Why This Competition is Different

trainIt’s hard for me to believe that I’m already four weeks into my competition prep.  And, I’ll be honest.  There are many times I wanted to quit. Many.  For many different reasons.  But, unfortunately/fortunately, I let everyone know I was going to compete and I don’t want to be seen as a quitter. 

Preparing to compete is no easy venture.  When I competed from 2008-2010 I was worry free.  I was single and ready to mingle.  The main thing on my mind was competing and I went at it full force.  The main thing I had to worry about when I woke up in the morning was what color sports bra to wear to the gym.  My abs were cute, I was cute, I was on a mission.

Now, all of that has changed.  I am married.  I am a mother of a toddler. My priorities are completely different.  I wake up thinking about the activities my son and I are going to do together.  At night I can’t wait to spend quality time with my husband.  It sucks not to be able to eat dinner with them at night and eat the same things they do. We went on a vacation to DC for a week. While I cooked most of my food, I enjoyed two meals with husband. I’m so over chicken breasts.  I’m so over tilapia. 

The other thing that is different this time is the category I’ll be doing.  I LOVED competing in fitness.  The surge of energy doing a two minute routine is thrilling.  I actually started as a figure competitor.  That was cool too because I was able to build muscle, but not too much muscle.  But, now…… Now, I am a bikini competitor.  I remember when bikini first became a division and I thought very little about it.  Even now it’s my least favorite division, although it’s the most popular when it comes to numbers. I now must get on stage in an itsy witsy teeny weeny (I don’t know the color) bikini!

So, I’m just weeks away from my first post-marriage, post-pregnancy competition.  I had a major setback last week when I became sick with meningitis type symptoms.  I was in bed and out of commission for almost six days.  It sucked.  I didn’t eat like crap, I just didn’t eat.  But I learned it’s one of those things you either let hold you back or use as a comeback.  Mine is going to be a comeback baby.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  My good friend Larry Jackson is my trainer.  Some people think that could be weird, but it’s actually been a good thing.  He knows me and I trust him.  While I may call him and very briefly complain about eating tilapia three times a day, he know when he gets off the phone that I’ll eat it. He and his wife have fallen in love with the competition industry and I’m proud to be a part of his team.

So, please wish me luck and say a prayer that these next couple of weeks go as planned.  Pray my butt gets smaller and my smile gets wider.  Pray the judges say, “That’s one hot mama!” and award me first place. Now, off to eat some asparagus I go.

What in the World?!

My First Figure Competition (March 2008)

My First Figure Competition (March 2008)


I always told people that I would never do it again. I said that I didn’t miss it. I talked about how I enjoyed watching other people do it, just not me. Well, fast forward two years and I take everything I’ve said back.

I was sitting at home on my bed and this random thought came into my head. The voice yelled in my ear, “Michelle, you need to compete again!” I NEED TO WHAT?! Huh? Do you realize I just had a baby last year and that my body is no longer shaped the same? What?! Have you seen my mommy pooch or my ‘close to 40’ butt? Yikes!!! Do you know how much I value a nap? What in the world?

I then found my fingers reaching for my cell phone to see when the next local competition is. It’s 9.5 weeks away. Oh boy! I begin to wonder 1) where were these thoughts coming from and 2) who will think I’m crazy for wanting to do it and talk me out of it.

So, I first call my friend Larry Jackson who trains ladies to compete. His response was, “Let’s Do It!” He said to throw on a bikini and send him a picture. A bikini? Me? I used to rock a bikini with pride, but now they hide in the back of my closet. Whew. I told him I needed to pray about it and that I’d either send him a photo in my bathing suit or some random crazy picture to let him know my mind isn’t right.

I knew there was one person I could depend on to talk me off the competition ledge – my husband. He always talked about how he didn’t like it when I competed because I was no fun to be around when I lack carbs. Surely he doesn’t want Carbless Barbie Michelle laying next to him every night. I picked up the phone to call him. His response – “Go For It!” Say what?! Do what?! Huh?

Everyone around me was supporting my decision. I thought it would be cool to try to get in shape to compete. My body is in no way the shape it used to be and my muscle defiinition has decreased. I may have to enter bikini instead of figure (which bothers me) but it could be fun.

So ladies and gents, my goal is to compete in 9 weeks. I’m hoping to bring my abs out of hiding and tighten up my glutes. I know nutrition is going to be key and I’ll be using a meal plan and the Visalus products in addition to my workouts. Wish me luck and say a prayer – I sure do need them!

