard work and dedication definitely paid off because you obviously made a huge amount of progress, and that is a huge feat :)
    You look absolutely stunning :) Seriously very motivating!!!!

    And your treat meals…holy cow!! I would probably have to be rolled out of a restaurant, but after a competition pizza with basil pesto somehow incorporated would be on the menu…
    Oh and brie…LOTS and lots of brie (with white, simple carb crackers…yum). Maybe apple pie for dessert. I’d probably just rather have more pizza though

    Have a great week!

    1. Laura

      Natasha, thank you SO much! I was fun, but I’m looking forward to growing more next year.

      How about apple AND brie hand pies? Mmmmm…

  10. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

    Wow you look incredible what an amazing achievement on competing and all the progress you have made :)

    That pizza looks amazing too and very very much deserved.

    Look forward to hear how you go next weekend.

  11. Tess Moore


  12. Court Star @ StarSystemz

    Laura, you look AMAZING, like seriously you should be proud of the dedication and hard workouts you put yourself through, you are inspiration to not only me but this community! I am sure that pizza was much deserved and even more friggin delish <333 Love your way! xo C

    1. Laura

      You are so sweet – thank you!!! This community (and YOU) inspires me daily.

  13. Miz

    I swear you are simply awesome.
    I did a fitness competition ONCE and body building a few times.
    if only Id had your focus and tenacity….

    1. Laura

      I’m just a glutton for punishment. ;)

  14. Linz @ Itz Linz

    you look FANTASTIC!

  15. lindsay

    i’m so proud of you! i wish i could come bring you balls to celebrate.. i mean bites. hehe. Now, rest up and prep for next week. Is the asparagus ready?

  16. Jess

    Congratulations! You look fab and like you really enjoyed yourself, which is very important!!!

  17. Amanda @runtothefinish

    So proud of you for all the work you do to promote this sport in a healthy way and to really love what you are doing. Fingers crossed for the next competition!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Amanda! Heather and I keep saying that it’s so funny people think you have to go hungry to compete… we’re always stuffed!

  18. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    I’m so proud of you girl!!! SO thankful I got to see you!
    …. if only Lindsay knew her balls were talked about…. bahaha!

  19. Lee

    Great job, Laura! You look awesome. I would probably go for pizza too after an event like that. Did you feel sick after eating it, after what you’ve been eating during training?

    1. Laura

      Surprisingly, no! Mexican made me sick after my first competition though.

  20. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    You look AMAZING! But regardless of appearance, your journey and outlook is truly inspiring. Love reading Sprint 2 the Table and I’m working on stepping up my strange but good game :)

    1. Laura

      Amy, thank you so much!!! Here’s to being strange but good. ;)

  21. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Congrats lady! So, so proud of you – you did fabulously! While I’d be tempted to dive facefirst into a pizza after something like that, Mexican is always my first choice – so maybe some enchiladas followed by a dive into ice cream? Ya, that sounds good to me.

  22. Parita @ myinnershakti

    So proud of you, Laura! :) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you are an inspiration to all!

  23. RavieNomNoms

    You should be SO proud of yourself!! I am!

  24. Jody - Fit at 55

    Laura – SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!! I know how hard this is so really takes a lot to prepare, eat right, diet & compete – a long process that most do not understand unless you have done it. I see the gains!!! Really great! The “girls” look amazing too! ;)

    You are a winner just for doing this!!

    1. Laura

      LOL! Thanks, Jody. All the compliments they received made me laugh.

  25. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List

    how FUN that you’re going to compete with Heather?!?! I had no clue! Cheering you guys on!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Lindsay! It was SO much fun to watch her. :)

  26. Allie

    Wow! Look at you!! Great job Laura! No matter what place you came in (and even if you could have won a sword), you should be really proud of yourself and your hard work!

    I love your post comp. eats! YUM :)

  27. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Progression. Almost always progression. Even after a race, that’s not a final goal for me either. It just keeps going. And pizza is my treat! Can’t wait to hear more about the comp.

    1. Laura

      Progression is the ultimate motivator!

  28. Kristina

    it’s All Asparagus All The Time now, right? :)

    you look fantastic, and while we all wish you won a sword (how cool!), knowing you are more confident and have progressed this much is even better! so happy for and proud of you!

  29. Stacy @ Stacy Eats

    Great job, you look awesome! Pizza would have totally been my indulgence too. :)

    I didn’t know you and Heather are competing together this weekend – so exciting!

  30. Jessica

    You look amazing! Good luck next week! Safe travels!!

  31. Liana@RunToMunch

    Looking great!

    I find myself in a constant training with no desire for a finish line!

    As for reward food? Hmm, maybe pizza since I don’t eat it too often. Or better yet, Chinese take out! So good!

