How To Stay Motivated

Tips to Get Motivated & Stay Motivated

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Throughout my competition preps (which have been anywhere from 12-20 weeks) a reoccurring question that I have gotten is: “How do you stay motivated?”

The truth: I don’t. Some days I wake up ready to kick butt and excited to tackle the day with my glittery bikini in mind. Others—well, the idea of eating cold fish out of Tupperware on my lap in my car makes me cringe and my bed is so warm I don’t want to get up and even think about fasted cardio.

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So how do I make it through prep & stay consistent? (Because consistency is the key to achieving long-term goals.)

Here’s my list of tips:

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  1. Wake Up Early.

Waking up early sets the tone for your entire day. By getting up early, you actually have time to prepare a healthy breakfast- and are less likely to settle for a quick bagel. You’ll feel much more productive. Numerous studies have linked waking up early to success and productivity. Also, sleep experts suggest that when you go to bed early and wake up early, you’re body is more in tune with earth’s circadian rhythms and you get a more restorative sleep. Waking up early also allows for getting in multiple meals a day, working out in the morning, and plenty of time to get down a gallon of water.

How do I start waking up early when I’m in the habit of sleeping until noon?

  • Prep for the morning the night before.
  • Get to bed early.
  • Start gradually, waking up earlier and earlier each morning.
  • Put your alarm clock far from your bed, forcing to get up to turn it off.
  • Do not snooze. Setting an alarm for 6 am and 6:30 is less effective than just a 6:30 am alarm. Don’t allow yourself to snooze!
  • Get moving. Make a deal with yourself that you will get up and walk around your house for 5 minutes before deciding to go back to bed. Chances are- you will be much less likely to go back to bed.

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  1. Set an encouraging picture as the background of your phone. ^^^^

My motivational pic? My lock screen is a picture of myself, unflattering angle, most out of shape picture of myself I own. My home screen is a motivational picture. Either my goal body found on Tumblr or a picture of myself in competition shape.

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  1. Post motivational quotes in view.

Take time to find quotes that really reach you during a motivated moment and write them on sticky notes. Put those sticky notes places where you may need them most e.g. the bathroom mirror or the kitchen door. Washing your face before the gym and choosing your food are two places where seeing “Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow” and “I believe in the person that I want to be” can come in handy.
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  1. Always have your meals prepared.

Fail to plan- plan to fail. If you have your meals prepped and packed, not only are you cheating yourself by eating other food- but I am way less likely to waste fresh cooked flounder and cave on a burger. There are starving people in this world!! You’re going to eat the food you paid for and took the time to cook.

  1. Tell people what you are doing.

Tell your parents, tell your friends, be that person to check in at the gym every morning on Facebook (WARNING: YOU MAY LOSE FRIENDS.) Accountability. That is what this is about.

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  1. Keep a Calendar.

I hang a calendar on my wall specifically for prep. I have my 20 weeks outlined and I cross off days as I go. Each week I put a sticker on the top of my calendar. Seeing that you have 5 stickers makes you feel more accomplished than thinking your only 5 weeks in.

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  1. Reward yourself.

Not with food! But think Lululemon & Nike. Each week I make through prep means a new pair of lulu leggings or a new pair of sneakers. 20 weeks= 20 gifts.

8. Write down what you eat! 

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Allie’s Progress & MY SECOND CLIENT EVER!

OKAY. So I hope everyone remembers the massive success of my first client, Allie Rackliff, in changing her lifestyle and losing a whopping 60 lbs and keeping it off! I just wanted to give a brief update on her progress. Allie continues to implement the practices of her diet regime by controlling her portions and eating clean. She rarely and I mean RARELY cheats her diet and has found great balance in her life along the way. She plans to tighten up the diet a big again and start the process all over again from the beginning, while guiding her coworkers towards healthier lifestyles as well. She has been making me proud for sure!

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Now, the second client (my second client ever) is whom I want to highlight in this blog post. I was contacted by Katie Tompkins in reply to my Facebook status about needing guinea pigs to see if I had what it takes to effectively coach and transform peoples’ lifestyles.

