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  • Writer's pictureDiane Flores

Trophies, stretch marks and stage fright. Why YOU can do it!

Since opening up my coaching program, my inbox has been flooded with several of the same questions.I figured it would be perfect to address those here for you all who are oh-so-curious! Bottom line is… behind these questions I hear so much fear. 


Trust me. I was scared SHITLESS. 

Although I appear to be pretty social and extroverted, I’m insanely introverted. I like my safe quiet space of Venus where I’m comfortable. I love creating videos because it feels like I am actually talking to myself. lolz. AND… the gym. I’m so comfy in the gym now. But not always. It took time.

So, I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. Life is WAY too short to live on the sidelines while everyone else is trying and doing new things. Right???

Ok, moving on to the Q & A’s… 🙂Q: “Contests are all about the trophy right? I mean, shouldn’t I want to win?”

T:  When I made the decision to compete in 2011, my main objective was to give myself a goal to get into the best shape of my life.

After the birth of my daughter in 1997, I became intrigued with the figure competitors I would see in the back of every Oxygen magazine (there was no “bikini” division back then). 

I had set it in my mind that I would do that someday. I didn’t know when, how or where, but I kept saying ‘someday’.

Growing up I had never been into competitive sports so I didn’t know what it felt like to compete in anything, let alone win anything. I now feel like that was a blessing in disguise.

When I first took the stage in 2012 I was star struck by all of the women backstage who were in fantastic shape. Of course, at that first show I did do some internal reflecting… “do I look good enough to be on this stage?”. But I was honest with myself, I knew that I could honestly say I trained and dieted my ass off. I worked hard in the gym. I ate my meals, took my supplements and followed my coach’s plan to the letter. I was going to do MY best.


The reality of it is that these types of contests are subjective. The winner is in the eye of the beholder (judges) and it comes down to symmetry of your muscles, conditioning (aka body fat), genetics, poise, confidence and a seamless display of your posing routine. 

It ALSO depends on who shows up to compete, and who they “feel” looks the best in the line up. 

Sometimes it’s completely obvious, and a lot of times the crowd is left puzzled at the judges decision. I however, don’t care. I’m there for me. I’m there to beat the previous version of MYSELF.

However, I am also realistic. At my first show I knew I was standing up there with women who had been training longer than I had, as well as had more competitions under their belts.

So, for me, I didn’t do it to walk away with a trophy. Each time that I have placed, I feel very grateful and it is rewarding. However, with each show that I’ve done, I go in with a great mental attitude and make sure that I’ve enjoyed the journey to get there.

All that you get is a flash of moments on stage to show off all of your hard work. If you haven’t enjoyed the journey to get there, honestly it’s not worth it. Trophy or not.

For your first show, your goal should be to get your body in the best condition that it’s ever been. You can’t control the outcome of the show, but you can strive to present the best version of YOU. It is really all about the attitude you take going into the show.

Q: “Don’t you get so nervous up there?”

A: Exposing yourself to a large crowd of strangers in a tiny swimsuit can be a bit nerve wrecking, don’t get me wrong. Mindset is HUGE when it comes to competing.

My first figure show I was so nervous. I rushed through all of my poses and couldn’t get out of my head. Check out the video below of one of my earlier shows, I don’t even think that I was breathing 🙂

Fast forward to my most recent overall win in 2019 (video below). Since then, I’ve done a lot of investing in my own coaches for posing, reading and research about successful athletes and how they prepare for contests. Mental rehearsing and positive thinking play a huge role in their success. 

I do a lot of mental rehearsing the weeks up to a show. Before I fall asleep every night, I visualize myself walking on stage and seamlessly flowing through all of my posing. I picture the judges, hearing the crowd and seeing myself walking one step at a time.

I believe this mental rehearsing has huge impact on my nerves and my ability to stay calm. I am always taking any negative dialogue that I have in my head and flipping it to a positive. 

So, when I’m thinking, “I’m so nervous” I flip it to “I’m so excited”. Sounds silly but I literally visualize the word ‘excited’ shoving the word ‘nervous’ out of the way. After reading many books, I’ve come to accept that the body achieves what the mind believes!

So, if it’s your first show, you are NOT nervous. Be excited! If you love every second of the journey (yes, even the stinky tan) you’ve already won.

Q: “But I’m a mom. Can I compete with stretch marks and loose skin?”  

A: This misconception held me back quite a bit in the beginning. I have 3 kids, and I’ve once been over 200 pounds. Do you think my skin has stretched a little? Uh, hell yeah!!!

The magic in hiding those bad boys is in the tan and the posing. And, once you are back stage, you’ll come to find that almost every other woman back there is just like you.

Everyone always asks me why I don’t have the loose skin and stretch marks after kids. Or, what’s my secret for getting rid of them. 

Well, the secret is I do have them. You just don’t always see me sitting half naked and relaxed where they are noticeable.

I have stretch marks and loose skin that track from the bottom of my navel and spans from one hipbone to the other. Not to mention on my upper thighs and glutes. Did I let that stop me? No way. And guess what, when I lean out, they look worse.

I’m posting this untouched photo below because I want you all to know that I don’t use it as an excuse to stop me. I am nowhere near perfect and I am no different than you. Don’t let it stop you, because it doesn’t matter.


Stretch marks and loose tummy skin but I’m over it 🙂

I used to hate on my stretch marks. Now, I’ve come to accept them as part of my journey to where I’m at. 

If I can inspire another mom, or gal who’s had a weight loss journey, to get on stage, then I’ve done my job!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed just some of these Q’s and A’s behind competing. I feel blessed to be able to continue to coach women on this journey.

What about you? Are you ready!?? I open my coaching program by application only. 

send me a message and lets connect!

Trophies stretch marks and stage fright!

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