Road to the 2013 Ms. Figure International

Ava Cowan beings her prep for the 2013 Ms. Figure International in Columbus, Ohio

December 31, 2012
Road to the 2013 Ms. Figure International

I sure hope all of you are enjoying some down time this holiday season. Without question this is a very special time of year, and I must say, a whole new winter experience for me. This is my first Christmas living in New York... and I am finally learning some tricks for staying warm. Of course that entails buying all new clothing with sleeves, and fleece and boots. All a first for me! Silly side note, I have learned to never wear sneakers outside on the way to the gym. There was no handbook however after being frozen to the bone. On my long drives back and forth to the gym, I told myself there has to be a better way. One of many "Aha" moments I had was to just wear boots and change into the sneakers at the gym. The icy cold, wet air penetrates through the porous material of the shoes, and can be extremely chilly. The boots do the trick, along with the many new items I have recently added to my wardrobe.

Today marks nine weeks out from the Ms. Figure International. I am beginning to feel the pressure of pulling it all together. The hair (OMG the hair! LOL), the suit, posing and, of course, the more pressing issue of losing the added holiday body fat. Those extra pounds just seemed to appear overnight! And as I am sure many of you are intimately aware of those extra pounds that seem to accumulate so effortlessly, it takes weeks to get them off.

Even though I’m a competitor, I am in no way unique from everyone else. I can get full very easily. Some off seasons I add on more pounds than others, but my busy travel schedule was an issue for me this winter. It didn't have to be, I could have worked a little harder to eat healthier, but I was exhausted and had days when I just didn't want to think about being careful. That's Real Talk, I am not going to lie and tell you I love starving and that I add in a few extra almonds when I go crazy.... that statement alone is just crazy! In the past, I have been heavier this many weeks out from a show, but I have also been leaner. With that said, there are no days where training or cardio can be missed. Not one, and there certainly is no room for extra added calories this go around. Yes, it kind of feels nerve-wracking, but I've done it before and I will do it again.

As of now, it's go time, and because I am going through a transition professionally, I know that now more than ever I must stay focused on the task at hand. And that focus must only be on today's work and nothing else. Competing gives me distinct direction, and I really need that direction right now.

True to form, I am making moves and working day in and day out which I have no doubt will lead me exactly where I am supposed to be. I will not entertain fear or doubt, I simply won't do it. My mantra today is, "I CAN and I WILL."

I say it over and over in my mind, all throughout my workouts if necessary.

On that note, it's time to eat and get to work.

Happy New Year! I am ready to make this the best year yet!

IFBB Figure Pro Ava Cowan