ASK HOPE....NPC Athlete Hope Taylor Answers ABFITT Reader Questions.

ASK HOPE....NPC Athlete Hope Taylor Answers Your Questions

1) Gale, Charleston South Carolina - Hope I was so inspired after reading your interview with ABFITT. What a whirlwind of accomplishment in such short period of time. How as a mother did you find the time to plan, focus and complete multiple contests?

Hi Gale! Thank you so very much for your kind words. You actually hit the nail on the head while asking your question. In efforts to accomplish 4 contests in five months a lot of planning and focus was involved.
I started my preparation for these shows in January about 20 weeks out. It gave me plenty of time to see how my body responded to certain training techniques and diet regiments. I worked with two coaches that kept me on track with the planning at that stage of the game and then continued on with what they taught me until the close of the season.
I tend to thrive with challenges and structure. I believe it energizes me to stay on track when I’m feeling great about my goals and the positivity that I saw both physically, but even more spiritually. It helped me to be an even more balanced mother, professional and athlete to push myself in this sort of way.
I completed my morning workout and cooking before my daughter even opened her eyes for the day. I got very creative with the time we shared outside of my career and gym obligations. I allowed her to pick special activities and trips we could do as rewards for time away a few nights a week at the gym and I usually worked out Saturday and Sunday since we had the majority of our day together. She never complained once and was a huge help with my prep. I encouraged her to be apart of it and at the very end we went out to eat at her favorite restaurants! She LOVED being an instrumental part of my prep, watching me compete and the fact that she could call her mommy a 3 time Bikini Champion! 

2) Anthony, Salt Lake City Utah - Any thought to tying for an IFBB pro card or competing on the WBFF stage? 

Hi Anthony! Sure, the thought of competing on a national stage has been a serious consideration for 2014. Although, I won’t compete in a national show unless I am confident I will place. I try to be extremely realistic with myself and my ability in the sport. I don’t want to waste my time, money or put my body through the stress of contest prep without a successful plan to win.
I’m still learning how my body responds to training and diet. Another tricky thing to learn is how to dry out for a show. I have it down to a science now, but that’s only because I’ve been through the process a few times and found what worked best for me.
I’m in the building phase of prepping for 2014 shows. My first show will be a very big one in May. Depending how I feel then I will map out the rest of the year.

3) Bonny, Dallas Texas - Hope can you describe a day of contest prep nutrition compared to your off season eating. Best wishes with your future plans.

Hi Bonny! Sure, absolutely and thank you for your well wishes. I love the support. Well on a typical day right now I still eat relatively clean. It’s the same diet with less focus on cutting to lean out. I enjoy 4 egg whites with one whole egg and 1 cup of oats for breakfast. Usually a protein shake in about 2-3 hrs. I have 4-6oz of turkey burger, 1/2 cup brown rice and a green veggie for lunch. A snack a few hours after will usually consist of natural peanut butter on unsalted rice cakes or 15 almonds in efforts to consume my healthy fats. Then I’ll have another shake. Dinner usually consists of the 4-6oz of protein and smaller portion of complex carbohydrates. During contest prep I will measure more precisely. I cut out the whole egg and go down to ¼ cups of oats with breakfast. Where you see my lunch and dinner I will eat only 3-4oz of protein and alternate with fish. Where you see shakes I won’t drink them any more at about 12 weeks out and replace them with 3-4 oz of protein and small portion of complex carbohydrate. I regularly aim to drink a gallon of water each day.

4) Carmen, Newark New Jersey - Loved your interview, I was very curious how your friends & family and even coworkers feel about your contests and getting in such great shape.

Hi Carmen! Great question you have for me. Truthfully, it hasn’t always been easy. I think with any change in lifestyle there are critics from both ends of the spectrum. I think at the beginning of my journey a lot of my friends, family and coworkers where questioning what I was doing and how it was going to impact our connection. I didn’t really talk much about it as I was learning and didn’t feel I even knew enough to talk about it early on.
Your question is so simple, but there has been such a wide variety of reactions from so many people in my life that it’s difficult to answer specifically. What I try to focus on is the positivity it’s brought to my life and the quality of friendships, family and coworkers. I am so incredibly thankful to those that support me and love me unconditionally. Those are the people I will always make time for and help in anyway I can. I don’t give much thought to those that don’t respect my level of participation in the sport or the discipline I have to diet and train as I do. I understand what makes me the best I can be may not work for the next person.

5) Emily, Tempe Arizona - What advice can you offer to someone on the fence about doing a NPC bikini contest? Do I find a trainer or should I attempt it on my own by reading and doing research? I am excited but scared. Thanks.

Hi Emily! I remember the day someone suggested I compete. I thought how amazing it would be, but I had no clue how to get to the stage. Then I sat down and wrote out everything I felt I needed to answer for myself. What are my limitations? How can I change them? What are the tools I need to get there?
It was coupled with exactly your second question. I did as MUCH research as I could on my own and even to this day I still learn. Confidence comes with understanding and with different stages along your journey. It’s a completely natural feeling to feel the way you do.
In my opinion, you should work with a trainer and one that has a focus on contest prep. I worked with TEAM Edge out of California after learning how serious metabolic damage can be and how important it is to find a trainer that cares more about you than just taking your money. They were extremely insightful on the process, diet, training and posing mandatories. I even purchased my suit from them. Not only do you become their client, but you become part of their family which has grown so much over the last few years. My teammates have been extremely helpful and instrumental to my successes as well. 
Check out Hope Taylor's video by clicking link above 
Follow Hope @  instagram is fitlife4hope

 Thank you ABFITT for the opportunity to connect with some of your loyal readers about my journey. The interest that they have shown is truly remarkable and inspires me to stay the course!
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