I reached my goal and I could not be more proud of myself!!!!
The two questions I have been getting asked the most are:
1.“So, how was it???
2. “Did you place??”
Well, I can easily answer question #2.
As far as #1 goes, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. So, if you’re up for it and if you have some time, read on. If you are just interested in the photos, that’s ok too. :)
The week started out with crazy amounts of cardio and even included a couple of cardio sessions wearing a garbage bag.
Yes, I’m serious:
My best buddy Shana came to town on Thursday night which kicked off this insane weekend.
Friday, December 13th:
The day before my competition started out with an 8:00 am tan.
A very….very…VERY scary tan. (see below)
This was to be expected, so I was cool with it. After that, I raced home to bake sweet potatoes chips. This was a carb loading day, so I had to eat a bunch of carbs every 2 hours. And not just any carbs- complex carbs that I was positive wouldn’t bloat me. So, that meant sweet potatoes. They actually weren’t too bad. I just sliced them up, sprayed them with zero calorie olive oil spray, seasoned them with paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and chili powder and baked them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. But, besides the baking, I was scrambling around trying to pack for the weekend. The plan was to get everything packed up, run to Target for a few last minute items and then get to Culver City to check in to our hotel. After a lot of running around, we hit the road. Target was interesting considering I looked unnaturally dark and I was in pajamas but I
am sure hope they’ve all seen worse.
We got to Culver City, got checked in and I had a couple of hours to just relax before our athlete meeting at 6:30 pm.
When we got to the hotel where the meeting was to take place, the lobby was crawling with tanned, muscle-ey people. There were some serious characters. My favorites were the girls in the tight bodycon dresses and heels who were dressed like they were hittin’ the club later. I looked down at my workout tank, jeans and boots and wondered if I missed the memo where we were told to dress like we were trying to land a date.
Anyway, the whole process was very chaotic. There was no clear signage of where we were supposed to go or what we were supposed to do. It was all very messy and only added to my already unsettled nerves. I had my coach, my fellow Train Insane Bikini Girls and Shana with me and we all just felt very lost and annoyed. Finally, we got all the proper paperwork filled out, we got our heights measured (incorrectly….unless we have all shrunk) and paid all of our necessary fees. When we were done, I went up to my team’s hotel room for my next scary dark tan…minus my face.
Once my tanning was done, I went back to my hotel room, packed up my suitcase for the competition and went to bed.
Saturday, December 14th aka COMPETITION DAY!!!!
The alarm went off at 3:30 am so that I could throw on some pajama pants and flip flops and head over to my team’s hotel room for makeup and tanning touchups at 4:00 am. As far as eating goes, our coach had us switch to simple carbs which entailed rice cakes with raspberry jam. YUMMMY!!! It was wonderful except for the fact that we had basically been cut off from drinking water since noon the day before. Sooo….we were pretty thirsty. We were only allowed to have a sip of water here and there.
At 8:00 am we had to head to the venue for another meeting to get the rundown on what we’re supposed to do on stage. At that point, I felt like I was going to throw up. I was thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” That was also when I discovered that the stage was carpeted. I had been practicing on wood floors. Super.
We went back to the hotel to gather up everything we were going to need for the competition. Once we were all in our bikinis, we started taking some photos. :) My coach was happy with how I was leaning out and so was I!!!! I’m not kidding…I was looking in the mirror and couldn’t believe I had abs. So crazy!
We left for the competition at 10:00am. When we got there, we were not allowed to go back to the dressing rooms just yet. This was a VERY big show (400 competitors) and they didn’t have room for all the girls to be back there at once. The plan was to let the bikini girls back there once the figure girls had finished competing. We decided to just hang out in the audience. I found my Mommy and sister and of course, my amazing boyfriend. :) I was so happy to see all of them! My Mom and sister drove all the way out from Las Vegas that morning just to see me compete!
Once the auditorium started really filling up and it got more and more crowded, I got more and more anxious. I was starting to almost panic. It was just so overwhelming. There were people everywhere, I was second guessing my makeup, I was nervous and unsure about my poses because I had no time to practice, people were trying to talk to me, I was trying to make sure I was sticking to my carb loading schedule…..it was just too much all at once. Shana had gotten her tan and makeup done by someone else so she showed up later than I did. When she got there, she took one look at me and knew I was about to lose it. That’s when we grabbed our suitcases and went outside. We followed the building around to a parking lot and found a quiet area on a walkway where we could sit down and just relax. That saved me!
My fellow TI bikini girl Hannah came back there with us and our coach had us working on “pumping up”. We did lots of lunges and other butt/leg moves. We did some band work to pump up our arms.
Once we had properly glued (and I do mean GLUE) our suit bottoms onto our bodies, we went backstage to wait our turn.
I can honestly say that I was absolutely terrified to go on stage. I was standing back there and all the girls seemed so excited. Not me. I knew I had to squash my fear because otherwise I was going to embarrass myself. So, when I heard them call my number, I took a deep breath and 100% faked that I was excited and confident. I did not sacrifice my social life for 5 ½ months just to choke on stage. I hit all my poses and made sure to hold each one so that I could get plenty of pictures. Then I took my place next to the other girls already on stage and just smiled away at the audience.
