Bikini Fitness and my bodybuilding adventure – day 124.
This post will explain some of the things that have to happen or just happened to me in the last weeks leading to bikini fitness contest preparation.
If you thought beginning was difficult then get ready as here comes the final week of bikini fitness contest preparation. Let’s call it The Hunger Games 😛 or the ultimate test of your will power. It is a test worth passing, one of the best lessons you can learn about yourself.
Intro to bikini fitness
I started my bodybuilding adventure mid December 2015. Show date 24th April 2016. I didn’t tell many people about it as I didn’t know if it will work. But even though I wasn’t completely convinced I can make it on time (especially closer to the contest day) I shifted my focus on workouts, reading about nutrition, calories, muscle growth and imagining myself on the stage.
The Hunger Games
I started cutting phase/leaning up around 01.03.16 which meant I reduced carbs by half. I didn’t see the results straight away so I decided to try intermittent fasting (eating in 8 hours window). Not having cheat meals since Jan meant that the cravings got a bit crazy. I wasn’t physically hungry but my body did everything it could to convince me to eat chocolate. This, mixed with low to zero carbs meant low energy (now I know I should have eaten more fat in my diet), moodiness (my hubby says it takes PMS to a new level lol), I was also super mega cold. I wasn’t myself that week and I just felt that it was so unfair that I couldn’t eat Cream Eggs 🙁 😛
I don’t think this is the usual feeling but because I never did contests before I used google and other various sources of knowledge to get the info I needed, which meant I experimented a lot with different approaches in short period of time. I think with 1 extra month I could probably achieve the same result and final weeks would be a bit less challenging 🙂 Also looking at the progress photos now I can see the changes were happening and I was just panicking that they are not. Trust yourself more and compare progress photos objectively!!
Last week’s routine
- Carbs – 7 days before contest I cut carbs to 30g post workout only, zero on day -4 and -3. Carb load on -2 and -1.
- Salt – I was already on salt reduction in previous week but final week was no salt added, avoid eggs and protein powder. I need to research this more for the next show as I am not sure if I did the salt manipulation right. Again used google for this.
- Water – I was already drinking 6 litres of water since previous week, this continued in the final week, then day -2 and -1 I reduced water to 2.2l and 1l respectively. Show day (day zero) I avoided water as I thought my stomach looked big, looking at photos I know I was wrong but ok I wasn’t thirsty anyway.
- Exercise – did it every day during bikini fitness contest preparation, apart from carb load day -2 and -1, weights and cardio. I looked hilarious trying to do jumping jacks, I did Killer from YouTube by Ewa Chodakowska and just could not move. I wanted to cry but I just thought I will laugh at myself instead 🙂 When I run out of strength I even did yoga just to do some movement but that didn’t look good either, but I did it. (Interesting – any move was a struggle, even turning in bed or getting out of bath. I read later that it is something like low carb flu but after few days it would have passed. Part of me became an observer, so the person who initially drove my motivation was nearly gone, just standing in the background and observing how I’m doing. It made me feel a bit angry, I thought where are you now when I need you, but I was to tired to think about it for too long).
- Beauty – every day was a peeling day, remember nothing oily in the last week before the bikini fitness contest! This is a preparation for the spray tan. I also did cold and hot showers, face masks, dyed my hair -2 day, did teeth whitening on -1 day (not a good idea to do it that late…), went to the hair dresser for hair straightening on -1 day and got a new perfume (Miss Dior, my little treat I promised myself for going on the stage, I got it 2 days before the contest when I definitely knew I will go on the stage).
- Flat abs – tricky even when you have well built muscles. Last 2 days and day of the bikini fitness contest I did this: no coffee, dairy, chewing gum, minimal vegetables and mainly just spinach or salad, no added salt, limit water, no sugar, minimal peanut butter, no protein powder, no sweetener, no sparkling drinks, just real food.
- Carb load – I had some wonka sweet tarts that were recommended in one of fitness articles but they had lots of artificial flavourings that my body did not like so for me this was not a good idea! Better stick to natural carbs like sweet potatoes, I microwaved and baked them to keep water to minimum, also had rice cakes and some fruit on -2 day.
