Lessons learned from my first fitness competition

Ok as promised, I am doing a post on the more emotional side of the competition experience. I hinted yesterday that I had a couple realizations and I want any of you thinking about competing to understand the ups and downs of the competition. I was going to go into a certain level of detail, but I think it will be better if I just give you a list type dealio…

Things that were awesome:

  • Meeting a tonne of amazing, like-minded people

    Some of the wonderful girls I met

  • “Getting my feet wet” so to speak
  • Knocking this off my life long to-do list (this is something I’ve had in the back of my mind since I was 16)
  • Realizing how much will power I really have
  • Realizing I am really motivated by goals and not just general ideas or wants
  • Mini-dance parties back stage

    Dance parties help calm last minute nerves

  • Eating chocolate and drinking wine in a tiny bikini
  • Having a photo shoot – this was an absolute blast and the few shots I’ve seen I absolutely love, it was playful and enjoyable!

    I love this shot! Healthy Vision Photography did an amazing job!

  • Being in the best shape of my life – by far!
  • Getting to understand just how lucky I am to have my wonderful boyfriend, he was more supportive and helpful than anyone has a right to expect and I cannot possibly thank him enough for all his help and love throughout this process.

    I took this photo for my wonderful boyfriend

  • This is the most important one – well and truly loving the way I look. If you have read The Whole Story you know that I have had a relatively rocky relationship with my body and food in general. I was really worried about going on such a strict diet because I have a tendency to obsess and go way into the realm of crazy. But I didn’t! Yay! I kind of cried a little the morning after the competition when I realized how long I have spent not liking my body and realizing that from day 1 of this process (not just at the end) I have truly loved my body for what it was able to do, how it looked, and what I was doing for it.

Things that were not so awesome:

  • During peak week these things were really not fun:
    • Cutting out fats which made me feel legitimately stupid
    • Cutting out carbs which made me feel sluggish
    • Cutting calories which made me tired
    • Cutting water – just because it sucks
    • Trying to give it my all in workouts when I was experiencing all of the above
  • Being judged solely on my appearance – I realize that this is the WHOLE point of this competition, but I can honestly tell you this hadn’t occurred to me before it was actually happening. It blind-sided me. Please if you are going to do a competition, prepare yourself for this! If is hard to hear that you aren’t good enough based only on your looks even when you volunteer for it.
  • Wearing heels and arching my back all day… my quads were burning from the posing!

    See that arch? It is hard!

  • The rebound from food and water depletion above. I had some really salty foods and a lot of water the next day. It was not even that large a quantity (I mean it was a lot compared to the diet, but not an insane amount) and I actually ended up throwing up! I am 100% convinced this was from the sodium and water imbalances in my system! If I do another competition I will try to remember that and add sodium back in a little slower.

So obviously there are a lot more pros than cons, but that being judged one really threw me for a loop! So please be prepared for that.

On a different note, tonight I made black bean brownies a la Chocolate Covered Katie with the modification of using butter instead of oil, maple syrup as the sweetener and topping it with dark chocolate, white chocolate chips and a sprinkling of coconut. They were delicious AND healthy – gluten-free (if you use GF oats or you can sub for a different GF flour), egg-free, milk-free, and nut-free. Awesome right? They were such a nice texture and a great level of sweetness. Of course the Haagen Dazs I topped it with was less healthy, but shhhhhhh!

I also made monkfish for dinner which is something I will post about tomorrow because I feel like not enough people now what or how amazing monkfish is!

Last thing – I did my first workout after the competition and it was super simple, but awesome! I think I’m going to drop the workouts to 3-4 times per week for the next little while and I will post what I did tomorrow along with the fish stuff k?

Love you guys!

Some shout outs to other awesome blogging fit-chicks:

Check out Jennifer Mota’s blog about her first competition experience at UFE Halloween mayhem too!

Along with Primal Competitor who actually placed 3rd, because she rocks, in her first ever bikini competition with the NPC and is moving up to the regional level… woot woot!

And just for good measure, also check out Lisa at Figure 911 who is far more experienced but no less amazing and has her last competition of the season coming up… good luck girl!


10 thoughts on “Lessons learned from my first fitness competition

  1. You look amazing – nice butt!! 😉 You should be so proud of yourself. Thinking of doing more comps?
    If you want a guilt-free black bean brownie recipe – check out my High Fibre/High Protein Brownies (the boy eats them all the day they’re made!)

    • I am super proud of myself 🙂 and thanks! I worked my butt off for that butt (sorry for the terrible pun). I haven’t decided if I’m doing more competitions yet. I think I want to do something with a finctional goal next and then see how I feel. I need t give myself time to digest everything that happened and how I feel about it. You know what I mean?

  2. Dude…you look amazing. Personally, I can’r believe how much fun the whole experience was and I’m so glad you had a blast, too…pleasepleaseplease tell me you’re competing again?

    • Ya I found the comraderie amoung the competitors was the best part and I surprisingly loved being on stage. I haven’t decided if I will compete again yet. I will give myself a bit of time to figure out if mentally I can take it. But knowing me I’ll get suckered in again, I’m so proud and happy for you! You looked unreal!

  3. Wow way to go, you look great! Was just searching fitness blogs today and came across yours. Amazing success story and mad props for all the hard work you’ve obviously put in! Fun to read about.

  4. I loved your recap on pros and cons. It never really occurred to me that I was signing up to be judged on my appearance alone either, lol. I wrote about that as well. You should check out my Fitness America posts to compare the stories! I found you via Tosca since you’re another guest blogger like me!

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