The hard slog to body building debut for Poppy
When Poppy Cooper-Vear steps onto a stage wearing a bikini and five-inch clear plastic heels this weekend, it will make the past 18 months of hard-slog and dedication worth it.
It will be Poppy Cooper-Vear’s figure body building debut, and while there’s nerves, there’s also a sense of satisfaction, knowing that she’s achieved her goals.
It’s not been easy. She trains at least six days a week, doing fasted cardio at 5am and heading back to the gym after work for resistance followed by more cardio. But building muscle is about far more than just lifting weights and doing exercise; diet and eating the right food is vital. So for the past 18 months, Cooper-Vear has been eating six meals a day, weighing everything she eats. Up until two months ago she was allowed one treat meal a week.
‘‘I would think all week about what I was going to have, and then I would change my mind all day,’’ Cooper-Vear said.
But as competition time neared, the treat meals had to stop. A self-confessed sweet-tooth, she’s surrounded by temptation at work and home.
‘‘That’s where the mind game comes in; you’ve got to be strong and smart,’’ she said.
Cooper-Vear said she’d taken up body building for three reasons. She suffered from various health issues and was determined not to let them hold her back, she wanted to learn the science behind good health and fitness, but most importantly, she wanted to inspire her daughter.
‘‘Young people learn through modelled behaviour, and I have such a significant role in her life that I wanted to role model behaviour to teach her to dream big.‘‘
Body building was a misunderstood sport, she said. Many assumed people did it because they had body issues, or low selfesteem.
‘‘I’m not doing this because I think I’m fat, or have body issues, I’m doing this to achieve a goal. It is not sustainable to strip down to 10 per cent body fat.’’
‘‘You've got to be strong and smart’’ Poppy Cooper-Vear
She knows that when she finishes the two shows in the next two weeks, which she hopes will qualify her for nationals in the novice section, her body fat will go up again. But that doesn’t worry her.
‘‘If I don’t qualify I’m at the point now where I have given this 110 per cent. I couldn’t have done it better than I have done. I have been so strict and driven the past 18 months that I know in my heart that if I don’t qualify, it’ll be ‘so what?’.’’
Poppy Cooper-Vear has dedicated the past 18 months to transforming herself into a body builder.