First time vs today


Posing is the most difficult part of bodybuilding for me. It seems a lot of people don’t focus as much on this aspect until closer to their show however I started taking lessons from Tamara Jordan Haddad in November 2021.

Why did I start learning to pose before I had even picked a show? The first reason is that I knew it likely wouldn’t come natural to me and unfortunately I was right! The second is that I want to prepare to have the best first show possible. To date, I’ve attended 4 shows and it is very evident when women know how to pose or if they do not. The third reason is related to above but starting early allows me to build confidence and ensure that I look good on stage after putting in months of work. The last reason was to ensure I was serious about it. There is a financial and time commitment involved and I wanted to be certain I was all-in for this new pursuit.
I found Tamara online and stalked her for about a month on IG before reaching out. I signed up for her Bikini 101 to get properly introduced to the sport and soon after started private lessons. Tamara’s energy is exactly what I need. She is kind but direct in her feedback. She builds me up while correcting my long list of errors. Her mentoring has enabled me to progress each session. I am so grateful to be under her wing.
If you want to compete, I highly recommend enrolling in her Bikini 101 class to get the competition basics. While I haven’t competed yet, I feel that I learned far more in that class than the experience of participating in multiple shows. You get to spend a few hours absorbing a consolidated version of Tamara’s 10 years of experience. The class answered all of my questions and validated that this sport was right for me. 
I was excited but terrified of my first posing lesson. No one had seen my practice suit and while my body had made significant progress, it didn’t feel that way in my teeny tiny bikini in a very bright room.
If I remember correctly, I cried after the first session driving home. If there weren’t tears, it was definitely one of my first low points. Let me be clear that my 'Eeyore attitude' had nothing to do with Tamara or the actual lesson. I was uncomfortable and absolutely awkward. I was pouting because I wasn’t good at walking or posing. I was also disappointed that my body didn’t look as good as I thought it did. 
Once again, I had to confront the fact that the woman in the mirror didn’t match how I saw myself. All of the progress seemed insignificant. This was a momentary low. I am admitting this so anyone starting out is not alone in any negative feelings. It is normal.
Posing was also painful at first. If I was doing it correctly, it would hurt my feet and back. My posture overall was poor which didn’t help the cause. I was sore after the first lesson but today while positions can be uncomfortable, it’s not painful. Your body adapts the more you practice.
It should be noted that Tamara shoots all photos and video from the ground. I thought this was part of the cruel and unusual punishment program but it is actually because the judges are sitting below the stage. It is imperative to have that perspective but the angle is not the most flattering.
My third experience was an 𝙊𝙬𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙜𝙚 𝙋𝙤𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙥™ hosted by Tamara and Bojana VasiljevicThis was also an amazing experience and tremendous honor to receive instruction from these accomplished athletes. Tamara is a 2x Olympian IFBB pro and Bojana is a 6x Olympian IFBB pro. Both of these women are impressive, powerful and talented athletes. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from them but I was also absolutely frightened to be seen in my bikini in a group setting. Add walking and posing in front of other competitors and we have a real growth opportunity, people! I was extremely nervous but so glad that I participated. I highly recommend this workshop for first-time or newer athletes. I remember calling my coach as I left so excited about everything that I learned and feeling even more motivated to improve.
I returned to Tamara for my second private lesson a few weeks later. On that drive home, I told a friend that “I know I’m bad but I will become good.”
 November vs today

I leave each session with more confidence. Tamara built a solid foundation that we continue to build upon.  It’s also been gratifying to witness the changes in my body between lessons. I see Tamara about every other week and have lost 3 lbs in between each visit for the past few months. I could barely look at the pictures in the beginning but I'm finally at the point where I can think "I look good." I will also admit that when making these comparison photos I am not as harsh of a critic today and I look at them fondly. I am proud of my continuous improvement. 
Is it natural for me? Nope! Am I good yet? Haha, I don’t think so. Will I be good? Yes, I know I will be as good and it will only continue to get more natural.
Yesterday marked my 7th session. My walk has come along way and it is starting to feel fun.
7th Session 
Front & Back Pose

Up next: Pre-workout plus supplements
Bicep Blonde
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