- Check list – I had a check list for every thing I have to get done in a day, I did it in the last month quite often but strictly every day for the last 2 weeks before show, check list had on it everything from supplements, food, posing to sunbed visits, peeling etc.
- Show time – day zero, i.e. bikini fitness contest day. On stage around 7pm. I wasn’t happy with my abs after eating sweet tarts 2 days before and I felt like I got too much water/bloating so because I didn’t feel like drinking water I had approx. 1l of water by the evening. For breakfast I had a banana, peanut butter and baked sweet potatoes and later only few rice cakes. Before going on stage I had and some high/low GI natural carbs and few pieces of Galaxy chocolate (sorry Cream Eggs 😛 )
Bikini Fitness contest preparation additional tips
- What to pack on the day – dress to impress, I wore high heels to the bikini contest registration, then changed to flat shoes and gym pants for the spray tan, in the afternoon I put bikini and silk gown on and I stayed like that until before the show time. I packed perfume, jewellery, make up in case needed any corrections (had make up done at 8am), food, water, hair straightener, camera, phone charger, bikini, heels.
- Spray tan – I used Pro Grow who work with UKBFF, they are backstage and you get great service and peace of mind that all will be taken care of, if anything comes off (usually because you did peeling wrong or used oily products) they will make corrections for you just before you go on the stage, no stress and you will look perfect with nice shade of brown. Spray tan does not go on your face so you will need a bit darker make up that usual, it’s better like that, more natural. On day zero don’t moisturise and use non oily peeling and low in chemicals, ta dam … so I used porridge oats. Porridge has got some fat in it so perhaps it would have been better to use coffee. If you never had spray tan done before then I will worn you that you will be naked and sprayed with cold brown spray from every angle 😀 And good news – it washed off from my light grey trousers super easily, but probably better idea to wear dark clothes.
- Be more organised that usual, pack your bags day before, book early, arrive early, this will help you relax and enjoy the day. You will need cash for admin fee, spray tan and membership, also whoever is with you will need cash for the tickets. You can pay for the tan and membership in advance online, take copy of email confirming the payment. Order your bikini early and not 4 weeks before when it may be too late. Fortunately I found a hero who made it for me super quickly – Sammie from Sparkling Sapphire. Very helpful, sweet, beautiful and of course makes gorgeous bikinis!
- Take it all in – as my friend Marty told me in the morning of the show, all this work is now done, so enjoy the moment, take it all in, the pictures, the smell, people, look around, notice everything, smile, this will be a great day and you will meet great people, if you go through to the finals or no, the memories are all yours! Everyone who gets on stage receives a medal before the results are announced, so this is awesome.
- Posing – I went to the class on the wrong day so only did 20 mins and then next day it got cancelled, so all my posing was done with help of my model friend Pati, You Tube and mirror. Main tip – pose without mirror and record yourself so you can watch it and make improvements. It has to become automatic or stress will make you to do it wrong on the day. If someone wakes you up in the middle of the night you have to get up and be able to do the posing half asleep 🙂
- Motivation – it may fade away closer to the show as you have to be really strict and focused, make every meal, workout and day count, even if you don’t believe in yourself or think you are doing it wrong, just make sure you do the best to your current knowledge and abilities, because this may actually be quite good. Listen to music, look at you progress photos, look at your favourite athletes’ photos too, they were probably the ones who influenced your decision to compete!
What has helped me with the motivation in last few weeks was this: You from 4 months ago wanted this. You are in the final week now. If you didn’t want it then why did you go ahead with workouts, diet, buying bikini, shoes etc. YOU ARE NO LONGER IN POSITION TO QUESTION YOUR DECISION. Keep going, after the show you will decide what you really want to do in the future. For now, hold on tight and keep going, focus on the small steps and just focus on the present moment.
Ps. Link to science behind the final 2 weeks, carbs, salt, water, workouts. I did every step from here. Probably not needed for my level of muscles…