I’ve been following the bikini competition training and nutrition plan for a few weeks now, and I’m really happy with how it’s going so far! The biggest change has been going to the gym for strength training and fitting that into my day. I’ve always been really into home workouts, either following along to workout DVDs or doing my own thing.


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Self-motivation to workout has always come pretty naturally and I liked getting it out of the way before the rest of my family wakes up. My trainers prefer afternoon strength workouts, but fitting that around my work schedule or taking time away from my family has been difficult. I’m about 50/50 for early 5:00 am workouts before work and afternoons after work. I changed my work schedule in December to work 5 shorter days instead of 4 slightly longer days. I miss my day off to spend with the baby, make appointments, and just get things done before the weekend, but I knew I would never be able to exercise after work if I didn’t get off until 5:00 pm. And then on the weekends I still try to get some activity in with my family with a walk to the farmer’s market (but I now have to skip the delicious zucchini muffins sold my our favorite vendor). Working out with my kids isn’t nearly as productive, but it sure is comical! (Please excuse the super blurry selfie photo, but this about sums it up!)
The nutrition part of this process hasn’t been that extreme because they developed my meal plan out of foods and meals I typically ate anyway. The only difference is no more sweets. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but now I realize how often I gave into that sweet tooth and how much it was holding me back. Just with training and this small change in my diet, I’ve already noticed big changes! Planning ahead and measuring appropriate portion sizes have also been important. I’ve always liked to meal plan and prep to save time and stress during the week. Having meals prepped and ready to pack into my lunchbox for work has made this process so much easier and I don’t even have to rely on willpower to stay away from the junk food at work. I just eat what’s in my lunchbox and don’t even walk into the cafeteria or lounge. This is the food scale I use to precisely measure my food so I can track it in My Fitness Pal.
I haven’t cut out wine yet, but I’ve definitely cut back. When we go out to dinner or hang out with friends, I’ll have 1 glass instead of 2 and try to keep that at only once a week.

The only exception was a wine weekend trip to Fredericksburg that we had planned months ago. We rented a house with some friends, tasted wine at a few vineyards, and saw the amazing Christmas lights in Johnson City. It was our first vacation without kids since the baby was born and it was SO nice! We missed them for sure, but our adults-only weekend was so relaxing! We slept in, drank (a lot of) coffee, strolled around town and enjoyed a fancy dinner. On Saturday we visited a few vineyards and I was pretty good about just tasting the wines and not overindulging. I felt like I was able to truly enjoy the wine without the hangover the next day that I’d usually get after an entire day of drinking wine!

Christmas was the next big hurdle. We visited my family in Minnesota and there was so much food available all the time! Before going, I told my parents about my meal plan and that I’d be happy to do my own grocery shopping. Luckily, my mom tries to eat healthfully most of the time too so they already had most of the items I would need. Even though they knew about my goals, that didn’t stop them from offering desserts, snacks, and drinks very frequently. I don’t think they were trying to sabotage me at all, just trying to show love and be good hosts. My mom even made my favorite cranberry dessert bars looked so hurt when I told her I couldn’t have them. At our big Christmas celebration with the family, there was an abundance of crackers, cheese, cookies, cakes, and bars. I realized that if I did not have the goal of competing in a bikini competition, I would have over-indulged in all of these! I knew lasagna would be served as the main course, so I offered to make a salad and then packed my own chicken to each with it. I was a little self-conscious that my family would think I wasn’t celebrating by not eating, but very few people seemed to notice or care! And those that did notice complimented me on my healthy habits and self-control.

I think most of our holidays and social gatherings revolve around food, so I thought I would have to isolate myself to be successful in this prep. So far this hasn’t been the case at all. I definitely have to do a little more planning and pack my own food if I don’t know the menu, but I’ve found that most people are very complimentary of healthful habits and the hosts are extremely appreciative of my offers to contribute a healthy dish to the meal.

So here are my progress photos so far… nothing staggering, but I can tell a difference in how I feel. My jeans fit a little better and everything feels a bit tighter. Unfortunately, I’m wearing leggings, but I can definitely see more definition in my quads.

 Bikini Training Program

  • Strength x 5 days (mostly 3-4 sets)
  • Cardio x 3 days (15 minutes HIIT)
  • 1 class per week (for fun if I want to)

Week 3:  cardio increased to 20 minutes HIIT 4x week and my strength sets increased to 4-5 sets

Week 4: cardio goals is still 4x a week but either 20 minutes of HIIT or 35 minutes steady state

Week 5: strength workouts increased to 7 sets per exercise. OMG what?! SEVEN sets?!?! My leg workout took me 80 minutes to complete! I had planned to do cardio afterward but even just barely finishing my strength workout I was already running late to work.

Strength Training

Monday: Legs

Tuesday: Shoulders (try this Sculpted Shoulders workout)

Wednesday: Back/Abs

Thursday: Arms

Friday: Chest/Legs/Abs

Saturday: fitness class through ClassPass (try it and get $30 off with this link!), walk with the family, or something else active and fun

Sunday: Rest


I get bored VERY easily during cardio, so I keep myself motivated by using the Aaptiv app. It’s an 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.

I remember a few years ago when the idea of a competing in a bikini competition started to bounce around in my head. But seeing the training plans and the amount of cardio required, especially towards the end, I thought “no way I could ever do that much boring cardio!” Now the fun part of my week is looking through all the workouts on Sundays, narrowing them down by favorite trainers, genre of music, and duration, and planning them out for the week! I have a to-do list within the app of AT LEAST 50 workouts!

Want to try Aaptiv FREE for 30 days? Try it HERE

Meal Plan

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.

Breakfast 4:30 am

Protein shake (my favorite protein powder is Legion Athletics Whey+ in Dutch Chocolate or Chocolate Peanut Butter) with half a banana and 1 cup spinach

1 slice Ezekiel toast with 1 Tbs almond butter

AM Snack 8:00 am

5 Egg whites, spinach, red onion + half avocado

Oatmeal + ½ cup blueberries + ½ oz chopped walnuts

Lunch 11:30 am

Grilled chicken or ground turkey 

Sweet potatoes

Green beans

PM Snack 3:00 pm

Dale’s Raw Protein Bar –> went out of business in 2019 🙁

Dinner 6:00 pm


Brown rice

Steamed broccoli

Bedtime Snack 8:15

Cottage cheese + ¼ cup blueberries + 1 Tbs granola + cinnamon

Or Chocolate covered almonds 2 days a week as a treat