Soaring Above New Heights

 Soaring Above New Heights

Last weekend was a very emotional weekend for me. I traveled to Fort Benning, GA to watch my husband, Milton, graduate from Airborne School.  He’d already finished his JAG training and now needed to successfully complete five jumps to also have the title of Airborne Paratrooper.

The five jumps were supposed to happen Monday-Wednesday.  On Monday they met at 4:30am, each were carefully inspected and then they waited to see if the weather  would cooperate.  They couldn’t eat, sleep, use the bathroom or really even touch any body part.  If they, for example, touched their belt it could come loose and they would no longer be considered fully inspected.  SEVEN hours later, they realized the wind was not going to let up and Monday’s jumps were canceled.

Similar things happened on Tuesday.  So now I’m starting to think it will be another week before my babe is able to finally come home to me. Uggg!  Luckily, they were able to get in four jumps between Wednesday and Thursday and they saved their fifth and final jump for Friday (Graduation Day).  This was exciting because I would get to see Milton jump live!

Friday morning rolls around and there are 400 men/women that will be jumping.  Although Milton doesn’t know when he’ll jump, he asks me to record all of the jumpers.  This seemed like an impossible task but I tried to be a good wife and comply.  I recorded the first three jumps for Milton’s plane and saw the guys as they started running in.  Of course I was looking for a “dark” spot running in.  A couple ran past, one had different posture than Milton, another had a bigger booty and another was too short.  In the distance I saw someone that looked like Milton.  I looked at his helmet number, yelled out his name, and he waved back!  My baby was safe, successful and had accomplished an amazing feat!

I had a surprise for Milton by inviting his dad to attend.  Milton’s face lit up when they caught sight of each other.  It was even more meaningful when they asked for second generation paratroopers to come forward and Milton’s dad was able to pin his wings from back in the day on Milton.

After graduation we quickly left to head back home.  Nine hours later Milton walked around the house reminiscing on all the things in our house he missed.  It was his first time since July 3 that he was was home and not leaving in a couple of days.  He’s already started work at Legal Services in Fort Knox.  And I am overjoyed because my husband gets to be a husband and I get to be his wife. Milton became one of my heros last weekend and I was proud to be Mrs. Turner…. now if I can only get rid of this loud snoring habit he’s seemed to pick up! Lol!

Click the photo below to watch the video of Milton’s jump, landing and graduation!

December 2011

Army Life/JAG Wife?

JAG  Army Life/JAG Wife?

A lot of people don’t know a whole lot about my fiancé Milton and his background.  When he was in high school, he wanted to work in a hospital, but he was too young.  So, he volunteered.  Most weekends, he spent hours upon hours volunteering in the emergency room.  The doctors and nurses were so impressed by his work that at the end of his senior year, they offered to pay for his entire college experience if he graduated in four years or less.  And he did.  Although he thought he wanted a career in medicine, he soon found a passion for the law.

In May of last year, Milton graduated with a Masters Degree in Bioethics and a Law Degree.  With the recession, many of his law school buddies were not offered jobs.  Milton applied to various law firms and legal opportunities.  One of those was the US Army JAG Corps.  I didn’t know what that was, but after watching the tv show JAG and the movie “A Few Good Men” I now know they are the lawyers of the military.

Last April, he found out he was one of 100 people selected in the US for his class.  When he first told me about it, I was mad because I felt our relationship wouldn’t have time to grow if he was away.  We talked until 6:00am one morning about whether the relationship could work.  Luckily, though, his training didn’t start for 15 months after he was selected so we had plenty of quality time.

So, for most of our relationship I’ve had to contemplate being an Army wife and what this could mean for my own life.  Where would we live?  What would I do?  When would we have kids? The first step is Milton being gone for six months for training in both VA and GA.  I will definitely miss my new husband, but we will still get to see each other some.

Well, three weeks ago Milton got “The Email”.  That’s the email where he was given a list of about 25 places and told to select his top 8 in order for where he would like to serve/live his first two years.  Places like Hawaii and Europe were on the list.  So were places like the middle of nowhere.  We put our list together, emailed it in and hoped for the best.

They started notifying people of their post in order of their last name.  Milton is a “T”.  We read on their Facebook page as others talked about where they were going.  Most were receiving their 5th or 6th choice.  I got a little nervous, but hoped for the best – and then Milton got the call!

And guess what?  He got the #1 choice on our list!  So, after Milton does six months of training starting over the summer we’ll be headed for two years to _________________…..

Ahhh, I betcha want to know!  You’ll have to wait a little while longer to know where we’ll be because we are making the announcement at our wedding this weekend!  Wedding countdown – 2 days!

