For years I have been following bikini fitness competitors on social media (Paige Hathaway and Michelle Lewin being firm favourites!), being exposed to their diets, examples of their training, and of course the photos of them demonstrating their physique as oompa-loompas on stage.
If I’m honest with myself, despite admiring their dedication, I found the whole thing a little bit self-absorbed and ridiculous for quite some time. Get fit because you want to, but not because you want to parade your body on the stage, is what I thought.
I continued watching these women progress, and share what they loved about their muscle-building, fat-losing programmes and it is only recently that it has clicked. It isn’t because these girls are self-obsessed (well, sure, some might be) that they are doing this. It is because they want to train with a purpose, they want to push their body and mind to the limit and hey – isn’t this everything I stand for?!
So I’ve decided that next spring, I will compete. For the next 10 months (or until roughly May time), I will train so damn hard to make sure that I qualify to enter even the smallest of these competitions. But when I share these plans with people, they simply do not understand it (just as I didn’t understand it myself). So I’ve decided to share, simply, just 5 reasons why a woman should (or could) decide to become a bikini fitness model.
- To have a timeframe. I discussed previously in my goal setting post how important it is to have a deadline to work towards. For a woman lifting weights somewhat aimlessly in the gym, having a competition to look forward to provides a time frame to achieve a certain body type and this is highly motivating.
- To achieve your best body. When else in your life are you going to see what your body is truly capable of, aesthetically? We are all aging, can’t avoid it, so why not make the very best of the body we currently have and see how amazing we can transform it to be?
- To have a purpose. For many people, the gym is a second home. It is more than just a hobby. For those who love to spend their free time in the gym it is great that there is a purpose behind being there, a reason for doing what they’re doing. Granted, not everyone needs this purpose – they’re happy to be in the gym for the sheer enjoyment of looking after their body. But purpose provides motivation, and meaning. A competition can provide that.
- It tests you psychologically. Training your body for a bikini fitness competition is one of the most mentally challenging tasks you can put yourself through. From the fatigue of aching muscles, to missing out on social events because you’re either in the gym or avoiding alcohol – these will all take their toll. All of this will push your mind to the edge, and then to surface the other side is, I can imagine, one of the most exhilarating and liberating feelings. When you know what you are capable of psychologically you’ll feel better prepared to deal with other demanding challenges in life.
- To be strong! I think this is so important for women. It is definitely important for me. Sure, it intimidates some men, but strength is liberating and empowering for women and personally I feel that more women should embrace strength and not shy away due to a fear of “getting too big” or “too strong”.
So the reasons above are just my personal reasons for embarking on this journey. To be honest, I’m going to copy and paste it and put it into my notes for the next time someone questions me “why, your body is fine as it is”. We all have our reasons for what we do, own your reasons and own your journey.