Phew… well it’s over. How did I do? I don’t quite know. I didn’t place in the top 5 in my division of ten girls but I wont know until they post results if I got dead last or maybe 8th out of 10? I’m hoping for not last, but these girls put my booty game to shame. There wasn’t one chick in my division who was soft or flabby or unprepared, they had trained and they were there to win. Here’s a recap of how it all went down.
The Friday before the show I attended a free workshop on posing and learned exactly what the judges are looking for in the bikini division. The want a flat stomach, but not ab separation, they want a big firm defined butt, and they want nice hamstrings, and they want confidence, and by confidence I mean they want you to be sexy. Ok, got it… I’ll get right to work on all of that with less than 14 hours before my first show.
After that it was check-in time which lasted forever as they broke us down by each division (over 40, over 35, 5’0-5’2, etc). Luckily I met some friendly, natural breasted girls who helped pass the time and we exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet up on show day. Instantly I felt better having “friends” to pass the time with as I ventured into this long day of unknowns. Then it was time for the first coat of spray tan! I sat on the floor of the hotel lobby next to a girl and asked what she was planning on wearing to be sprayed in. The email we received said we must wear an old suit or our competition suit covered in saran wrap and that due to liability we could not be sprayed in the nude. The girl, and another behind her, looked at me with confusion and said, no that’s tomorrow, on show day you can’t be naked at the venue, today we get sprayed in the nude. Ok… note to self, I better head to the bathroom to take off the flower petal pasties I had on and tiny thong I had just bought and mutilated to be little enough to be sprayed in. I headed into the Sheraton conference room to a wall of naked women standing in front of huge commercial fans. All the walls where draped in painters plastic and there were three pop-up tents where women wearing haz-mat masks were busy airbrushing hard naked women. After I got my first coat I looked down to see the perfect imprint of a daisy around my nipple, I guess the adhesive from the pasty was still intact and the spray tan didn’t absorb, so I got that going for me. Standing at the fans I was next to a giant woman with biceps bigger than my husbands and I commented how it was strange we were all just butt naked in here and the door to the conference room just keeps swinging wide open and shut for all the lobby to see, she turned to me and replied in her deep, gravely voice, “Welcome to the world of bodybuilding, first time?” I nervously shook my head.
Finally I headed home where I continued to take just sips of water and popped a few more dandelion root capsules which were supposed to help with diuresing excess water. The following morning I awoke at 123 pounds and was feeling great with my new tan and floral decorative boobs. I set my alarm early in attempts to wake up and put on makeup and do my hair in silence before my kids started their full day of whining and crying and tripping and falling and spilling juice and throwing blueberries etc. I got all of 4 minutes when my 3.5 year old came to report she had wet her bed overnight, something she hasn’t done in nearly a year. Just after that my 23 month old woke up screaming and just like that my plan fell to shit. Luckily my hubby got up and kept them mostly preoccupied while I applied a full face of makeup and sprayed my hair with the toughest hairspray on hand. I put on my husbands grubby old work shirt and loose pj bottoms and was about to head to the pre-show meeting but stopped to pee once more, maybe the dandelion root really was working? I sat down and when I finished I remembered that I had just cleaned the toilet seat with a Chlorox wipe and it felt a little damp. I looked down to see a completely brown toilet seat and a perfectly white toilet seat ring all around my tan ass. Awesome… way to start the day off right!!
Luckily the spray tan people were already at the facility waiting to fix mistakes like this and apply the second coat making me the same color as my chocolate rice cakes. Show day was by far the most unhealthy day of all my prep days, I was never hungry before as I was constantly eating large amounts of greens and veggies and meat, but show day you want to keep your flat stomach and not bloat so it was rice cakes, a bite of chicken here and there, a few pieces of candy and sips of water only. You mostly just survived on nerves and excitement. Backstage I met up with a girl I had met the day before at the workshop. Initially I was really excited to have someone to spend my day with but the more she spoke the more I realized I might be too old for this shit. I proceeded to spend my morning with two 23 year olds who were the classic example of what’s wrong with America’s youth today. They spent HOURS taking selfies and squabbling over Instagram and Snapchat and talked about their endless social media followers and their “careers” as “fitness coaches”. Inside I was screaming, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU PAY YOUR RENT IN YOUR BEACH COMMUNITIES? Does your landlord accept Facebook likes as payment? What exactly do you DO? Ugh… I was feeling incredibly old and cynical… anyone here ever birth a child? Provide them life and nutrients from your own body? Finally after a few long hours, another friend, Becca, showed up and she was even younger at just 21. But she was down to earth, naturally pretty, a flourishing artist studying graphic design with big plans to do both a missionary trip to Africa this summer as well as a work exchange on a ranch in Montana. Yaaaaaayyy!!!! The world isn’t doomed!
