Annie Cooper - Bikini Competitor

I was running track and field in college and would go to the college campus gym to lift in between practices. I was very lean due to running nearly 8 miles per day, and one of my friends told me to enter the bikini competition in 3 weeks! So, I quickly bought a suit, heels, and adjusted my diet slightly and competed. I placed dead last!

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My diet is very similar on and off season. I love eating healthy and I love making my own meals! I go out to eat a bit more off season, but I will typically have most of the same meals, just more of it. I try to not go overboard after a competition, and I try to maintain a lean look year round!
Competition diets that have failed before have been 100% strict clean eating. It was so hard for me to follow that after 2-3 weeks I would binge! I would also constantly crave foods that I believed I couldn't have and I was miserable! I now follow flexible dieting and can make different meals each day if I choose. I have prepped with doughnuts on my meal plan before, as well as nightly banana french toast! Game changer.

I think over time as I gained experience in the sport, my confidence was also increased. Not gonna lie I felt extremely awkward on stage the first 2 shows, but once I got the posing down and knew my look was my best, I felt confident and ready to show it off.

I love running so I always incorporate that into my training when I can. I love beach runs, so I try to do that often too. I don't do much cardio on prep, it makes me hungrier. I do about 4-5 days of lifting splitting up different body parts! My sessions are not very long either, just 30-45 min. I keep it fast-paced and moderately heavy! If I over exercise, then I will over eat...simple as that. You can't do TOO much or your body will be fighting against you.

The show prep that I did the time before my last was one of the hardest preps I've ever done, as I was starting off at a higher body fat than normal. After prejudging I had a burger, fries and a cookie. Before finals, the backstage area was filled with macaroons, cupcakes, pizza, and doughnuts. For some reason about an hour before I went on stage I ate 3 cookies, a cupcake, and 2 slices of pizza. I was so full that I didn't want to go back on stage for finals. I felt so uncomfortable! haha!

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Being an athlete basically is your life. I've done sports my entire life, though, so it almost seems natural. Training, eating, sleeping, and working becomes the norm. It's awesome always having something to look forward to and an inner motivation to push yourself even harder than before! Athletes crave competition.

Future goals: Well...I just graduated, so who knows! I'm not sure of my future plans! Sports will always be there for me though. I definitely will compete again, but I would like to get back into running, and work on business ideas!


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