The Truth About Bikini Competition Prep

August 5, 2016

Hi lovely readers!

Once upon a time, I took three months to prep for a bikini competition. I was regimented with diet, training and abstaining from alcohol, all working my ass off to get ready for this bikini competition. 

For many reasons I never ended up competing but I did reach my three month dedication goal. I’m so happy I did the prep and went through that journey but there were somethings that most people do not talk about while in prep mode.

While I enjoyed many things about the adventure, there were many things I did not enjoy. I loved feeling slim but I didn’t love dropping muscle with the fat. I loved the solid routine of it all but I did not love the 45 minutes of (steady-state, boring) cardio TWO times a day (every single day for 3 full months).

I also didn’t feel nourished physically during this time. Eating every 2-3 hours because I was told to and because I was starving. Eating low carb, low fat, high protein = super low calories. I was over training and under eating. My skin became a not-so-lovely yellow-ish tint, I had bags under my eyes which I’ve never had before or since, and I was tired. Exhausted. 

Friends and family commented positively at first but then negatively about my sickly look. After three months (woo!) I binged for almost a full year until my body finally finally stopped thinking it was in starvation mode and started to normalize to a better way of eating. 

After the competition prep ended, like I mentioned above, I binged and craved so many things I never craved before. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (I don’t normally ever eat dairy), pizza (I don’t eat gluten often), gobs and gobs of peanut butter (…ok, I LOVE peanut butter!). This way of eating and negative thinking wasn’t me and no matter what I ate I just didn’t feel satisfied.

Sadly, for most, this is how the fitness competition world is. It’s a constant struggle between health, fitness and actually being healthy. Women restrict and cut calories, lift more, cardio more, push more. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with pushing yourself beyond your limits – I strive for this each and every day – but there is something wrong with one-way thinking; the standard american fitness competitor prep.

This was my experience but I think this is similar to most others, too. From what I’ve seen from those out there willing to document socially their prep and training, they’re subjected to horrible food and caloric restriction, hundreds of hours slaving to a cardio machine, and literally measuring their daily treat of 9 grams of peanut butter. No joke. Have you ever measured out NINE grams of something?! Tiny. It’s horribly tiny if that’s your added treat. 

I know there are so many women and men out there who have been there and done that with amazing results again and again. I would love to know how many of them feel depleted, under nourished, and exhausted during and after the prep, the training, and the competition. 

This all sounds so negative but sometimes the truth is. I am in no way discouraging anyone out there NOT to go for a goal of competing. I think anyone interested SHOULD go for it! It’s an amazing journey and you do get to expand your thinking and push your limits to the extreme. But let’s rethink HOW we do this. Let’s make sure we are being healthy in this journey and nourishing ourselves inside and out.

Is there any way to sanely do this?

I think so.

And I’m going to prove it.

Stay tuned for my next post…

In the meantime, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this!! Good, bad, ugly… comment below!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

laura w. October 8, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Lori, it’s so great to read your posts and your positivity about your food and training. I too follow a lot of bikini and figure competitors and I can’t believe how much they slave away in the gym along w/ the intense meal prep (of mostly crappy carbs & sugar) and harmful fat burners. I recently started training towards a physique competitors body (do not have a competition in mind at the moment) and in doing so I purchased a diet template for competitors as I thought this would help me get my nutrition dialed for my workouts. I was so bummed (after spending $$$) when I realized I had a basic body building diet template. It goes against everything I care about and believe in as far as nutrition, paleo, and actually being healthy is concerned. Needless to say I’ve been searching the internet for any info I can find on competition prep done on a paleo diet. So again, thank you so much for sharing your journey. I look forward to reading more! And yes, I have measured out 7.5g of almond butter (which I will never do again) and I swear I cried.

Do you mind sharing what your meals look like when you are on a cut? Do you measure calories or macros?

Reply

Lori October 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Hi Laura! So wonderful to read your comment, as I’m sure SO many have the same issues, questions, concerns you do! I did, too! This post kind of summarizes what I current do (and have done for my competition) and I’ll get another post on this exact topic soon!

Reply

laura m. October 26, 2016 at 6:37 PM

Lori, I love reading your posts on your bikini competition journey. Congrats btw on the competition! We need another blog post about it all.

In all of your prep and training, did you ever have moments where you weren’t see progress? I feel like I’m in the midst of that currently. I train, train, train, and I am ever so careful w/ my diet, yet I don’t feel like I’m seeing much progress. In fact my body fat % went up. Ugh, not what I want to see, but it’s my reality. Any thoughts or help you can give? I’m definitely keeping my head in the game, but I’m just not sure what I need to do differently. Since so much of it is diet I wonder if I’m doing something I shouldn’t be. I hired a paleo nutritionist to come up w/ a plan for me as she has worked w/ many bikini & fitness competitors, as well as pro athletes. I trust her plan for me, but I’m feeling a little stuck.

Oh, and did you have any favorite recipes from your website that you couldn’t stop making when in prep?

Thanks again for sharing your journey!

Reply

Lori November 8, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Hi Laura,
Thank you for your comment! I’m going to be addressing your question in a full post! Stay tuned!

Reply

Rachel August 6, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Check out Elissa Jewell from Melbourne, Australia – Jewell body sculpting -she had a similar experience and then set out to try again without the deprivation. She did it! She’s a lovely person as well

Reply

Lori August 6, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Oh my goodness! Thank you!! I’ll check her out now! Thank you for the referral! 😉

Reply

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