The Fit Factory Athlete Kim DiPirro
Kim has been involved in the contest prep of other athletes for years now. She was there every step of the way when her husband Austen DiPirro got me ready for my first show. We get a chance to gain a unique perspective from a veteran trainer as a first time competitor.
Shem - I know you have been training for some time now. What motivated you or brought you to the decision to do your first show?
Kim - In all honesty, I felt like I had hit my breaking point, my bodies rock bottom so to speak. Most of my daily wear was sweats and baggier t-shirts. My jeans and cargo pants weren't fitting comfortably and most of them wouldn't pull up past my hips. I felt uncomfortable in tighter fitting shirts- I was self conscience of basically everything from my shoulders down to my knees- haha... I had a closet and dresser full of clothes I no longer felt comfortable wearing. When I bought some new jeans for an event, they were hitting the double digits in size. I remember thinking, this is ridiculous... Is buying a larger size of something going to alleviate the issue here? But I still hadn't found quite the motivation I needed to kick butt in to shape!! This was the first time in my life that I had felt that uncomfortable with my body image. Mentally, I just wasn't in a good place, especially for how it affected my confidence. I know that competing takes commitment- so it was something that I didn't want to take lightly... In December, I took pictures of myself fresh out of the shower. I looked at them and truly realized how out of shape I was... The worst was looking at the picture of my backside- rolls under my lats, cellulite on my tush and hips, dimples above my bottom... I said to my husband- you never told me I looked like this from behind- haha, as if it were some big secret and as if I wasn't aware... My hubby reassured me that I looked fine the way I was (what a sweetie), but I knew at that moment it was time for change!! I declared at that moment to my husband/coach, Austen, that I wanted to do a show and on Dec 10, 2011, I started my journey. Austen told me that it's gonna be tough and I'm gonna get on you if I feel the need to... I told him that it was all good and time to do this!!
Shem - You have been on the other side of contest prep with your husband and helping competitors get ready for shows, did everything in your prep go as you thought it would? Were there any surprises?
Kim - Being a part of many competitors pre-contest prep is somewhat obsolete when you're doing the prep for your own body... Did it help to be somewhat knowledgeable of the process, for sure... But it didn't make it any easier when the pressure for success falls on you and your motivation for change... Seeming that I was flabby, cellulite ridden, and was just plain out of shape- it was going to be a guessing game on how well the weight would shed. Especially since I had an 8 month old at the time, I wasn't sure how my body would respond to the whole process... Fortunately I didn't run into any major surprises/setbacks- other than the typical stress associated with dieting and the physical aspect. When you follow Austen's guidance, your body has no choice but to change!! He is amazing at what he does with client's physiques, but you HAVE to be ready and willing to take in and follow his advice- otherwise you won't get the rewards you seek...
Shem - Yes I know the feeling first hand. Austen's approach to contest prep is almost like painting by numbers. The end picture always turns out right if you follow the instructions. What were the biggest challenges you faced throughout your prep being a wife and mother of two?
Kim - Many- haha!! In the beginning; which I believe was imperative to starting the process off right, I didn't think of all the obstacles I'd have to conquer. It's all about mind set and if I started off with all the negatives that would cause any issues, then I would have never succeeded... I'm a wife, mother of two (8 month old son (at the time) and a 4 year old daughter), homemaker, business owner... There is NEVER a dull moment in my life- from sun up to sun down!! I have a very full plate with many demands. During the process, there were times where I thought I must've been crazy for taking on such an endeavor and, in all honesty, I found myself wanting to give up... But I didn't, and I thank myself for not giving in to the negative voice in my head!! Every day is fresh and everyday provided its own challenges, but the biggest key to my success was being prepared. I can't elaborate that enough... I'd prep quite a few meals in advance and have them portioned out in Tupperware's and I did my morning cardio session at around 6am daily. My son's usual schedule was to get up between 5am-6:30am for a bottle; which in the beginning of the process made it especially tough to complete cardio first thing in the morning since I needed to take care of his needs. So I found a solution... I'd wake him up at 5am for his bottle and then put him back down to sleep. I had to take control of my situation and find ways to get over my hurdles to get the job done!! So by 7:30am, I'd have my cardio, shower/clean up, and first meal taken care of before my kiddos awoke for the day- that alone felt like an accomplishment and the day had barely began... Doing the process this way ensured that I had my cardio done and meal times scheduled and fairly predictive- this is very, very important during contest preparation...
Shem - Having seen others get ready for a show on their own versus going through prep with a coach and a team of competitors, what would you say are some of the benefits of having a team?
Kim - Being a part of a team was everything. Of course, when it comes down to it, the work falls on yourself... But at MANY times, my team was my motivation. If I felt like quitting because maybe I was having a rough day or found too many obstacles that frustrated me, I'd think of my team and my coach, and felt too responsible to them to quit. I wanted them to be proud of me. I wanted to look the part and feel like I fit in- so this kept me driving towards my goals. Plus, in the beginning I pretty much looked the worst and had the most work ahead of me compared to my cohorts. This caused me to want to work harder so that I looked competitive like they did. Having weekly evaluations at The Fit Factory training facility was key... It kept me motivated!! Each Saturday I wanted to get good feedback and I wanted my coach to see changes. This kept me in line and bustin' my hump!!
