At best, Rebecca Starling hoped her first bodybuilding competition would give her some experience for future competitions; she didn’t expect to come home a winner.
“I think it took two days to sink in,” said Starling, a 36-year-old Evans mother of two, who placed first in both her height class as well as the open division of the National Physique Committee USA Coastal competition Saturday, Aug. 17, in Atlanta. She took second place overall.
The road to Starling’s winning a fitness contest was several years in the making. Entering a competition wasn’t at the top of her reasons for starting a fitness routine several years ago.
“I was feeling like I was not living life to the fullest,” said Starling, who wanted to have a healthier lifestyle.
A friend gave her a copy of the P90X workout, and she was immediately hooked. She began setting more fitness goals such as running a marathon. She’s accomplished that one as well, not just completing one, but two.
Now, she works out six days a week. She combines weight training with cardiovascular exercises such as running and biking. She started training for the bodybuilding competition about three months ago after someone she met at the gym suggested it to her.
Starling said it was like an answer to a prayer because she had wanted to compete, but she didn’t know how to get involved in it. She took her friend’s advice and began a training regime without hiring a personal trainer.
Starling said she did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people.
“Everybody had an answer,” she said.
Some of their advice was good, but some of it wasn’t. Many people told her she needed to take diuretics and supplements in order to be stage ready. They also advised her to ditch her cardio routine and stay with just the weights. She kept her cardio because she wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle and feels the exercise is important for her heart health.
“I didn’t want to kill myself,” she said. “I didn’t take any diuretics, and I didn’t spend a ton of money on supplements. And I still won.”
While she’s worked hard for her success, Starling said she knows God opened up many doors for her, and she gives him credit.
A few months after
starting her P90X routine, she started getting up at 4:30 to work out. After one of those early morning workouts, the scripture in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” came into her mind.
She said she knew that she’d made excuses for not taking time to pray in the mornings because she was busy raising her girls, Holden, 11, and Gracen, 8.
She made a promise then to get up a little earlier to pray and read first then she’d work out.
“I’ve kept that promise,” said Starling.
Starling is thankful for her husband, Scott, and the many friends and family who have supported her.
Starling said she hopes to continue to compete, and she hopes to be a role model and an inspiration for other young women, especially her daughters.
“It’s not about them being skinny, but it’s about them being healthy,” she said of her girls.