    1. Laura

      Chinese take out?! LOL! I love it. :)

  32. Randi

    had such a great time chatting with you! good luck in Denver!
    and I had a craving for turkey, cheese and bacon sandwich from Subway after the show…and hate 2 of em! needed my bread and salty!!

    1. Laura

      It was so great to meet you too! Can’t wait to hang out in Jan!

  33. Davida @ The Healthy Maven

    You look awesome but regardless of looks, your commitment to training and overall health is truly admirable. You know how much I love your blog :)

    And I would crush a pizza too!

    1. Laura

      Thank you so, so much Davida!

  34. Tina @ Best Body Fitness

    I have a friend who has always done that show and from what I’ve heard it’s tough competition. Way to go on 6th!!! That’s awesome. And another one coming up, which I’m sure you’ll do awesome in as well. :)

    1. Laura

      Thank you! It was tough, but a motivating experience!

  35. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I get to hang out with you in just over two days!! That almost makes up for my boring food, lack of aminos, and no coffee. Lucky for you, I get coffee on Thursday morning, so I’ll be a little more fun to be around. :) I can’t believe the show is THIS WEEKEND!!

  36. Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff

    Don’t stress. You look great and you made improvements so that’s what really counts right? Not a number based on someone else’s opinion! Good job! Be proud of yourself! :)

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Lauren! That’s what I keep telling myself. :)

  37. Purelytwins

    congrats girl!!! you look amazing

  38. Bonnie

    Hard work, focus, dedication…you are such an example of all of this! Well done and although I totally get the bits of disappointment, I am so proud of you for seeing the progress and being happy about that! WELL DONE! And those meals looked gooood – glad you got a bit of that before your final show. :D

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Bonnie! Everyone wants to win, but just getting there is a victory itself. But next time, I want a damn sword. ;)

  39. She Rocks Fitness

    CONGRATS and yes you may not have achieved what you wanted, but I think it is more important as to how much you have gained and how much more confident you are. High-Fives! I would have eaten exactly what you ate…I am really good at eating pizza! ;)

  40. Hannah

    You are so incredible. Seriously, seriously, seriously. You look amazing and I can absolutely see more confidence in your face, and stance and soul in these photos. Awe-inspiring. If I could give you a glittery sword trophy this instant, I would, because you deserve it all. xo

    1. Laura

      Hannah, you are the sweetest. I’d take you up on that glittery sword. Or a cookie. ;)

  41. Missy

    Gosh you look beyond words amazing. Not just your body up there either it’s the whole attitude you project.
    Excellent progress this show (but dang it looks like perfection to me) and hey… from what I read here you truly enjoy and derive a great deal from the entire process so win/lose/frustration/asparagus…
    It really is all about the process. The Saturday mornings at the gym..etc.

    It makes me want to have a process of my own…

    1. Laura

      Missy, thank you! I do love the process. It’s a fun challenge!

  42. Hayley @ The Iron Maidens

    Love it! I know we have never met so this might sound odd but I really am proud of you! Takes so much guts to do something like this, put weeks and months of hard work in and then lay all out on the line in front of judges! You’re beyond awesome! And I know it’s by the by but you look FANTASTIC! Sending lots of luck and positive thoughts for your next comp in Colorado! Enjoy every minute! :)

    1. Laura

      Not odd at all! I’m proud of you with all your Tri-feats. :) Thank you!!!

  43. sonia the mexigarian

    You look great Laura! Strong , healthy and glowing! I know you work hard putting a lot of time and effort into this, and it shows! Wishing you the best of luck for Colorado!

    1. Laura

      Thank you!!! And good luck with your training – hope you have a better week!

  44. Holly

    You do look great, I just found your blog from the FFA post! I love your question, I think most people find their goals as the finish line, I use to, but now see them as a progression, I am continuously striving for more. I know I have a long way to go but I am always working towards reaching my goals and setting new ones.

    1. Laura

      Thanks for stopping over, Holly! I love your outlook – progressing is the motivator for me!

  45. Grubarazzi

    6th place is awesome! You are looking so strong, beautiful, and confident! Can’t wait to hear about next week.

  46. Annette@FitnessPerks

    CONGRATS!!! You look so so awesome!!

  47. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    You look so amazing!!! I love your attitude that you were better than you’ve ever been before. Very inspirational! I would definitely go for pizza (as you did), although I’d trade the beer for a glass of wine, and trade the Oreo for a scoop of ice cream :). CONGRATULATIONS!

  48. Elle

    Glad you are feeling confident and enjoying yourself so much.

  49. Kim

    Great job! Sorry you didn’t get a sword but you did awesome and look phenomenal!!

