What made you decide to become a bikini competitor? And there is the million dollar question asked by almost everybody I came in contact with once I decided to let the cat out of the bag. So, here’s my story.
And so it began…..
I started BodymetRx in 2015 to help others understand what their bodies needed. Using science and medical technology we are able design customized nutrition and exercise plans to help people reach their goals. With all these tools and knowledge at my fingertips, I too let my fitness get away from me. Raising a family, running a mom taxi, and a business is no small undertaking and I used that as my excuse. I will get on track Monday, next month, tomorrow etc. was always the plan. The truth was, life was always happening and was going to happen. I am the one who chose to start a business and have these kids (well my husband and I). So I needed to stop with the excuses and CHOOSE to chase the physique I admired and had pictured in my head. That of a bikini competitor!
September of 2018 I started my honest effort to get the weight off I had put on gradually after starting the business. Getting back into 4:15AM alarms and meal prepping based off my metabolism was my initial start. Cutting down on sugar and alcohol. Not rocket science but the same struggles our clients face daily. Hell, all of us for that matter. Everyday was mindset, I’m doing this for me. Which would make me a better Mom, wife, and business owner.
Instead of letting those things overwhelm me I made myself a priority. I also got myself a personal trainer. With my business I have the luxury of being exposed to many personal trainers and exercise modalities. None of them are better than the other, but I needed a no bullshit, I’m gonna kick your butt and push you to your limits type of trainer. Time is a luxury and I needed to spend it wisely. I knew exactly who that person was for me and I made the effort to see him twice a week and follow my home workouts he had written for me.
Age is just a number, or is it?
Secondary to all that I’m 39. 40 is coming, like I have something to prove. But why not try to be the best version of myself, the leanest, strongest, homework slinging, ass kicking mom taxi driver I could be? I knew I had the drive to do it, I just needed a goal to chase with an end date attached.
And so it began…
I set out to do my first bikini competition. I had mentioned my thoughts of doing a bikini competition to a couple friends to see if they would bite in joining me (and to force me to do it really), but no hardcore solid takers, UNTIL…… Until my long lost girlfriend from high school came back into my life. We had been friends back in the day, played soccer together, and all that other crap girls do.
She had transformed her body and had become a personal trainer so we were hooking up to partner our businesses. I knew she had the mental drive to compete. Anybody who looks “fit” puts in the time, effort, and mental work. Believe me, these people are not freaks of nature born like that. They are freaks of nature when it comes to their mindset. Having the knowledge and tools are useless until you CONSISTENTLY use them.
All I had to do was mention the idea of competing to Tiana and she was in! I knew if I didn’t sign up and pay for something ASAP I would never do it. Note, this is now March of 2019, I’m now down 10 lbs ON THE SCALE (I have also gained muscle and water weight), and lost 15 lbs of fat. Another note: slow and steady weight loss is sustainable, if you are losing weight too fast, it typically will be muscle and water loss, which will slow your metabolism making it harder to lose fat… ok off my BodymetRx soapbox.
March 1st was my first attempt of taking check in photos. They kind of make me want to throw up in my mouth, but here you go. Notice, the 30 day progress! My weight is up. However, I had gained muscle and water weight. Muscle is primarily water, so if you gain muscle you should gain water weight as well.
Anyhoo… I searched natural bikini competitions in California, found one and signed up, sent Tiana the link and it was going down! I was on my way to becoming a bikini competitor. Mind you, this shit is way out of my comfort zone. I’m a tomboy. I play soccer, love sports, classic cars, flip flops and ponytails. Another reason to do it! If I can walk with a bikini up my rear end in heels and not fall on my face then I will have accomplished something, not sure what, hopefully mental growth.
Now what??!! Between the two of us we are no dummies when it comes to fitness and nutrition. She’s a personal trainer and I have an entire mad science lab geared up for this. But instantly we were both “dumb.” How do we pose? What is peak weak? Bikini? Figure? Why do people just eat tilapia and asparagus?
I’ll tell you one thing, I was not going to wreck my metabolism and starve myself like I had heard of some bikini competitors doing. And the nerd in me knew this would be a mini experiment. If we pulled it off, doing it the right way, what would the effects would be on our metabolisms? We needed a coach. Fortunately, I knew one of my clients of was an IFBB Pro (there’s lots of acronyms in this bikini world…I’m still learning). So I reached out to her and it was game on!
