How’s it going ladies and gents! Today I am excited to share my client and friend, Ashley Mitcham’s 30 week Figure Prep Journey. Ashley has always struggled with weight issues, bad relationships with foods and bad coaching. I have had the pleasure of working with Ashley for 2 years and one of her goals was to always step on stage and compete. From day 1 I told her she has a ton of potential. I think when she heard those words from me it really resonated and sparked a huge fire inside her and she flourished all around!
With some structure, education, guidance, science, and accountability I knew Ashley would thrive! So I set her up using flexible dieting for her daily nutrition, programmed her a properly periodized strength training protocol, strategically implemented cardio throughout her 30 week dieting phase, and she ended up doing very well placing 3rd in her class in her very first NPC Figure competition in San Diego, CA! This was the first of many competitions to come for Ashley and all she needed was someone to believe in her and her work ethic.
Waist circumference 30 inches
Waist circumference 25.5 inches
I like to show these stats because too often I see misleading information about weight loss or contest prep success stories. The moral of Ashley’s story is she lost a significant amount of body fat, maintained lean body mass, and never had to deprive herself from foods she enjoyed during her prep. Ideally I would have wanted her to start her prep with a higher calorie intake so I wouldn’t have to go so low but her heart was set on the show and she nailed it regardless! Ashley accomplished her goals without making her life miserable and was very content with her first overall prep experience and plans to compete again in the future.
I am extremely proud of Ashley and it’s been an honor coaching her and being a part of her journey.
See what Ashley has to say about her 30 week Prep Journey …
I think I started my fitness journey where most people do: I was tired, overweight, out of shape, and had very poor self-confidence. I knew I needed to change something but had no idea where to so start. I started following women on instagram who competed in shows and was struck by not only their physiques, but also their confidence and poise. I found a (different) coach on instagram and immediately signed up with big dreams and aspirations of finally “getting skinny” and having a body to be envied. My coach at the time started me on a cookie cutter diet of chicken breast, veggies, tons of cardio, hours of weight training, and one cheat meal a week. The weight started to come off fairly quickly, but my relationship with food took a turn for the worse. I found myself over indulging for my “cheat meals” and becoming obsessed with my body image in a very unhealthy manor. My coach was impossible to work with. He never returned my emails, never gave positive critiques, and made me feel like I was just another source of income for him and not a valued person with real goals and feeling. I stopped checking in with my coach and started to eat everything in sight. The weight slowly crept back up, and my goals went out the window. Funny thing is, I never terminated our professional relationship. He never checked back in to see what happened, where I went, or even if I was interested in continuing working with him. He just disappeared. After my weight started to rise, I panicked and immediately decided I wanted to compete to change my outlook on my body image (wrong move). I consulted with a local coach in San Diego who took one look at me (literally made me stand up and do a spin) and laughed at me. To my face. He said competing would take months of minimal weight lifting with high amount of cardio with a very low caloric intake to get me to the stage. I felt completely hopeless and questioned my once driven attitude all together.
This is where the story gets good: I found Eric! A girl that I followed on instagram openly talked about her improved relationship with food, muscle and strength increase in the gym, and overall complete satisfaction with her coach from “dynamic duo training.” I emailed Eric and thought, “well a consultation couldn’t hurt”. From the second he called me I knew something was very different about the way he did business. We talked for 10 minutes about my goals, fears, strengths, and weakness. He answered every question I had and told me he would be glad to help me reach my goals and beyond. And he did just that! I scaled back my major goal of competing to a smaller, more attainable short-term goal. He introduced me to flexible dieting and a very do-able gym routine. Every exercise he gave me was followed by an instructional video on how to perform the exercises. The weight started to come off and I was still eating all the foods I loved! I fell in love with my gym routine as my strength got better and better. I set new records for myself every week and blew them out of the water. My self-confidence soared and my physique reflected it. As with every fitness journey there were bumps in the road and mistakes made on my part, but Eric never left my side or gave up on me. He answered phone calls, texts, and emails every single time. He checked in with me and encouraged me when I had hard weeks. He responded to my questions within minutes. I felt like an actual person to him and not just a client.
When I told him I was ready to compete, his FIRST response was LET’S DO IT. He helped me set a realistic timeline and plan and we got to work! I cannot emphasize enough how supportive he was every single step of the way. I checked in with him twice a week, and several mini conversations during the week as well. If I messed up or missed a workout, we moved on. There were no “well I guess you don’t really want this” conversations because of COURSE I wanted this, but I’m human! He never made me feel like I was annoying him or taking up too much of his time. We would hit a wall or plateau, and my plan immediately changed to get me closer to my goal. Constant questions included “how do you feel mentally” “how are you balancing life and prep” “are you seeing the results you want”. I doubted myself all the way up to show day and Eric never doubted me for a second. He saw my drive and desire to accomplish my goal even when I didn’t. Peak week came, and checkins increased to 3 times a day. When I woke up on show day and looked at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t believe it. The girl that so many people doubted and one coach even LAUGHED at was now standing strong, confident, and at the finish line. I competed in my first figure competition with the body of my dreams.
Completing my prep and accomplishing my goal to compete would never have happened without Eric and DDT, I am sure of that. I have been with Eric for almost 2 years now and we are already setting more goals for the future, starting with a nice slow reverse diet to avoid post-show rebound. I have full intentions of staying with DDT with many more goals to better myself as a person, figure competitor, athlete, and more. Eric is not only my coach, but also a very valued friend. I am so glad the other coaches couldn’t see in me what Eric did, as joining DDT is the best decision I ever made for myself.