  50. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    You look awesome! This is the first time I’ve got a good look at “the girls” and they look awesome too ;) OMG and that’s the kinda food porn I’ve been waiting for. A whole pizza, beer and oreos sounds right up my alley!

    1. Laura

      LOL!!! Thank you. Here’s to a LOT more food porn. :)

  51. Amelia

    Girl, you are incredible, amazing, disciplined, and so inspirational. One thing I have always enjoyed about reading ANY post on your blog is that you are REAL and stay true to the person you are. I think you might be one of the few that can compete (in a healthy way) without developing an ED.
    I hope you are so proud of all of your accomplishments and hard work, even if you placed 6th. And, btw, when you posted bfast that you and your trainer were eating, I was drooling! You definitely know how to live it up!! :) Keep doing what makes you happy.

    1. Laura

      Amelia, that means so much to me. Thank you!!! Competing can(and should) be fun and healthy!

  52. Jess @ JessieBear

    I know it’s disappointing to not make the top 5 but you should be SUPER proud of yourself!!!

  53. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    You are incredible!! I’m so glad you felt more confident- you looked fantastic and what is all that hard work worth if you don’t go in proud and confident, right? So cool that you and Heather can compete together next week!

    1. Laura

      Thank you Laura! It was so much fun getting to be with Heather.

  54. Meg @ A Dash of Meg

    laura, my love, i hope you know how proud i am of you and how badly i wished i could be there <3

  55. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    Great fucking job. You’re a rock star. That is all.

    1. Laura

      Comment of the year. Thank you very fucking much.

  56. Sandra Laflamme

    Congratulations on making progress with your goals! While the goal of winning is always exciting it is the path and the smaller goals along the way that can sometimes be the most sweet! Keep up the good work!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Sandra! You are so right about the small victories. :)

  57. Taylor @ LiftingRevolution

    Incredible! you look amazing! I know how frustrating it is to “almost” getting the trophy but look at how great you look and at the hard work you put into it! This weekend you’re going to kill it in CO! Seriously, you almost make me want to try figure again!

    1. Laura

      Taylor, thank you! You should definitely try it again!!!

  58. janet @ the taste space

    Laura, I think you look incredible. To be honest, I have no idea how they judge these things because everyone looks great… although kind of fake with all that tan, but still all muscle. :)

  59. Lisa

    I can finally comment! Yay. MAJOR congrats Laura!!!! You look absolutely beautiful, amazing, and strong.
    And I’m very proud of the attitude you held up after the competition. You worked so hard and you deserve to feel AMAZING about yourself and all the you have accomplished, because you have accomplished a lot!
    I know you are inspiring tons of people out there!

    1. Laura

      Thank you Lisa!!! Your support has meant a LOT!

  60. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    I have to say I’m shocked there was no Awful Waffle! Shocked I tell you! Though I’m not sure Waffle House could have anything on that pancake porn up there! Holy smokes! Congrats on the placing…6th is nothing to scoff at! Omg, that would have been EPIC if you girls had done the Egyptian dance! And NOW I have that song in my head! Thaaaaaanks!

    Treat food of choice? Hmm, I don’t know where this came from, but I could really go for a cake donut right about now! Blueberry cake topped with some yolkporn! ;)

    1. Laura

      I know, I know… but OMG that pancakes was the jam. You would have died and gone to Pancake Queen heaven.

  61. Lauren @ ihadabiglunch

    Wow I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog! This is so inspiring. Congrats!!

    Plus all that food looks incredible…you just made me crave some pizza!

    My treat food would definitely be pizza or brunch too depending on the time of day. I’m a sucker for deep dish pizza or an omelet the size of my head with tons of cheese :)

    1. Laura

      Thank you Lauren!!! I appreciate you coming by and commenting. And your omelette wounds delish. ;)

  62. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige

    Laura, you look great!!! Sixth place is awesome – especially in such a big contest.
    GOOD luck this weekend :-) I’m hoping to come cheer on you and Heather!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Paige! We missed you in CO! Next time. :)

  63. Maria @ Little Miss Cornucopia

    I am so happy to see you following your dreams! You look absolutely incredible up on that stage! x

    1. Laura

      Maria, thank you so much for your kind words!

  64. Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

    You look amazing, I don’t care what the stupid judges told you!! I don’t think I will EVER be able to walk on a stage in a bikini with stripper heels on (I’d trip and face plant for SURE!).

    Much love and good for you for working so hard and placing!!

    Also I stinkin’ love your hair!! <3

    1. Laura

      The heels are definitely the worst part. I don’t know how strippers do it! ;)

      Thank you!

  65. Fran@BCDC

    Great job, Laura! And Yes…I would want a sword! Good luck in Colorado! Can’t wait to hear how you do!

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