What a difference a year makes. Or eight months, as the case may be.
Since deciding in January to try her hand at competitive bodybuilding, Whitehorse Monique “Nicki” Dery has been building muscle and getting results.
The eight months of strenuous work has culminated in a top-10 finish at the 2012 Canadian Bodybuilding Federation’s Bikini, Figure, Fitness & Elite Men’s Body Building Championships in New Westminster, B.C., last weekend.
Dery placed ninth out of 18 competitors in the Figure E division.
“That places me in the top-10 in Canada – I’m absolutely ecstatic about that,” said Dery. “I had tears in my eyes after the morning pre-judge because it was so positive and I felt I did really well.
“It’s my first year! I didn’t know what to expect, how I was going to do. I was just so happy and amazed.”
Dery is no stranger to bodybuilding. She has been weight and cardio training for five years, but it was just over the Christmas holidays when she decided to push it to the next level.
“That’s when I decided to hit the meal plan hard, get a trainer and did it right to the full extent,” said Dery. “I’ve always tried to aim for a healthy, active lifestyle. Personally I like to be strong, mentally, physically; I like to be a strong person.”
The decision to go competitive stemmed from compliments people made about her outstanding physique.
“It got to a point where I had so many people coming up to me. This was over a few years and they started to notice I was putting on mass, muscle, and people started to admire and appreciate the hard work I was doing. I had a lot of suggestions: ‘You should try your luck at bodybuilding competitively.’
“I hemmed and hawed about that for a long time … there were a lot of things I really had to think about.”
Dery kick started her competitive career in May at the Western Canadian Bodybuilding and Fitness Show in Kelowna, B.C., taking third.
Her performance at the westerns earned Dery a berth into the B.C. championships in June in New Westminster, flexing her way to fifth.
Winning hardware and placing well is nice, but there’s more to it than that, said Dery. It’s also about challenging herself – getting up early to do cardio, even when she’d prefer to sleep in, for example.
In fact, the decision to go competitive is, in itself, motivating. After making the decision, Dery had a specific goal in which to work towards.
“It made me train harder,” said Dery. “It made everything that much more interesting, made my training sessions more fun, and I had an end goal. So I had something to aim and strive for.
“Essentially it’s a competition against yourself,” she added. “You set your mind to it and you follow through with it.”
After taking a well-deserved break, Dery will be working toward becoming a certified fitness trainers. Of course, she will soon be back in the gym preparing for next year and possibly the international competitive scene.
“Getting my IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilders) card is the ultimate goal,” said Dery. “But that’s going to take some time.”
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