For those of you that have been thinking about doing a bikini competition, any fitness competition, or taking your health and fitness up a couple of levels… KUDDOS!!!
Here is a little bit about my history and how I got into this, where I’m at now and my journey. I’m currently 10 DAYS out from my FIRST VEGAN BIKINI COMP!!
So here we go, a few years ago my friend and I were talking about how cool it would be to do one of “those shows”. All the glitz and glam and how we could test our strengths to get to that level. After years of us just bouncing this idea around we both went FOR IT last year. LESSON ONE and proof that everyone is their very own competition; her and I have VERY DIFFERENT stories. I actually started official training earlier then her and she has already done 2 shows and getting ready for her 3rd. Here’s why! Last spring I hired a trainer and long story short after months working with him,I fired him because I was NOT seeing the results, even more my health was in jeopardy. The program he had me on was UNHEALTHY and was hurting my body internally. Very little food ( the wrong foods too) and WAY TO MUCH CARDIO ( 2 plus hours a day). He also was mentally and emotionally abusing me!!! Because I wasn’t seeing the results from this terrible plan he would tell me that it wasn’t the plan or him that everything was my fault. Very manipulative and not a good person. Once I broke away from that scenario instead of GIVING UP I knew it was just the beginning and I still wanted to achieve my goal of being a vegan bikini competitor. I searched and reached out to vegan female coaches and found my current coach. She has HELPED me tremendously. She worked with me for a few months to get my HEALTH back in check and then about 12 weeks ago I went on prep for my FIRST SHOW!!
First and foremost when you say you are going to do this or do anything for that matter, you need to be 100% and GO ALL IN!!! You have to give it your everything, all day, everyday. Be committed. The beautiful thing is that you will LEARN a lot about yourself while on prep….
I’m going to share with you guys the REAL DEAL (at least from my experience) as much as I can without making this to lengthy and p.s. not even my friends and family know all this. I want you all to know the truth, it’s not all about the glitter and shiny bling you see on stage. It takes weeks, months, years of WORK to get up there. It’s about the journey and DIGGING DEEP…knowing WHY you are doing this and yes constantly reminding yourself of it.
The first 6 weeks I had a scheduled workout plan for each day and a weekly meal plan to follow. I was eating a flexible balanced diet made up of carbs, fats and plant protein. I didn’t feel like I was deprived at all. That is a BIG difference guys too from vegan/natural prep vs non vegan “cookie cutter” preps. STARVATION is not the way to do this. Also, my coach did not want me to fall back into Ketosis ( where I was after working with my previous coach). Ketosis is when the body is LOW on food, specifically carbs causing itself to burn body fat for fuel. Symptoms include migraines, fatigue, cravings, foggy thoughts, dry mouth, etc
The first half I was struggling with confidence. I was back and fourth thinking to myself if I had made the right decision, if I was going to be ready in time, what people were thinking when I told them what I was doing. Did they think I was crazy, that I was fat, that I was to muscular, to short, that vegans can’t compete, what were they thinking and why did it matter? Every Monday I checked in with my coach. I took progress pictures and weighed myself. Sometimes the scale didn’t move and I had to shift focus onto measurements changing and other non scale victories to measure my progress. As a recovered binge eating disorder girl and scale addict that was hard. It took A LOT of personal development. No matter where you are in your journey when you start and no matter how confident you are in yourself and what your doing, first thing you need to add into your routine is PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.
Not that the first 6 weeks weren’t tough with all that, but the second half is where it really kicks in. As much as my meals and plan was well balanced after week 6 I had no more cheat meal (this was typically pancakes from my FAV Miami spot, Choices Cafe)
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- Emotions run WILD – On top of all I’ve mentioned already about the first 6 weeks.. the emotions INTENSIFY! Can you say MOOD SWINGS?? One moment I had all the confidence in the world and happy one moment and then the next self doubt kicks in. It’s a mind battle EVERYDAY. Asking myself frequently, is this worth it? Even with all the personal development I do and leadership roles I’m in, I am human and emotions are hard to control. This part takes training too, just along with the physical strength. PREP is MENTAL. Most mornings I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world and then by the afternoon I start to question myself, I look at myself in the mirror constantly thinking how am I ever going to fit into this ity bitty bikini. I feel tired, hungry, grumpy and digging for energy to do my next workout. Ok it’s not all that bad, just depends on the day. Like last week I felt like this every day and was in constant battle, but this week I think I’ve just now more EXCITED to see all my work coming through. My WHOLE DAY is planned out… when I eat, what I eat, when I workout, what I workout, sleep, posing practice etc. I’m telling you every day is challenge. At any given moment I have gone from being super happy to almost or in tears. I have cried twice in the middle of workouts, literally tears running down my face while doing lunges, squats and cardio. I know exactly why I’m doing it and its normal to have all these emotions. It’s a true testimony of strength and character. Dispute the tears I always pushed through and finish every workout. It’s not that I can’t do the workouts physically or that I dread them, its more of building the control over how I feel about the way I look and trusting the process. Having control over your minds thoughts all the time is exhausting and BIGGIE is not caring what others say about you. Sometimes I’m ON and IN THE ZONE and other times not so much. Emotions ALL OVER!! Nervous for the BIG DAY, yet excited. Other times scared, defeated, tired, drained. Oh and anxious.