There are girls like this with drive and brains and big hearts who will grow up to run shit while those other two are still working as waitresses having failed their runs as yoga instructors, and spin class teachers, and massage therapists, and personal trainers, and alternative skin care product hawkers. When Becca showed up I also was able to escape my role of “personal paparazzi/photog” for this one girl who I swear asked me to take her pic a MILLION times, then would review my work and ask me to, “Please can you just take another? “ or, “Can you just take a video instead this time?” No bitch, I’ve got shit to do today besides stand here capturing your every fucking moment. Becca had several bikini competitions under her belt and while she was there for fun she also was there to do her best. She encouraged me to practice my routine and gave me helpful tips on my walk and poses. She had a killer body and great confidence and I was sad to see she didn’t place. To be honest I really think the judges say the word “confidence” but they almost mean “slutty”. The girls who placed in top 5 had killer physiques but they were also overtly sexual and flirty to a point that some of my family members and friends were uncomfortable watching. It’s a shame you can’t get up on stage as a woman and show off these muscles you’ve worked twice as hard to gain with our lack of testosterone but then in order to score high you have to basically use the same body language an exotic dancer might to elicit tips. Frankly, I just don’t have the time for that. I wasn’t there to be sexy, I was there to be fucking fit. Backstage while the girls were doing 8000 reps with their light resistance bands I did pull ups and push ups and air squats to pump up. One of the bikini girls said she didn’t think any one of them could do a real pull up. Why would you have these muscles if they aren’t functional??!?!!? Another common theme from the day was that these girls had no idea about their own nutrition, they simply ate whatever meal plan their coaches sent them. I overheard them saying, “Oh wow you were allowed chicken? I could only have tilapia.” They were shocked to hear that I created my own meal plans and learned carb cycling on my own but then again I guess if you’re paying trainers and coaches hundreds of dollars they better be doing that work for you, right?
We went on stage both in the morning show and then again in the evening, with the first show definitely being the more terrifying of the two. There is so much waiting and anticipation for literally a matter of seconds that you’re in the spotlight. You walk out following a line of tape on the stage, enter a marked box and hit your poses for 10 seconds, then exit to the side stage where all eyes are still on you. I stood there making sure my number could be seen by the judges and my poses were spot on, my muscles hard, and all while looking relaxed and confident. I could feel my muscles absolutely TREMBLING, and was so relieved to see the skin of the girl in front of me shaking as well. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve practiced in your bathroom mirror at home, nothing prepared me for the nerves of being on stage in with my genitals barely covered in a diamond encrusted bikini. I wasn’t called out to the center stage in the first round, which meant that I did not make the top 5 out of our 10 competitors. I know my body wasn’t as built as some of them but I was hoping my stage presence and pretty face would have them beat, but no go. I was also one of two bikini competitors in the ENTIRE contest with short hair. So while I stood out, it might not have been to my benefit. My parents and friends said, “We kept seeing the same girls over and over on stage but then we realized- nope that’s a different girl, they just all look the same!” There really is a formula to it, want to compete? Here’s your goal look: big juicy butt, tiny waist, giant fake teetos and long beachy waves!
In between shows I came home and took advantage of the fact that my kids were napping. I quickly filled my husband in on all I had seen and done and then crashed like Snow White in a glass coffin laying face up with a perfectly done face of make up and hair. My make up still looked spot on when I woke up an hour later, I touched up my hair and we headed back to the venue for round two. The evening show was a repeat of the first but this time they announce who the winners are. So you still head out and hit your same routine but after we’re all posing on the sidelines they announce, “And in 5th place, number ___” and all the top 5 find out exactly where they placed. As far as the second top 5, I think we’ll have to wait to see when the score cards are posted on the Muscle Contest website along with the professional photographs taken of us on stage.
I think if I had placed in my division I would want to compete again, but having not I don’t know that I’ll ever do another show again. It was a great challenge, my body transformed inside and out with my cholesterol improving and body fat percentage dropping. But I think I might prefer a sport where your hard earned muscles are utilized and challenged more than for just their appearance. I met some idiots but I also met some really, really nice girls who were supportive and outgoing and friendly. I also recognize that if I compete again I can always compete in the “over 35” category which would put me with more like-minded women and moms and less self absorbed Snapchatters. My husband told everyone that I was a “retired bikini competitor” at our celebration BBQ the following day, so maybe I really am done. Although, then I look at pictures of me on stage and think.. hmm that was fun and I don’t look half bad! There’s always room for improvement right?