Updated: Jul 1, 2020
April 30th, 2018
February 24th, 2018 I competed in my first ever NPC Bikini Fitness competition in Hayward, CA. Competing in a fitness competition has been something I have wanted to do for years now (since I was a sophomore in college). I played collegiate basketball and every year tried to convince my strength & conditioning coach to let me train for one. She obviously never gave in because basketball was strenuous enough and she knew what was best for me at the time (thx Coach Quiggle!)
I started my prep in early October and planned for 19 weeks of hard core “dieting” and 4-5 days of lifting + cardio. Now, you may be thinking holy sh*t 19 weeks?! Yes, yes it was a very longgggggggg time to be prepping. I’m crazy. Most people do around 9-10 weeks. Which is what I should have probably done and what I will aim to do next time. I don’t regret prepping for that long, it just definitely takes its toll on your body. I needed to use my time in Cali to get healthy and ease my knees into a more rigorous training schedule, so maybe for me the training part of the 19 weeks was beneficial. I also decided to prep in the middle of football season. Again, yes, I am crazy. Other than that minor detail it was the most opportune time for me to finally do it.
I got a coach, his name is Brody (@badbroski) He was a gymnast at Iowa and his girlfriend is also a trainer (@thebabydrake) and she played field hockey at Iowa. I knew Brody’s younger sister in college so she was the one who introduced us. Having Brody was great in every way because there is absolutely no way I could’ve done this alone. Especially when it gets down to the last few weeks and your diet is changing and your water intake is changing and you’re practicing your posing and ordering your suit. There’s just so much more to it than you think from the outside looking in. Having someone who has been there before and knows what it feels like and has ultimately made this his profession helps so incredibly much. I cannot thank Brody and Sarah enough for helping check this big accomplishment off my bucket list. I highly recommend the both of them if you’re looking for any type of trainer or coach!
Here’s a little example (a little taste, LOL) into what my diet looked like for one week.
MEALS 8 weeks out EVERY DAY >Eat every 2.5 hours to 3 hours >1.5 gallons of water
MYOBLOX STUFF (supplements) >Myoblox products are very clean >Use code: goodvibes10 at check out
SUPPLEMENTS Day 1 🔹🔹🔹🔹(if you workout in the evening) high day 🔥🔥 First thing in the am 2 tbs apple cider vinegar in 8 oz water Tetra by Myoblox – 1
MEAL 1 3 eggs 1 egg white Detox blend (take with you to work) 1 -2 cups spinach 1-2 tbsp chia seed 1-2 tbsp hempseed 1-2 lemon juice 150 g raspberry 50 g blueberry 4 oz organic oj Fill with more water if need be MEAL 2 (lunch at 12:30) ✨take a second Tetra with this meal ✨ 4 oz salmon 1 oz cashews MEAL 3 4 oz salmon 1/4 cup brown rice MEAL 4 (pre workout meal) 1 scoop myoblox isofract 1 tbs mct oil PRE WORKOUT (optional) Myoblox Pre workout- Blow (non-stim) or loco (stim) Bcaa- illa
💎During workout 25 g highly branched cyclic dextrin 💎 Truenutrition.com MEAL 5 (immediately post workout) 4 oz chicken 1 tbs honey 1/2 bagel Meal 6 (1. 5- 2 hours post workout) 4 oz top sirloin 1 tbs mct oil 1 cup spinach Before bed 2 tbs apple cider vinegar in 8 oz water
Day 2 🔹🔹🔹🔹(if you workout in the am) Low day😭😭 TETRA – 1 first thing First thing in the am 2 tbs apple cider vinegar in 8 oz Meal 1 3 eggs 1 egg white Detox blend (take with you through our the day) 1 -2 cups spinach 1-2 tbsp chia seed 1-2 tbsp hempseed 1-2 lemon juice 150 g raspberry 50 g blueberry 4 oz organic oj Fill with more water if need be PRE WORKOUT (optional) Myoblox Pre workout- Blow (non-stim) or loco (stim) Bcaa- illa MEAL 2 (post workout) 1 scoop myoblox isofract 1 tbs mct oil
💎During workout 25 g highly branched cyclic dextrin 💎 Truenutrition.com
MEAL 3 ( post workout 1.5 hours) 4 oz chicken 1/4 white rice MEAL 4 4 oz Atlantic salmon MEAL 5 4 oz salmon 1/2 tbs macadamia oil Meal 6 4 oz top sirloin 1 cup spinach Before bed 2 tbs apple cider vinegar in 8 oz water
This is just an example of what one of my weeks looked like. 8 weeks out to be exact. Brody changed my diet weekly for the most part. Meaning, serving sizes, protein options, carb options and various supplements. Obviously the further out I was from my show day the “more” I was eating and as the days dwindled down I cut down on my serving sizes and exactly what it was I was eating changed. Because I prepped for so long I think my body started “rejecting” what I was eating almost like it got sick of the bland foods. There were about 3 weeks in there where I felt so sick I couldn’t finish my meals. Even the sight of a chicken breast would make my stomach upset. I took a couple days off here and there and switched up my sources of protein to try and, “reset” my body to continue on prep. This was one of the most challenging times of my prep. Hell yes part of me wanted to quit and throw in the towel and start eating regular food butttttt the other part of me said keep going you have wanted to do this for so long and you’re so close to the end! You really get to know your body during a process like this. I knew exactly what foods made me bloat and what foods gave me energy and made me feel good. The hardest part of prep for me was definitely eating so clean and always being prepared with a meal. Anytime I would leave the house I had to bring my meals with me. Running errands, going to the grocery store, getting the oil changed I would have to pack a meal and eat it in the car. I thought I was pretty organized before all of this but this is whole new kind of organization. When I went to one of George’s football games I would pack two meals and store them in the family room with a gallon of water. I would eat one meal at half time and try to finish it before they ran back on the field! The other I ate immediately after the game was over and a lot of the time I wasn’t hungry at all.
