Bikini competition: what’s it all about?

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have noticed a few half naked pictures of my physique recently. I have decided to take the plunge (FINALLY) and enter myself into a bikini competition. For those who aren’t familiar with the bodybuilding competing world, I’m going to try, in this post and future posts, to help you understand what competing and prepping for a competition is all about. I want to share all of my experiences of the next 13 weeks and start this mini series of blogs as a kind of diary of my prep to track my progress and bring you along on the journey.

For the general population, the term bodybuilding refers to Arnold Scwarzenegger-esque men with huge bulging muscles and offensively orange skin standing on stage, greased up to their eyeballs, tensing every single muscle in their perfectly chiselled bodies wearing a questionably teeny tiny thong covering their manhood. Whilst I’m not about to go and gain 100lbs worth of muscle and become the next Arnie, the idea is still there. I will be getting on stage looking offensively orange in a teeny sparkly bikini whilst I attempt to be super feminine and strut my stuff at a very low body fat percentage, flashing the muscular and lean physique that I’ll be training and dieting damn hard for. And that’s about it really!

So why am I putting myself through this?

The bodybuilding competing world has been something that has fascinated me for the past 2 or 3 years. The girls look so glamorous in their sparkly bikinis and their bodies look INSANE. What fascinates me the most however is the determination and graft that these girls put in to look the way they do. It’s more than going to the gym a few days a week and eating some chicken and veg. They have pushed their diet and training above and beyond to achieve the level of muscularity and conditioning that they have and I think it is admirable.

Muscle on girls just looks awesome!

Don’t be fooled however by these glamorous, confident, well presented, shiny, muscular, lean girls that you see on stage or social media. They don’t look like that overnight and they certainly don’t look like that year round. This is an EXTREME sport that requires the athlete to reduce their body fat to a percentage that the body isn’t particularly happy at.

Prep for a show done properly is a long, slow process of training hard, eating the right foods and most of all being CONSISTENT for several months, gradually reducing body fat whilst trying to maintain as much muscle as possible. This isn’t a fad diet or a quick fix. It’s a pretty big lifestyle change. Prior to the dieting phase of a competition prep even starting, the athlete needs to have built a considerable amount of muscle, have a good knowledge of nutrition and training, have a good relationship with food, have a healthy metabolism to support the dieting phase and understand what it actually takes to get stage ready. Sadly this isn’t the case for a lot of girls who do compete.

For many girls, they see competing as the natural step to take having lifted weights for a year. This is when it can become dangerous and have long term mental and physical damage, something I’ll touch on in coming blogs.

Prior to entering this competition prep, I was VERY much a flexible dieter/professional scoffer. I manage to maintain a lean and healthy physique whilst eating pretty much whatever I want. I have a very healthy and relaxed attitude towards diet and nutrition, something that has taken me years to establish. I have a metabolism which I have gradually increased over the past few year which enables me to maintain my physique on a daily intake of 2600 calories. I definitely have my boyfriend to thank for that. He has helped me and taught me since day one of lifting and learning about nutrition that making small increases over time will help to restore and improve my metabolism which was in a very unhealthy place when I met him. (Restoring your metabolism and how to become a pro scoffer – coming soon in a separate blog).

I’m buzzing for the experience and the challenge. I want to make this prep as healthy and enjoyable as possible. I’m sure there will be ups and downs. I’m sure there will be social events I’ll have to turn down or meals out that I can’t enjoy but no stress. There will be amazing days and there will be utter shite days but that’s just life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am going to miss snacking on handfuls of peanut m&m’s, melting chocolate bars on my morning oats and my weekly burrito bowls at Tortilla but food is food and it’ll all still be there in 13 weeks time when I’ve finished prepping. Food care packages kindly accepted from 1st May.

A lot of people don’t, and won’t ever understand what I’m doing and that’s cool. There are life choices which other people make that I don’t understand but I’ll let them do their thing while I do mine! It’s not to say that either of us is right or wrong. We just do things differently and that’s OK.

Stay tuned to experience the highs and lows of me getting super shredded for my show. I’ll probably complain a few times (*a lot) about missing peanut m&m’s and chocolate raisins. For that, I’m not going to apologise.