Posts tagged bikini competitor
Competitor Series: Emotions 2 Weeks Out

And just like that, I'm 2 weeks out from my first fitness competition. I am hungry, exhausted, emotional and sore in a way I've never experienced before. For the first time in this prep, I'm not enjoying my workouts.

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But I'm so close.

I have so many thoughts about competing that I don't know how to put into words.

I read this article today which sums it up well. Especially this part:

At the start of your journey, you may think you're just working on your body, but getting ready to take the stage truly challenges you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You'll find new and vulnerable parts of yourself, but you'll also uncover strength and discipline you didn't know you had.

This whole thing has been a crazy experience. It has taken a lot of patience, effort, sacrifice and discipline. A lot of trust in my own abilities. A lot of courage. A lot of creativity to make it happen on a budget. Strength in every way of the word.

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Competing is a selfish sport that not everyone understands. You need to be stubborn about your goals and it can be extremely socially isolating. When you try to explain to people that you're going to get on stage in a sequin bikini and a spray tan to show off your figure it can be taken many ways.

But as I get leaner and ready for the stage, I'm not thinking less about how I look and more about all of the work that I put in to get me here. I made that muscle. I shaped my body. I put myself first. I went after a goal that scared the crap out of me.

I have applied that same attitude to other areas of my life. I moved to California. I got my driver's license after a lifetime of fear. I am marrying the love of my life. I am doing what is good for me.

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Regardless of the outcome, I am a winner.

I'll share more thoughts at the end of it all: the good, the bad and the ugly.

For now I'm going to give one strong final push and look forward to some Champagne at the end of it all (some things never change.)

Competitor Series: On Prep While Traveling

Holy smokes guys I'm 5 weeks out! IMG_4417

I apologize for the big delay in posting. Since I last wrote a lot has happened, including a trip to Hawaii, home to Vancouver for 12 hours, then back to Carmel, a road trip to LA and back again.

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I'm going to keep it brief since we're about to run out again to go stay at another friend's house (my head is spinning), but wanted to update you on my progress.

I have begun the serious part of my prep amongst this madness, with some highs and lows. I did mostly really well in Hawaii, carrying around my gallon of water, eating lots of fresh fish, getting some seriously sweaty workouts in, and only cheating with the occasional Mai Tai.

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I find it really hard to travel with a group and stick to a strict diet, so I counted my macros where possible and made adjustments where necessary.

The last few weeks of this prep have been nowhere near perfect, but I'm making it work.

In LA I had the opportunity to get in a real posing class with IFBB Pro Bikini Athlete Lisette Howard, and even got to workout with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Big Will Harris at The Mecca of bodybuilding, Gold's Gym Venice. Both gave me some great tips and words of encouragement.

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I am in awe of all the cool places this experience is taking me, and working so closely with a couple of pros definitely stirred up my passion for bodybuilding. I even spotted Arnold leaving Gold's as I went in for my workout!

Meanwhile I'm very aware that I've got a lot of work, posing practice, and hard dieting to do over the next 5 weeks to get on stage.

I'll keep you posted on the journey!

Til next time,

Gillian

Competitor Series: Cutting the Crap

I am 14 weeks out and cutting the crap. IMG_2645

It's time to take with my diet and my budget more seriously, so I'm cutting unnecessary processed foods out of my diet.

While I'm all for moderation, I was becoming heavily reliant on protein bars, powders, and Starbucks soy Americano mistos to get through the day. Not only are these habits expensive, they're wasteful (so much paper and plastic!) and not doing my physique or my digestion any favors.

As I reduce my macros I need to focus on foods that keep me satisfied. Personally, if I eat a protein bar or drink a protein shake, it triggers my sweet tooth more than it quenches my appetite.

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So I've been focusing on cooking bigger meals from scratch and eating more nutrient dense meals. I'm already noticing less bloating, increased energy and improved sleep. I'm also saving a lot more money that can go towards competing.

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And while my calories and macros are still fairly high, one of the things I'm working on is learning to be okay with hunger. During my bulk, and in general, I've become afraid of being hungry. While I would never encourage anyone to starve themselves or under eat, a little hunger is totally healthy. Needing to eat every 20 minutes, and getting up in the night for a snack, is not necessary.

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I've been reading Lean Habits For Lifelong Weightloss which provides great advice on getting comfortable with hunger. The book suggests being comfortable with 30-60 minutes of hunger before eating - and then focusing on 3-4 meals a day to help understand when you're truly hungry and satisfied. There is a strong focus on whole foods and trusting your body's intuition. While this is something I mastered in the past, the typical bodybuilders diet of mini meals can take away from this. Since I'm training and need to support my pre and post workout nutrition, I've settled on 4 meals a day, and a shake after training. Nice and simple. I find I'm enjoying my meals far more than when I was grazing all day and feeling mentally more prepared for the next few months of training and dieting.

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It is a totally bizarre and exciting experience to see my body change throughout this process. My shoulders are popping, my back is wider, my waist appears smaller and my butt has lifted. Bodybuilding is such a cool tool to work on your shape and strength!

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It's also interesting for me because I'm realizing it's not a look for everyone. While I find a muscular body and big glutes aesthetically pleasing, it's not everyone's cup of tea. Which is totally ok. I feel very calm and confident in knowing I'm doing this for me. It's such a rewarding learning process and I love seeing the change.

And so the adventure continues! My computer is out of commission so I'm taking a mini break from YouTube and will do more written posts in the meantime sharing progress, workouts and recipes. Thanks for tagging along!