I can mark this off my bucket list!
I set a goal to get in the best shape of my life 12 weeks ago. I signed up for a bikini competition where I would have to walk in front of hundreds of people in a bikini and be judged on my appearance and my body. Why on Earth did I do such a thing? Because I needed a goal to work toward and a group of vegans formed a group called PlantBuilt to show the world and the fitness community that you don’t need to eat animals to be strong and competitive in bodybuilding. They chose to meet in my city and I wanted to participate in this history in the making.
So I set on a long and hard journey of experimenting with my diet and working out almost everyday, twice a day. I documented that journey on this blog so you can read back and see what I did. But I broke it down in this blog post and in this video to explain it further.
The competition was fierce. We had 18 gals in our height division and everyone was beautiful! I wasn’t expecting to place, I was just happy to walk on stage and not trip on my face. It was a fun-filled day watching the other competitors as we waited to the very end to go up on stage. My legs were shaking the whole time while standing there as the judges did callouts; it was probably the most nerve-racking thing I have ever done. Sure I’ve given lectures and cooking demos in front of hundreds of people but this was different!
Competing in a bodybuilding show is no walk in the park. I had read about all the frightening things that had to be done beforehand but there was no preparing myself for what went down. It all started the night before the show when I had to get spray tanned. I chose to save some money and go with a local tanning company my friend suggested. They did a great job; I had to get four layers and stand in front of a fan in-between each one. It took what seemed like hours. I had to sleep on it and not shower for days but when I work up I messed it up in my sleep. Also my skin reacted badly to the tan and my back had cheetah-like spots all over it. I had to go in and have them respray me to try to fix it.
Since we went on last I tried my hardest not to mess it up but it’s damn near impossible. You have to do weird things like pee in a cup because if you get wet marks on your legs it will remove the tan in spots. Fast forward to the afternoon of the show and my back area still looked horrible. Austin tried to fix it with a top coat and thankfully it wasn’t noticeable on stage but it majorly stressed me out. Since it was a two day show, I couldn’t shower and had to sleep on the tan and try really hard not to mess it up. The next morning my back looked even worse and another friend Cheryl (pictured above) had to fix it in the bathroom with a top coat. It was a pain and a complete mess! But she did a wonderful job and saved my tan!
Lesson learned: Go with the sponsored tan even if it costs more. I could have got everything touched-up onsite with little hassle.
I had my new friend Kalea do our makeup on site on day 1 since we had so much time to kill before we went on stage. I made the mistake of having her do smokey dark eyes and curly big hair (photo on the left above), which was the complete opposite of what I should have done (and so NOT me anyways!). I needed to look more natural, but I didn’t know that!! I wish someone would have told me we overdid it because I might have placed. A judge actually came up to me on the 2nd day and told me my face was too hard and done up, but my body was amazing. So the second day I went for a more natural look and not only did I look beautiful it felt better (2nd photo above with Kalea and Yolanda on day 2).
Lesson learned: If I ever compete again don’t go overboard with hair and makeup.
The best part of the whole experience was getting to hang out with the PlantBuilt team all weekend long and show the world that being vegan is the coolest thing ever! Even if you aren’t into bodybuilding or don’t understand the whole concept of why someone would want to compete in this sport you have to have MAD RESPECT for someone that sets a goal, works their ass off to achieve it, and then works their ass of spreading the message of veganism for the animals.
They swept up and took home most the trophies from the show. So proud of every single one of them! After the show we had a two day eat-a-thon where we ate all the food all over town including burgers at Arlo’s and ice cream sundaes at Sweet Ritual (twice). I put on six pounds in a matter of 36 hours. It was all worth it.
Lesson learned: Be an advocate for veganism in all areas of your life. Do important things with friends!
Thank you again to everyone that made this experience possible! My sponsors Beyond Fit, PlantFusion, WhiteStar Manufacturing, The Waxing Studio, and to Austin Barbisch, Kalour Studios, Cheryl, Skinny Limits, PlantBuilt, Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine, all my friends and fans that supported me through this journey. Forever grateful!