This morning was my body fat test. I arrived in the parking lot of The FitLab at 6:25am and glanced over to see this little guy hitching a ride on my dash. Initially I thought he was dead, which seemed like a shitty omen to have a lizard choose your car to go die in, but turns out- he was just snoozing. It was a brisk 49 degrees out and he was kicked back on vacay sitting next to the heating vents just chillin’. So it was undoubtedly a rude awakening when I kicked his ass out onto the curb to head inside for my own rude awakening. Lucky for me, I had watched some YouTube videos last night about how the tank test works. First, get into a tiny, tight bikini, no air bubbles because air = fat. Second, I was to lay face down on top of this scale and basically blow out all of my air before completely submerging under water and staying still for several seconds while the technician gets your reading. It’s so counter-intuitive to blow air out instead of suck it in, but easy enough once you get the hang of it. We did it 4 times to make sure the reading was accurate, and then I got my clothes back on and headed to the office to go over my results, the really scary part. I don’t really know what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised when Sean told me that at my current height (5’5) and weight (125 lbs) my body fat percentage was at 16%. In order to reach my goal of becoming a bikini competitor I’ll need to get down to 10-12% and according to my print out from the test, lose anywhere from 6-9 lbs in the next 10 weeks. This part I’m not so sure about as I’m looking to put on a bit of muscle too and as we all remember from health class, muscle weighs more than fat. Anyway, whatever, it’s a great starting point and it’s good to know where I stand. Sean, the owner of The FitLab told me this goal is totally attainable and one of the most important things to remember about bikini competitions is… nutrition? Exercise? Cardio? Protein? Nope, he said the most important thing is SHOWMANSHIP. Are you fucking kidding??? I’m a Libra who used to play dress-up in my grandmother’s clothing and wigs while recording myself lip-singing to classic country songs, and then watch MYSELF endlessly for hours. You better believe I got showmanship in the bag. Bitches beware, I’m comin’ for ya.
Even scarier than discovering a lizard in my car or going under water sans air in my lungs, you guys: my bikini arrived today in the mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found it used online for just 40$ (well never actually used, the girl who bought it chickened out and never competed (pussy)). (Can you do parentheses, within parentheses? Wharves, I just did). It could really use some more crystals and bedazzlement in general and perhaps some more rhinestone straps at the hips to distract from the fact that I have none. If I had my choice, I would’ve gone for a deep, jewel tone blue, purple isn’t my favorite color BUT it is my “power” color. I can’t quite remember who told me that… either the psychic I saw in Louisiana who told me I’d have kids and buy a house and find a good job soon (all of which came to fruition within months of my reading), or was it a tarot card reading a friend did for me on her iPhone app, or maybe my hypnobirthing instructor? By the way, if you want to have a baby, or two, naturally using no medication, I cannot recommend enough Marie Mongan’s Hypnobirthing Method. Who ever it was, I took it to heart and wore an old purple dress during both labors and it worked fabulously! So when I saw a 40$ purple bikini on Mercari, I went for it.
Ok back to the excitement of purple power bikini!!!!! Boy, was that a fucking let down!!! First off, it’s even smaller than I ever imagined. I haven’t measured it but I’d guess there was maybe 6-8 square inches of fabric on the whole thing. When I forwarded a preview to a friend she said I should’ve just saved the cash and borrowed her 18 month old’s bikini. Touché… touché my friend. I can’t even post a photo of myself in the bikini without censoring it, that’s how inappropriately small it is. I seriously felt like Austin Powers in a speedo, just zero coverage. My friend, Karen, put me at ease by telling me when she received her first competition bikini she actually called the seamstress to insist she was sent the wrong item because it was so small. The lady bluntly told her that it was NOT the wrong bikini and to, “get used to it honey”. Well ain’t that some shit?
So I can’t even show full pictures of me in this thing until I’ve been fully waxed, that’s how little the bottom is. It’s ridunkulous. But as naked as I feel, I must say, I kind of can envision what this could look like 9 weeks down the road and I’m getting excited.
I headed to the craft store this afternoon and picked up some rhinestones in iridescent, clear, and purple and plan to bling it out but I just don’t have the energy tonight. It seems like the type of task you do late one night with a bottle of wine, only I’m no longer drinking any wine for this stupid contest I got roped into… by myself.
