Never in a million years did Josie Reid think she would ever have the confidence to get on stage and showcase her body in front of hundreds of strangers.
“I’ve always been subconscious about my stretch marks and the baby fat from having two kids, but after it was all over, I felt like a winner,” said Reid, 36, about competing in her first physique competition Saturday.
Reid didn’t go it alone in the Adela Garcia Classic in Pflugerville. Throughout her four months of intense training, Amber Williamson, 26 and a mother of three, trained and dieted along side her.
The two women have put their bodies through the wringer to get their physiques ready for scrutiny. Reid competed in the physique category and Williamson in the figure category.
Going into Saturday’s competition, both women said as much as they were doing it for themselves, a part of them wanted to prove their doubters wrong. Reid said a good friend told her she didn’t have the body to compete and Williamson said she was told she was too small.
Williamson qualified for nationals with a third-place finish, beating 20 other hopefuls. Although Reid didn’t place, just being able to get on stage and “not make a fool of herself” was reward enough.
“I would most definitely compete again; I need to redeem myself,” said Reid, who is training for the Lackland Classic in November in San Antonio.
Before Williamson hit the stage, she made sure to size up her competition.
“I checked them out one by one as they went up onstage,” Williamson said. “I was so nervous before I had to go on. Everything happened so fast. It was like a blur.”
Now that she knows what to expect, Williamson will compete again July 12 in the Branch Warren Classic in Houston.
Even after all the months of dieting and hitting the gym, the best moment of the day for Reid was the end.
“It became real when it was all over,” she said. “I was like ‘Oh my God, I just did that. I went on stage and showed my hard work and now I’m done.’ My family was so proud of me, they couldn’t believe it was me on stage.”
Williamson said it was bittersweet for her. “When it was over, I was like, ‘OK, what’s next?’” she said. “I want to see how much more my body can change. As a trainer, I want to be the example for others to show them that you can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Once the competition wrapped up and the women were reunited with their families and cheering squad from Heritage Park Fitness, the two were more than ready for their highly anticipated victory meals.
Both women said they wouldn’t have been competition ready if it wasn’t for their coach, Michael Sheppard, owner of Heritage Park Fitness.
“He pushed us to compete, motivated us every step of the way and even wiped away our tears,” Reid said.