National Skating Month on January, 2018: Figure Skating lifestyle?
January, 2018 is National Skating Month 2018. Skating Month Clip Art - National Skating Month Titles National Skating Month
That is great progress for have only been skating for 8 months! Just amazing! Great job! I'm surprised you got the camel spin before the backspin; I learned that one before I did any other spins (beside one foot). I love that you're being realistic about your goals; it's really refreshing! So many people think that they can just start skating in their teens and head off to the olympics and win.
You can definitely compete; probably not at a high level because the way that system works is by ages and levels. It's complicated and I don't want to try to explain it. But you can compete in smaller competitions at the higher levels. They are just as fun and much less stressful.
For your diet, I highly recommend going to see a dietician. I went to see one a few years ago and they totally revamped my diet. I have a very good meal plan right now, which leaves room for snacking in between if I feel like it. If you have trouble stopping yourself from snacking between meals, a dietician can make that a part of your diet and can plan your meals accordingly. You could also go see a health and fitness specialist to help you get on the path to living a healthy lifestyle.
4-6 hours is great for the level you are at right now! As you start to improve, you may want to add a few hours. Off ice, try to run for five minutes three times a week. Work your way up minute by minute to longer runs. At first, you may only be able to do a two minute run with a three minute walk. But just keep moving! Do pushups, sit-ups, and plank every day. Start with 10 of pushups and sit-ups, and 20 seconds of plank. Then increase those numbers as you get stronger. For flexibility, stretch your splits by putting one leg up on a couch or raised surface and slide into splits to stretch your oversplits. This will help increase your flexibility faster and more effectively. If you can, sign up for Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, or Ballet classes. They are great for figure skating! All three improve your flexibility, and regular gymnastics is great for your strength.
Good luck and congratulations on your accomplishments so far!
Figure Skating at Age 26?
Adults can start skating at any age if they're physically fit. Sounds like you have no health issues and you are motivated and mature. It's not a problem.
How far can you expect to reach? The only limits are your own fitness, time and money, assuming you have year-round ice skating facilities. The off-ice will help you reach your goals by building strength (core is vital) and balance.
Once you're past the Learn to Skate test levels, there are two tracks of USFSA testing that you can follow: standard (8 levels) or Adult (4 levels.) Some people do both tracks.
I know people in their 40's and 50's who've passed Senior and Gold skating tests, so you can go all the way if you stay focused and work hard. Jumps are definitely worth trying for, especially if you're just planning to test. On tests, the jumps required are lower-level than those of competitions.
In terms of competition, the adult events at most open competitions are divided by skating test level and age group. There are some Adult competitions that are open to skaters 21 and older; these take place in the US as well as around the globe. Obertsdorf, Germany hosts an annual international competition that has a huge following.
In the US, there are three qualifying Sectionals competitions that lead to the Adult Nationals title competition. The 2011 Adult Nationals competition is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Do you have to be thin to ice skate?
First, 140lbs isn't that big for a 5'2" person - I'm 5'3" and about 130, but there isn't an ounce of fat on me anymore, because I do a lot of training and it's mainly muscle weight. But more importantly, before I started skating 18 months ago, I was 160!
There are LOADS of amazing skaters who are plus size. Not so much at elite level because of all the training, but certainly at adult levels. Take a look at the highlights from the 2011 US Adult Nationals on youtube. There's a plus size girl towards the end (her coach is talking about her at the time) and on camera she lands a double toe loop and an axel. She's definitely more than 140lbs!
Anyway, once you get ice addiction, you'll find the extra pounds slide off. Not only will you firm up around your legs but more often than not as people get more interested in skating they start to train for it in other ways - off-ice, running, muscle training, ballet etc - I know I did and it's keeping me in the best shape I've ever been in.
So to sum up - anyone can skate, and it's a great way to shift weight in/tone up any problem areas!
Good luck skating - Go for it!