One Day in the Life: Prepping for an NPC Bikini Contest

Hi guys!

17 days to go before my bikini competition, the the NPC Natural Western USA in Mesa, AZ (and then one week later, the NPC Atlantic States contest in Atlanta, Georgia — more on that later).

It’s been a very busy contest prep as I learn how to balance law school with training and dieting. I’ve got a routine down that works pretty well for right now:

4:15 AM: Alarm goes off. I half-consciously get up and  take my supplements before morning cardio in the gym in my apartment building.

4:30-5:30 AM: Cardio Session #1. Right now, because it’s so close to competition, I’m doing it on an empty stomach. But normally I prefer to have a bit of carbs and protein in me beforehand.

5:30-7:00 AM: Breakfast (happiest meal of the day because it’s not eaten out of a plastic baggie, and it’s HOT!), get my cooler of meals and gallon of water ready; shower & get ready for the day

7-8:15 AM: Studying for the day’s classes

8:15-2:45 PM: Catch the shuttle to the law school and attend classes. During the lunch break I study.

2:45 – 3:30 PM: Catch the shuttle back home, grab my gym bag and head to the gym.

3:30-5:45 PM: 45 min-1 hr of weight training, a 10 minute break to eat/rest, and then Cardio Session #2 (by this point, I’m not a happy camper and I have to really push through it!).

6 – 8 PM: Eat last couple meals; get gym bag packed for the following day; study (if I have any energy left!); practice my posing for a few minutes (very important – you’d be surprised how tough it is!) and wind down. Usually I’m in bed (zombie-like, skimming Twitter) by 8:45 PM.

So that’s it. By the end of the week, I’m grateful for a day to sleep in. But at the same time, I don’t want to complain about any of this. It was MY choice to compete while in law school, so it’s up to me to figure out how to balance everything. So far, so good :)

The Self-Doubt Tries to Creep In

I am coming upon my final four weeks of prep before my competition. I received my final 4-week diet and training plan via email during class on Monday and I was so excited/terrified to read it that I could hardly listen to what the professor was saying. The plan is certainly AMBITIOUS. The workouts will be very intense, and instead of 5 days of weight training/plyos each week, it will be 6.

But you know what? My heart pounded with excitement, not fear. Because I really think I CAN do this. I’ve been losing bodyfat for the last 5 weeks at a steady pace and am beginning to see the athletic “bikini competitor” body emerge from underneath the off-season body. It’s exciting.

BUT, I will not lie and say that I feel confident and excited in every moment. I should warn everybody that I might seem a little more sensitive and tired during these next 4 weeks, partly due to the calorie deficit from the strict diet and intense workouts, but also because of the self-doubt trying to creep into my thoughts. With four weeks to go, I’m getting CLOSER to my ideal shape, but I’m not there yet. And the scary thing is, I don’t have endless months to do something about it – I have 30 DAYS. The self-conscious, shy girl within me sometimes quietly inquires: “So, why ARE you doing this? Don’t you feel like a weirdo eating your gross fish and asparagus while everybody else is having pizza? You’re not going to win, anyway.”

Sure, sometimes I DO often feel like the “odd one out” with my little lunch box and gallon of water. But I know that I won’t reach my goals if I don’t just ACCEPT these feelings … and let them go. And my goals are the reason I do this in the first place. I love watching my body change as the weeks pass. It is slowly morphing into that athletic, round shape that I’ve always admired on the covers of Oxygen magazine. Also, I’m very detail-oriented, so I love creating the details of the shape the judges are looking for – paying attention to calves, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, biceps, triceps, etc. Every body part counts and cannot be ignored. I love crossing off the (extremely tough!) workouts I’ve competed. I even love getting up before the sun rises to get on the treadmill (can’t say I’ve ALWAYS loved that one… ha ha).

I want to tell my friends, especially my law school classmates, how grateful I am that they’ve been so supportive and non-judgmental about my endeavor. They have never made me feel like “the weird one” – they seem curious about what I’m doing, but they’re always kind. I truly appreciate what a great group of folks I’ll be in school with for these next few years.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, friends. Good luck with your own goals, projects, and ambitions. Make them BIG and don’t settle for anything less.