Whenever I prepare for something important I have to get my mind right. If I’m not mentally in the right place, anything that follows can be a catastrophe. Mental preparedness brings forth more balance, consistency and the ability to do things with a clear head and a focused mind.
One of my most memorable times of pushing my mental (and physical) self, was when I was preparing for a bikini (fitness) competition. I had to focus on mind over matter, keeping my diet straight, my workouts straight and above all remain consistent with everything daily. It was all about mental prep.
I knew I liked working out and I loved having a clean diet but what I didn’t know was how much the decision I was about to make was going to challenge me and change me. My decision to compete in a bikini competition was when I was working out at J&J fitness with my trainer Steve. The truth is I was going through a tough time and I needed an outlet. In addition, I was tired of everyone telling me I couldn’t do it! I really had no idea at the time how much dedication went into something like this, but I knew I could do it and no one was going to change my mind. Have you ever felt like that about anything?
Preparation is hard and requires major dedication, it’s a complete balancing act and you must stay consistent! The beginning isn’t too hard, especially if you are “bulking.” You are able to eat pretty regularly, and you are never really hungry as you are able to eat carbs. I mean, who doesn’t love carbs?! As the process moves further along it becomes a little tougher, less food and more water…and of course, alcohol gets eliminated from your diet. Honestly, though, it’s not that hard when you break it down and take it step by step. It’s all about setting goals and taking steps to reach them. These steps can be set by you or you can research sites such as bodybuiding.com where I identified the steps below:
- Be Prepared
- Be Realistic
- Develop a plan
After you do this, you can then begin work with a trainer, or a training partner. You will continue to adjust your plan according to your own personal goals and development. According to bodybuilding.com below are some steps to assist in the process of your first show.
- 12 months out – what show do you want to do? What does your off-season program look like?
- 6 months out-change your diet and exercise routines according to your goals
- 20 weeks out-Set up your competition diet (I had help from my trainer/coach and nutritionist)
- 8 weeks out- register for your competition and practice posing
- 6 weeks out- start to plan your look for the show
- 3 weeks out-Focus! Stick to your diet and PRACTICE!!!
- Last week- continue to go over your routine & make a checklist so you are prepared.
I know many of you are thinking “this is nuts!” Why would anyone want to do this, and believe me those were my original thoughts as well. Honestly, this process was the most liberating thing I have ever done and helped me to realize how strong I really am. If your thinking about participating in a bikini competition, I would suggest the help of a trainer/coach who will push you and support you. I would also strongly recommend a nutritionist. If you want to compete, then get out there and do it! The only thing stopping you is yourself!
Have you ever prepped for a fitness competition or anything that required your entire focus? If so, what did you do and how did you make it through? Please share.
Guest Contributor Blogger: Kathryn Marks