It’s been just over two weeks since I stepped off of the stage from my first Bikini competition.
Just like your wedding day, not everything went as planned. But therein lies the beauty of life, right?
Spoiler alert: I ended up taking 5th place of eight total competitors in the Beginner Tall division. Since showing up “stage ready” was my main goal, we’re going to call that a big fat win!
What’s funny though (and what might have contributed to the procrastination in writing this post) is that I think I secretly wanted to win.
Before we get too deep, let’s break down the event itself:
On Monday, Cindy (that one-in-the-same magical trainer of mine!) put tape-in extensions in my hair that we found on eBay for cheap. I had looked in to extensions with my regular hair stylist, but couldn’t quite justify spending the cost of a new window on them…
Luckily we found a more cost-friendly alternative, the color matched exactly and I’ve been enjoying them ever since!
Thursday was a good day – after my workout and a shower, I made my way in to town for a day full of spa appointments. I got a massage (not as much fun when you’re bony!), a facial and a mani/pedi. Honestly I was exhausted from all of that!
Because I had hit my weight/body fat numbers (and because there’s not much you can do lifting weights in just a few days), my workouts were less intense than they had been leading up to this point.
This made for good timing with the increased restrictiveness of my diet. I still did 20-30 minutes of cardio most days (mainly the elliptical on the highest level, but varying between hills and intervals) and we still focused on weight training.
We focused a lot of our “extra training time” on posing lessons. I still wasn’t confident – even after a couple of 1:1 sessions, and knew I needed the extra accountability to practice every day! I probably looked like a nut job in my sports bra and stripper heels at the gym, but…
The rest of the week was spent compiling just the right packing list, shopping for missing items and packing it all into at least four different bags!
One Day Prior
So this day was crazy looking back on it!
You get a lot of very specific instructions to prep for a show day spray tan. I had to exfoliate for two weeks (paying special attention to my elbows, wrists, knees, etc.), shave a certain number of hours ahead of time, blah, blah, blah!
In addition to shaving half of my body, I had to finish packing (triple checking all of the things) and drive the ~2 hours north to one of the host hotels. We checked into the odd Days Inn, I took a quick shower and then went down for my lie detector test.
Even though I had absolutely nothing to lie about (re: steroid use, etc.), I was still nervous! Jim (my polygraph-giver) was a nice older gentleman and tried to make pleasantries. It only ended up taking a couple of minutes, but it wasn’t my favorite part of the entire experience!
I’m pretty sure I ate some food around this time (heated up whitefish is divine!) and headed over for my first layer of spray tan. It was warm and I wasn’t supposed to sweat (another of the long list of spray tan rules!), so we took the car and flipped on the air conditioning even though it was within walking distance.
I was supposed to get a free massage beforehand, but screwed up the appointment time by coming an hour early (nerves?) and decided to forfeit it to get the first tan over with since they could fit me in. Oh boy was that an experience!
You strip down to your birthday suit in your little pop up tent and follow instructions on what to do with your appendages while they use a paint sprayer to apply organic shellac to you. The top of your tent is clear, making for really awkward visuals as you turn yourself like a rotisserie chicken to dry.
Honestly they’re true professionals and made it as comfortable as they could – it was just a brand new experience to me and I thought it’d be just me and the sprayer, not an army camp of tents three rows deep and six columns wide.
From there I went back to the hotel to chill with Cindy (I made her chaperone me) and my mom before heading over to the show venue, which was at the local college’s performing arts center. That involved me standing in line (everything about Friday and Saturday was “hurry up and wait!”), being measured for height and grabbing swag from the various tables.
I really liked the two t-shirts I got, think the wine bottle was clever, but didn’t care for the supplement swag (I like Cellucor better!).
From there it was back to the hotel for more protein and then back to the spray tan farm. We watched some dumb comedies on HBO and then called it a night.
I’m pretty sure I was up at 6:30 or before and wish I would have been able to have slept in!
The Bikini division didn’t go on until 3pm and my hair/makeup appointment wasn’t until 1pm, so it was more “hurry up and wait.” Only this time it was trying to not screw up my spray tan while using the restroom (thank you GoGirl!).
