This topic is crucial to recognize when you chose to compete in a bikini competition. THERE WILL BE NEGATIVE OPINIONS ABOUT YOU.
Bikini competitions are relatively new and many people are ignorant. The NPC Bikini division wasn’t developed until 2009. This is the first year that the Olympia is on TV. There is little understanding for female bodybuilding. Bikini was introduced to appeal to the girl who wishes to look less muscular and more feminine. There is a focus on beauty and stage presence as much as there is on physique. For that reason, the bikini division has a lot of backlash and many think that it is not a serious category.
What people don’t understand is that it is just as difficult to achieve. There is just as much hard work put into it and it is just as admirable of an achievement. The difference is the end goal of what you want your body to look like.
There are still weeks of meal prep, hours a day in the gym, emotional and financial struggle involved.
While training for my first competition, I experienced first hand how much people will criticize what you are doing. I don’t know if this is because it is a “bikini competition” or simply because you are doing something extreme that draws attention.
While many people don’t intend to be criticizing you, it is easy to let these remarks get to you.
Here are some of the comments I can remember:
While sitting at a family party, everyone is eating lasagna and mashed potatoes and other delicious foods. I am eating grilled chicken and asparagus out of Tupperware. I am offered some food and I politely decline. “Jenny can’t eat she’s competing to look hotter than other girls in a bikini.” It was after that comment that I thought to myself, “what am I doing?” I was NOT enjoying my food. He was right. It was all to look better than other girls in a bikini on stage. How shallow and pathetic is that? I was missing out on good food and times with family. But I knew that wasn’t my purpose and I shook it off and kept eating.
Explaining to the woman I babysit for that I would be competing again. She says, “Oh, Jenny! I only feel comfortable telling you this because I love you. You were too extreme! Your body doesn’t like that! I wanted to shove a cheeseburger down your throat and tell you to be happy! Don’t do this to yourself again.” This time I could only laugh to myself. What does this woman know about my body? In fact, I was very happy during training. I had more energy and felt healthier than ever before in my life.
Other people would tell me that my face looked so much better “fuller”. Some would tell me that the whole thing was “sexist”. People would say that I looked too thin.
There were times that I would question my reasons for competing. I would wonder if I was seeking attention. I would wonder if it was unhealthy and I was obsessed.
Here is the quote that I use to keep me focused:
“It’s not about a trophy, a placing, or a prize. It’s about setting goals and surpassing them. It’s about discipline, dedication, willpower, reaching deep down and finding strength that you didn’t even know you had. It’s about structure and putting in work and following the plan. It’s science and I’m a living experiment. It’s about being better than my former “best” and proving to myself that I can achieve this. That’s why I do it & that’s what it’s all about.”
I saw this quote on Instagram from another bikini competitor and couldn’t think of anything better to describe what I do and why I do it.
This next competition I will focus on this message. There are two ways of competing. You can tell people. I do this because it holds you more accountable to your actions. Or you can stay private. This is good because you avoid discouragement from these comments. Both take strength. Choose what is best for you.