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In The Spot Light: Carmela

  • January 9, 2019
Name:Carmela Casella
Age:34
Category:Bikini Open
Competition:CPA Presidents Cup
Placing: 5th
16 Weeks Before & After Photos!

1. What was your goal for the competition? 

My main goal was to get through it to the end without quitting and to get up on that stage at the end. I have always been afraid of public speaking and of being in a spotlight so I was terrified!

2. What was the most memorable moment of prep?

My most memorable moment was strutting out onto the stage during the second category, no nerves running through me, completely confident and nailing my posing. I truly never believed I would be able to do that.

3. How did you feel during your prep for stage?

There were a lot of ups and downs as can be expected when you are pushing your limits, but for the most part, I felt more confident. With every week that I nailed my prep and as the results presented themselves, I just felt proud of myself. There were many positives during my prep that empowered me and made me believe in myself more and that transferred over big time into work and my personal life.  

4. Did you have a moment of weakness? If so, when and why? 

Halloween was a doozy! I was surrounded by treats all day long at my office and I was at four weeks out so my sweets-cravings had really kicked in. I had brought in chopped up veggies to munch on but they didn’t compare to the thought of all the candies and chocolates in my line of vision! I had to talk myself out of cheating a few times by telling myself that all the goodies in the world were not worth sabotaging my goals and everything I had worked for, and while the treats would still be there after Halloween, the opportunity to compete may not be.

5. What was it like backstage? 

Cold! I cannot stress enough to bring a blanket and cozy clothes. It’s also a bit hectic…The night before, another competitor had told me to stick to myself and not get distracted by the other girls and their nervous energy back stage and while she was right (it was pretty crazy back there), I loved meeting all the other girls and hearing about their experiences in prep. Your family and friends get kind of tired hearing about your egg whites and fish diet and how you’re feeling all the time, but back-stage everyone has their own experiences and transformations to share and it was fun for me to hear where everyone was coming from!

6. What was your favorite food?

All the nut butters! I ate some weird food combos during prep that I’ll likely never eat again (mustard on chicken) but one thing I really love even now is putting a little almond butter on my egg whites… 

7. What was your least Favourite food?

WHITE FISH

8. On the day, what did it feel like getting ready & stepping on stage? 

So loved and excited! The night before I was all nerves and even had a tiny cry in my hotel room but that morning when I saw my boyfriend and sister and all the texts and messages rolling in, I just felt so excited that I would finally be doing the thing I’d wanted to do forever, and that I had so much love behind me.

9. Was it everything you expected?

It was everything and more than I expected! I had no idea that in doing a competition, I would come out a mentally stronger, less anxious and happier person. 

10. How did it feel to be apart of Team Bunny & have Jill Bunny as your coach?

Having Jill as my coach gave me all the reassurance and relief that I was doing everything I needed to do to bring my best and get the results I wanted in the gym and with my nutrition. I’ve been training on my own for the last four years but always felt a little unsure if I was on the right track in the gym and doing the right things to hit the right muscle groups for my goals. Especially with my diet, I always considered myself a healthy person who made smart choices in the kitchen but I never saw any progress there. Within the first two weeks on Jill’s plan, I started to see very noticeable results, my digestion improved and my skin started to glow. I also felt more confident in the gym, knowing I was in the hands of someone who really knows there stuff. Mentally, it alleviated a lot of anxiety for me and I was able to focus and train better instead of worrying and letting doubts get in the way. Being a Fit Bunny was a total game changer for me.

On a more personal level, I am so grateful I had the opportunity to have Jill as my coach. As someone who has always struggled with the afore-mentioned anxiety, self-doubt and periods of low self-esteem, I struggled through periods of prep where I wanted to give up because I was terrified of failing and disappointing others and myself. She really and truly believed in me and made it clear-as-day that she would never steer me wrong and she had my best interests at heart. I remember texting her at 6:30 a.m. (from the Stairmaster haha) after a posing coach had told me that I wasn’t going to be ready for the competition in time, and that my physique wasn’t where it needed to me AND, get this… had I considered other, less natural measures to get the results I needed? Of course at just 5 weeks out and wanting to make sure I was ready in time, I panicked a bit. I was feeling worried and upset having heard that from a “pro”. But Jill responded to me right away, reassured me that we were on the right path, talked me through it and followed it up with a call that same weekend, walking me through the rest of prep plans, indicating that no matter what I decided (to defer or keep going), she would support me no matter what. I kept going and I did so happily, healthy and all natural, knowing I was well supported with an amazing coach behind me. I’m so very glad I did because my show day physique was exactly as I had pictured it to be, and most importantly, I felt happy and healthy

11. When you were finished your competition, what did you do to celebrate?

First, I ate the giant Reese’s Piece’s cookie I had been eyeing all show day…That sucker went down in seconds! Then, my boyfriend took me out for a steak, potatoes and Crème Brule (yum!). In a few days’ time, we are also going to Mexico for a week to continue celebrating and for some much needed relaxation!

12. What are your plans for the future… another competition???

I cannot wait to compete again! I have fallen in love with this, from prep to stage day, every moment of this journey only made me want to keep going. I hope to do 1-2 shows in 2019 with more of a focus on my stage presence and posing.

13. Why did you decide to compete?

I’m not naturally a competitive person but having a goal to work towards and doing something that made me feel stronger and more confident in all aspects of my life was really appealing to me. I know that a lot of people do competitions as a bucket-list experience or to prove to someone who told them they couldn’t, that they could. But, I wanted to prove to MYSELF that I could. For as long as I can remember, I didn’t believe in myself, always my own naysayer. I didn’t belong up there on a stage and there was no way I would ever have the determination, will-power and work ethic to get there. But, a fire was lit in me one day and I knew that I could. With continued support from my boyfriend and Jill, I was able to see that my dream could become a reality… and on show day, I stood up on the stage and I proved to myself that I could in fact achieve anything for myself. 

14. If there was one piece of advice you would give to another competitor or someone looking to compete, what would it be? 

Invest in a good coach whose values on health and fitness align with yours (I know a good one :p). Competing is tough, both mentally and physically but with the guidance of someone who actually cares about your well-being, who understands nutrition and the mind-body connection, it can be really enjoyable and rewarding as you learn about yourself and your body.  Through prep, I learned a lot about how to better manage stress and anxiety and how to let go of control. I’m certain that if I hadn’t had the support that I did, I could have been lead down a more negative path and perhaps may have given up. Ensure you have the right team of support on your side, whether it be a fitness pro or your spouse/family/ friends… Proper guidance and support are the key to success in prep!

5th Place CPA Presidents cup
@carmela.forza