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Katie began the diet with slightly less enthusiasm than Allie’s diehard commitment, and opened up to me about her emotional struggle with an eating disorder. As the diet commenced Katie felt good but felt as though her progression was slower than it should be. (Many girls feel this way in the beginning of the program because the change in diet may cause bloating and results are not immediate). On a few occasions Katie confessed to binge eating and cheating the diet. I saw her desperation for change in her fierce determination to stay on the exercise program and knew her struggles with eating in the past so i encouraged her to give it another chance. With encouragement and time, Katie began seeing changes and it was as if that fueled her fire not to cheat and to push harder. Katie’s changes were extremely impressive considering how much she cheated in the beginning, because she pushed so hard the last few weeks.

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Overall, I am very proud of Katie. She lost a total of 20 lbs and looks overall healthier, happier, and glows!

Here’s what Katie had to say about her experience:

Before Jenny’s diet plan, I wasn’t out of shape, but I also wasn’t in great shape. I was always pretty chunky as a kid and always knew I was overweight, but it didn’t bother me until I got to high school. My relationship with the gym started when I was 16 but a very unhealthy relationship developed along with it. I had become obsessed with the way that I looked. I was undereating which was making me over eat and then I got into a bad habit of purging. I was diagnosed with bulimia and struggled with it for over 6 years. I went to the gym everyday thinking that if I did 2 hours of strictly cardio that would help me lose a bunch of weight and solve all my problems but people don’t realize that 85% of losing weight is a good balanced diet and that’s what Jenny helped me realize! I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cheat through this diet. I was open and honest with Jenny when I did cheat and she helped me work through it. I completed the diet and lost 20 lbs total. I have control over my bulimia and I stopped “dieting”. I don’t believe in diets anymore. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle. I learned a lot about myself in the process and continue to learn more everyday.”

Katie’s story is overwhelmingly impressive and shows that the path to success is not always a straight line. She struggled and overcame her bad relationship with food and is living healthier and happier than ever now. Thanks for reading!


How to Pick a League (ANBF vs. NPC)

The Difference Between Leagues in Competitive Bodybuilding

In today’s post I want to explain the difference between leagues in bodybuilding competitions.

It’s crazy how little is written on this topic readily available online. When I began competing I thought every bikini competition was the same thing.

This is not even close to true. Leagues are different competitions held by different organizations for competitive bodybuilding. Each organization follows a different format, has different rules and regulations, and has pros and cons to participation.

I am not entirely knowledgeable on the widespread list of organizations because there really are SO many leagues. I will discuss the two leagues that I have competed in.

The First League I want to discuss is the NPC or National Physique Committee.

-This organization is the most popular of all leagues in competitive bodybuilding.

-This is the organization associated with the Olympia and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

-This is also the largest organization for amateur bodybuilding.

-The NPC is the amateur extension of the IFBB (international federation of bodybuilding.) What this means is after winning an NPC competition a competitor may continue on to compete in the IFBB.

-The NPC is also not drug tested, and many of the competitors use steroids.

-The NPC features classes such as Bodybuilding, Bikini, Fitness, Figure, Men’s Physique, and Women’s Physique.

-To join the league there is a yearly $120 membership fee known as your “NPC card”

-Many people look down on leagues outside of the NPC as less legitimate, and sometimes judges discredit competitors that may compete in other leagues.

The second league that I want to discuss is the ANBF.

-The ANBF (American Natural Bodybuilding Federation) is an all natural organization

-This is a brand new league. Here is their mission statement taken from

“The American Natural Bodybuilding Federation’s main focus will be to standardize the promotions of natural bodybuilding competitions.  By accomplishing this, the competitors, audience, vendors, and anybody else involved will have a more enjoyable experience and leave with an awesome impression of what they just saw.   In order for an organization to be customer friendly with great service to go along with a great product it must have structure.  The ANBF will be set up in a corporate structure (president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary).  The ANBF will also have a representative appointed for each division such as bodybuilding, pro bodybuilding, master’s bodybuilding, physique, and figure and bikini.  These reps will be there to listen and/or address grievances and questions and to also update the divisions on any new programs or pertinent information.  The ANBF will also have a Judging Director.  That person will be responsible for the training and recruitment of a pool of judges that will be available to judge at any ANBF shows.  They will be required to meet specific standards before they are allowed to sit on a panel and have their scores counted.  No conflict of interest will be allowed, including nepotism, client relationships, etc…

