New Year’s Resolutions – 2015

Happy New Year!  Every year on my birthday (February 2nd) I like to do scary things to challenge myself past my comfort zones.  Since my birthday is so close to New Years, I feel like it’s a two-for one. Here are my 2015 resolutions (and my big secret):

Compete in the Arnold Amateur this March!

The Arnold Amateur is a huge event started eight years ago by none other than the Austrian Oak himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  To do the top bodybuilding and figure divisions, you have to qualify by finishing in the top five at an NPC national event…but for the bikini division it’s open to everyone!

Here's my application fee
Here’s my application fee

Now, I know entering a bodybuilding competition isn’t new for me and all of my birthday scare/New Year’s resolutions have been new things (like jumping out of a plane or pole dancing) but since my mother is going through chemo right now I can’t really dedicate time to learning a new skill.  The Arnold Amateur is, however, pushing me outside my comfort zone and here’s why:

  • There is no “masters” division in the bikini competition, which means I will be standing on stage next to women literally half my age who have never birthed any babies.
  • There is a lot of media coverage at the event, so if I’m not up to par the pictures will be preserved forever.
  • I’m at the heaviest weight I’ve been at the 12 weeks out before starting a competition.  (Before my first competition I had already lost 25 lbs. in the months before the official show prep.)  So, starting heavier is kind of freaking me out.  What if I don’t get in shape in time?  And do I really want another picture like this one (back when I photobombed Arnold at a fundraiser when I was between pregnancies)?

    Lisa Traugott and Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Lisa Traugott and Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008

Why am I doing this?

When my mom got diagnosed with advanced lung cancer this summer, I fell back into a trap of emotional eating, even though I had lost all the weight and kept it off successfully for two years.  I quit the women’s bodybuilding team I was on and started gaining weight.

Exercising on my own with no real goal was not working for me.  When my seven-year-old daughter, Rylee, said to me around Halloween, “Mommy, you’re starting to look like you did before going to 24 Hour Fitness,” I knew I had to set a big goal to snap myself out of it, not only for my sake, but to set a good example for my kids too.  #DreamBig

In November I sent in my application to the Arnold Amateur, knowing it was a long shot that I would get selected, and met with a new trainer, Robin Johnson.  I told him that I had applied and saw the look in his eye that said, “You’re not ready…” but before he could speak I interrupted with, “Let the people from Arnold tell me no.  In the meantime, I just need something to look forward to and a reason to train.”

hospital-ivA few days later, after a long chemo session, my mom went into the hospital with pneumonia.  Her fever was high, I was afraid she might not make it.  My nerves were frayed and I was eating chocolate bars from the emergency room vending machine.  Finally, after a long night my mom’s fever broke.  Then my phone buzzed with an email from the Arnold promoter:

I was in!!!

From that moment on things got better.  I started jumping up and down in the hospital saying, “I’m in the Arnold!  I’m in the Arnold!” and my mom, who is 76 and doesn’t totally understand why I love bodybuilding said, “I guess this is a good thing, right? What’s the Arnold?” I laughed.

I also threw away the candy bar and texted my new trainer.

“I’m in!  Guess I have to follow my meal plan for real, huh?”

And he texted back, “Yup.  Time to get serious.  Let’s do this.”

Which leads me to my next resolution:

Make YouTube videos of the show prep process.

There are a lot of women out there who don’t understand or even know bodybuilding for women exists, but might be curious about what it’s like to train for a bikini competition.  Also, most of the movies out there (Pumping Iron, Generation Iron, etc.) focus on male bodybuilders who are at the top of their game.  I want to show you what it’s like to start from the bottom.  My book is like a Rocky for Moms.  This video series will be kind of like a Pumping Iron if Arnold was played by Tina Fey, or, you know, me.  Tina Fey is probably busy, but I’m available. 😉

Available at
Available at

I will show you what it’s like to meal plan, to lift as heavy as you can with a trainer, and practice posing in 5″ heels while being a mom, caregiver and small business owner.  (Or, if you’re more of a reader, you could just buy my book, She’s Losing It! available at  It talks about how I lost 50 lbs. by entering a bodybuilding competition at age 38.  That’s an option too…)

My hope is that by making these videos women will want to enter a local show and see for themselves how much their body (and psyche) can improve via bodybuilding.  My other hope is that by entering this contest I will have something positive to focus on to stop myself from emotional eating.

My prayer is that my mother will be able to see me on stage.

Those are my Birthday Scare/New Year’s Resolutions goals.  How about you?  What are your goals?

Lisa 😉

Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.

Click here to buy your copy of: “She’s Losing It!”

Available at (c) 2012-2015 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

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