Say What?

Whenever I tell people that I am training to compete in a bodybuilding competition, I get one of two reactions:

a)    complete confusion, a furrowed brow, and a slight dropping of the jaw
b)    a huge smile, congratulatory hug, and enthusiasm.

There hasn’t really been a middle of the road reaction so far.

Since there are so many questions, I thought I would interview myself to give you some answers.

So…why are you doing this?

Now that’s a loaded question! In a lot of ways, it’s a picture of who I am; determined, focused, out of the ordinary, and somewhat surprising. I have tried many different sports over the years and none of them have inspired me as much as weight lifting and seeing results based solely on my performance.

I am bad at team sports.  Perhaps it’s because I have never really understood the strategy of plays or how to make a zone defense work.  Just ask my Ultimate Frisbee teammates.  I think if they could be completely honest, they would say, “She tries hard, but mostly ends up running around like the field like a chicken with her head cut off.”

Something about it just ‘clicks’ with me.  I have always liked being a bit different than everyone else.  Perhaps it comes from growing up with a name like Donloree.

What is a Figure Competition anyways?

It is a competition that is in between the standard heavy bodybuilding and a Ms. Fit competition. I will be judged on ‘toned muscularity, relative leanness, overall symmetry, facial beauty, stage presence, poise, elegance and an overall fit look.”

The INBF Canada website says, “The INBF is looking to reward women who have fit, toned physiques, yet who are not necessarily proficient in gymnastics or another performance art.”  This is good news for me.  Could you imagine if I was required to complete a routine and NOT fall over or do something ridiculous?

I am pretty sure the quarter turns and ‘relaxed’ post will be hard enough!

More information at the INBF Canada website.

What does your diet and exercise regime look like?

Honestly, it looks complicated.  I would love to say that it’s easy and anyone could do it, but it’s a lot of work and takes a ton of focus.

In order to prepare for the competition I train 7 days a week.  5 days are weight lifting days where I focus on one body part (for instance, tomorrow is shoulder day) and then I have 1 hour of cardio.  On the other two days I just do an hour of cardio.

I also play on an Ultimate Frisbee team on Thursday nights (Go Disc in a Box!), go for evening walks, and do cross country races when I can.

Eating is probably the most critical part of this journey.  I cycle through low, medium, and high carb days to keep my metabolism high and re-feed my muscles.  This means I count every single calorie, fat, protein, and carb that goes in my mouth.  There is no

I also eat in an 8-hour window to promote fat loss, which is called intermittent fasting.

See?  I told you it was complicated.  This is why you will usually find me with a purse full of containers of food!

How do you stay motivated?

I keep my past successes handy when I feel like quitting. People that can’t remember what being successful feels like tend to give up, so I remember how it felt to cross the finish line of my first race, swish my first basket while playing college basketball, endure a triathlon, and complete an 80km bike ride.

Exhilarated, inspired, on top of the world, and invincible are a few of the ways that I felt. I want to feel like that every day.  If I give up, I feel disappointed, discouraged, and insignificant. In light of that, the choice to keep going is easy.

Most importantly, I am doing this for me.  Because I love a challenge and know I can do anything I put my mind to…even if it involves slathering myself with a fake tan and gluing a bikini on!

Don’t you miss lattes, pastries, and chocolate?

You would think all I want to do is cram a cream filled almond croissant from The Duchess in my face, but I really don’t.  And it’s not because they aren’t fabulous…because they are.

I don’t miss the food that I am not eating; I miss the socialization that comes with the food.  Unfortunately many activities revolve around food and so many people aren’t comfortable with me eating food I brought along rather than the food they have prepared.  Nor is it socially acceptable to bring your own meal out for dinner at a restaurant and only order a diet coke, so I find myself missing out on good times with fabulous people more often than I would like

So if I come to your house and pull 5 Tupperware containers filled with random food from my purse and don’t eat ‘just a little bite of brownie’ please don’t be offended.  I like you, and my refusal to eat your food is not a reflection of how I feel about you

What is your favorite part of training?

Doing things I have never done before and be inspired to do even more! I love being able to pull off 5 chin-ups in a row, whip off 10 military pushups, touch my toes with ease, and know that if required I could carry someone to safety.

Being healthy and full of life is the best feeling in the world; even better than a fabulous pair of shoes.  And if you know me at all, you know that’s saying a lot.

What other questions do you have?  

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  1. No question Donloree, just a comment… As always you inspire me to be a better me!!

  2. Lisi Monro says

    Hey Donloree – I really like your comment about the social sacrifices you generally need to make in order to keep up with an eating plan like yours – I don’t think many people realize just how many of our social activities revolve around eating out!

  3. I too agree with your comments on the social sacrifices needed… I run into this more with wanting to save money. So many of my friends just go out to eat– and after having to decline often, I begin to think if they really understand that I want to hang out – but to do so and buy food works against financial goals.

  4. This is my fav line: “I like you, and my refusal to eat your food is not a reflection of how I feel about you.” So many people take offense to me bringing my own food or not eating food they’ve prepared. Over the years, my friends have gotten used to my “weird” eating habits and now don’t think twice about me pulling a baggie full of almonds out of my purse at a restaurant.

    And you’re so on point about the reactions people give when you tell them you compete. It’s either one extreme or the other! 🙂

    • I am totally going to use that line! Thanks. Most of my friends are used to me pulling food out of my purse now. It’s just the people that I don’t usually eat with or see that often. That’s when things tend to go off the rails. 🙂


  1. […] working towards a Figure Competition hidden.  I was scared to tell people what I was doing because I feared their reactions. My dream was fragile and I was afraid to have people laugh at it or doubt me.  There were signs […]

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