Straying away from the bikini for a bit, I did some research on muscle building and over and over read that low reps with heavy weights was the way to go. I decided this willy-nilly-see-what-happens approach was just a little too loosey goosey and since most other competitors have access to nutrition plans and personal trainers I should probably devise an action plan a little more concrete than just cutting out m&m’s and vino.
I settled on a lifting plan that was broken down into increments of 4 weeks. Starting out with 3 sets of 8-12 reps heavy weights and after 4 weeks, I move on to do 3 sets of 6-8 reps of even heavier and in the last 4 weeks 3 sets of just 4 reps of the heaviest shit I can lift. I gave the plan a try this am at the Y and I must say that I was surprised by how much stronger I am since all this obstacle course racing started. I don’t think I ever really mentioned, but I was more of an “artsy” kid in school. I never played any sports and didn’t really like gym class. I wasn’t over weight in high school but I smoked cigarettes (thanks older badass high school boyfriend) and eventually in my 20’s I gained I don’t even know… 20-30 lbs? It’s so weird because no one really tells you you’re getting fat. I almost wish at that time I had a bitchy, superficial mom who would’ve said “you know, your clothes sure are looking tight these days” or something!!! But she would never because she’s the most supportive person in the world who only ever compliments and builds me up, so I never got the memo and I just kept getting porkier. My husband (then my boyfriend) was also overweight and I think we were just fat and happy together. We didn’t eat healthily, we smoked cigs and we drank a lot of beer. Eventually I was accepted to nursing school and said that’s it… I can’t be some fat nurse reeking of cigarettes lecturing patients to get healthy, so we quit. My girlfriend, Melissa, introduced me to the Body For Life program, a weight lifting routine and sensible, clean eating book I got from the library and we joined a gym much like Gold’s where a lot of local bodybuilders worked out. We actually attended a few bodybuilding shows and it’s always stuck in my head and somehow just popped back into my head a few weeks ago, hence this blog and fucking tiny purple bikini that I can’t even believe is intended for an adult woman!!! Long story short, my husband and I lost a bunch of weight and I discovered weight lifting. With the BFL program I kept track of my weights and increased over time… but more recently while training for the obstacle course races I’ve taken a much different approach to strength training.
I do a lot more of circuit type stuff, almost Crossfit level quick, fast reps to keep my heart rate up and keep agile jumping from exercise to exercise. So I haven’t really increased weights, instead I just rotate around the gym at high speeds doing a lot of body weight exercises. So today, I was pleasantly surprised to see myself benching 20 lb heavier than I ever remember and curling 10 lb more than normal! Go strong me! After four weeks of this plan, I’ll crank it up a notch but bring the reps down and that should, emphasis on should, really get those muscle fibers shredded and repaired in a larger, beefier fashion.
Back to the bikini real quick, I just tried stuffing the bikini with quilter’s batting like one YouTuber suggested under her post for “5 Minute Boob Job”… it really did look as though she had gotten an instant boob job.. amaaaaazing! However, when I tried it, it looked like I stuffed quilter’s batting into a too small bikini top. The major issue is that I’m 36 fucking years old and I breastfed a kid for 14 months, then got preggers again where my breasts re-exploded to an E cup at one point, then breastfed another babe for another 14 months and then lost that baby weight leaving me now with these two very sad, very shriveled, hanging pieces of skin with a fraction of adipose tissue and zero elasticity… run on sentence anyone? I call them my MOOBS, or mom boobs. Would I get a moob job? No, probably not. Would it look nicer? Hells yeah it would, but I’m not down with the surgical maintenance of implants and the risks associated so I’m rolling with my moobs. This is a NATURAL bodybuilding competition right? When I complained to my OB about my moobs a year after giving birth to my last child, he simply said, “If a man had these breasts do you think he would be happy or do you think they would be too large for him?” Uhhh I think he’d be pretty confused and unhappy? (Confused myself as to where this convo was going) “Yes, yes, that’s right, these breasts are way too big for a man, so they are not too small for you.” Well said, Dr. Riley??? I think. Whatever, point is, I still have some breast tissue but it’s nothin’ like it used to be but I’m not about to get fake tits to fit in with these girls. I’ll bedazzle the shit out of them and hope the shiny light is enough to distract the judges. Who the fuck are these judges anyway? Have they ever breastfed children? Have they sacrificed their vanity for the betterment of their child’s nutrition? Who knows. At the very least, I now own a very interesting hat.