After competing in my first UKBFF bikini competition on May 3rd and being lucky enough to win, I have received MANY questions about my prep etc… So I thought I would write a full blog post on my journey to my first competition!
Through the winter months I began my new job as a personal trainer, hours were long and I spent the majority of my days putting in a graft trying to build my client base… I put all of my effort into making others happy and completely forgot about myself. I would still train almost every day but my sessions began to feel pointless as I had no real goal to push towards! I am a VERY goal orientated person!
Once I returned from my winter cruise, and had gained a few pounds or ten, I revaluated what I really wanted to do. I had wanted to compete for SO long, but after having an eating disorder in the past It worried me that I would fall back into the same kind of trap. After being a dancer/performer my whole life, the stage was my happy place, and the one way for me to be up on stage in the fitness industry was to compete! I knew now that I was mentally in a very good place, I had so much self-love and support from people around me that I just went for it! On February 16th I contacted Josh Mchale and the journey to my first prep began!
I checked in on a Saturday morning, Pictures, Measurements and weight. I kind of liked this as it gave me a drive each week to push harder and harder as I knew at the end of the week if my weight/measures hadn’t gone down I would only have myself to be held accountable.
I remember panicking 8 weeks out because I saw lots of girls on Instagram who were literally stage ready and I still had a LONG way to go. I didn’t want my first comp to be a ‘I’ll just see what it’s like’ kinda thing, I was in it to place top 3, nothing less! I asked my coach if he thought 12 weeks was actually realistic and his reply was ‘if you work hard vic, it’s not impossible’. So I stopped comparing to others and focused on myself, literally training my a** off every day regardless of how I felt!
At first my programmes were pretty similar to what I’d do anyway. As the weeks progressed more and more cardio had to be added to my plan to ensure a plateau didn’t happen. First it would be 30 minutes away from my training session which at about 7 weeks out was increased to 1 hours’ worth of LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) and was honestly the bain of my life!
As my calories got lesser and training became more intense/longer it was only normal for me to tire out pretty fast. I never complained though. The one thought that would go through my head each and every session would be ‘if I do exactly what coach says and push myself as hard as I can every day, no matter what I place, at least I know it’s the best I could have done…’
One of the hardest things about prep was how unsociable it is. You could never plan a nice full day out, or go out for food with friends/ family because it would completely throw you off. My weekends consisted of training in the morning, home for food and then back to the gym for cardio…after that I pretty much just wanted to sleep.. Luckily enough my boyfriend understood how important my goals were to me and supported me through it all!
I progressed well through the weeks, loosing at least 1 kg a week and tightening up everywhere! I was crazy to see my body changing so fast. Compared to a lot of other girls prepping my calories were kept at a reasonable amount which made me realise how much of a great knowledgeable coach I had.
The biggest struggles were probably from about 2 weeks out. My calories were pretty low and having to balance out my own training,posing and training clients ( trying to act extremely happy) wasn’t easy. I probably cried at least every other day (haha) and my mood was everywhere! Of course there were times I would have rather have gone home to bed than stay an do an hours’ worth of cardio but that mind-set would not have gotten me 1st place at the north west champs.
I managed to get ill the final week of comp due to being so malnourished my strength decreased massively which was mega frustrating as I felt like my training wasn’t good enough, I couldn’t push as hard as I would before! My coach told me to chill out abit, but being the crazy perfectionist that I am I had to put everything in to every session, even if it left me feeling rotten afterwards! Knowing it was just one week away I just let the excitement and the want to do well get me through it.
When show day arrived, EVERYTHING seemed 100% worth it. Looking at the amazing line up of girls I was against made me glad I had put my whole heart into my training and diet. Surprisingly enough the vibe back stage was incredible, so much support and love between the girls all just genuinely wanting to enjoy their time on stage! I LOVED every minute of being in front of the audience up on that stage. Although 10 minutes felt like 2 hours I plastered a huge smile across my face and just owned it as that was the most I could have done! I still can’t believe that I won!
If I could give any advice to somebody wanting to compete it would be that you have to be 100% comfortable with yourself and feel able to love yourself through every step of the journey. You need to focus on YOU and not compare to other girls. It will take up your whole life, especially the closer it gets to comp date so you have to be 100% committed! You will feel hungry, you will feel tired and you will have thoughts about quitting. But as long as you find a good coach, Stay dedicated, committed and work your absolute a** off each and every day ANYTHING is possible!