Eating can be a complicated lifestyle if you are a competitive body builder.
Stacey Rogers, a Squamish RCMP officer, competed in the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic natural body building competition on Nov. 6. She spent nine months training, and a lot of her training focused on diet.
"My diet is such a lifestyle," Rogers said. "I eat clean 24/7, so no donuts for me."
She was also working out once or twice a day for hours at Club Flex in Squamish to build up her muscle tone, and she was doing two hours of cardio a day. The training didn't get really tough until there was only three months left until the competition, and Rogers gained a new appreciation for bodybuilding.
"People call it a sport, but I hadn't considered it a sport until the three months before the show," she said.
The Sandra Wickham Fall Classic was Rogers' first show. She competed in the lightweight body building class - which means she had to weigh in under 114.5 pounds. Rogers snuck under the cutoff at 114.3 pounds. If she hadn't, she would have been bumped to the middleweight category.
"I would have been the smallest of the middle category."
The competition had two parts. In the morning, she performed a series of mandatory poses to show of her muscle and figure, and in the evening she got to have a little more fun.
"It's a 90-second routine to music, and you're allowed flashy bathing suits."
The fall classic is an untested show, so the athletes aren't tested for drug use. Rogers, who is a natural body builder, said some of other participants could have been using drugs.
"To be a natural body builder in an untested show is tough," she said.
Although Rogers placed fourth out of four participants, she considers the show a success. "I nailed my routine," she said. "Initially, I was disappointed, but walking off, I was grinning ear to ear. I was pleased it went well."
Rogers is training for the World Natural Sports Organization Regional Qualifier in April. She's aiming to participate in the novice middleweight category.
"I'm hoping to put on a couple more pounds in just muscle."
If she places at the top three in either category, she'll qualify for the Fame Expo in Toronto in June.
"If I come in looking like that, I have a good chance of getting third," Rogers said. "It should be OK."
The intense training can be hard on an athlete's body. After the competition, Rogers was dehydrated, and sometimes bodies need a break.
"Realistically, four shows in a year are a lot. Your body has to recoup and build back up."
Roger became really involved with working out when she was posted in Mackenzie.
"When I got posted up north I wasn't too happy, and gained some weight," she said. She started going to the gym and doing cardio because there weren't any team sports to play, and she had always enjoyed them in the past.
"I kind of picked up the gym thing. It became my sport," Rogers said. She ended up losing weight and came to a realization.
"I kind of got it into my head that skinny wasn't the best thing," she said, noting it was better to be in shape and healthy. Then about 10 months ago, she saw a body building show and decided she had to try it.