Jamie was now our coach to help us charter these unknown waters (driving home from a lake vacay as I write this so feeling waterish). Her initial reaction was, “you signed up already?” “This June?” Yep! We sure as hell did! And what was wrong with that? With some nerdy calculations based off our metabolisms and current body fat, we could safely lose enough body fat and lean out to what I thought would be adequate in 11 weeks to step on a stage. This time frame is called the “Prep” and we soon found out that an 11 week “prep” is ballsy. But we had the balls to do it.
Do You Eat?
We were already eating enough to sustain our current training and lose fat but things needed to be tweaked to build a bikini body for myself and a figure body for Tiana. There are also different classifications to compete in based off personal preference. Tiana had more muscle than me and chose figure (more muscle), I stuck with bikini (baby muscles) obviously.
Now things got real quick. No more cleaning my kids plates with my mouth, licking peanut butter off a spoon, or cocktails. If I wanted this I had to be strict, real strict. Note: This is not for everybody, if you are putting in 80-90% effort consistently while enjoying the small things in life, you can still achieve a body composition goal. Which we at BodymetRx recommend because its sustainable. You’re are less likely to binge and go bat shit crazy on a bag of cookies.
First thing I purchased was a larger meal prep bag/ lunch pail. I was eating 6 meals and a snack which sounds like a lot, and it was. But I also needed to put on muscle, and that can’t be done without an adequate amount of carbs and protein…. YES CARBS!!!!!!! Here’s the one I got https://amzn.to/2NSiCma. It came with containers and plenty of room for plastic utensils, water, and any seasonings I wanted to take along with me. Seasonings are key for this undertaking, believe me.
What are you eating? Another million dollar question! Again, what’s the secret? The magic pill? ARE YOU READY…… Mindset, mindset, mindset! Disappointing answer I know. And I’ll tell you what I was eating and all the crazy shit I did during this 11 week prep because I had my mind right.
Most days was Coach Oats and egg whites for breakfast. Here’s the video and recipe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_3vXq8Qhm8 .
Then, four additional meals of a combination of carbs (rice, sweet potato), protein (lean meats), and a green veggies (broccoli, zucchini, Brussels, asparagus, spinach). THEN…… an evening snack which was either a rice cake and almond butter, egg whites and broccoli, or a protein shake.
So, back to mindset. Its not easy to prep out and pack food everyday for 11 weeks, pass up desserts and cocktails with friends. But knowing my ass would be half naked on a stage (bikini competition, not stripper stage, although having some dollars thrown at me would have been more profitable), kept me pushing. Beyond this, my family and I had a few camping trips planned. And yes, I brought my containers and scale to weigh and measure my food out. I ate cold food while driving on numerous occasions. And not salads…. Sometimes it was cold fish, rice and broccoli at 8:00am. Sounds disgusting I know, but mind over matter here.
What about going out to dinner, office lunches, Starbucks!!!??? Here were my hacks…. If there was an instance where there was a dinner planned such as a family celebration, I’d scope out the menu prior to see what would fit my plan and asked how the items were cooked. You want to stay away from added fats and sugars. On a separate occasion, when I was less than a week out, I took my container of food and ate my meal prep at the table. I let the server know I was on a strict diet and asked if it was okay. Usually the people I was with (my husband) would blurt out my endeavor which piqued their curiosity a bit and they were more interested in hearing about it than being offended by the smuggled in food. Sounds crazy I know, again, mind over matter here.
Starbucks fancy sugary drinks are out! Black coffee with sugar free vanilla, no simple syrup was my go-to. But, more often than not, I made my own coffee at home and sweetened it with hazelnut or vanilla liquid stevia, its a life saver.
The all-time best thing I pulled off was taking a microwave to Vegas! My husband and I had an adult getaway planned months prior to me signing up for this competition and there was no way I was going to pass it up OR fall off the wagon. The solution….. my supportive amazing husband bought me a Yeti Backpack.
I packed all my food, stole the office microwave, and it was off to the poker tables! I couldn’t wait to see the reaction of the valet when we whipped out the microwave. But anything goes in Vegas as you know, and he said he had seen crazier My mind goes straight to Hangover the movie. So, moral of the story, you may be concerned about others judging you or giving you a hard time for being so strict, BUT, there’s always something crazier out there. I was doing this for me.
You can’t get by without pushing some weight around and moving your body. My main concern when deciding to do this was the time commitment to the gym. Remember, the mom taxi, running a business, the traveling husband? Yep still here. No time for Bons Bons and daytime TV. Most days were 4:15 am wake up and hit the gym. Other days were getting it in where it fits in. This meant splitting up my workout according to my schedule. Not ideal, but I made it happen.
