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My time on stage, will I return?

In 2010 I opened my own fitness studio in Dubai and this opened up a whole new world for me. I had not only successfully set up a studio where I had an amazing crowd of people attending, whom became my family away from home. Located in the same building where i happened to also have an apartment was Target Gym owned by Anis Binous. A dungeon style gym filled with bodybuilding equipment and predominently at this stage full of men of great mass and lifting crazy amounts of weight. This is where I was introduced to the world of bodybuilding and my transition began.

I listened and learned from many people at Target Gym especially Anis whom I took personal training sessions. He helped me view things differently and the importance of diet and getting the workouts done regardless of anything else that happens. He was very blunt and no excuse was good enough, which actually helped me with my own clients. Accept clients excuses and that isn't going to get the desired result for both of you.

With business being very busy I was training hard however the time and discipline I needed to go for a show was never the "right time" or realistically top of my priority list. Which in hignsight is the case for most who wish to change and don't.

In the end of 2012 I made the decision to close my studio due to increasing rents with Dubai booming and profit margins being restricted by size of location. This was such a hard decision because of the community Fitness Beat Dubai had created. The positive that came from it was I decided to take time out for myself and worked towards my first fitness/figure show.

In late 2012 I had also met Andreia Brazier at an event set up by Glory Girls. This was an introduction, workout and meet and greet in a very casual setting. Andreia was the WBFF fitness Diva world champion. She was a name very much active in the competition circuit at that time and defintely someone I wanted to learn more from and more so her mindset. Once I had decided I was competing I took some group training and 1:1 training with Andreia and the sessions where great, however nothing really different from my training. The main change again was my diet and the harsh statement of hearing "still need more". A hard one to hear however a shot or how realistic I had to be to compete with others whom had trained hard and dieted and wanted this just as much as me. Compared to the average lifter in the gym yes I felt great and looked great however this was not enough for stage!

Andreia had a very different attitude... "if it isnt good for me I am not doing it". This was the type of mindset required in those final stages and totally against my usual urge to always help and sacrafice myself for others. A very important lesson I learned. Another quote that stayed with me was..."The only obstacle that is in your way is the one you put there!"

With 12-14 weeks of hard training and dieting, beauty regimes, practising my walk and poses, preparing my costumes and constructing my bikinis at the local tailors; I was ready for my first show. I had my first fitness photoshoot on the beach in dubai a few weeks before and people started to whisper as they saw me...I always take this a good sign i'm getting close haha.


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