CORNWALL, Ontario - Krystal Delage can tell you exactly how many grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates she eats every time she puts something in her mouth - and that kind of commitment to training is paying dividends already.
The 23-year-old Alexandria woman finished in the top three at the Montreal Classic bodybuilding show in the "novice figure" category at her very first show.
The event, which is sanctioned by International Drug Free Athletics, took place earlier this month.
Her finish means that she can now compete in the open category of a similar show taking place in July in Gatineau, but it has also legitimized her desire to excel in a sport that brings along with it months of training and specific dietary requirements.
"You either love the process or you hate it," she said.
Part of her training regimen includes carbohydrate depletion, where she purges her body of carbs in an effort to maximize fat loss.
But it comes with a price. The experience of a depletion phase can come with overwhelming fatigue, irritability, reduced tolerance to anything from the song playing on the radio to the boss at work, and a reduction of performance.
Delage said she's been able to set aside those days, because the payoff is so worth it.
"I really just fell in love with this competition," she said.
Her mother Sue has been Delage's inspiration. Sue Delage is a former Miss Cornwall, who continues to train in the gym - often alongside her daughter.
"I remember seeing her pictures and thinking 'That looks cool,'" said Krystal. "I wanted to do something that was geared to showing my strength and muscle definition."
She had to endure 10 months of training as much as six days a week, while also adhering to a strict diet.
Krystal has already begun to formulate a training regimen for the upcoming show in Gatineau.
And her solid finish in Montreal has translated into more clients at Peak Fitness Studio that she runs out of her home in Alexandria.
Her plan is to eventually move into the 'physique' category of bodybuilding to further hone her body and skills.