The ANBF also wants to have uniform pricing throughout its shows.  All entry fees and ticket prices will be consistent from one show to the next, including coaches passes.  We want as many of a competitor’s friends and family there as possible and we don’t want to make anybody dig into their life savings to do it.  And the last thing we want to happen is for a competitor to say that they can’t do a show because the entry fee is too expensive.

On the flip side of pricing, all promoters who are holding a pro class must post their minimum payout on their fliers, not the max payout which is very deceiving.  When this happens it is very discouraging for the pro athlete and it will make them have a bad taste in their mouth about the promoter and the organization itself.

The ANBF will be a 100% drug tested organization via polygraph for a period of 6 years and will also be backed up by random urinalysis.  The ANBF will also be implementing off season random urinalysis.  All pros that have competed in an ANBF show and all amateurs who have qualified to be a pro will be subject to this as well.  This is a very exciting step for the ANBF and we are very excited about it and it should be very encouraging news for the competitors.

The ANBF is opening up a brand new page in natural bodybuilding.   It will no longer be the show is only as good as the promoter.  The new standard will be the show is only as good as the organization and whether you are competing, coaching, judging, spectator or a vendor at an American Natural Bodybuilding Federation event, you know it will be an efficient, fair, and enjoyable experience for all involved!

We are looking forward to our first year of competition.  Good luck to everybody in 2013!”

-My experience competing in the ANBF was extremely positive. I took first place in my class.

-I enjoyed the straight through format of the show despite the fact that it was still a very long day.

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-I felt that the promoters were much more considerate of the competitors than the NPC promoters were. The judging felt more elaborate. Stage time was more fair. There were fresh flowers for all first place winners. The quality of the trophies were nice. They had pizza and Gatorade and waters for all competitors backstage.

-competing in ANBF was overall less costly.

I would recommend trying both and deciding which you prefer!

My Own Weight Struggles & TRUE HONEST feelings about Competing

I am going to do something I really never have done before. I’m going to talk about the phases of my weight fluctuations and my most honest feelings about competing.

I have never considered myself overweight in my life. As a kid I was extremely active. I did cross-country, soccer, softball; you name it. I was a very finicky eater, and hated vegetables. I had 1% milk with dinner every night and frequently drank Coke. I loved McDonalds and tacos and ice cream. However, I also loved fruit and was naturally smaller.

I remember always being called small growing up. I never felt that I would ever have to worry about my weight. However, with slightly overweight parents I wondered if one day I would have to watch what I ate. I always thought that would be when I was a mom, or something.

I remember my freshman year of high school beginning to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I had just finished cross-country season and was not doing a spring sport. I enjoyed drinking every weekend. I would have English muffins with butter, scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and orange juice for breakfast. I would have either a bagel with cream cheese or chicken nuggets with tator tots for lunch every day in the cafeteria. I would come home and have a grilled cheese or tacos and lay in bed and watch Netflix and do homework.I ate power bars as snacks. I remember getting to the point where I felt uncomfortable in my own skin, but I never remember feeling fat

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            By my junior year of high school, I began watching what I ate more. I felt uncomfortable in bathing suits and made healthy switches. I made smoothies, and ate vegetarian chicken patties or veggie burgers. I would eat salads, and began taking classes at the gym such as Zumba or Power classes.

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(Above picture gym obsessed, mostly healthy eating but lacked protein and cheated weekends)

            Then, when I was a freshman in college, I was gym obsessed. My diet wasn’t great. I usually ate healthy Monday through Thursdays and fell off the wagon on weekends. But I spent hours at the gym doing cardio. I consider this my skinny fat phase.