For those of you that don’t know, the shower you take right before your tan is the last one until after the show – it’s a little weird for those of us that like to shower first thing in the morning! Oh and you can’t wear deodorant (another rule!) or perfume (both will turn you green!), so you smell real nice.
Saturday morning was spent hanging out, eating what I was supposed to (I think there were some blueberries and chicken in there), not drinking much to finish dehydrating and packing up to check out. We left the hotel at quarter-to-one and made our way to the venue.
I checked awkwardly in to hair and makeup (we were supposed to know how much they were going to charge us after our prepaid deposit and I wasn’t prepared for that) and finally wound my way to my person. I wish I wrote down her name as she was lovely, but didn’t.
She told me my hair was the longest she’s ever spent curling hair. I was also her last client of the day – poor dear!
After getting beautified, I changed into my swimsuit and got to eat a protein bite (which was delicious!). I stood in yet another line waiting to get my spray tan touched up (huge believer in using the host tanner!) and then the event organizers filled us in on the need-to-know’s.
After the spray tan touch-up I got bronzed (see why I was so dark y’all?) and glued (to make my suit stay put!). Cindy and my mom came down to join me during the last few minutes of makeup through this period and then went and took their seats.
I stood semi-anxiously waiting and struck up conversation with a gal that I wish I would have traded contact deets with (I had no phone or anything at this point). She was competing for the first time too, but in Masters for 40+.
While Bikini didn’t go on until 3pm, I didn’t really hit the stage until like 4pm – that’s a LOT of waiting. The other divisions started the day at 10am and boy would I have loved to have gone on then instead!
Finally it was my turn and Bikini Beginner Tall was called forward. We trekked up the stairs (I was the last of our lineup of eight) and “pumped up” backstage. I practiced walking a bit after using some bands and then went to spy on the class before us from side stage.
Pretty soon we were up and walked out in the same order as we climbed the stairs. Lights blazing, I smiled and walked towards my mark, only to find there wasn’t a taped X for me. I kept my cool, kept smiling and struck my front pose, feeling super cramped the whole time (practicing by yourself gives you all of the room!).
They had the girls shift down, had us do a few quarter turns and then walk to the back of the stage and then back to the front. They then moved us around (I got called to the center, which made me feel good!) and then dismissed us for our individual T-walks.
A T-walk is basically your time to shine. From what I understand, it’s a non-judged period where you get to design your own “routine” and show off what you’ve worked so hard for. I kept mine as simple as possible and chose this happy song to strut my stuff.
I can honestly say that being on stage wasn’t my favorite. It was uncomfortable, I was exhausted and I think both showed.
My body was on point though, which is what leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Could I have done better? Does it matter?
I did enjoy seeing my family after the fact though!
And doing a little celebrating…
I get asked what was the first thing that I ate a lot – basically some Cool Ranch Doritos and champagne. Super fancy, right?
What’s Happened Since Then
I’ve had a hard time getting myself to sit down and write this recap post, honestly.
I think it’s because I’ve been striving for this goal for so long and then it happened and I jumped back into the busyness of everyday life. Less than a week later I flew out to Nashville to do some professional filming (that was fun and I felt sexy as hell!), a mastermind retreat and then I got sick as a dog!
I’m happy to say I weighed in today though and am a half a pound lower than my day before show day weigh-in and my body fat is slightly lower too!
And good thing, because Cindy and I are about to get our glam on for a photo shoot for this here website in 10 days, which is almost exactly a month out from show day. Maintenance is a beautiful thing!
I wish I could say that I did the whole reverse dieting thing to a “T,” but with the travel and the flu, that just didn’t happen. I haven’t gone off the wagon much though and if anything, I’m probably not eating enough (not on purpose though!).
I finally got back to the gym yesterday and am excited to hit it up here again soon.
Such a great question!
Will I do another show? I don’t know.
Do I have another extreme challenge in the works? Not quite yet.
I do know that I’m motivated by goals and by new experiences. I also know that I’d like to maintain the current physique that I have going on.
I’ve learned A TON about diet, exercise and myself through this entire process. I’ve also lost over 40 pounds, a massive amount of inches and a ton of body fat. So I’m definitely better off for it.
And as hard won as it was, I’m not looking to give it up anytime soon!