Diary of a Bikini Competitor | Balanced BrunetteThis post is about a day late. Oops! 😛

I began writing yesterday and then got caught up in Sunday shenanigans. (Walking the pups, playing lacrosse in the park, meal prep, lifting, running, posing, napping…) This is a long one. So sit back, get comfy, and read on!

As of this past Saturday I have 3 weeks to go!

Diary of a Bikini Competitor: 3 Weeks OutI keep going back and forth between feeling ready and wanting more time. My body is responding but my booty refuses to let go. Just let go booty! LET. GO.

My butt is where I carry most of my weight. This normally doesn’t bother me at all. I have battled through many tough years of wrestling on jeans and have accepted my booty fate. The big booty doesn’t fit into a teeny, tiny suit very well though.

For the last 3 weeks I have upped my cardio. Why? Because I WANT to. Make sure you understand that. No one told me to increase my cardio. I don’t need to run every day. If you don’t like running then DON’T run every day.

The weather finally turned in Colorado and we are back to bluebird skies and 60-70 degree days. I LOVE being outside. I LOVE trail running. I LOVE hiking and walking the dogs. I tend to triple my daily steps once winter is over.

Diary of a Bikini Competitor:  Outdoor CardioWhen I first moved here I was running 5Ks, 10Ks, etc… Definitely ran myself out though. Total running burnout!

After taking a year or so off from running, I have been re-inspired. (Disclaimer: I will never and have never been a treadmill girl. You will never find me running hours of steady state cardio on a treadmill.)

However, the past week or so I have been running short intervals on the treadmill after my weight lifting sessions and I love it. Each session is around 20-25 minutes and I run about 2-3 miles. My intervals vary in speed, incline, and length. For example:

  • Walk 1 minute at 3.0 incline and 3.5 speed
  • Run for 1 minute at 2.0 incline and 7.0 speed
  • Walk for 30 seconds at 3.5 incline and 3.5 speed
  • Run for 1.5 minutes at 1.5 incline and 7.5 speed

By doing random intervals, I keep myself interested. As you know, I get bored really easily.

Round up of the past week

  • Finally got my mane all trimmed up #FreshHairFeels 😉
  • Started posing practice in my suit + heels
  • Stuffed my bikini top with boob pads (100% necessary and awesome)
  • Incorporated more cardio (battle ropes, treadmill, outdoor activity)
  • Kept my weight UP in the gym despite lower energy
  • Successfully stuck to my new nutritional plan (lower cals. Bleh.)
  • Watched the first NPC show of the season
Diary of a Bikini Competitor: NPC Colorado Denver Open
The Nutrition Company Denver Open 2015

Watching the Denver Open this weekend was fun. This show is not a national qualifier so many competitors use it as a “test run” for the season.

I observe. All the time. So it was really great to be able to sit back, watch the girls, look at the posing, check out the suits, hair, and makeup and figure out what the judges preferred and didn’t prefer.

Every single lady who stepped on stage deserves a huge hug + high-five. It isn’t easy and you don’t always place but you have accomplished something that the majority of the population never will.

I’m feeling good – great even. Yes, this is a challenging process. No, I am not perfect and I have “messed up” many times during my prep. Last night I drank chocolate milk and had two chocolate chip cookies after being at the gym for 3 hours (Lift + cardio + pose.) Did it fit my macros? I have no idea because I didn’t track yesterday. I just know (after years of listening to my body) that I needed some fast acting sugar and protein.

Some Things To Consider

Many women are coming out of the woodwork and approaching me as I go through competition prep. I am getting private messages, emails, and increased comments on my social media. Here is what I have noticed…

Women are using competition prep as their way to begin their weight loss and/or “getting healthy” goals.

I disagree with this method, vehemently. Here’s why…

Competition prep isn’t healthy.

It isn’t long-term. It isn’t sustainable. It actually sucks. Even when you do it the flexible dieting way, it is still a challenge. It’s mentally and physically taxing.

During prep you don’t learn how to listen to your body. You don’t learn about nutrition. You don’t spend enough time understanding how weight lifting and/or cardio affects your body. Especially if this is your “entrance” into weight loss or health.

This is why women leave the stage and binge. This is why they leave the stage and gain 30 lbs. This is why they leave the stage with metabolic damage, zero support from a coach, and no understanding as to why their body is rapidly deteriorating. The mental anguish from being “so lean” and then “gaining it all back” is enough to start a lifetime of yo-yo dieting that can lead to disordered eating.

I HIGHLY recommend that you get in touch with yourself and your body first. Spend a few months learning about nutrition and fitness with no agenda. No “this many weeks out.” Begin your health journey many, many months before you ever decide to start prep.

There is more to food than "protein, carbs, fat, chicken, asparagus, tilapia," and scheduled intervals of eating. If you need to, seek out someone qualified to teach you about nutrition. There is more to food than “protein, carbs, fat, chicken, asparagus, tilapia,” and scheduled intervals of eating. Spend a few sessions with a trainer learning how to lift with correct form. Look at how your body responds. How fast, how slow, and which lifts you prefer. Spend some time finding “cardio” that works for you. Perhaps its intervals on the treadmill or stepper. Maybe you love zumba or dance. Many people prefer running outside. Maybe it’s swinging a kettlebell around like a god damn boss.

Once you have a handle on your body, your nutrition, and your fitness then you can think about competing.