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I struggled with disliking the shape of my body and admiring Fitness girls I followed on instagram. I began attempting to lift weights but didn’t know what I was doing so much. I ate a lot of fruit, spinach, and salads and drank lots of water. I cut out sodas and milk and white bread.

As time went on, I met people who liked to lift and tried cross fit and learned a lot about efficient workouts. I loved feeling sore, and when I saw girls compete in fitness competitions at my gym, I decided to give it a try.

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(First competition versus second)

            I had a horribly rocky prep my first time around and thought I would never compete again. All grilled chicken, fish, and asparagus felt miserable. I didn’t do it the healthy way because I switched coaches mid way and almost quit a few times. My stage weight was 102 lbs.

(Below is post prep weight gain, lack of muscle tone from not going to gym)

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After my show was over, I decided I needed a mental break. I was tired of planning and eating and living at the gym. But a mental break turned into a gluttony lifestyle. I felt like my mind worked differently and that I always needed to eat everything in sight. I found myself waking up and eating pancakes with tons of butter and syrup and not letting myself get hungry before planning my next meal. I would snack in between meals, and literally every meal I would eat beyond stomach- ache. I would buy ice cream bars and eat them in my car alone so that no one would see and then throw out the wrappers. In two weeks I put on twenty pounds. I slowed down after that but consistently put on about two pounds a month after that. Finally, I felt uncomfortable and miserable again. I went from my dream body to the worst body of my life in two weeks. I felt embarrassed in even a sweatshirt and sweatpants. My face was so full and puffy. I had no energy to workout. I decided that the only way I could lose the weight was to train for another show.

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            So January 5th, I picked three dates for competitions and started cold turkey with a coach I trusted more than anything. My prep was much more livable. I was never hungry, had six cheat meals along the way, and had carbs almost every day. My workouts were strenuous, but I wanted to be successful more than anything so I found myself pushing harder than ever.

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My first show was last Saturday and I placed 6th. I was so happy with my improvements from my last show, however disappointed not to get a trophy or be nationally qualified. (Top 5). I have two more shows to go, and find myself mentally struggling through these last peak weeks.

I ask myself now, is having a perfect body worth the mental strain and sadness you feel through the process? Is this a shallow sport? Am I a soul or a body? Has this been worth all of the holiday sacrifices and time spent in the gym? Will I be able to maintain this?

This is my honest opinion. Competing has its place. It has been an amazing experience for me. It has let me push my body to an extreme and see myself reach a level of fit that I never would have achieved without it. It has given me confidence, pride, and purpose. It has taught me patience, endurance, and that hard work brings success. However, competing has its dark sides. It is extreme and not everlasting. You will find yourself in your best shape of your life, and still criticizing your body instead of appreciating your success. You will find yourself at times miserable, tired, sad, and lonely. You will find that people appreciate you for something as shallow as the shape of your body, and you will feel like you are missing something in your life. You will not be spending your holidays and your nights drinking and getting dinner with friends. You will not be baking cookies and laughing and eating ben and jerrys on movie nights with the girls. You will be waking up early to do endless cardio, pushing yourself through workouts, and going to bed early. Your days will revolve around work not pleasure. However, it will be worth it.

I see myself competing but not forever. I hope to become nationally qualified one day, and maybe go for my pro card. Maybe I will help other girls train for shows or reach their goal weight. But ultimately this is a hobby for me. A passion, yes. But a hobby. This will not be my career. I hope to find balance in my life after this. I hope to find that I can eat well for my body, and workout every day. But I will not miss weddings and holidays forever. I want to be able to celebrate my life, and taste good food! And not constantly worry about prepping and cooking and cardio and sleep. I want to get married and have a family and be successful. I will not go back to blind eating, gluttony, or obsession. I will prep when I feel like prepping for shows and go for my goals as hobby. But maintaining a stage ready body is not realistic, and there is a very dark, lonely side to competing. I do not regret it, it has taught me so much. It has been the best experience of my life. However, there is more to life.

The Importance of Stage Presence and Posing

One thing that competitors tend to underestimate is how crucial posing and stage presence are in your placing.

