Petra Mace - Bikini Competitor

Iíve always been an active person. I danced for the Young Canadians and cheered for a CFL and NLL team for a few years. After that, I needed something to keep me active, so I started weight lifting at my neighbourhood gym. It had always been a small thought of mine to compete, but I didnít think much of it. At my gym, I noticed a poster of one of the other members who was a nationally qualified competitor, and my Husband actually reached out to her to gain some insight into the competition world. I sat down with her and discussed some questions. It was then she referred me to her coach and I began the process of my first prep, shortly after returning from my honeymoon in Europe.

It's never easy, but always worth it. 2 days before @canadianbodybuildingfed Nationals 2017. Felt amazing thanks to @seeyoulaterleaner even though that was my 3rd peak weak in 4 weeks. Always have been and always will remain a natural athlete ???? Although my goals are ever-changing, my effort and drive stay the same. Always on ?? #RestDayFeels

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I tend to stick to the same foods so that I donít complicate things, although the amount of food changes from on to off-season. My preferred method of dieting is counting macros. I find that it allows me to be flexible with my diet while still keeping on track. At first I was very surprised at how much I needed to eat to build and sustain muscle, but now I enjoy every meal and eat to fuel my body. Counting macros is the only style of prep I have tried and I love it so much that I would be hesitant to try anything else. Iíve found that method so intriguing and itís fun to play around with numbers to hit your target. Plus, it allows you to incorporate some foods into your day, should you be craving them. That way, you avoid binging on food that you donít need.

I train 6 days a week, and make sure I take a rest day, as thatís important in itself. I lift heavy most of the time, unless Iím doing a ton of reps, and I usually o 4-5 days a week of steady state cardio. Diet, in my opinion, is the most challenging part of the prep.

Self-confidence: Like I mentioned earlier, Iíve always been one to be in front of a crowd. As a Young Canadian, you dance in front of 80 000 people a night at the Calgary Stampede. Same with the football and lacrosse games, just on a smaller scale. But Iíve always been comfortable around others and I try to use that time on stage to shine.

My last show was the 2017 Canadian Nationals. It was my third peak week in 4 weeks as I did regionals, then provincials and finally Nationals. I always try to remain calm and just focused on myself as thatís all I can control. Iím usually pretty quiet backstage, listening to music and picturing myself on stage. It was a rush of emotions, but Iím thrilled to say I won first place in my height category and am now a Canadian National Champion in my first season of competing.

Life as an athlete: Itís a ton of fun, itís also very demanding. My social life has taken a big hit because I typically donít eat out much. Thereís a lot of pressure to keep everyone in the ďknowĒ on social media as well. To me, itís much more mentally demanding than physically. But I love this sport and I love seeing small changes n my body all the time. It makes it all worth it. Plus my Husband is a retired professional football player, so now I get to be the athlete of the house.

Future plans: Maybe a few more shows, then likely planning to start a family with my Husband. Although I love competing, I know thereís much more to life than competitions and Iím excited and looking forward to starting that phase in my life. I feel so grateful for all of my recent success, and I hope I can show others that anything is possible if you put the time and hard work in.


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