Hello hello guys and dolls!
Let me introduce myself; my name is Gillian, and I am a 22yr old full-time student and training to be a bikini competitor.
I have a small blog on IrishMuscle.ie and will expand on it here, welcome to Student & the Gym!
So a little about my fitness history; I was into sports when I was younger, I enjoyed most things I tried, swimming, athletics and so on. But in my teenage years rowing was my sport of sport! I started out in Tribesmen Rowing Club when I was thirteen and trained and competed there for three years, achieving several national championships. I loved rowing but had to quit due to injury. I stopped all training and acted a bit wild for a few years… I had sporadic bouts of fitness, intentions of losing weight and getting “fit and healthy”, but always fell back into bad habits and never stuck with anything for more than a month of two.
But last spring when I took a good look at myself after yet another relapse into the bottom of the pack of cookies I finally had enough. I had had a good spurt of “well-being” that November and lost a little weight only to put on twice the amount I lost only month or two later! I was browsing online when I saw photos of fitness models, and Bikini Pros, Ana Delia and Nathalia Melo. I just thought to myself “I want that!”, now how do I get it?
So the research started, I was on every fitness website I could find looking up proper diet and nutrition and training. Bodybuilding.com was extremely important in my building knowledge, endless workouts, advice, diets, and supplementation. I built up a little notebook off information and when I returned to Galway in May of 2013 for the summer I started to work in Galway City Gym.
Using that gym in itself was a huge aid, there’s no-where like it in Ireland! There’s a real sense of community there, so many competitors under one roof, or just people living a fit life! I learned so much from the people in there, whether it was advice with training or even writing you up a diet. I really appreciate all the help I got from the people I met there, there’s one or two in particular, who I won’t embarrass by naming (but they know who they are) who I owe an extra big thank you to Going to the right gym makes all the difference, I know from talking to people that when they start getting into training their friends and family mightn’t be hugely supportive all the time, “you’re making us feel bad” is a big one I hear! Which is fair enough, I’ve felt it too, someone you used to share the pizza with has left you hanging to be fit and you feel bad having it on your own or that you’re not up running too… So it’s good to have people doing the same thing you do that you can talk to about it all so you yourself don’t feel so alone in it all, and your friends and family don’t have to hear about your new endeavours!
Now for the bodybuilding part… I was busy as a bee training away (kind of aimlessly really, I knew I wanted a 6-pack but that’s about it), and people kept asking me if I was going to compete, so after a while enough kept asking so I decided to look into it and about 10weeks out from Nationals in October started to prep. I didn’t know much about what was needed to get ready for competition but I sure got a crash course coming up to RIBBF! I was 4weeks out when I decided to step away from competition. There were a lot of factors contributing to my stepping back, I was still adjusting to the whole lifestyle, had moved back to Dublin for college, had a new job, trying to level the ground with friends who weren’t used to this new me, but then when my friend who had been a missing for a week was found dead I had enough. It was the right decision for me and I have no regrets. Gave me time to gather my thoughts, regroup and look forward to spring. I put on quite a bit of weight (after eating my feelings for 5weeks) and had some damage control to do… But I put the extra weight to work during my off season to make solids gains and fill out my physique.
And now here I am, 5weeks out from competition, feeling strong, healthy, and happy I’m currently juggling college (5days a week), my job (4days a week) and competition prep (7days a week), not to mention friends, family and a relationship. I’m not a personal trainer, I didn’t do a nutrition course, my course has nothing to do with health and fitness and my job most certainly does not either. I am a normal girl making time for something I feel very passionate about, if I can do it, really anybody can you won’t find the time, you just have to make it!
Thanks for reading!
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