We had planned to focus on the 2016 Overall CBBF Women's Physique champion for today's post. This turned out to be Emilija Martic, but lovely though she is, Emilija's Instagram is just a little bit too focused on the "fit couple" thing. Nothing wrong with that, good luck to her (and her "gorilla") but a "swolemates" blog this ain't.
The happy upshot of that decision is that it led us to Ceejay Byam. And I say that because, with all due respect to Ms Martic, Ceejay is even lovelier. She kind of reminds me of Melissa Lesage in some ways - looks, attitude, and, it turns out, both are trained nurses. And, like Melissa, at contest time Ceejay is a vascular freakshow.
Ceejay won the "B" class at the Canadians, which didn't get her a pro card (by the way, did you know they have so many competitors in Canada that they split the Nationals over two events, one for Fitness, Figure and Physique, and the rest on another day!), and soon afterwards the Overall title at the Ben Weider Legacy Cup, which did.
Overall winner, Ben Weider Legacy Cup
It's only over the last couple of years that Ceejay has packed on the muscle and competed in Physique. Her early competitive experiences were in Figure, which was her initial motivation to get in shape. In May 2011 I attended a show, she explains. I was interested and wanted to see what it was all about. While there I noticed a competitor walking around who looked phenomenal! I had been through various stages of weight through my life, and at that time I was very active in the gym. I am a person who always needs a goal in life, one thing led to another and boom!
Ceejay @CBBF Nationals 2016
Apart from competing herself, Ceejay is a personal trainer who - as well as being able to help you with contest prep - specialises in weight loss. You can find a lot more of this beautiful woman on her Instagram, where, yes, you can also find her man, but he's not in every other post. Contest galleries with Ceejay will need a bit of sifting through at Muscle Insider, where they don't sort pictures, but her appearances in 2014 and again this year at the IFBB North Americans are on NPC News Online, where they do.
Now she's achieved what she called "the ultimate goal" of a pro card, it'll be interesting to see what the goal-oriented Ceejay does next, but the chances are it will involve "the division I love". When I'm competing I love seeing my body transform from all the hard work that I have put into it, she says. Nothing feels better than when you stick to plan and it pays off. Absolutely. Unless you're a female muscle blogger whose planned post isn't all you wanted it to be. Then it's best not to stick to your plan.