Your overall presentation is a HUGE part of whether or not you place.

My first show I completely blew my posing. I definitely recommend getting a posing coach and practice, practice, practice.

I have just begun working with posing coach @sassyandclassyposing ! Follow her on Instagram and check out a clip of my posing practice 🙂

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Four Setbacks We Inflict on Ourselves

Set Backs we Inflict on Ourselves

  1. Not giving it 100 percent

Not giving workouts and diets a 100% effort is the number one set back we put on ourselves. We often find ourselves committing to diets and caving because we don’t want it bad enough or it gets hard.

News Flash- when it gets hard is when the magic happens.

Results take time. Don’t go to the gym and go through the motions. You must connect the muscle to your mind. Make a sincere effort with your form, increase your weight, and don’t let noise in your mind or emotions of the busy day distract you.

Make a lifestyle change; don’t tell yourself I am going to eat healthier. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Don’t think of it as a diet or missing out. Think of it as actively making choices for the body that you want.

  1. Self-Doubt

Do not be afraid of pushing it harder in the gym. Rid yourself of the word CAN’T.

Everyone starts somewhere. Push yourself to challenges you could never imagine being able to do. I am so guilty of this. I avoid pushups, pull-ups, dips, etc. because I have made up my mind that I will never be able to do them.

I slack with my ab exercises because I thought my body just would never have abs. The second I started really trying and believing in myself I saw results.

It is the challenges that are hardest to us that change us the most.

Ask yourself this: Why Not Me? What does anyone who is doing it have that I don’t have?

  1. Forgetting we are in Control

Diets are HARD. Cravings are real. But at the end of the day, you are the only one in control of what goes in your mouth.

If you tell yourself you will not eat certain things. It is up to you and you alone to not eat them.

When you cheat your diets and your workouts, you are ONLY cheating yourself. Skimping the last 10 min off your cardio, swinging through your reps with bad form, sneaking that cookie. Who are you lying to? Who cares? The only person you are hurting is YOU!

  1. Not making improvements/adjustments

Eating the same things every day. Not switching up workouts, increasing cardio, increasing weights, trying new things, etc.


You know how much effort you are putting in. Make an effort to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

My First Client (YAY!)

My First Client!

A few months ago, I reached out to my Facebook friends requesting volunteers to be guinea pigs to a sample diet plan in order for me to gain testimonials for my blog to share when I am ready to start taking on clients of my own

I then created a 12-week-diet based on my own experiences with dieting and nutrition that follows a structure similar to a competition diet while being slightly more flexible.

I was overwhelmed with excitement as requests for my diet poured in. I had 15+ girls in one day. As each girl told me how unhappy they were with their bodies and how ready for change they were I became invested in each and every one of their successes.

However, After just three days I had lost four girls to reasons such as it being inconvenient to eat so often, workout so often, and that it was too restrictive.

I was disappointed, however I sympathize with these reasons because I know all of these things from experience.

As the days progressed, I lost six more girls due to not seeing immediate results, feeling bloated or head achy or mentally exhausted from the extreme lifestyle switch, or just from food cravings and not being able to not cheat.

My last three clients are fighters, but the one I want to highlight in this blog post, is my most surprising and dedicated of them all.

Alvine came to me very humbled and told me that she would love to try the diet plan and then thanked me for helping her. As time progressed and other girls stopped answering me, or told me they couldn’t continue, Alvine persisted. She sent me her journals of what she ate on a daily basis. She never complained about any of the adjustments I made along the way and she seemed enthusiastic. She always asked questions and followed up. She also stayed organized and continued to prep her meals the night before.

I offered to take her through a gym session, as I did not know her experience working out. (She had told me she worked out along with DVDS in her home). After one day in the gym, she got a gym membership and continued every day following the schedule I set up for her.



I was amazed at FOUR WEEKS into her diet when she explained to me that she was down 28 lbs. More importantly she felt incredible.