Bottom line is you have to be ready to invest some time into the gym if you want to become a bikini competitor. And that looks like at least two hours on average. This includes a combination of cardio and strength training. And of course there is a scientific method to the madness. Some days include doing fasted cardio first thing in the morning. However, that does not mean you get out of bed and go into full on sprint mode and kill yourself. You have to know what your precise fat burning zone is to get the best bang for your buck.
Fortunately with the testing we do at BodymetRx I can pinpoint the optimal target heart rate for fat burning with our optimal-fat-burning test. So to give you an idea, I burn 90% fat at 140 bpm which for me means that I am walking briskly uphill or barely jogging on a flat surface. If I proceed to get my heart rate above 140 bpm my body will choose to burn sugars/carbohydrates for fuel. Since I am fasted and have very minimal carbs stored for fuel, my body would tap into my muscle for energy which is exactly the opposite of what I want.
Some days my cardio involved HIIT which is a quick 15 to 20 minutes of getting my heart rate up high and bringing it back down. This also relates back to knowing your target heart rate and zones for optimal results.
The other component to this is of course the strength training which is the key. Depending on what class you are doing such as bikini, figure, or physique, you need your body to look a certain way. So for me doing Bikini I have learned that shoulders and booty are super important. Which is why you will see Bikini competitors doing the so-called back pose which for the longest time I referred to as the “twat shot” and was mortified to stand on stage in that position. And even though everything from that angle is exposed for the most part, what the judges are looking for is the glute hamstring tie in which is basically where the back of your legs connects to the booty.
So as it got closer and closer to the competition date somethings were tweaked based off the way my body was looking. Whether it was adjustments in my cardio or my macros. And with this, the grit, mindset and determination have to get stronger. There were times when I would text Tiana feeling guilty that I licked the spoon with peanut butter or nibbled a piece of chocolate or had a bite of fatty steak or chicken from somebody’s plate. Which sounds absolutely crazy and it is. So again, if this is something you are considering ever doing, it all comes down to mindset.
Bikini Competitor Posing
As I mentioned, I am not the epitome of grace or fluidity, which is necessary to be a bikini competitor. More so clunky twerkish type movements suites me best. So there is hope for you if you feel me on this one. “Twist,” “no twist,” twist your body!” Those were the words I heard frequently from my coach. Twist! Dammit I am twisting! Why is this so hard? On top of the eating and working out, there is the posing.
Posing is a beast in itself and was by far the most challenging thing for me to accomplish. For the pro’s and girls who have this down, high five to you for making it look easy. There are many moving pieces to this. Twisting (if you didn’t get that), suck it in, flex, smile, relax your arm, point you toe, stand tall….. WTH! This shit is hard, and it hurts, try it. Are you doing something funky with your fingers, kinda T–Rexish?
The Final Countdown…. Bikini Competition On!
So now you get it, a lot of eating, a lot of working out and cardio to get my body in the best shape it’s ever been. So let’s talk about the very last week of being on this competition prep before the show actually goes down.
My coach sends me this 15 page instructional document on “peak week”. That along with the instructions for tanning had my mind reeling. Now remind you, I have done a fair amount of research on this competition but here are some things nobody talks about, or rarely does.
First off, the diet gets even more strict. But never to the point of starvation or crazy water manipulation and dehydration. But this is it. The last week before standing on the stage and getting judged for all your hard work. And at this point I have definitely been fantasizing about what I wanted to eat after the show. For me it was pretzel bread and a rib eye.
Secondly let’s address the laundry list of preparation for the day. A few things stood out to me which included bringing a pillow because it will be a long day, spray adhesive because we will be glued into our suits and cups to pee in! So a pillow? How long am I going to be at this thing? But really the question is how long before we get to eat!? As I understand these shows can run extremely long depending on how many competitors there are. I will say for my show however we did have a break for lunch and came right back in for the final judging and it was not treacherous by any means.
The spray adhesive! What the hell is up with that? How am I going to be glued into a bathing suit and go to the bathroom? During competition prep you drink tons of water and are always in the bathroom. This was going to be interesting. So when I asked my coach about it she nonchalantly says, “just pull your suit over to the side and go.” Now for some people this may sound easy but my coordination is not the greatest and I could just envision myself pissing all down my leg and all over my hand. Which leads me to cups to pee in!
Assuming I could hover over the toilet and pull my suit over and have a straight shot is one thing. But now I have to maneuver a cup to pee in and what the hell for? This was getting complicated…….
Stay tuned for how the rest goes down!