I am a week away from heading up to the gorgeous Surfers Paradise with Amelia Ricci (www.livingbeauty.com.au) and would like to share my journey with my supporters. I will be as open and honest with you all as possible. Everything from how I’m feeling to the day to day events will be posted over the next week when I have a moment. This will help those girls who want to compete – even if it is in a model division (although I am not a ‘model’). I do not have a ripped 6 pack or get paid for this, nor do I want to – you can make it a career but I love my job. I just like training and staying fit. Your typical energetic gym bunny… have been known to like a deadlift or two


·         Steve Jones, from Natural Bodz on the Saturday 8th June

·         Dallas Olsen on the Sunday 10th June

·         Competing (or in my terms bringing the entertainment) in OPEN MODEL ANB ASIA PACIFIC Monday 10th June.

This will also help those that support me… which I forever grateful for and really all I wish in return is that you two are happy and reach your goals – professionally and personally.

I will start this one under a few headings and just free text and this first one is going to be LONG…


After my last competition I felt somewhat disappointed with my condition. Not so much on the competition but I had set expectations and even with support I did not reach where I wanted to be. As this mindset on just looks worried myself – I decided not to compete for a year.

In July to August – I trained by lifting weights for 4 sets – 8 reps, 40 seconds each set, time under tension style for 45 mins max, 4 days a week. I also got my puppy and had to teach her to walk with me, and that was my only cardio (around the block, down the street at most)

I then just did normal training in the gym (4 weight sessions – 2 upper body, 2 lower body) and Summer meant beach walks and sunsets.

I have since shifted my mindset from looking fit to feeling and being fit in Feb/March 2013. It’s a huge change and a massive relief. I train in an environment with no mirrors – we may do weights – we may do bodyweight, we may run. Workouts may go for as little as 3 minutes to 30mins. There is a lot of focus on proper technique and mobility. So I am not in a gym doing ‘shoulders and abs’ or ‘back and bis’ for 45 mins since March – looking at those parts in the mirror. This is just for a CHANGE. I want to note that although I do not look my peak nor have reached my goals.  I am the fittest I have ever been and improving every week.

Training is 4-5 Crossfit Mode sessions – these are a surprise until I rock up or I look up Crossfit Mode on Facebook and coach may have posted the night before.

Walking Chance 40mins everyday because SHE needs it and it’s good bonding obedience for us.



I want to be confident and passionate

Push the boundaries

Create opportunities where non existed

Learn and respect others

Love what you do everyday



Normally for a comp you would follow a strict diet, written by a coach/trainer/nutritionist. This is pretty standard and what helps a coach know what your body responds to. I have done this since the start of 2010 and it has worked well. I did however switch coaches a few times trying to find the ‘secret’ – this meaning not one person could work with me show to show, goal to goal. When I have a plan or a coach I follow their instructions to a T. I never questioned and just did. I was like a dream client.

So what have I done this time? I was offered coaching and event help, for this I was grateful. But my mindset from March onwards was I do not want to ‘diet’, I do not want someone telling me what I can or can not eat – I am 27 years old – I know there are no secrets – either I eat for my goals or training or I do not. So I just have eaten well – still had meals with family and loved ones. I went back to eating every few hours after trialling fasting and just eating macros for a few months (IF) which didn’t affect my muscle mass I build. I may not be RIPPED – but I know that I am healthy and the weight I was holding onto after dieting and no diets, stressing my body out, is finally falling off naturally without a rigid plan (not recommended if you want to WIN – this is not my goal)



  • 4-6 meals a day
  • Keeps foods that make you feel good, get creative
  • Buy local, in season, as close to natural as possible and available
  • Standard shopping trolley items – eggs, turkey, chicken, greens like baby spinach, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, coloured veg, bananas, berries, apples, almonds, coconut oil, sweet potato, oats, cinnamon, ginger, mustard, yogurt, cottage cheese, chilli, avocados if not $10, salmonsss, coffee, steak…
  • If you don’t like tuna – don’t eat tuna
  • Shop on Sundays and Wednesdays works for me
  • Start my day with water, lemon, cucumber, spinach and other random things put in my blender whole. WHY – I like to feel like I’m getting some good things in and this is just a habit I have. Ginger, apples, bananas, berries…
  • Timing– just eat at some point and what fits in. I couldn’t eat every three hours from Dec – March because work commitments so did I stress – NO, I found a way that worked and ate when I could. I do find though I FEEL better eating 8-11-2-5-8 – or there abouts so that’s what I do now. I just know how much I need to eat and know what works best now – when a year ago – I was listening to others tell me and not paying attention
  • Drink 2-4ltrs water. I bought teas but have had any – think I have a morning coffee addiction (guilty)
  • Eat socially with family/friends
  • Train 4 times a week/ for me
  • Walk Chance 40mins a day/train her