Once we got off of the stage, I felt a little better. I went out and found my Mom, Sister and Nate. I gave them all huge hugs and I even cried. They all told me how great I did and it felt good to have it behind me.
My coach and the other girls left to go have lunch. Shana, Nate and I decided to go back to our hotel room to regroup. The thing is…this competition wasn’t over. That was just the pre-judging. The finals show was later on that night, so I was supposed to go back and do it all over again. Once in the room, I started crying. I didn’t want to go back. I was tired of being in my gross tan and stage makeup. I didn’t look like me and I was tired of feeling insecure and…well….just “not pretty”. All I wanted to do was take a shower, wash off all of my tan and makeup, put on a cute outfit and go out to dinner with my best friend and boyfriend. I even got to the point of calling my coach to tell him that I don’t want to go back.
Well, that wasn’t an option. He said, “You’ve got people coming to see you. You’ve gotta come back.”
So that settled that.
I then continued to cry. That’s when Shana…my best friend…SAVED THE DAY. She busted out her train case and started working on my face. It’s not like it was bad. It just wasn’t me. She toned down my eyes a bit, gave me a bit of rosiness on my cheeks to help offset the orangey-ness, and we changed my lip color to something more muted. I finally felt like myself again….or at least a closer version of myself. I felt pretty and I was ready to try this whole thing again.
We staked our claim on a corner of the dressing room backstage, laid out a blanket, popped open some wine and started having a little bit of fun while we waited.
I hit the stage for the second time and I did my routine once more. I’m sure my posing wasn’t as spot on as the morning show, but I don’t care. I just wanted to finish it.
When I got off the stage, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I found Nate and gave him a huge hug. I just kept saying, “It’s over! It’s over!”
We didn’t get out of the venue until close to midnight. Shana and I changed into cute outfits and we were ready to go out! Unfortunately, Culver City doesn’t have much of a nightlife..sooo…we went to In-N-Out. We took our food back to the hotel where we indulged in burgers, fries and wine!
So…to answer the question, “How was it?”…I would say that I absolutely accomplished my goal. I am so proud of the body that I worked hard for. All the missed nights out, hours in the gym, the actual blood, sweat and tears…it was all completely worth it. I feel amazing!!!! The event itself was a bit of a nightmare and I’m not sure that I’m interested in doing another one. We’ll see. Never say “never” I guess.
And as far as the question about whether or not I placed? Well, honestly, I already knew going into this that I probably wouldn’t place. There are a lot of politics involved and to me, winning a trophy wasn’t the goal. My goal was to get myself in the best shape possible, get on a stage and get some amazing photos. So, I did exactly that and I couldn’t be happier about it. :)
This experience not only gave me a new body, it gave me a new outlook on life, food and fitness. I never want to be the old me again. I love being fit and toned and having muscles. I love getting dressed in the morning and holding my head up high. I have confidence that I didn’t have before and I have proven to myself that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. This was the hardest challenge I have taken on and I did it. I proved to myself that I follow through with my promises and I have the drive to finish what I start. And along the way, I really hope that I have inspired others to do the same. I know it sounds cheesy, but ANYONE can do this! I don’t have magical powers that make me stronger than anyone else or have more willpower than anyone else. I made a decision to change my life and I did it.
Many more photos will come later. I only have a few for now. I’ll be receiving a disc in the mail with all of my images, so I’ll get some of those posted later.
I want to thank my coach, Geoff Etherson with Train Insane Gym for not only training me, but for making me believe that I could do this. I never pictured this for myself or believed that I could look like one of “those girls”. Geoff told me what to do and I did it. We may not have always agreed and I may have run crying to my boyfriend when I felt like Geoff didn’t have a soul LOL
But he truly cares about me and the other bikini girls and worked SO hard to make sure we reached our goals!
I want to thank my fellow Train Insane Bikini Girls Natasha and Hannah! WE DID IT!!!! I loved our group texts where we would whine about our horrible lives and try to decipher whatever Geoff posted for us for the week. Haha And thank you, Hannah, for signing up for this crazy circus. I never would have done it if you hadn’t gotten the ball rolling.
(P.S. Don’t ever do this during the holidays again)
I want to thank Shana Dahan for not only saving me during the competition, but for helping me keep it together in general throughout the whole process. We always had the dream of looking so amazing that we would be able to run in bikinis. Well, Shana, I think we’re there. Although, I have no intention of actually running in my bikini. Lol
Most of all, I have to thank my love, Nate. I could do an entire post about how there’s no way I could have accomplished this without him. He was so patient with me during all of my breakdowns when I was hating the process. He sacrificed along with me and didn’t eat bad foods and didn’t drink. He measured and packed my food daily. He was my rock and my support 100% of the time and I know I am the luckiest girl in the world to have him. I love you so much, Nate. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s finally over and now we can go on vacation!!!!!
Of course I want to thank every single one of you who reached out to me via email or Facebook or through my blog. Thank you for your support! It means so much! Competition training can feel very isolating and it helps to know that people are cheering you on.
I don’t know what’s next for me…but that’s okay. I just want to relax for a while!