mma_girl, so glad to hear that the articles are helpful. Thank you for sharing!
You can absolutely compete without worrying about making the same mistake I did. Just be sure to tell your trainer up front that you're more interested in long term health and fitness than winning a trophy. And during prep, if he or she tells you to do something that's not in line with what you value as an athlete, stick to your guns. Don't let them scare you or bully you into making bad choices.
Also, if you have several years of experience in weight training and nutrition, and your coach gives orders rather than suggestions, then that's a red flag too. You're an adult. Not a lapdog. And sometimes the judges' advice will be just as varied as different coaches' advice, so don't make your life revolve around pleasing other people. Just build the body you love, listen to what the experts have to say, weigh it, and follow through if it makes sense.
I know that sounds like such obvious, cliche advice, but when you're in the middle of prep, you're more vulnerable to overriding your instincts and common sense.
You're absolutely right. My legs in that picture are flat and disproportional. I had a hard time posting it because I was embarrassed about the way they looked. But now I'm just angry.
I appreciate your feedback so much, hope you swing by more often!