This is so important for anyone who wants to compete. No amount of selfies will give you stage presences or ability to hold poses, walk, elude the natural confidence that will draw the judges eye and capture the audience. Go to walking posing classes with those in your area that are recommended by the federation you are competing in. Models – we just really need to walk. I will practice a walk in my stage heals when I arrive in Queensland. I have also walked in the heals a few times at home. I also have to do a Routine – FUN TIMES haha



This week I caught up with Amelia so we could go through the days and our trip. Some things I’ve had to consider over the last few months:

  • Work – do I need time off to fly up and back from Queensland, book it! FYI because I changed my working circumstances over the last 6 months a few times – It may not have been as easy to just apply for leave at the end of a financial year under a new role…
  • Puppy sitting – who will look after my dog as it’s a long weekend and people want to go away themselves. I also had a holiday in Decemebr for to weeks and went to Mildura in January. Only so many favours yo can call upon.
  • Mums birthday – third year in a row I am away for it…
  • Tanning, waxing, bikini, jewellery. routine, music (if I was doing model or fitness model), outfits for comp and shoots, make up, nails – bookings outside work hours
  •  Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Event details (lucky everything is posted www.anbasiapacific.com.au)
  • Payments for everything finalised – I do not like owing anyone money and never live outside of means
  • Getting around Queensland – where do we need to be when
  • Food prep when over in Queensland as the hotel didn’t have cooking/enough storage facilities for us. Carbs, proteins, fats
  • Social availability – its not that hard to rise, shine, eat, work, eat, train, cook, rest, repeat… however if you put stress on my life I will not see you close to comp. Lucky I have amazing friends that like sprinting and know Id rather just chill out with movies than go clubbing.



For the ANB Asia Pacific – this is a great event and that’s why I am heading up. I get to catch up with heaps of people that I interact with. It’s a fun environment and we all help each other. Steve Jones will use the images for Natural Bodz Magazine in 2013/2014. There are seminars with the best of the best. Most of all – everyone is humble and amazing.

My condition isn’t something I want to stress about. It’s not me to worry and I think that if I ever compete again after this it will be a deep goal that I think of 24/7 and have a thirst for it. Everyone needs their reasons. So I was about 66-67kgs start of this year – this has gradually decreased to a more comfortable state and I have not hit my ideal composition BUT it’s not about that anymore! LOVE this feeling. i also love that I am competing as me – which promotors or others may dislike – but I know I will get better and not burnt out… so I will continue to turn this physique into a FITNESS machine that can so so much more than it does now.

STATS: 165.5CMS, SW: 67KGS CW: 62.2KGS GW:58KGS

I am looking forward to spending time with Amelia Ricci in Queensland and seeing some fantastic physiques.

My goal is actually now the week after – don’t die in Fitwars 6 held in Adelaide and get the gel nails off in time for that event. I have a partner Julia and we have entered in the team event for a bit of a challenge.

After 3 months of Crossfit – this week I decided that now my pull ups are not so embarrassing – I can work on efficiency with everything – more Overhead Squats, Double Unders and linking things together in a faster way while keeping that form that I have learnt works. Gradually increasing the weight. Deadlift PR was 115kg ONCE thanks to my partner Nicola – 120kg is the goal. Also a Muscle Up on the rings by end of 2013. Staying injury free and fit for life – not just a year or two is where it’s at for me.



My health

My home/Chance/family



Future + education, effect I have on others

If there is anything else you want to know, please ask. I just wanted to do a real blog and not something that is full of crazy quotes and no substance.

Feel free to email me at gemmalivingbeauty@gmail.com

Gemma Dawson

Blog writer for the Australian Natural Bodybuilding website

Featured Athlete/Competitive Fitness Model and Motivational Personality

Assistant Coach and Online Trainer through www.livingbeauty.com.au

‘Get HEALTHY and you NATURALLY get LEAN’ – Gemma Dawson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gemmadawsonaus

Instagram: @gemma_dawson