In May, Tyler resident Candace Harmon competed in Kansas City, Mo., at the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Inc.’s U.S. Central Championship.
She took first place and was awarded her professional card in the 35-plus division. She went on to place third in the open short class.
This is the highest status a bodybuilder can receive and allows them to compete with other professional competitors within the organization for money.
Mrs. Harmon’s first pro show will be Aug. 23 and24 at Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas. She is a registered nurse and mother of two sons.
Q: Why do you compete?
A: I first decided to start competing a year after having my second child was born. I looked in the mirror, like so many other women, and didn’t recognize that person. It was at that moment I decided to do something about it and started preparing for my first show in 2008. I had always been athletic and small, however I was “skinny fat.” My body fat had crept up to 23 percent at a height of 5-foot-2. I stepped on stage that year weighing 105 pounds. This year I stepped on stage at 115 pounds with almost 107 pounds of lean body mass. What a transformation. I just love to compete. It is not just about placing higher than the other girls; it is about coming in with a better physique each time. My goal each year is to raise the bar for myself with each show. If I do that, then I feel I have accomplished something.
Q: Talk about your competition history.
A: I have been competing in a couple of shows a year since 2008. After competing as a national-level competitor last year with another organization, I found myself discontented and feeling as if a change was needed. I was writing an article for my blog comparing different organizations. It was at this time I discovered the WBFF. In January of this year I would become a part of team BSH (Bling Sweat and Heels) lead by Tammy Streich WBFF Pro and begin preparing for my WBFF debut in Kansas City on May 25 where I would earn my Pro Card. I feel the WBFF is a better fit for me, and I am so excited to be a part of their pro family.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: My goal this year was to obtain my pro card and compete in my first pro-level show. Now, I am going to do just that in Vegas on Aug. 23 and 24. I love helping other women reach their goals, and now as a pro-elite member on Team BSH, I would like to be in more of a leadership role and help provide guidance for competitors in the East Texas/Dallas areas. Another goal of mine is to judge. I have always wanted to be on the other side. I think I could learn a lot by judging, and it would make me a better competitor as well.
Q: How do you balance it all?
A: It is challenging at times to balance church, work, family, friends and competing. While my family always comes first, I believe it is imperative that my boys see their mom taking care of herself. They, along with my husband, are my biggest supporters. They are learning a lifestyle from me that will hopefully become a lifestyle for them as they become young men. Competing requires sacrifices, especially financially. I have always had local supporters willing to help me and for that I am grateful. I hope to prove myself as someone who is marketable and be able to work with a company that can help offset some of, if not all, of the costs associated with competing. I don’t care to make money. I just want to compete.