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!



  1. says

    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???

  2. says

    Such great work Laura! Way to go 😀

    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 😛

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

    • Laura says

      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…

  6. says

    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

  7. says

    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….

  8. says

    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?

    • Laura says

      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!

  9. says

    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?

  10. says

    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.

  11. says

    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!!

  12. says

    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 :)

  13. says

    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!

  14. says

    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!

  15. Randi says

    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!!

  16. says

    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!!

  17. says

    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. 😀

    • Laura says

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

  18. says

    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! 😉

  19. says

    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

  20. says

    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…

  21. says

    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! :)

  22. says

    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.

  23. says

    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!

  24. says

    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!

  25. Amelia says

    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.

  26. says

    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!

  27. says

    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!

  28. says

    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!

  29. says

    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!

  30. says

    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! 😉

  31. says

    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 :)

  32. says

    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. […] we already have dinner reservations at a great restaurant downtown. In case you didn’t remember, Laura and Lisa (the instigators behind this whole competition) are flying in to compete in the show with […]

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