Competition prep is also veryyyyyyyy expensive. I think I got myself into this before I truly knew just how much it would cost. Here’s a rough estimate of what it cost for me to be in prep.
Coach: $350-500 a month in person, $150 online
Gym membership: $50-100 a month
Groceries: $60-100 a week
Supplements: $50-80 a month
Waist trainer: $60
Workout clothes: $60- $100 new bras (because you will lose one to two cup sizes in your boobs) new pants (because you will lose inches off your waist and thighs so they no longer stay up.)
Competition bikini: used ($200-300) new ( $500-800)
Spray Tan: ($100)
Hair & Makeup: ($100-180)
NPC Card: $125 annually
NPC class registration: $100 per division you compete in
Stage Photos: $89
Grand Total: for 5 months of prep rough estimate ($3,419 – $5,594)
Obviously, these numbers are very rough and I was trying to base it off of the numbers I knew. You can save money here and there by doing your own hair and makeup, getting a used bikini, only competing in one division, etc. But ultimately, it’s a pretty large financial commitment. Especially if you choose to eat organically then that only makes your grocery bill higher. At the end of the day if this is something you really want to do then you should definitely do it. It’s your body, it’s your life, you’re only given one to nourish and take care of. I am so incredibly happy and proud of myself for going through this!
These photos were taken on Feb 17th, 7 days before I take the stage.
I always took progress photos first thing in the morning each week. Before doing anything I would make sure to snap a photo in my leanest form. I remember after taking this photo, feeling so confident and that I would be ready to take the stage!
A run-down of show weekend:
The days leading up to the show can be extremely hectic. You’re running on essentially no carbs, you have to be extra focused on what you’re eating and when you’re eating it because every little bit counts at this point. You’re moody AF. Your hormones are all over the place and all you can think about is a big juicy cheeseburger. You could have random meltdowns (I did the day before my show). You are constantly thinking you won’t be ready come show day. One of the other hardest moments for me to overcome was my negative self-talk. We all do it. “I don’t look like her.” “I will never have a core like that.” “This is my first show I don’t know what I’m doing.” “I’m not lean enough.” “The judges won’t like me.” I usually do a pretty good job with self-talk and giving myself the confidence I need, but I will tell you there were times the negative self-doubt crept in. I remember 24hrs before I took the stage having an absolute panic attack because I was still holding water. Well little did I know just how much leaner I would get through the night. I stopped drinking water at 6pm the night before my competition and woke up in the morning looking like I was in an entirely different body! Crazy! Not to mention the second you throw that spray tan on you turn into a completely different person as well. A dark tan is an incredible confidence booster LOL!
Okay these photos are just to show what I looked like the night before my competition after I had one coat of spray tan. Looking back at these photos I have no idea why I was stressing about not looking good enough! These were also the photos I had to send my coach in order for him to tweak my water and supplements and see what I needed exactly. Kill the negative self talk!
These meltdown moments are when I was really thankful to have my support system around me. My mom and George were out in California the week leading up to my competition and made it so much easier on me. They ran errands for me and helped me make my food and bought all my cheat meal food for after my show! You get pretty exhausted and run down by the time your show comes so it’s so helpful to have other people around you who are able to go out and run errands for you and just help distract you to take your mind off it. The morning of my competition I got to have coffee and pancakes and eggs! My mom made breakfast for me and gave me a coffee mug that read “She believed she could so she did.” That’s pretty much how you have to do it! You can do anything you put your mind to!
post tan pre makeup car pump up session in our ROKA sunnies!
