April 28, 2016 10:31 AM

Jim Schwarz Photography

Eve Guzman was featured in PEOPLE’s 2015 Half Their Size Issue after going from 277 lbs. to 138 lbs. by dramatically decreasing her portion sizes and sticking to a high protein, low-fat, moderate carb diet. Since her weight loss, the genetic toxicology research assistant and mom of two, 33, has coached people all over the country on how to lose weight, helping them drop a combined 2,950 lbs. In the next phase of her journey, Guzman is preparing to compete in a figure competition, and will be sharing her preparation in an exclusive PEOPLE blog. You can also follow her on Instagram.

Second show completed! My last show was on April 16. I competed with some beautiful women, and I did not place at that show. However, I had an amazing time, made some new friends and enjoyed the experience.

I was a little bummed that I did not place, but I reminded myself that I already won. I won by losing 156 lbs. through healthy eating and exercise, and checked off my goal of going from fat to figure competitor. I can’t believe I did it. I pulled it off. I really can’t, but I did. I’m still in shock.

Courtesy Eve Guzman

I spent 20 weeks in all prepping for both shows. It was almost five months of long nights, early mornings, prepping meals weekly, working out twice a day some days, and when it was all done I spent about five minutes showcasing my all of my hard work.

RELATED: Half Their Size’s Eve Guzman: I Competed in My First Figure Competition After Losing 156 Lbs. – and Took Home a Trophy!

You have to love the journey to really make competing worth it. Competitions require a huge sacrifice and expenditure of your mind, heart, time and money. Competition prep can cost between $1,200 and $3,000. This cost includes food, supplements, coaching fees, suit, makeup, tanning, hair, NPC card, show entry fees – and the list goes on.

I ended up changing inside and out on this journey. A special thank you goes out to The Shoe Fairy, Renée Fisher, Eclectic Peace Beauty Lounge and VizionCouture for helping me bring an awesome package to the stage.

Courtesy Eve Guzman

Blogging and capturing my journey on social media really made a difference. It held me accountable and helped me to stick with it when I wanted to quit. There were about four times during this journey that I wanted to quit. My supporters and family were the main reason I couldn’t give up. There were days people believed in me more than I believed in myself. I couldn’t let them down.

I learned more about the weaknesses I had as a person, mom, wife, friend and coach. I took each weakness on and came out better at the end. I felt a lot of pressure during the prep to do well. I didn’t want to let anyone down.

The prep got easier once I was four weeks out because I had conquered all of my mental battles and could see my physique coming together. My journey was for everyone. People needed this. They needed to see it could be done. If I win, we win. They needed to know that it was possible to go from being overweight for more than 20 years to being average, to being fit, to being a figure competitor. I am an athlete now. I am what’s possible. We won!

Rachel Anne Moore/Rachel Anne Boudoir

RELATED: Half Their Size’s Eve Guzman: I Never Thought I’d Go from ‘Fat’ to Figure Competitor

What’s next you ask?! I am now reverse dieting and entering my improvement season. I will continue to document my journey on my Instagram page. I plan to compete again in the fall and bring a better package to the stage. I will work on increasing my muscle size and tightening my legs and back of my arms. These are areas that were the most difficult for me to get stage-ready because I had such a major weight loss on my small frame, and I have loose skin on both areas.

I loved competing and I can’t wait to do it again.

My pastor Howard Harding shared something very important with me that blew me away. He said, “Champions don’t get trophies, they leave a legacy, and you’re a true champion because you’ve already left a legacy.”

Thank you to everyone for your support. Let the legacy continue!

Eve Guzman

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