JULY 17, 2017 — Spray tan, tiny sequin bikini, makeup, nails and hair done. The hunger, the exhaustion and the weeks of training all came together for one moment under the lights. Showtime.
REALTOR® Amanda Westrheim embraced this rigorous lifestyle to achieve victory over body and mind as she forged herself into a warrior figure. She said the pains and gains were worth it when she finally took the stage at her first competition.
“Bodybuilding is so much more than lifting weights and dieting,” said Westrheim, who competed in her first competition this past weekend. “You learn things about yourself you never knew. You push yourself not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.”
Women like Westrheim have proven bodybuilding competitions no longer belong exclusively to the men, as more and more women have embraced the essence of these competitions. Across the country, bodybuilding competitions have continued to expand figure and physique categories to include the new generation of female competitors who desire more than just a bikini contest.
“Many girls start in bikini [competition] but find they can build the muscle necessary for the figure competition, and they enjoy the difference it makes,” said Westrheim, who aimed for the figure category for her first competition.
More Women Embrace Bodybuilding
This newer generation of bodybuilders has harnessed the power of social media in their search for inspiration for self-improvement. A quick search across social media sites produced countless selfies of fit moms, run-time snapshots, and motivational pics all focused upon building self-confidence through fitness.
For Westrheim, she wanted more than self-improvement -- she wanted the sense of accomplishment attainable only through discipline and rigorous training.
“You hear all the time about people who start training to compete and end up quitting after months of hard work. I wanted to push myself to not be one of those people,” she said. “My main goal was to, at the end of the day, be able to look in the mirror and say I did everything I was supposed to. I pushed myself to the max.”
As she sits in her Century 21 office it's clear that Amanda is no stranger to winning awards, trophies and accolades. She has her entire office decorated with them. Now she has one more to add to the ledge behind her - and this time, not for her work in real estate.
And she proved the sacrifice and discipline paid off when she won second place at the 2017 Northern Classic in Fort St. John, June 17. The win qualified her to compete at the provincial level Vancouver Pro Show July 8/9, 2017.
Focusing on Success
While preparing for the competition, Westrheim’s life amongst her booming real state career and recent reality TV show filiming, became a regularly scheduled program of gym, eat, laundry, chores, sleep. Everything had a time slot in the day.
“I had to make a routine and stick to it 100 percent, no matter what,” she said about preparing for the competition. “If I stuck to it, I was good. Focus. Focus. Focus.”
At first, Westrheim said, she found the strict diet and routine a little disheartening, but her coach and family helped her find balance.
“I had a coach that was there to make sure I was doing everything I needed to be doing at the right time, the right way,” she said. “He made sure I was staying healthy and taking care of my body throughout the transformation.
“I received a lot of criticism,” Westrheim continued. “My relationships suffered. I missed a lot of functions and social engagements, had to give up drinking (and if you know Amanda, wine is one of her many passions, and she’s currently registered for a Sommelier Diploma this fall at Okanagan College).” Along with the diet and working out comes an emotional roller coaster.
Westrheim attributes her decision to compete to her childhood sports and upbringing. She had always been athletic, competing in equestrian show jumping and ski racing, but her competitive spirit hungered for a new challenge when she began her weight loss transformation in on February 21, 2015 at her peak weight of over 200lbs.
“Being physically fit is a huge part of self esteem,” she said. “Preparing for this competition, although it is a different type of physical fitness than what other sports require, proves if you work hard at it and don’t give up on yourself, you can accomplish anything.”
She has since begun preparing mentally, physically and emotionally for her next competition, scheduled July 8th.
Westrheim said she has learned a lot of about herself, her friends & family, and the cost of commitment to bodybuilding. This experience, she said, helped to shape her perspective on using a single mental focus to overcome physical limitations and pushing away the fear of failure to see how much she has accomplished.
Because regardless of the outcome in any competition, she said, “…it is not about where you place or if you win…this is about how far you have come.”
Still at the top of her priorities though, remains her real estate business that she says is her #1 passion above all. “Helping people buy or sell, with a great experience, and sharing in that joy of a new home or a big sales profit – that’s what I was born to do”. Says Westrheim.