“Bikini-Fitness is a category where the athlete shows on stage that she has trained hard, keeps fit and lives a healthy lifestyle,” explains a United Kingdom Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (UKBFF) spokesperson.
The event is divided into three further categories:
- Juniors (16-23 years)
- Masters (35 years and above)
- Rookie, which is for first-time competitors only.
With an endless sea of “selfies” and “progress pics” available on social media it can become extremely difficult to avoid the comparison game, often leading competitors to anxiety and self-image issues as they compare themselves to others.
Challenges Faced by Participants
Participants face the challenge to maintain realistic expectations of their physique: The negatives are often amplified and the positives are often diluted in competitor’s self-assessments, which can quickly and easily take away from the enjoyment of the entire contest prep experience and lead to an overall negative view of the journey to the competitive stage.
Feeling of Emptiness
After a yearlong hard work and added attention post competition models feel like life has no meaning anymore. Most of them feel bad about themselves and food remains the only comfort. Stop looking at everybody else who is still in it for another show or else you will feel lost and alone.
Look for healthier options around and try to overcome the fact that you had a coach and you were just a number. Competing is not your family, your faith, your spiritual belief, or your emotional convictions. So, don’t allow it to dominate and manipulate your brain in breaking you down and controlling you.
After achieving an extreme level of physical fitness the problem participants face is the realization that this look is not sustainable for the long-term, often leading to negative emotions and increased insecurity as they allow themselves to return to a healthy body-fat level and a more balanced lifestyle.
Constant Desire for More
In this sport you are supposed to accept never being satisfied as it will never be enough, what was once lean to you now isn’t lean enough and what was once big to you isn’t big enough as your “normal” has changed, there is a constant fight to do more and be “better.” Participants tend to fall in an obsessive regime becoming addicted to working out and eating right.
Forgetting the “Why” you Chose to Compete
It’s extremely important to consider why you’ve chosen to compete in the first place and judge whether you will be content with the achievements you make along the way to becoming YOUR best self.
Remember, that the experience of contest prep and achieving the goal of stepping on stage should be one of self-betterment and should not land one in struggling with image issues and even depression after a contest. Search what’s right for you!
Intense Exhaustion felt by Participants Back-stage
None of them are left with any energy as a result of calorie-controlled diet and constant stress. All of them are left drinking red wine to dehydrate. They are so drained, and it is sad to see them like this. This lifestyle is not at all healthy and cannot serve one in the long run.
Lack of Adequate Post-competitive Support System
Aside from routine drug tests, there’s no official pre-care on offer. UKBFF do run posing courses which competitors can pay for, in which the girls are taught “the proper way to stand and act on stage to show off their symmetry, shape and toned body,” explained the UKBFF spokesperson.
Post-competition care is the hardest part as each of them admit to binging on unhealthy amounts of sugary foods once they’ve competed.
Instead of sulking after a show, grow from it. Fall in love with the process and love yourself.