I’ve told a few friends I’m competing if it happens to come up in conversation and several of my fitness friend colleagues at work know, but otherwise, I haven’t really made any big announcements that I’m training for a bikini competition. I’m sure some of my friends had been wondering what was up with my more than the average workout or health and fitness related Instagram posts! Come to think of it, I haven’t really told that many people I started a blog because I’m so passionate about fitness!
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So earlier this week, I finally made it official and let my friends know on Facebook and Instagram and shared my 5-week progress photo. I was a little nervous to share my goal and why I decided to embark on this journey and worried about what people would think of my goal and blog. But I’m so glad I finally put it out there! All the positive feedback I received was so humbling and everyone is so supportive. Everyone at work this week has been asking me about my training process, encouraging me, and complimenting me on both my physique and dedication. I wear baggy scrubs at work so nobody would otherwise notice any changes to my body unless I lost or gained a lot of weight!
“I’ve been keeping my goals quiet for a while, so for those that don’t know, I’ve been training for my first NPC bikini competition this spring! I’ll be honest, it’s hard! The long weight training sessions before the sun comes up or after work when all I want to do is go home, way more cardio than I’d like, sacrificing food and events, and cutting out dessert and wine😩 But it’s also SO.MUCH.FUN and so empowering!!
After losing the baby weight, I was in a fitness rut and I needed a new goal to jumpstart my motivation and drive and get me excited about my exercise routine again. And I found it with #teamsohn giving me that motivation and extra push I need for this journey to the stage. I’m slowly losing fat but gaining strength, confidence, self-discipline, and so much more!
I’m focusing my energy. I’m eliminating negativity and elevating my attitude and enthusiasm. I’m pushing my limits and proving to myself what I can accomplish if I give it my all! But I couldn’t do without the guidance and accountability from my coaches, the inspiration of other competitors, the encouragement from my friends, and support from my family!
I can’t wait to see the changes and progress over the next 5 weeks, but these will probably be the most challenging as I start the cut, cravings go into overdrive, and self-doubt over whether I’m truly ready for the stage creeps in. But I’m determined to stay strong and achieve this ambition by putting in the work and keeping a positive mindset!”
Last Sunday we offered to make dinner for our weekly neighborhood dinner. It’s usually pretty healthy stuff, but I know I’m getting to the point where my nutrition has to be spot on! So cooking it myself guaranteed that. We grilled chicken, smoked some ribs (they looked so good I wish I could have had some!), grilled asparagus, and roasted sweet potatoes. For dessert, we picked up some Susie Cakes cupcakes. I admit I did have 1 single tiny bite of their gluten-free chocolate cupcake. It was so good and I paused for about 30 seconds to truly savor the flavor. I wanted more, but I feel like I’m now in much more control of my cravings and it was easy to move on. It also helps that I have delicious Fit Crunch protein bars to look forward to in the evenings!
The rest of the week I was on point with my meal plan! I had to make a few quick substitutions at work (like grilled tilapia instead of chicken breast because I didn’t have time to wait in the long line at the grill station), but they were all appropriate substitutions. Overall, I was really proud of how well I did considering this was the first cut week.
On Saturday morning, I woke up and started to take measurements and progress pictures as usual. My self-esteem was immediately deflated when I didn’t see much difference in measurements, my weight actually increased 0.2 pounds, and my body fat increased 0.1%. I also didn’t see too much difference in my progress pictures. I was definitely expecting to see some abs start poking through! I didn’t even consider that it was only 6:30 am when I started texting my coaches asking them if I’m going to be ready in 4 weeks or will I just embarrass myself. I found an Instagram hashtag for the show I’m competing in and noticed several other competitors are way more cut than I am at this point. My coaches assured me that they did see progress and as long as I can keep going (with no more mini cheats!) and keep working on my shoulder development, I’ll be ready. They also pointed out that the bikini category has very specific criteria and some of those girls may be penalized for coming in overly muscular with visible muscle striations. Contrary to what I thought, defined abs NOT are not a criterion. The most important aspects are shoulders, glutes, hamstring tie-ins, and stage presence.
This is the reminder I needed today ❤️
I’ve been striving to improve my own fitness as I train for my first NPC bikini competition, but this morning I started comparing myself to other competitors. Thanks @team_sohn for reminding me that the only person I should ever compare myself to is ME!
So I refocused, put on my running shoes, blasted some Britney Spears with @aaptiv and @jjthornhill and rocked my run. Followed that up with an empowering Stroller Strides workout with @fit4momfortworth and my confidence is right back where it should be!
I’ll focus on my own goals, progress, and personal growth, and not compare my unique journey to anyone else’s!
Bikini Training Program
- Strength x 5 (7 sets) yesss! Back to 5 days!… but 7 sets?!
- Cardio x 5 (35 minutes) + weekend run… so really 6!
Monday: AM Quads/Ham/Abs
Tuesday: PM Shoulders/Biceps
Thursday: PM Hamstrings/Calves/Quads/Abs
Friday: AM Shoulders/Triceps/Chest
Saturday: Stroller Strides
Monday: 20 minutes stair climber Aaptiv Take the Stairs + 13 minutes elliptical Hills and Speed Drills (after strength)
Tuesday: treadmill run 18 minutes Aaptiv Since You Been Strong + 16 minute Heart Rate Peaks (AM fasted)
Wednesday: 23 minutes incline walk/jog Aaptiv Crank up the Incline (after strength)
Thursday: 22 minutes treadmill run Aaptiv Build to the Beat + 23 minutes incline walk 8-10% (AM fasted)
Friday: 33 minutes elliptical Aaptiv HIIT the Beat + 2 more minutes just to get to 35
Saturday: 16 minute run to/from Stroller Strides (Aaptiv Oops…I Sprinted Again both ways because I loved it so much last week)
Never heard of Aaptiv? It’s “on-demand audio fitness that combines the guidance of a trainer with the perfect playlist to give you a fresh way to work out.” They have hundreds of workouts for outdoor running or walking, treadmill, elliptical, stairclimber, cycling, race training, yoga, strength training, and meditation. I used to hate cardio, but this app is so motivating with a trainer in your ear telling you exactly what to do and encouraging you along the way. Now I actually look forward to cardio and it’s probably the only I could tolerate this much cardio!
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Here’s what a typical day of eating looks like for me (please keep in mind that this meal plan customized for MY specific dietary needs for my height, weight, workout intensity, AND my caloric needs for breastfeeding). This may not be appropriate for you.
Pre-Workout 4:30 am
1 whole egg + 2 egg whites and veggie bake
1/3 cup oatmeal with ½ cup egg whites and ½ banana mashed
Post-Workout/AM Snack 7:30 am
2 slices Ezekiel bread topped with 2 Tbs almond butter and 1/2 banana sliced
Lunch 11:00 am
4 oz. grilled chicken
½ cup brown rice
PM Snack 2:30 pm
4 oz. ground turkey
4 oz. sweet potatoes
1 cup broccoli
Dinner 6:00 pm
4.5 oz. salmon or 4 oz. bison
1/2 cup brown rice or 4 oz. sweet potato
Bedtime Snack 8:15 pm
Fit Crunch protein bar or Dale’s Raw Protein bar
Journey to the Stage: Bikini Competition Series
If you missed any of my Journey to the Stage bikini competition prep posts, you can get all caught up here: