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What I Wish Women Were Doing Instead of Bikini Competitions
A really big trend that has come up over the last few years is competing in fitness and bikini competitions. Training for months or years, to step on stage and strut your stuff, with a body that you’ve worked so hard for.
First off, I want to say that I don’t think bikini competitions are bad, in full transparency, I’ve competed in one before and that’s why I am sharing my insight and opinions on this subject.
Disclaimer, I am not a doctor, I am not giving medical advice, I am just sharing my opinions on what I have seen and experienced. Please consult with your doctor or naturopath if you are experiencing anything I have shared in this post.
I see so many women who are excited by other women’s photos they’ve posted of them competing or training to compete. It looks so incredible, you are getting into the best shape of your life, you are getting beautiful pictures taken and you are proud of the hard work you’ve achieved.
I want to share more insight, so if you are thinking about competing, you can see a bigger picture, to make a more educated decision about whether it is right for you or not.
I see so many women getting into competing, without sitting down and doing a thorough analysis of whether or not it truly worth it. I see so many women competing for the wrong reasons and I want to start off by sharing some of the reasons I feel you shouldn’t compete.
Don’t Compete If…
- You’re struggling with your finances, if you feel financially scarce, if you feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck or you aren’t saving any more for your retirement or other goals you have in your life
- You have eating disorders, body dysmorphia or struggle with body image
- You are doing it to lose weight
- You are wanting to start a family within the next 3 or so years (it is terrible for your hormones and you want to have healthy hormones and be in your best health before and when you are trying to conceive)
- You think that competing you will finally love your body
- You think you will feel more confident from competing, dieting and standing on stage
Another thing that isn’t truly considered, is the TRUE costs of competing. Competing is a very expensive sport and I feel so many women go into it not understanding the total costs to just get up on stage, even just one time.
Real Costs of Competing
Just to compete one time in your life, it can easily cost you upwards of $2500+
I am sharing the true costs of competing because I feel so many women go into it without a true understanding of how much this endeavor is actually going to end up costing them.
Some of the Costs for Competing Include, but are Not Limited to:
- Competition prep with a coach
- Posing classes
- An increased amount of one on one personal training
- Competition suit, or multiple ones in case you want to be safe and have a back up in case of a malfunction or sizing and judges not approving of your suit
- Increased food requirements (I am not joking, my grocery bill was insane when I was competing)
- Increased chiropractor appoints and other alternative healthcare with increased training requirements and dieting
- Photoshoots (photographer, hair & makeup, travel, extra photos than what is in their package)
- Photoshoot outfits (new gym clothes, sports bras, etc)
- Hotel room for staying overnight at the venue if it’s in another city or location
- Hair extensions
- Hair & makeup for show day
- Photos from the show, video coverage
- Show day tan
- Travel to and from location, increased trips for training, posing, etc.
- Eyelashes, eyelash extensions
- Competition Shoes
- Time away from work
- Alternative health care for after you are done competing, if you were dieted hard, on too few calories, anything ranging from naturopath appointments, working with coaches on binge eating disorder and learning to accept your body after competing and being stage lean, thyroid health, adrenal health, etc.
I am not writing this post to deter you from competing or to tell you it is “bad” or wrong. I am writing this so you can make a more informed decision and not say, “Wow, I wish I would have known that sooner!”
I will be completely honest, I don’t regret competing, I did it for different purposes and for me, it was actually a weight-gain journey. I came from the modeling world previously and I was very thin. I was deathly afraid of gaining weight, but I knew that for my health, I needed to. My journey to the stage was in me putting on 12lbs when I worked with my coach. I don’t regret the decision I made to compete, but what I wish I thought more about, was the fact that I could work with a trainer to get into the best shape of my life and help me to gain weight, but that I didn’t need to get on stage. I could still go through a fitness journey with someone helping me, but that I didn’t necessarily need to set the goal to get on stage.
One of the Biggest Costs of Competing Women Don’t Consider
One of the most overlooked costs that I see when it comes to competing are the after costs of how your body and your mind are affected by competing. Depending on the coach that you had and the time frame of your prep, you may have been dieted at too low of calories for too long. This can seriously affect (and often does), your hormone functions. I’ve seen competitors struggle for years after they competed. This can easily result in thousands of dollars in testing, special supplements, additional alternative health care such as naturopaths, functional medicine doctors, etc, missed opportunities, lowered fertility, delayed time starting a family, the need for expensive fertility treatments, etc.
