Journey to the Stage 6

Tackling Stage Heels, Overcoming Fears

Journey to the Stage 6
Slowly, I am getting all the pieces together for the May 3rd “deadline.” I have rented a beautiful suit from one of my wonderful teammates, and my competition shoes arrived in the mail. The suit is the easy part. It is simply a high cut, bedazzled bikini—nothing that will make me feel too uncomfortable.

The 5-inch, clear plastic heels shoes, however, are a different story. Here is the problem: I don’t wear heels. Not even a little bit. Learning to walk in these shoes may be even harder than the nutrition plan, the lifting regimen, or any other aspect of this process. I will need to practice wearing and walking in these shoes everyday just to make it across that stage safely. If anything, I will have strong calves and ankles when this is all over.

Journey to the Stage 6I have been in a slump all week. After my 12-week check in with my coach, I was feeling great. I was down 3 pounds and .5% body fat—I was on my way! Then, reality set in. I know that to reach my goal weight for the competition (119 pounds), I need to lose .5 pounds each week. That isn’t a huge amount, but as I get smaller and smaller, the harder it will get to lose the weight. I know that I have a little less than 11 weeks to do it, and that is plenty of time. I know of all this in my head, however, I can’t help but worry. I’m finding it more difficult to push every workout as hard as I can. I second-guess myself after every workout. Did I run fast enough? How was my heart rate? Could I have lifted heavier? While I try to trust my instincts, worry and fear seem to creep in at every turn. How can I combat this? Honestly, I’m not quite sure.

I have to just remember that this is my first competition…my first experience in this world. I am not close with anyone that has done a competition before, and thus, I can’t learn from anyone else’s experiences. Yes, I have a team. Yes, I have a coach. They are all wonderful. But, I don’t have the same connection with them as I do with an old friend or family member. It is that connection that instills comfort and understanding in midst of the unknown. Without this type of stability, we can become filled with fear, self-doubt and anxiety. My goal is to take those negative emotions and transform them into motivation and fuel that will ignite the champion within me. Each day, I will need to be reminded of this. I will need to tell myself that I am worthy of this journey and that I will succeed. So, in short, my focus is to improve myself mentally, which in turn, will improve myself physically.

Journey to the Stage 6On a fun note, I came up with another competition-friendly recipe for my fellow fit foodies. Hope you enjoy it!


This recipe is classic Chinese comfort food. It is similar to porridge but with a savory twist. This dish is simple and nutritious. This dish is best served with a variety of toppings. Some of my favorites include: Shredded chicken breast, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, scallions, roasted eggplant, pickled chilies, the possibilities are endless.

1 cup short grain brown rice
8 cups water
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp fish sauce

Combine all ingredients in a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover pot. Simmer for roughly 3 hours, stirring occasionally. You will know the Congee is done when the consistency is similar to porridge.

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 116 calories | 1g fat | 25g carbs | 2g protein

Rachael Olkin

Rachael graduated from UCLA in December 2010 with a degree in International Development Studies. She is currently working towards admission to nursing school, where she hopes to obtain both a Bachelors of Science in Nursing as well as a Masters of Science in Nursing.

Rachael is also preparing for her first Figure competition and will share her journey along the way, including her goals, aspirations and struggles.

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Muscular Development