Shem - If you could give one piece of advice to any women thinking about competing what would it be and why?
Kim - I'd suggest first, asking yourself why do you want to compete? Is it to lose weight, tone down, prove something to yourself, or to others around you?... If your "why's" are that meaningful and important to you, then commit to yourself at that moment. No one will hold you accountable like yourself. You must believe you CAN and you WILL be successful... You owe it to yourself to follow through with your goal. Regardless of the actual show or placing, you owe it to yourself to be the best you can be; which means applying yourself- mind, body, and soul to the process- 100%- diet, training, cardio- all of it!! Each piece of the process is equally important and essential to succeeding. Because there will be times of weakness- mentally, physically- you'll need to revert back to your reasons "why" for strength and to help drive you through... I'd also suggest finding a great coach... This is important because you want to find someone with the knowledge and know-how to direct you through the process. Your diet, cardio, and weight training schedule could honestly change week to week depending on where your body is at. It's imperitive to have someone like Austen in your corner to guide and lead you to your best results possible!!
Shem - Is there anything that you would like to add? People that you would like to thank? And what is next for you?
Kim - When I started this journey, I had no idea the impact it would have on myself and the people around me. When it came down to it, I wasn't fitting in to a majority of my clothes and felt depressed about the way I looked. And yes, I had just had a baby 8 months prior to the time of starting this journey, but that wasn't a good enough excuse to stay the way I was... I also thought, if I don't do something about this now, it will only get worse. It's like a cycle, you feel depressed about the way you look, so you find comfort in food- it keeps going and going- before you know it, you're 10, 20, 30 pounds overweight... That wasn't going to be me... I value myself, my husband, my kids, my family, and our business more than that... Because the end result would be an unhappy Kimberly; which would reflect on everyone and everything else in my life. I figured, the worst case scenario out of this whole situation is that I would lean down and feel better about myself- it was going to be a win win regardless!! I was tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and at times I didn't even want to see certain views of myself in the mirror. I hit a breaking point and said enough is enough, that's when I made a choice... I told Austen, my husband/coach, that I needed to do something about my body. He assured me that I looked fine the way I was; which I love him for that, but I was not content. And for me, I knew the only way I was going to succeed was to do something drastic, diehard, and hardcore... No just cutting this or that out of my diet and randomly doing cardio... It had to be regimented and planned in order for me to commit myself to the task. Competing was a perfect option... Competing for me meant that I would have to hold myself accountable for all my actions- or even inactions for that matter... That I had a responsibility to myself, my team, and my coach. That I be productive and proactive. That I not over think the process and get mentally caught up in what at times seemed like negatives. That I keep a positive outlook and be optimistic. That I banish the negative thoughts of not succeeding and failing. I'm thankful that I followed through and didn't give up- even when I wanted to. For me, the most difficult part of this process is the diet and that's probably not unusual for most people who embark on an endeavor like this. You truly have no idea the role that food plays in your everyday life until you do something like this... I learned a lot about myself in the process. A very motivating factor was not wanting to be controlled by food. I couldn't let food and my mental hang up with food win- I had to defeat it... And I did. I formed new habits and broke old ones... And, for the first time in my life, I can prance around in a bikini and feel damn proud of myself, not that I'm going to, but if I want to, I can and not be self conscience... that feels awesome!!
I of course want to thank my loving, sweet, encouraging husband, Austen. He was my cheerleader at times and kept me on track and accountable!! I'd like to thank my fantastic team- they're beyond great and feel more like an extended family!! My teammate and posing coach, NPC Competitor Phannary Pen- she's a very special and wonderful woman who took time out of her hectic schedule to help us Figure gals with our posing... My family and friends- they've all been wonderfully supportive!!
To all the people who read this, there's nothing special about me- I simply made a choice and followed through... Yes, we own a training studio and yes, my husband is phenomenal at what he does... But this is not magic- it took work, motivation, drive, self control, determination, and commitment to the process- no one and nothing could do that for me- it was all on me... Don't discount yourself... If you've always wanted to compete- do it!! Or if you simply want to shed weight- do it!! Life is far too short to walk through it unhappy with yourself...
I've just finished competing at two shows, the Sacramento Governor's Cup (10th) and the Fresno NPC (3rd). Competing in the shows were a good experience overall. I didn't place where I had wanted to, but I was in really great conditioning for both shows- that was my main goal considering where I had started from. For the Sacramento show, I came in a little flat and needed posing tweaks, but these were things that we wouldn't have known until I got on stage. So Austen made some revisions to my diet for the Fresno NPC show two weeks later. I made some posing changes and came in fuller and more defined- my conditioning was awesome- if I do say so myself ;-)... At the end of it all, I was truly proud of myself. My placings have only driven me to want to make more improvements with my body. I have more motivation now and have set new goals!! I'm unstoppable and that's the way I like it!!
If you'd like to contact me for any additional information or help, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me on Facebook under Kimberly DiPirro or The Fit Factory Fan Page.