Following the previous popular post about Bikini Pros' thoughts about competing for the first time, I'm excited to announce it as a regular feature! Each time you can expect more newly crowned Bikini Pros sharing their feelings, and things you need to be prepared to face as a bikini competitor.
Frédérique Thomas - MP Pro & Pure Elite Pro (1st Place Bikini Short)
Cost. When I decided that I was going to compete, I was already aware that it was a pretty costly thing to do but I really was not prepared for how much it would all cost by the end of the whole process. My advice would be to any girls looking to compete, if you want to do it properly, you really have to be willing/prepared to invest the money into doing so and what to expect (prep coach, food, tupperware, COFFEE, supplements, proteins, posing, bikini, show registrations, tan, make up, hair/nails, bikini, show pictures, shoes etc)
Energy Levels. As I got deeper into the process, my energy levels started to drop a lot, so doing my job alone was tough but nobody can prepare you for what it feels like to train on very little energy. It's such a weird sensation.
Friends. I was so nervous about competing already but I was so worried that competing would be such a bitchy nature and I thought nobody would be friendly. I met so many lovely people and lots that I would call true friends from my posing class and so many more on the actual day. It makes the whole experience just even more amazing.
Stage. You spend all this time getting yourself stage ready and then it hits you "oh my god, now I have to get on a stage and do this in front of judges and an audience". I remember at my first show the adrenaline and nerves pumping through me standing behind the curtain waiting for my turn to walk on. As soon as I stepped on that stage, I just felt a million dollars. It was truly the most amazing feeling and it makes all the hard times in prep all worthwhile.
Jade Hancock - MP Pro (1st Place Bikini Junior)
Before competing I wish I knew the emotional toll it would take. I was very much prepared to be physically tired due to the gruelling workouts and strict nutrition, but I honestly couldn't anticipate how this would affect my moods, emotions and thoughts. I spent a lot of prep doubting myself, purely because I was so drained and wasn't seeing things properly. Looking back now I see how tiny I was, I was the lightest I've ever been, but right up until show day I couldn't see it because I just wasn't thinking properly and my mind couldn't adjust to the lack of carbs at the rate my body was. I spent 16 weeks literally going to work, then going to the gym and then going to bed, which in the long run was well worth it, but at the time I had no social life which again impacted on my emotions and moods.
I would also say that I wish I knew how much of an emotional release it would be once you finish. I spent months pushing my body and mind to its limit to reach a goal that was over with in one day. Winning was the best feeling in the world and made my hard work more than worth it, but after a couple of hours I suddenly thought, what next ? Adjusting back into a normal and maintainable routine for me was hands down the hardest part of the process. Having to gain weight back and remember that your stage physique is not maintainable year round definitely takes some getting used to and I could see how it would be easy to yo yo diet if you don't have a strong reverse diet and support system in place.
In all honesty though I wish I'd have known how amazing it feels to hear your name called as the winner, maybe then I wouldn't have complained so much through the process. You get to meet so many inspiring, likeminded women and men who genuinely support each other so much back stage. So I'm definitely going to come back to retain my junior miss bikini title in the pro show this year & who knows, now with a little more experience behind me - maybe even beat my third place title in the pro miss bikini tall category too.
Liina Ojarand - Pure Elite Pro (1st Place Bikini Tall)
Nobody prepares you for the aftermath. When prepping for a competition you have a clear goal on front of you that keeps you motivated. However not enough is spoken about what happens after. You’re ought to get on the reverse diet. But without a goal it’s hard to keep on track. You feel mentally empty and possibly depressed. Training doesn’t feel motivating. Just think that all the hard work you put in could be wasted in a week of cheating, stay on track!
The affect it has on your family and friends. You have taken a decision to compete and are willing to give it 100%, but what you may have not thought of is the effect it has on your closest ones. You can’t really go out, travel or attend social nights out with them. And if you do you need super mental strength to see others having the delicious meals whilst you must stick to your diet. Not mentioning coping with your energy levels and unexplained tears you get.
How much weight you will lose. When ordering your bikini and/or dress it’s hard to predict how much weight you will lose by the show day. Apart from the body fat (and breast size) you’ll be losing you’ll never know how much water your body is holding on to. I personally found that by the show day one of my breasts got smaller than the other, having one empty breast cup for the bikini. Also my dress felt baggy on the stage, which affected my stage confidence. Go for a stretchy dress if you need one, so you wouldn’t have to find bits of it empty on the day!
The actual reward. Stepping on the stage is the best feeling in the world and will make all that hard work make sense. However, the biggest award with the process is getting to know and appreciate your own body. Seeing it change and going through the process allows you to get to know your body and how it works.