Diaries of a Bikini Competitor: What I Learned From the Journey

22 Nov

Bikini competing is a unique sport, one that requires persistence and dedication.  I have to admit, I really had no idea exactly what I was getting myself into when I signed up.  I underestimated the subjectivity of the sport.  I overlooked how much of a challenge it would be to express myself and my personality to a judge without saying a word.  Being willing to step on stage and be scored on your physical appearance is a huge risk.  There are the elements of swimsuit choice, posing and confidence, but at the end of the day, it primarily comes down to physique.  Did you fit the image the judges had in their mind of what a bikini competitor looks like? 

A successful competitor often needs to master dieting.  This is by far one of the most difficult things I’ve ever undertaken.  People constantly told me they could never give up certain foods.  Surprisingly, that wasn’t the hardest part for me.  I had the will power to resist food.  I wanted the goal of getting on stage and knowing I did everything I could to do well more than I wanted food.  What I didn’t anticipate was that severely restricting my diet would take a toll on my mind.  My moods shifted, I eventually found myself losing energy and motivation.  I struggled every day the last month to stay the course. I stuck with it and learned a lot about myself in the process.  So in the end, what did bikini competing really teach me? 

…It taught me the balance is paramount.

…It reminded me that sometimes you have to give up something up in order to get something even more valuable.

…It showed me that you don’t have to win a contest to win the hearts of others.

…It proved to me that age is just a number.

…It re-affirmed my opinion that the very best people I know believe in others as much as they believe in themselves. 

…It certified my belief that strong is good, every body is different, and they are all beautiful in their own way.

…It confirmed that people who have the ability to light up a room often do it with their smile and their inner beauty.  If you were to be left with one desirable physical asset, always choose a warm smile.

…It made me more fully appreciate the amazing people I know.  It lost friends in the process but it gained some that I’ll never forget.

…And mostly, it solidified that you should never be objective with yourself.   There are enough other people who will do that for you. Your job is to completely believe in your ability to achieve whatever goal you set for yourself, regardless of how far you have to go to get there. Dream big! If you want something, go out and get it! You CAN do it and you WILL.   And whatever you do, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!

If you ever consider participating in a bikini competition, or any type of body/fitness competition for that matter, do it for yourself.  Don’t let the score or the placement dictate whether you were successful.  Recognize that it takes courage to get on stage.  Surround yourself with a support network of people who believe in you.  Value the journey more than the actual event.  Finally, never doubt your ability to inspire someone simply by putting yourself out there.   

With that, I am going to go treat myself to a cookie.  Be well, live strong, enjoy life, support others, smile a lot and appreciate every moment.

4 Responses to “Diaries of a Bikini Competitor: What I Learned From the Journey”

  1. James patrick November 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Fantastic post Kim! Really glad to see how this all processed in your mind.

  2. Gretchen Goodell November 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    I love this post. Keeping it all in perspective! And so many lessons learned. Great experience!

  3. scott November 23, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    Great post. Thank you for the opportunity to train you. I apprecaite how hard you worked and your willingness to learn. I wish you all the best and I am here to help you with anything that I can.

  4. Diana J November 25, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    So how was the cookie? When I first had a treat after months of being really disciplined about my diet, it was good, but kind of overwhelming. I was *so* sweet!

    Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s definitely interesting to see how this experience has affected your self-image. It’s awesome that you did this and have this sense of pride from going for it.

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