Show day is crazy! You wake up early to get a good breakfast in, pack all your stuff up to be prepared for a long day ahead. I drove over to a nearby hotel to have my makeup done. After that I had to rush to the convention center where they were holding the competition to put my suit on and my heels and practice my poses. This whole experience is very similar to a track meet. Hurry up only to wait. There were tv’s in our changing room so we were able to keep an eye on which division was up and try to time out when we would take the stage. I competed in the tallest possible division for bikini, division F. So as soon as division A was called to go out I got to eat a Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cup. Some coaches like to have you do this to get a little sugar rush and because your body has been so deprived it latches right on to the sugar and can make you tighter but your muscle bodies look fuller. I have a hard time explaining exactly what it does to your body, that’s why you need a coach! Brody could probably give you a way better explanation and it would make total sense. Or I just didn’t really care to listen because he was allowing me to have chocolate before I took the stage and I lost all focus after that came out of his mouth.
Okay so your division is called and they line you up according to your number. You walk out single file and once you take your places on stage you hit your front pose. The judges guide you through the positions and poses. After a group pose you stand off to the side (still flexing) and wait for individual girls to walk to the middle of the stage and hit 3 different poses before walking off and the next girl will go. The 3 poses I did were a front pose, transition to a back pose and then end on either a side pose or back to the front pose again. This was my favorite part about the competition! I absolutely loved being up there on stage all done up. In this moment, I felt like I was the world champ. This mindset definitely made my posing look good. I was fluid and natural hitting all my poses like I had practiced them a million times. It’s all mental people! Imagine yourself out there hitting the poses and you will do just that. One of the craziest things for me to understand about this process is you train for months only to have about 5 minutes max to showcase what you’ve worked so hard on.
There are two different sessions on competition day. The first part of the day is when the majority of the judging is done and girls are being moved all around on the stage. Universally you want to be placed in the middle of the line on stage, this way you are the pinnacle and people are being compared to you. The second part of the day is finals. There’s a few hours break in the middle of the day before you come back for finals. I didn’t get first call outs, which means I didn’t really get moved toward to middle or place 1st, 2nd or 3rd. We made the decision to skip out on finals because if you don’t get first call outs you’re really just going back for a participation trophy and to walk out on stage again only to not place. Since there wasn’t really any further judging to be had for me I didn’t feel it was necessary to drive an hour back and prolong this diet lol. I left that venue with a sense of accomplishment and I was damn proud of myself. Placing high or not, I completely transformed my body and I was confident in a swim suit standing on stage in front of hundreds of people. Not many can say they’ve ever done that or would ever feel comfortable doing that. I placed 7th in open and 4th in novice.
GET PROFESSIONAL STAGE SHOTS! TRUST ME IT’S WORTH IT!
I got my bikini from Muscle Dazzle they make you a custom new bikini for a fraction of the cost of most competition suit companies. My heels are from Amazon lol Ellie Competition Heels my jewelry is from Claire’s except one bracelet is from my mom and it’s the same one she wore in her competitions back in the day. I did my own hair, straightened it.
After we made the decision to not go back for finals we went to a restaurant near our apartment to order tasty drinks! LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN!
Huge thank you to my gym WESTCA for being so welcoming and maintaining a truly inspiring environment. By far my favorite gym! Can’t wait to get back out to Cali to be a part of it again!
I had the most incredible week with friends and family crossing a huge dream off my bucket list! I may not have ended up #1 but thats not the point. I gave it my all and learned an incredible amount through the process. In the end the big take aways I learned are to never sell yourself short, never say I can’t, and do not ever let your sense of self worth be based on the opinions of others! You are beautiful, you are strong and you are incredibly powerful!
also side note- this is the most fit I have ever been in my life and I still didn’t have a thigh gap and I still had cellulite! That’s real shit people!
Here’s to my momma who gave me the love for this sport in the first place. Thanks for all you did and do @shelleytill
Thanks to my bestie @kenziecleary for supporting me for all 19 weeks in Cali! Couldn’t have done this or our first NFL season without you!
& to G for constantly supporting me in every facet of life. I could’ve never in a million years done this without you. Thank you for challenging me, inspiring me, loving me and most of all believing in me! I love you! @gkittle46
& last but not least to my coaches! I REALLY couldn’t have done this without you! Thank you for sticking with me through it, I know I can be a pain in the ass. You guys are rockstars and such an incredible example of a couple who support each others dreams and who attacks life head on together! I look up to the both of you and admire your work so much. @badbroski @thebabydrake & @danaeshemansky for giving me that final push that I needed!
This girl! @alyssakelly5 Thank you for keeping me sane on competition day and for answering all my many questions! For tightening my swim suit, for checking my walk and for lifting me up! Continue to kick ass in your competitions!
GO AFTER YOUR DAMN DREAMS! JUST SAY YES!