Let me begin with how this all began. How all I wanted to do was prove to everyone I could do another show. How I wanted to walk on stage again for the third time with a smile and flash of my accomplishment of a 12 week prep. However, this time was different. This time I was so much further and ready for the show. I was at a great starting weight 135lbs about. I was lean enough to still enjoy food and not have to put my body through a major shock. I was so excited to hear these words exit Andrew’s mouth. He said it with a smile and so much encouragement that I was so pumped to start this journey again with him.
I met Andrew in December of 2015. I was referred to him by a friend and immediately was interested to hear his thoughts about foods and shows. When we started I weighed almost 150. I didn’t consider myself fat, but I definitely wasn’t in shape. I met with Andrew and told him I wanted to compete. I told him I wanted to do a show and compete in the figure category. That was it. That was my goal. Stand on stage and be a figure competitor. Oh, how I was so far from knowing the real goal.
To fast forward a bit, I did my figure show. I weighed in about 123-122lbs and had my body percent down to 9-10% as needed. I stood on stage with my big smile, tan body, toned muscles, fake eyelashes, padded boobs, uncomfortable shoes, and showed my 12 week accomplishment off to judges. I was so happy to finally see light at the end of the tunnel, I missed the journey itself. I missed so much because all I saw, was the one day I stood next to 4-10 other girls, and was judged by all the things I lacked, not the things I had gained, changed, and accomplished.
I went into Andrew’s a week after my show telling him how good I did feel. How it was the best I ever looked and how it was SO MUCH FUN. However, I thought about it and was it fun? Was that day fun? Was having glue to my ass and oil all over me fun? Was getting on stage with very little water, depleted, and SO TIRED fun? No. It wasn’t. You know what was fun? Eating. Enjoying the taste of food. Knowing what a carb did to me. Knowing what protein did to me. Knowing that not all fats are bad for you. I think my most favorite thing was the reverse diet. I was able to sit down and eat a sandwich knowing I was still hitting my macros and I wasn’t losing my mind. I was able to have a glass of wine and manipulate my diet so it fit into my macros. I WAS ABLE TO LOVE FOOD AGAIN.
As months went on, I still followed the reverse diet. I ate more carbs than what I started with. I did less cardio, and I lifted like a boss! I had an older gentleman come up to me and say, “You’re playing with the big boy weights now,” and I still only weighed 135-138lbs.
Let’s fast forward to January 2017. It’s time to start prep again. I sat down with Andrew again weighing a good 135lbs and him saying, “you’re ahead of the game.” Awesome. Perfect. Yes! Ahead of the game. Feeling so incredibly good and ready to go. I picked my show April 15. Had everything planned out. My meals, my workouts, my life. I thought I had my life planned out and nothing would get in my way.
Well, I guess I forgot to introduce myself a bit. My name is Jaime Hildebrand. I am a graduate student currently, living on my own, obtaining my masters, and working full time with Mental Health Clients. I have my shit together for the most part… I think. Well, there are speed bumps in life, and sometimes, we adjust our sails to follow the route. Life happens sometimes and no one can always be 100% prepared.
Ok, now that you know that, let’s get back to the story. I am chugging along with life. I am killing workouts, and enjoying my diet, and smiling in the gym, because I like who I am again. I like seeing heavy weights being pushed off of my chest. I like sweating and pushing myself harder and harder day in and out. I like planning my entire day around the gym to make sure “my time” is met.
“Jaime you’re ahead of the game” is all I kept seeing in the mirror. My strength and happiness is all I kept seeing in front of the mirror… being ahead of the game who I saw. I finally was enjoying the journey. I saw my strength. I saw my happiness. I saw my imperfections that judges would tear apart. I loved who I was and who I was becoming. At that moment, my heart wasn’t in the show for the right reasons. I liked who I was right then, and I wasn’t going to like or love the girl on stage. I hate heels. I can’t walk in them sober. I hate fake eyelashes. They hurt my eyes. I hate caked on makeup, BECAUSE IT’S FAKE. And last, good gosh, that tan? No. I like natural. I like wearing flat shoes. I like putting some makeup on and smiling because I feel comfortable in my skin. I don’t need to smile with some fake tan on and padded boobs because I have none and don’t want fake ones. I looked at myself ahead of the game and I loved who I was. I didn’t need anything fake added to me. I didn’t need anyone telling me I wasn’t perfect. I will never be perfect.
In high school, all I wanted to be was skinny. All I wanted to do was eat two times a day and be pretty. Then my face started breaking out. I lost my butt and chest. I had ZERO muscle and I was gross looking. Now. I have muscles. I have vascularity. I have fat. I am not perfect, but I am happy. I didn’t need to get on stage in heels, fake lashes, fake boobs, stick my ass out, and fake smile. I needed to enjoy the journey of being physically strong and loving my body for the first time. I needed to love food and all it provides for my body.
So, 3 weeks out, I crashed my car. I wrecked it. I blew a tire, and damaged it so bad that the repairs were going to take my entire tax return. I planned on using my tax return to compete. I sat in the car as I waited for my mom and I thought. It was a Thursday night. I was seeing Andrew on Friday morning and all I thought about was this isn’t worth it anymore. I would have to dip into my savings for a show. I would have to take out about $600 for an entire show. The hotel, the spray tan, the categories, the card that is required for that organization, the gas, the food, the booze, the enjoyment to celebrate after 12 weeks of hell for one day. I was already happy. I already accomplished what I wanted. I am a well rounded independent woman who cooks and preps and goes to the gym and lifts heavy freaking weights by herself. I don’t need 7 judges looking at my ass telling me I could have done more squats or lunges. I needed myself to smile in the mirror and enjoy the person looking back. I have one person to thank for that. That person is Andrew Wade. Andrew made me love food again. Andrew made me love the person I am fully capable of being for the first time. Andrew showed me that a show, isn’t all I have to offer. I have my story and words to offer. I have my results and happiness to offer. I have my journey not only to reflect on myself but to offer to others. I have me to offer others to realize that anything can be accomplished. I never could do a pull up by myself. Now, I can do 10. All I want, is to keep growing, and to let others know that there is a jouney out there for all of us. It takes one step in a directions, many routes, and faith to trust the process. Andrew, I can’t thank you enough for pointing me into a direction that has changed my life and I will never forget. I want to be strong. I just want to live up the journey and enjoy the steps of the many routes.
Thank you Andrew.