Happy New Year!
Once again I must apologize for my abysmal lack of content. I recently went through a personal situation before the holidays, then hide away to spend some time with my family. But here we are in the new year, and as such, New Year new me, or some of other crap like that, right? In truth, I have never made a New Years resolution. It’s not that I don’t believe in bettering yourself, cause I fully support that. I am just the Type A, over scheduled, neurotic person who pretty much always has daily, weekly, monthly and long term goals. It helps keep my crazy to a minimal level, or at least manageable level.
So since a lot of people do actually make resolutions, and with competing becoming increasingly popular, if not main stream at this point, I figured I would talk about that. Now, I’m not going to give you a “bikini prep guide”. There are lots of those already out there on the Internet. And in all truthfulness, if you’re looking for a cookie cutter, one size fits all plan, you might as well throw away your money. Because competing it by no means easy, and it can be quite expensive. If you genuinely want to follow through you’ll need a real plan, designed for your success.
If you do have your heart set on competing, one of the things you need to first and foremost think about it is your motivation. Why do you want to do this? Not just because you’re about to give up the next 4-5 months of your life, but because shows are incredibly expensive. Are you doing it to just say you did it? Is it to prove to yourself you can? Or do you really want to make a career of this? Whatever your motivation, this is going to get you through the tough times. So before you dump a bunch of money into the necessities to get started, is that desire strong enough to justify the cost and time.
Before memberships, spray tans, hairs, shoes, suits, posing lessons (yes this all matters) you’ll need a coach. No matter how athletic you are, how long you’ve been training, or how much you know, this is still essential. Even the pros have coaches. This is because you need an outside perspective, another set of eyes, someone to keep you sane… And accountable, and most important, someone who’s knows the game. If if its your first show you likely don’t know how to dial yourself in, or anything about back stage. This too all matters. I personally did my first show on my own. And I was a personal trainer at that time. I lived in the gym, all my friends competed, so I wasn’t entirely a noob. While I did place, in retrospect I was no where near ready… But I didn’t know I was ready, cause I didn’t know what the norm was, how I should look or feel, or what I was going up against. It was very lonely and stressful.
Ok, you got a coach. Great job! You are now an aspiring competitor, maybe even part of a team. Have you factored in the cost of travel, hotels, show registration? Yes. Ok, how about the food and supplement cost over the next 4 months? For the average meathead, food and supplements are an ongoing expense. But for someone new to this world, you’re about to dumb a ton of extra cash into your consumables. Being healthy ain’t cheap.
Have you also considered the social cost. There is no more drinking, or eating takeout. Sure, you think you can have a salad at a restaurant… But surprise. You can’t. Most commercial places soak their chicken in oil. And they also cover their grills in oils or butter. There are hidden calories everywhere. Especially sugars. Even standard dressings and sauces are laced with them. So I hope you like reading every label at the grocery store, and packing all 5-6 of your daily meals. If you have a supportive partner this may be ok. If you’re single, I can tell you from experience, it really reduced your dating options. Most guys will not know what to do with you, since you can’t eat or drink. Not to mention, they will have to keep the date under 3 hours, cause you need to get your next meal in.
In addition, since we are on the topic of dating. Prepare to have a drop in sex hormones. As women’s natural hormone levels drop as you lose body fat, you will be less interested in sex. You may look the hottest you’ve ever looked, but at this point you’d rather cuddle a pizza than a man. Partying is also a thing of the past. For one, all night dancing is just too catabolic. Secondly, if you’re the only sober one, once you get tired (it’s a given you’ll be hungry), you’ll be irritable. Thirdly, you can’t stay up late! Don’t forget you need adequate sleep for recovery, to keep your cortisol low, and you have to get up for fasted cardio… Bummer, I know.
Still reading? Awesome! You’re one of the dedicated few. As you get closer to show day, chances are you’ll be depleted. The lack or carbs will make you foggy. If you have a very demanding job, this may impact your performance. Depending on your personality you may in be “hangry”. I know people who have taken the whole week of before their show cause they’d just couldn’t function. Mind you, everyone is different. I have been told I’m prettying content during my preps. Definitely a little bit more of a space cadet though. I can’t tell you the amount of things I’ve lost, misplaced, or number of rooms I have walked into meaninglessly.
This is by no means an article to discourage anyone from competing. I have myself competed many times, and don’t regret a single one of my preps. Some are harder than others, and no prep will be without ups and downs. Some days you’ll feel great and other days you will want to quit. I personally hate being on stage, and for me it’s about a process. Other people dream of their sparkly moment up there in the lights. My point being, whatever your motivation, it’s a big commitment. And I would never want to see anyone over commit only to be let down or throw away their hard earned money.
If you want to share your own experience, have feedback, or even questions, feel free to give your girl a shout!