Competing in an NPC bikini competition was a huge goal of mine once I turned 16. From the ages of 16-20, I competed in 5 bikini competitions. I am going to take you through a day in my life when I competed and then explain why I will never compete again. Please consider that competing is a sport and not a lifestyle. I would maintain this schedule for 10-12 weeks.
On a typical Monday morning with 4 weeks until competition, I would wake up at 5am to head to the gym for 45 minutes of fasted cardio. I would wear 3 layers of clothes with a sweat wrap around my stomach to help me lose any extra body fat I still had. After cardio, I would drive home and shower and then eat. My first meal would be 1 cup of egg whites, ¼ cups of oatmeal and 1 tbsp peanut butter, all of which I would weigh out and then put on my excel spreadsheet food log. I would measure everything I ate and ensure I was hitting my exact macros. This means that I would eat a certain amount of protein, carbs, and fats everyday: 120 grams protein, 110 grams carbs, and 35 grams fat. These numbers were monitored by my coach and would change as I got closer to my show.
After I ate, I would head to class. Every two hours I would eat 3-4oz of chicken, broccoli, and if I was lucky, rice! At 3pm, when school was out, I would head to the gym, I would either lift with my trainer or do my workout on my own. A typical workout would be 1.5-2 hours. After this workout, I would head home, shower and eat my last chicken meal. Before bed I would get egg whites and 10 almonds. I remember being so excited to eat almonds. WTF !!! This was my life for 10-12 weeks. On weekend, I would drive two hours to attend posing class and to hear how my progress was. I would send photos of my body to my coach every week, along with my weight and how I was feeling.
Competing taught me a lot about myself. It taught me that I am strong. Really strong. I had to overcome many obstacles through competing. So many people would judge me for what I was doing. Everyone assumed it was a beauty competition and that I just wanted to strut around in a swimsuit. This was not true. I competed to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. This sport requires so much dedication and commitment I cannot even explain the mental strength I gained through my experiences.
Competing also taught me how hard it is to lose weight. A lot of people do not understand that when I compete, I lose 20 lbs. I understand how hard it is to lose weight and how frustrating it is. I truly empathize with my clients and understand what they are going through. Losing weight is hard, but if you want something bad enough, there are no excuses! You wake up everyday and tell yourself you are a bad ass and that you can do it!
I loved competing and loved seeing my body change. But, I will never compete again. I am very content with my body the way it is now and I continue to push myself hard but I now strive for balance.
Body image is something that I have struggled with. Competing is literally what your body looks like and someone is always judging you. It was really hard for me to love my body when people were constantly criticizing me. Being in season was amazing because I was always low weight and pretty lean. However, coming out of season, I would see the weight gain and get mad at myself. Fluctuating between on and off season was not good for my metabolism, my mental heath, or my physical health. In season, I could not enjoy time with friends and family and had to be really selfish with my time. I would NOT miss a workout for anything! I would not eat sweets on my birthday, and would eat chicken breasts if I ever went out to eat. I was very dedicated.
Now my mindset is completely different and I am proud of how far I have come. I push for a balance in my life. I love exercise and being healthy, but I also love tequila and chocolate. If I want to go out to eat, I no longer calculate my macros and I just enjoy my food and the time I am spending with others. I still track my food but I allow myself to be a human and do not get mad at myself if I miss a workout or eat ice cream. My metabolism is fast again and I have energy to hike, go out, and to be myself. I am stronger than ever both inside and out 🙂
I am grateful for the 5 years of my life that I competed, it made me the confident person I am today. However, I chose this healthy lifestyle and am happier than I have ever been!
If you would like to hear even more about my experience, shoot me an email! If you are considering NPC Bikini Competitions, I would love to chat with you! If you are looking for a trainer or wellness coach, hit me up also!
Thats all for now!
XOXO, STAY FIT, STAY FAB- EMBEM