No Plan B

Sometimes people ask me how I made it through my first bodybuilding show, considering I was middle aged, overweight and had never done anything remotely similar in the past.  My answer?

There Was No Plan B.

The before-during-after of my first competition
The before-during-after of my first competition

My plan, quite simply, was to enter the competition and transform my frumpy form into a bikini body.  At no time did I ever say to myself, “Well, if I’m not X weight by X date, then I’ll drop out.”  Although I asked myself (very seriously) on several occasions, “Why am I doing this?” failure was not going to happen.

I was a woman on a mission with no Plan B.

I think a lot of people get tripped up because they create so many back-up plans they’re not focused on making Plan A viable.

Having no clue about bodybuilding competitions (or nutrition, or weight lifting, posing, supplements, anything bodybuilding-related really) I teamed up with a personal trainer, told him my goal and followed his advice.  Mostly.  (I cheated on my diet a lot at first.)  The main point I’m making here is that I ensured that my Plan A would work. 

Standing with my first trainer, Daniel Rufini
Standing with my first trainer, Daniel Rufini

The wonderful thing about only having a Plan A is that when obstacles show up (as they always do) you become a creative problem solver because you have to.  Because God knows you don’t have a Plan B to fall back on.

Plan A should be fairly broad, that way you have flexibility for dealing with the details.  Originally, I wanted to enter the Texas Shredder, but since my start point was completely out of shape and that particular bikini competition was 8 weeks away, my trainer talked me into signing up for a later competition, 5 months away, so I could lose weight in a healthy timeframe.  This made sense to me, since Plan A was really about getting a bikini body and not to enter a particular show.

In my current fitness world, I’m getting kind of bored with just bikini competitions, which is why I wanted to do something over-the-top with a costume like wearing Victoria Secret wings.  I found out that to wear the wings in Las Vegas I would have to compete in two earlier competitions to qualify and honestly my body just needed a break from hardcore bodybuilding dieting, which is very strict.

I eat turkey meatballs while my kids have cotton candy
I ate turkey meatballs while my kids had cotton candy at Disneyland last year.

My family also wanted me to take a break during the summer so I could eat birthday cake and enjoy a vacation without eating turkey-vegetable meatballs and green beans from a Tupperware container.  So I asked myself if my true goal was just to wear wings and look so-so on stage 5 weeks from now, or to fully prepare and do a fitness model competition later in the year in Las Vegas?  Answer: Viva Las Vegas, baby!

Musclemania does a modelling competition in November in Las Vegas.  Each competitor is judged on three categories: Sports costume, bikini and cocktail dress.  Since this is for modelling, there is also a photo shoot with all the contestants at the pool.  The best part is that no modelling experience is necessary and it’s open for all ages.  You can also sign up for a photoshoot out there wearing whatever you want…and I’m all…did someone say wings?

To increase your commitment level to Plan A, it helps to put some skin in the game.  This is why I’m booking the plane tickets today.  It’s really hard to back out when you buy anything on Expedia.

How about you?  What is your Plan A?  Remember:Plan-A

  • Make your Plan A so over-the-top thrilling and exciting to you that you will want it to work out.  Is it to lose 50 lbs. before your class reunion so you can say, “In your face, Becky!”?  Is it to run your first Spartan Race?  Is it to join the local roller derby team when you’ve never skated before?  Let the “A” in Plan A stand for Awesome.
  • Partner with people who will push you towards your goal.  Left to my own devices I will “run” at speed 4.  When I do cardio with my friend, Obidia, she ensures I’m at speed 8.5 and will even get me to do speed 10 for the final 30 seconds.  A workout buddy can help.  Obviously, a personal trainer will help you meet your goals.  Sometimes even just writing about your journey on the social media platform of your choice is helpful.  Sometimes a random stranger will offer the words of encouragement I needed to keep going.
  • There is No Plan B.  When an obstacle comes up, find a creative solution to keep moving forward.  “I quit” does not exist.  “I can’t” is not an option.  Make Plan A work.

Whatever your fitness goal, go for it full speed ahead.  I’ll be blogging about the Road to Vegas for the next 16 weeks, further ensuring my dedication to making my own Plan A work.  Also, in the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some stories of people behind-the-scenes in the bodybuilding world: photographers, make-up artists and bikini designers to name a few.

Talk to you soon!

Lisa 🙂

P.S. – If you’re serious about getting healthy, but need help getting started, try my S.L.I. Method on my website  Only YOU can do the work, but I can give you the tools that I’ve learned over the past four years about nutrition, exercise and overcoming excuses.


Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!

Shes-losing-it-book-cover (c) 2012-2016 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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