So I thought I would provide the gory details of competing in my first bikini competition. I say my first because I really do hope to do another one although the thought of going through the entire process again sounds a tad overwhelming right now. I figured now is a good time to talk about the experience rather than during the actual prep because I anticipated being in a cranky mood…and I was.
I have been lifting weights consistently since last August when I came off a summer of training for the Ascent and completing my yoga certification. Needless to say I was lacking muscle when I started. I hired a coach initially to help me build muscle and get my diet on track. Shortly after I got on with her team
(JAKT MUSCLE), I got engaged! Thus my focus shifted from competing to looking good for my wedding. I got on a lifting program which she switched out every eight weeks. However, I since I was worried about getting “too big” for my dress she kept the cardio up for me which probably hindered my progress in gaining muscle.
After our honeymoon I got back on a strict diet. I had definitely gained a couple pounds of fat and needed to work hard to lose it. My body likes to hang out around 122-125 when I lift weights. 120 ish when I run a lot and destroy all that hard earned definition. I do not lean out or lose weight easily so I had to do two a day cardio sessions to help me trim down.
Each week she cut my calories and carbs little bit more. Let me tell you when you are working out very hard and used to a certain amount of calories it REALLY takes the wind out your sails. I expected to be tired and grumpy but I failed to anticipate how exhausting it would be. It was exhausting both mentally and physically. I am usually pretty high energy. I love to work out, make Rob dinner, clean the house, grocery shop etc. but all I could do was food prep and workout. My brain was not firing on all cylinders that is for sure. The last two weeks were the worst. Trying to gut out two hours of cardio on very few calories started to get to me. I almost cracked several times. Junk food started to sound amazing as I craved sugar and carbs constantly. The final week (Peak week) was exhausting but it was also fun to see little changes in your body everyday. The worst day I had was the day I had to cut the salt. I put salt on EVERYTHING! Not only did it make my food taste awful but it left me even more tired than I already was. I granted myself the privilege to lay on the couch after my cardio and take a nap. It didn’t seem to help much. I woke up just as grumpy and declared to Rob that I was done with this and just wanted to get pregnant. He patiently listened to my concerns without trying to talk me out of anything. He just let me sort out my own feelings, well-played husband, well-played.
But enough about the bad…let me tell you about the good, show day!
Yes I was depleted and tired and dehydrated but that didn’t matter because it was time to show off all my hard work and finally step on stage.
My jitters were apparent as I hardly slept at all the night before. When we arrived the next day we stood in line for our final tan touch up then went to the main area to get our hair and make-up done. I can honestly say that I have never had so much makeup on my face in my entire life. Well, there may have been a wannabe gangster faze in junior high when I experimented with lip-liner and painted on brows but even those times did not trump this experience.
We waited what seemed like forever, got oiled up, pumped up, ate some honey then finally it was our turn to line up and take the stage. When we were moved into the pump up room I notice the tan on my back side had gotten messed up. I started to panic a little, as little things such as this can be distracting to judges, and all your hard work can be negated in an instant.
My coach, Evie, came over and threw me at the oil booth and yelled at one of the tanning artists to fix it. Then she threw me back in the lineup just as we were about to exit for the stage she pointed at me and said sternly “Don’t for get to smile, when you smile you are a rock star.” I thought to myself I am a rock star! I am just going to pretend I am one for these few minutes on stage. So I smiled and tried to make eye contact with the judges and something must have shined threw because I managed to get in the first call outs after we had all gone through our individual posing. To my surprise I placed in all the categories I entered. The biggest surprise to me was that I placed in the Open which had the largest group of women and was the most competitive.
I think Rob enjoyed the whole experience as much as I did. I could see him from the shadows taking pictures and smiling. The other girls on the team who were sitting in the audience took pictures of Rob taking pictures of me because they thought he was so adorable. He was super supportive throughout the entire process. I was definitely grumpy and lacking energy for at least three weeks. I barely made him dinner or cleaned the house, practically all my energy went to completing my workouts and getting my food prep done.
My prep was in line with traditional body building methods to include, water loading and dehydration there at the end. I ate lots of fish and spent a lot of time on boring cardio machines, but it worked! My coach knows her stuff. She knows how to read and plan for certain types of physiques and she did a great job.
The next day my Mom, Rob and I went to Broadmoor and splurged on a big brunch. It was a welcomed event after feeling so deprived for so long. However, I did my research and know that it is very common to gain back the weight and more if you are not careful so I am working hard to stick to a reverse diet so that I do not balloon past my pre contest weight.
Rob surprised me with a congratulations present of quest bars and these yummy B-12 chews that I munch on daily as a little fit treat to keep me sane. He knows me so well
All in all it was fun. I like challenging myself and working towards fitness goals. This was always something that I wanted to do since I was in college but never thought I had the confidence or discipline for. It turns out when the prospect of getting up on stage in the tiniest bikini you have ever worn starts to become a reality it helps to keep you focused. Now I am going to work a little more balance into my life and work towards new future goals…