No Carbs No Clue

No Carbs, No Clue!

Sept09-2So I am once again getting ready for my next competition.   This one is the Fitness Nationals next weekend in New York City.  Still trying for that pro card so I can be a professional athlete.  I know it takes time and experience so I am trying to get as much exposure as possible.

Once again, the focus was getting my glutes down.  In other words, goodbye sexy black girl booty and hello cute white girl booty.  I wake up every morning, turn sideways and see if my curve has deflated any more.  I see the changes, but still have some way to go.  In order to try to decrease the fat faster, it was suggested that I give up all carbs every other day for the eight weeks I spend training.  When I say ALL carbs, I mean ALL carbs.  Carbs are the foods that give you energy.  They help keep you alert and moving.  Lack of carbs makes for lack of enthusiasm.  My bed/tv/and I have become very good friends. I’ve seen one too many Lifetime movies and re-runs of Project Runway and Real Housewives.

Lack of carbs also causes a lack of common sense.  One morning I was ready to take my supplements.  I opened the bottle.  Instead of pouring the supplements in my hand,   I poured the bottle of water in my hand.  (Not a good feeling first thing in the morning). I will ask you a question, get an answer and then ten minutes later not remember if I really asked the question or just thought about it.  Sarcasm is not allowed at a time like this.  Any jokes that I’d usually catch on it are now just not worth the effort in figuring out.

I miss my carbs oh so much.  A slice of supreme pizza for Za’s.  Some pasta from Macaroni Grill.  A burrito from Qdoba.  All the food from Dinner is Done.  Dessert from Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Kitchen.  Cheddar bisquits from Red Lobster.  Breakfast from anywhere.  Me and all of these foods will be reunited in just 10 days so I can be patient.

Just know, though, when you see people that are in great shape, there is a lot of sacrifice that comes with it.  I’ve missed a long of social gatherings either to rest or simply because all people there would be doing is eating.  I spend every morning doing cardio and every evening at the gym.  The way I look this week with 10% bodyfat is not the way I look throughout the year.  My weight is actually down to about 110 pounds, but by the time you see me at the end of the month (and after I stuff my face with the above mentioned foods) I would have probably gained at least 6-10 pounds back.

If you set a goal, you should dedicate yourself 100% to achieving that goal because you never know what blessings you could receive.  I’ll have that bag of Oreos real soon, but I have a fitness routine to rock out in NYC first!

M.Y. September 2009

Make 2009 Your Best Year Yet

“Make 2009 Your Best Year Yet!”

Jan09-1I started 2008 with the feeling that it was going to be a great year. Several goals were set and I sought out to achieve them.  The main one was the figure/fitness competitions.  I did not first start training until the end of January last year.  I dedicated my time, stayed focused and now have a mantle full of trophies from seven different competitions.  It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t ventured to try something new.

Although I didn’t travel as much as I’d prefer internationally, I was able to go to Washington DC, Cleveland, Charleston, Fayetteville, San Diego, Chapel Hill, Myrtle Beach and Baltimore.  I took my first hot air balloon ride here in Louisville.  It was an amazing, yet at times scary ride.   Both Louisville and Southern IN both look extremely different when you are floating across.  My vote was cast for the first Black president.  Barack the Ville, baby!

It was a blessing to see two of my closest friends give birth to adorable baby boys.  OnyxLouisville grew by leaps and bounds.  I received several honors for my dedication for the community and continued to keep the vision from my parents alive. New friends were made like Alexis Mack who showed me how two people can look to each other for strength in different ways.  Although she may see strength in me, I see so much more strength in her as I watch her raise her children while setting a remarkable example.

I experienced passion and pain, laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed.  I received flowers just because.  Gentlemen showed me that you can still be courted and I was able to realize that often times it is best to “just be friends”. There was the discovery for my love of taking photographs. Comedy shows, performances, sporting events and parties were all places where I could be found.  I even walked the cat walk twice in fashion shows and graced the pages of several local publications.

Somewhere between all of those things I enjoyed sleeping, watching Grey’s Anatomy, dancing to my favorite music in my living room, pigging out right after a competition, googling any and everything, catching up with lost friends while saying goodbye at the funeral of others, expanding my dress closet, and taking time to pray at the end of each day for all the blessings that occurred.

If 2008 was a struggle for you, make this your year of change.  Think about the things you’d like to accomplish and don’t let anyone hold you back.  Make 09 your time to shine!

My jingle for the year will be – ”This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (in 09).  This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (in 09).  This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! In 09, let it shine, in 09!!

M.Y.  January 2009