The professional: Katie Posani, figure competitor

The professional: Katie Posani, figure competitor

"I started running in middle school. I ran my first half marathon my junior year of college. Then I did a full. I've run Boston twice. I did some loose weight training twice a week until one of my friends approached me and said, "You know, you've got a pretty good structure for muscle … what about competing?" I do figure competitions; when we're judged, it's on the overall roundness of our muscles. They'll look at our V taper-that line created from your shoulders to your waist-they'll look at the fullness of our legs. We're judged on a balance between muscle and beauty. As I saw more results on stage competing, it began to overshadow my running. Running is definitely a very mental sport. But, with this training, your mindset has to be there. When I first started out, I wasn't eating a ton. But to build muscle and lean out, you need to be eating. So I changed things up and started to see better results; this past fall, I placed really well at a show here in Columbus, which qualified me for nationals in June. I think this has been my healthiest prep. My mindset has been incredible this whole season. Right now, I'm doing cardio three days a week-20-minute sessions of high-intensity interval training-and I like mixing in cross-training, like boxing, to keep things fresh. My diet consists of a lot of turkey, chicken, fish. I eat a lot of eggs. And I eat veggies with every single meal to get my nutrients in. I do eat lots of carbs and fats, too, and I love peanut butter. For the most part, your health is the one thing you can control. It's in your hands. You have one life, one body, one health. Sometimes I go to bed exhausted, but this isn't just about my figure. I feel healthier. As for the suit? It took me a while to get used to; I'm a very conservative person, and I stay pretty covered at the gym. But, if you know your body's on point, you're going to rock that suit." -As told to Jenny Rogers