Oceanside women in fine form in Kelowna

Competing at the Kelowna Figure Competition as raw vegans were local ladies from left, Wanetta Beal, Catherine Mosher, Deanna Later, Kim Wilson and Twyla Graff. - Grai Beal photo
Competing at the Kelowna Figure Competition as raw vegans were local ladies from left, Wanetta Beal, Catherine Mosher, Deanna Later, Kim Wilson and Twyla Graff.
— image credit: Grai Beal photo

Five local ladies were in fine form at the Kelowna Figure Competition recently as they capped off an inspiring four month journey.

In the mix May 18 in Kelowna were Oceanside’s Wanetta Beal, Catherine Mosher, Deanna Later, Kim Wilson and Twyla Graff.

“There were over 320 woman — it was a big event,” said Beal, a personal trainer, motivational speaker and co-owner of One on One Fitness in Coombs with her husband Grai, who trained the group.

Sanctioned by the B.C. Amateur Bodybuilding Association, Kelowna served as the provincials for both body building and figure competition.

The five good friends range in age from 38 to 46 and competed as raw vegans.

“Nobody does that because they don’t think they can build muscle on just raw plant based foods,” said Beal, who’s list of amazing athletic accomplishments runs long.

“We set out together to build the best bodies we could in four months,” she explained when The NEWS caught up with her. “It was fun, it was challenging; a huge sense of camaraderie...did I say challenging,” she chuckled, adding “it was easier than some of the other stuff I’ve done, but it was still challenging.”

Some of her ‘other stuff’ of course includes her Riding Raw cross Canada bike tour, and becoming the first woman to ever successfully complete back-to-back-to-back Ironman Triathlons. Earlier this year Wanetta and Grai successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and went downhill mountain biking in Peru.

As for the five amigos and their training regime, “it was hard core,” said Wanetta, adding their workout sessions were about an hour and 20 minutes of weight training five days a week — minimal cardio, more anaerobic sprint workouts.

“We had five meals a day,” she said. Their diet included a minimum of 13 cups of raw fruits and vegetables every day, “and the reason we did this was just to show the

fitness industry that there’s healthier ways to build muscle, to get strong, without copious amounts of animal protein, and to be able to feel amazing through the whole process.

“We did it without caffeine too,” she said adding the group went without dairy, wheat, sugar, without all animal protein and no alcohol or nuts or seeds for four months.

“I’m so proud of them — I was blown away by all of them,” she said, adding “these girls completely stepped out of their comfort zone. I mean to go on stage and pose and strut your stuff in front of some 500 people (it was sold out), it takes a lot of balls,” she laughed, then made the point that while none of them placed in Kelowna, “we all looked good and we felt even better, and that’s what’s important.”

All five were competing in the Masters Figure category. The group was sponsored by Avena Originals.

Mosher and Wilson, pointed out Wanetta, “increased their strength by over 500 per cent in four months, which is amazing.”

Four of the five did Tough Mudder competition last year.

Wilson, a married mother of two young daughters aged six and nine, is an elementary school counsellor for SD69.

“I’ve done two half marathons; I like to cycle, road ride ...I’ve worked out at One on One with Wanetta and Grai for the last five years,” said Wilson, who turns 39 in June, adding “I’ve always liked to work out, always liked to be strong and healthy — if it wasn’t with them it was somewhere else.

“This was a little bit different,” she explained, adding “it wasn’t just training, it wasn’t just working out at the gym, it was changing how I eat as well, which notches it up. That was the biggest change for me,” she said, “was cleaning up my diet, cleaning up what I was putting in my body.”

“The change was quite immediate,” she said when asked what going raw did for her. “I had more energy, I was more vibrant, I was stronger in the gym, that end goal, the competition, was really not on my bucket list,” she said.

As is so often the case, she confirmed the training and diet was hard, but the posing part of the event  “was terrifying.”

“It’s like a family,” she said of the group. “They’re so supportive.”

“And you know what’s really cool is that the girls are already thinking about what our next challenge will be,” said Wanetta.



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