It’s far too easy to get caught up in the “competition process” even with many years of a healthy lifestyle under my belt. There are still days when I am like.. “Fuck, I should take a fat burner” or “I need to eat less” or “Shit, I ate too much, now I need to run for 2 hours.” Those are NOT healthy thoughts.

Thankfully, because I am in tune with my body and knowledgable about human physiology, nutrition, and fitness I can simply dismiss them. For the ladies that have never learned, they fall into the trap. They take the fat burners, follow the cookie cutter meal plans, spend 2 hours a day doing cardio in their squeem, dehydrate themselves the week before show day, and step on stage as a miserable, malnourished wreck.

No. This is not okay. The coaches that provide these girls with cookie cutter plans and outdated bro science should be ashamed.

Competing is about the journey. The challenge. The goal. Do you want to win? Of course! But at what cost? Do not destroy your life and body over the desire to step on stage.

Now that those words are off my chest, I can proceed with updates on measurements and posing. 😛

Diary of a Bikini Competitor: Posing PracticePosing is getting easier. After each session I feel more confident. I spent 45 minutes in my heels and bikini top on Sunday (after leg day, it was not easy.)

My individual routine is looking better and more natural. I have incorporated my own “attitude” into my poses and transitions. I videoed myself about 5-6 times yesterday just to see what looked best, what I needed to work on, and what poses flattered my body.

Measurements 3.22.14

  • Weight: 128 lbs
  • Height: 5’4
  • Chest – 30 inches
  • Bust – 29 inches
  • Arm (bicep) – 12 inches
  • Arm (forearm) – 9 1/4 inches
  • Waist – 26 inches
  • Hips – 31 inches
  • Glutes – 35 inches (lost!)
  • Thighs – 20 inches
  • Calves – 13 1/4 inches

Diary of a Bikini Competitor:  Bikini Suit and Padding

Real Talk: As I’ve stated many, many times before – dropping body fat means losing boobs. There is really no way around it. Breast tissue is mostly fat therefore it tends to leave us when we lean out. I accepted my small-boob fate many years ago.

That being said, when I put on my bikini top I was totally disappointed. My regular swimsuits are all padded and lined which make me feel feminine. I did NOT feel sexy or feminine when I put on my competition suit which obviously wasn’t going to work with feeling confidence on stage.

So, I ordered some padding for double the cup size and stuff those suckers into my top. I am much happier with the look. 😉

This week, I am mapping out my plan for the last 3 weeks. There are certain things you do during peak week to look your best. (No, I will not be water depleting or cutting sodium. More on that in the next update…)

On The Agenda

  • Mail in my NPC membership payment (it’s been sitting on my desk)
  • Register for my 3 classes for show day
  • Make nail appointments for myself and my teammate, Megan
  • Keep practicing my posing in my heels
  • Detailed map of the next 3 weeks

As always, post any questions or comments below.

Kisses From Balanced BrunetteAmanda Signature

7 Comments on Diary of a Bikini Competitor: 3 Weeks Out

  1. Linda Nguyen
    March 25, 2015 at 9:30 am (3 years ago)

    Hey Amanda! Great job so far! I’m training for my first competition as well and we’re almost exactly the same dates out. Mine’s on April 18th! Just wondering what boob pads you ordered lol. My “nuggets” shrunk even more. Sucks!!!

  2. Shannon
    March 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm (3 years ago)

    “Competition prep isn’t healthy” I love this disclaimer!!! I love your honesty and approach in general, but I think this is such a great point that so many people fail to mention. Good luck with the rest of your prep and enjoy it!

  3. kimberleymdt
    February 26, 2016 at 11:11 am (2 years ago)

    Hey Amanda,

    I wanted to ask you something, since I don’t know anybody else who can actually help me with that 🙁
    I’ve had an eating disorder do to the competition stuff and all and just like you I gained +10kg in a matter of 4 weeks. I was shocked. I learn all about metabolic damage and it’s been a year since. BUT and here is my concern, I’m still gaining lots and lots of fat in my thighs and butt. Even my sister sees it because I’ve never had cellulite and now it’s extreme. What do you think am I doing wrong? Or if not did you have a similar experience?

    Thank you Kim

  4. bodybybiff
    April 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey! I was wondering if your keeping your macros the same every day from 3 weeks out to show day (besides peak week) or if you are still using a refeed

  5. Laura aimsworh
    May 13, 2016 at 8:56 am (2 years ago)

    Hey I was just wondering when you come off the competition diet if you slowly increase your calories back to a normal amaount without binging everyday will you gain a lot of weight ?

    Also my boobs too have gone so small. I’ve always had quite big boobs and wanted them smaller but now they are smaller I have found that I’m starting to dislike how my body looks now more than how it was before. I was also wondering if they would go back to normal when I come
    Off my diet or would I have to gain a lot of weight for this to happen ?

    Thanks .
    Ps love your blog its so helpful

  6. Lindsey Rago
    August 17, 2016 at 1:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey! I’m wondering where you get padding for your bikini…? I’m having the same tiny boob problem!

    • Balanced Brunette
      August 19, 2016 at 8:51 am (2 years ago)

      Stuff that sucker with pillow stuffing (get it at a craft store.) Purchase a “chicken cutlet” for bras off Amazon to put in front of the stuffing to “smooth” it out. 🙂


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