- . Sacrifices – Giving up time with friends, family, significant others. Giving up other hobbies,activities, and traveling. This means going out to eat, events, or whatever. I mean sure you can go but it’s 100X harder. You can’t eat anything, you just order water and bring food, going out in general and bringing your food everywhere you go with you. Depending what you are doing and answering why your doing it and how your doing it to everyone that asks you while they see you carrying a gallon of water around and your meal pack bag. How about time? Maybe you can’t even go to events anymore because they are to late at night or conflict with your workouts. I’m in bed at 9pm and awake at 4am so I can do fasted cardio for 30min and get my first meal in at 5am. I need to do this so I can make sure I get ALL my meals in for the day. If I don’t wake that pushes the whole day back meaning I will be up late trying to get all my meals finished before bed. I’d have to say I’ve done a really good job with all of this and have awesome self control when I’m out with others. Temptations while I’m around people are no problem, it’s temptations in the house that were a weakness in the beginning. However, a big part of going out and socializing is the food aspect and so it does suck while everyone is indulging and enjoying yummy vegan food and I’m not. I love running and yoga and happy that my coach has allowed me to keep that once a week in my training schedule, but I’m not practicing as much as I use to or running races. That sucks to, but I know its temporary. I also love to travel and be able to go wherever whenever. Being on prep kinda has held me back from being able to enjoy doing that too. Had wanted to go to Europe this Spring, but postponed it because I wanted to do this first.
- Time: Planning everything! I have always been a pretty organized and scheduled person, might be one of the reasons I was attracted to this lifestyle and sort of training. If you are going out for the day or some time but not sure when you will be back you HAVE to bring everything with you JUST IN CASE! So many times I thought I could make it home in time to make foo
d because I didn’t want to bring it with me and didn’t make it. Then I would get upset and kick myself for not learning my lesson. It’s all about time, if you are suppose to eat, DO IT! Which often times means I’m eating salad in between red lights and snacking on rice cakes and protein muffins between appointments. Planning is essential to survival with all this. TIP: do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up if you get a few mins off schedule or behind. Yes that happens I found myself numerous times choking up and fighting back tears because of this. #hotmess
4. Relationships: A lot of people are not going to get it. So not only will you have to constantly explaining yourself, if you choose to but you will learn who is on your side and who isn’t. Relationships will be tested. Especially with the mood swings, those that truly care and love you will be there for you. Don’t hide the way you are feeling but I know that I have been alert of what to say and how much to say. For the most part my family support my lifestyle because they support all my decisions, but yeah they have no idea no matter how many times I tell them why I do this. They don’t understand why I can’t go out with them sometimes or if I do why I don’t eat with them. They ask me consistently why I can’t eat certain foods and they think I’m on a “diet”. I’ve had to separate myself apart from many friends who don’t understand and surround myself with new friends who do. SUPPORT is major.
5. Hygiene: Yup I’m going there. To start I was working out once a day with one rest day a week. As the weeks went on I was working out twice a day and now sometimes 3. That means 3 showers, tons of laundry and trying to upkeep with hair and makeup is a struggle.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some things, but don’t want this to be so lengthy anyway. One more lesson learned as I said first, this is a competition with yourself. It’s about making PROGRESS not perfection (literally will go cray cray analyzing every part of your body or someone else’s if you do). No matter what happens over the next week, I know that I did my BEST.
Thank you guys for reading this. If you want to know more about my journey or have questions please reach out. One of the reasons I am doing all this is to share my journey the good, the bad and the ugly. NO BULL with you all. I will be posting my results after the show!
Love and Light