Diary of a Bikini Competitor | Balanced Brunette

This week was rough.

I hit a wall of pure exhaustion on Wednesday which didn’t stop until today. Not just tired; but deep-down-to-my-bones exhaustion.

I’m attributing my exhaustion to a combination of things…

  • My new job is in Denver which has me getting up much earlier for a longer commute. I am not used to spending 2 1/2 hours of my day battling traffic to get work or getting up at 5am to do so. I have been spoiled working in Boulder healthcare these past few years.
  • My period started this week. I am normally a napper due to my Hashimoto’s but when my period hits I go down hard. Extra sleep is required and I don’t have extra time to sleep now. I run slightly anemic (my multi has enough iron to supplement) but my fatigue was out of control this week. I ended up killing 2 NY strip steaks on Friday night and started feeling better. #noshame I am also lifting hard, so additional iron supplementation might be necessary around this time.
  • Prep. Simply put, prep is hard. This is about the time when it gets challenging. Even when going about prep in a healthier way, I am still pushing my body hard 6-7 days a week while being meticulous about food. This is what separates the dedicated from the rest. If competing was easy, everyone would do it.

Diary of a Bikini Competitor: MacrosI stopped counting my macros on Thursday. *GASP* This doesn’t worry me. My body needed me to just listen this week. My fats were lower than usual which wasn’t working for the hormonal changes I was battling.

My breakfast, lunches, and snacks were exactly the same. Dinner on Thursday was Pasta Jay’s in Boulder which was amazing and desperately needed. I had 1/2 Chicken Alfredo and 1/2 Toffee Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. I have absolutely zero regrets.

On Friday, I significantly upped my fats with healthy options like nut butters, avocados, coconut oil, trail mix, cheese, and eggs. Dinner was two NY strip steaks (LOL) and mixed veggies. Ordinarily, I can barely eat one steak but I was on a no-calorie-left-behind roll and clearly needed the iron. Dessert was 1/4 cup Ben & Jerry’s.

Diary of a Bikini Competitor: Posing & LiftsMy lifts suffered a bit this week. With the intense fatigue and hormonal changes I found myself weaker than usual. I pushed through on some lifts as hard as possible while scaling back on others.

I kept my squats and deadlifts at 180 lbs but lowered my weight on other exercises (like glute work, arms, shoulders, etc…) while increasing reps.

This worked like a charm. 🙂

There were more bad days than good days this past week. I wanted to sleep. I hated the gym. I was grumpy. I cried.

Why am I sharing all of this somewhat personal information?

Simply put, I believe in being as transparent as possible during this process. It’s fun, challenging, difficult, and mentally and physically taxing. There are good days and bad days. Some days I feel like a warrior and other days I want to crawl into a hole with my ice cream and never come out. Many competitors only share the highlights. Highlights are amazing but there is so much more that happens throughout the process.

This is what a warrior looks like. Just a normal girl, putting in the work.Diary of a Bikini Competitor: Week 9

I am skilled at listening to my body and I will continue to listen throughout prep. My macros and calories changed again for the week and I will be tracking again starting tomorrow. Surprisingly enough (given my whirlwind of a week) I lost inches AND weight!

My weight hasn’t budged in months (and this doesn’t bother me in the least.) My baseline is 130 lbs. My body is happy and content at 130 lbs and I am perfectly fine with the number.

During prep, the goal is to lower that number though, which is incredibly challenging. Gaining muscle while dropping body fat literally goes against nature.

Again… prep. is. hard.

Here are my numbers for the week.

Measurements 2.8.15

  • Height: 5’4
  • Weight: 129 lbs (lost)
  • Chest  –  29 1/2 inches
  • Bust –  29 inches
  • Arm (bicep) – 12 inches
  • Arm (forearm) – 9 inches
  • Waist (navel) –  27 1/2 inches
  • Hips –  32 inches
  • Booty –  36 1/2 inches (lost)
  • Thighs –  20 inches
  • Calves –  13 1/4 inches

Diary of a Bikini Competitor: Baby Lat!My Sunday morning was spent hiking about 5 miles with my family who are visiting from Michigan. In terms of lifting, it was a much-needed rest day. “Official” progress pictures (front, back, side) will begin again shortly (perhaps next week.) Until then, my Instagram selfies will have to do. 😉

Side note: I was exceptionally excited to see a baby lat poking through on Saturday! This little muscle is the reason that swim suits no longer fit. 😛

This week will lead me into week 8, which is where many experienced competitors begin their prep. I need to register for my show and order my suit. My color is officially MINT. 😀 I get complimented quite frequently when wearing mint colored shirts (mint goes well with dark features and tan skin) so I figured I would look good in a mint suit as well. Hopefully the color POPS on stage like I am envisioning.

As always, leave any questions or comments below.
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7 Comments on Diary of a Bikini Competitor: 9 Weeks Out

  1. Kayla
    February 9, 2015 at 5:20 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting what training is like when you’re a woman! That one week of the month it is so hard to find the energy, and while at the gym I’m easily fatigued! It’s nice to know that others have this same problem

    • Balanced Brunette
      February 9, 2015 at 7:52 am (3 years ago)

      You’re welcome! It’s a part of life and needs to be addressed. We can’t be expected to go hard 100% of the time. It’s not physically possible when our hormones are spiking and plummeting. It’s OKAY to take a few days off, rest, recover, and eat as needed. <3

  2. LilMissMountainMaven
    February 12, 2015 at 11:41 am (3 years ago)

    This is exactly what I needed to read today! Working with the kiddos again got me sick, so my lifting has not been on point the last couple of days (not to mention that all I want to eat is avocado toast)! I’ve also been feeling hard on myself because even though we’re 8 weeks out I feel like I should be more “cut” at this point (though I am totally aware that might be the pms talking DARN YOU PROGESTERONE!) Yay for suit time! ——-> Even though I have no idea what my anticipated weight loss is! Lift/pose soon! Saturday?

    • Balanced Brunette
      February 12, 2015 at 4:17 pm (3 years ago)

      “Cut” happens like magic a few weeks out. You have time. :* Definitely lifting + posing this weekend. <3

  3. Michelle
    July 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm (3 years ago)

    THANK YOU. For making me feel like being tired is normal and i’m not just weak for feeling like this. I was getting discrougaed becasue I just started my prep so I thought I shouldn’t be feeling like this already. But working two jobs and the fact that I started my period the same week I’m starting my prep, is supposed to take a toll on me. While reading I just found my self saying “see, its ok she feels it too!” so thank you!

  4. Alison
    August 15, 2016 at 7:22 pm (2 years ago)

    I am so grateful for your commentaries and honest transparency! I have Hashimotos too – popped up after I gave birth to my daughter. I’ve always wanted to do a bikini or figure comp, but I have finally committed full force to a show October 1, 2016. Today I am 7 weeks away from the stage, and I experienced the same fatigue and need for carbs/iron last week. Sunday I didn’t count any macros either.

    I am so grateful to read this post, and your peak week post and see your progres pics. Abs have always been hidden on me, but my legs and arms show muscle easily, so I’m hoping to get down to about 125lbs for stage. I’m 5’7 and 130 now. I’d be so happy to get on stage right now at this weight and body fat, tho. 7 weeks! Thank you for your blog!


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