Alvine has EIGHT WEEKS left of her diet and continues to amaze me everyday. When I asked her to make a statement for this blog post she sent me this:

Hi, my name is Alvine and my life before the JennyRichFit diet was not really pleasant. It wasn’t that I ate horrible or ate junk food, my portions were just out of control. I would only eat once or twice a day. Portion control was not my forte. It now has become my new favorite thing. Eating 6 meals a day is absolutely wonderful. I’m never hungry and I always have energy. The only thing I find difficult is the complete lack of dairy. I now am leading a healthier lifestyle, and it wasn’t that difficult. I am now working out daily as opposed to only once a week strength training. I’m not sure what all I want to accomplish, because I am not used to looking this good :p however, a safe estimate would be to wear a medium/large shirt and to get down to a size 10 pants.”

I definitely feel her on the no dairy thing! Haha. But I think she is being incredibly modest with her goals. I told her to set her mind on a two piece bathing suit and I don’t see her stopping when the 12 weeks are finished.

I will continue to post updates of her progress & please continue to follow her story and show her love and support! Will be featuring all future success stories as well! 🙂

This is what this is all about. Helping people achieve their best selves and this is why I love what I do.


Current Update

Hi Friends!

It’s been a long time since my last post unfortunately, but I’m back and going to make a sincere effort to keep my posts more consistent!

I just wanted to update everyone with my progress.

My last show was August 2014, Muscle Beach! After this show (My first ever) I gained 15 lbs in two weeks. 0_0 This was a result of the fact that I didn’t reverse diet out. I continued to consistently gain about 2 lbs a weeks until I reached an all time high for me (135 lbs at 5’2”). Then I plateaued.

I was a complete GLUTTON after my show. I was eating very few meals.. averaging 2 meals a day. They would be HUGE portions, often fast food, tons of dairy, always ending in excessive dessert. I was drinking coffee with cream and sugar (EVEN though I prefer black coffee). I was eating candy before bed just because I could. I wasn’t even enjoying my food anymore. I was drinking every opportunity I got.

I was unhappy with the mirror. My face and arms looked fat for the first time in my life. My only way to get back was to start another show prep.

So here I am 8 weeks out from my first show! I plan to do 3 back to back. May 2nd, May 16th, and May 23rd! yay!

I am back down to 118 lbs, and ideally plan to weigh about 110 at my show date. Last years show, I weighed 103 and felt too skinny.

Here are some pictures of my progress and my next post will shed some light on my current training schedule, cardio, and diet!

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Thanks for reading!

Choosing a Competition Bikini

Choosing a bikini is a very important part of preparing for a bikini competition. I would recommend allowing yourself at least 8 weeks before your show when placing an order for a bikini. Most of the time you will receive your bikini two and half weeks after you purchase it. However, I recommend leaving time to make sure it fits right, looks right in person, and in case anything else goes on you want to leave time to order a new one.

Cost of bikinis can range from $100 to $600 and sometimes more or less depending on crystals, seller, and connectors.

When I first saw the cost of bikinis I thought that it was an outrageous rip off. But realized soon after that it is actually reasonable. Even if you buy a plain bikini and add Swarovski crystals yourself, you will spend about the same because the crystals are very expensive. A pack of about 12 is five dollars. I needed like 20 packs to cover my bikini.

My three favorite sellers of bikinis are Kristal Bikinis, Ravish Sands, and Ingrid Romero Bikinis.

My first show bikini was from Kristal Bikinis. The color was powder blue and the price was $175. Then I spent an extra $120 on crystals from A.C. Moore and bedazzles it more. This was the end result:


Ravish sands has very high quality bikinis as well and many pro bikini athletes wear these.

I like Ingrid Romero bikinis because they are unique.

I received my Kristal bikini in 2 weeks from purchase. She was very prompt with my emails. I paid through pay pal. I gave my bra size and waist measurements.

Choosing a color is very hard for me. I really love reds, blues, and pinks. I have heard that judges favor red. What it comes down to is what you love in the end. Choose a color that compliments your hair, skin, and eye color. Ask your friends, family, whoever for their opinion, but in the end your must love it!

Dealing With The “Nay-sayers” of Competing & Staying True to Your Goals

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.