Many women have experienced problems with their digestive system (the most common I’ve seen), thyroid function, adrenal function, hormones (that control their appetite, their metabolism, that contribute to their weight, etc), reproductive system, and the list goes on.
Many women struggle with their relationship with food and themselves after and this can result in needing further counseling, therapy, coaching, to improve their struggles.
It can cost you thousands of dollars, just for this alone, not including the actual costs of competing. Too many women aren’t told about the after effects of what can happen from competing.
What I Wish Women Were Focusing on Instead
I talk to women every single day who are struggling with their finances. They don’t feel confident about how they are managing their everyday money. Many feel like they are living paycheck to paycheck or just never able to get ahead. Many of them have a savings account that is not really growing because they are constantly dipping in and out of it. Many have credit card debt and struggle to get it paid off or keep them paid off.
I’ve had one woman message to me on multiple occasions who was struggling with her finances, but wanted me to tell her how she could pay for her coach, so she could compete. It was so frustrating, because she didn’t account for ALL of the expenses that she was going to have during this journey and she was already stressed about money, but was choosing to put the stage first over her finances and in turn, her mental health. It’s not like her finances were just going to stay where they were, they were going to get worse, because of all the added expenses that came with competing that she didn’t even realize yet.
Improving Your Finances is One of the Best Confidence Builders
One of the best things that you can do for your confidence, for your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, are to focus on improving your finances. One of the greatest feelings is when you feel in control of your finances, you feel empowered, you feel independent and like you can take care of yourself and don’t have to rely on anyone else, if anything happened.
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My Struggles with Anxiety and Binge Eating due to My Financially Scarce Mindset
Before I worked on my money mindset, I struggled with anxiety around money. I would be having a great day and then all of a sudden, I would think about something related to money and I would go to the worst case scenario and my mind would just keep replaying these disempowering money stories over and over again. I felt like I wasn’t safe in my own body. I developed the coping mechanism of eating, which meant that when I was anxious, food was the first thing I turned to. This lead to binge eating, because I was stuck in a cycle of feeling scarce about money.
I struggled with a financially scarce mindset and always feeling like there wasn’t enough and so scared that I would somehow lose what I had. When I focused on improving my money mindset and how I felt about money, my world really changed. When I focused on improving my feelings of abundance, I didn’t live a life where my habits surrounded scarcity thinking, my habits shifted to abundance thinking. I was able to overcome the binge eating that I was suffering from for so long. For women who are experiencing similar things to me, they would think that maybe competing would be the answer to help them “lose the weight,” when in fact, it’s their mindset they need to work on.
The difference between these two pictures is ten pounds. I did NOT diet to “lose” the weight. When I worked on my money mindset and feelings of abundance, my eating habits normalized and the weight came off on its own. I actually thought way LESS about food, when I was losing the weight. My body went back to a healthy weight, all on its own, when it wasn’t feeling so anxious all of the time.
Click here to download my Realistic Budget template!
Improving Your Finances Actually Can Improve Your Body
Working on improving your finances isn’t just about the numbers. It’s not just about saving more money or paying off debt. It is so much more than that.
When I opened up to someone about my stress and finally talked about how I was feeling about my perceived finances from my poor money mindset, that is when my health, body and life dramatically improved.
This is why I am so incredibly passionate about helping individuals and couples with their finances. It goes so much deeper than just the numbers, it’s all about how you feel on the inside, when you feel like you have options, opportunities and choice. You show up so differently in your life and the beautiful ripple effect extends to so many people around you, when you feel empowering, independent and in control of your finances.
Taking the time to focus on your finances instead of prepping for a show, can be one the best decisions you’ll ever make. You can gain immense confidence in yourself, feel proud of the huge accomplishments you’ve achieved, get your body in shape at the same time and have it cost so much less and you can significantly reduce the high stress that you’ve been feeling around your finances.
I encourage you, to see the value in making your finances a priority and working with a financial coach to learn the skills and habits to take you from where you are now, to where you want to be, not just financially but in life. Getting your finances together makes it so you have more options, opportunities and choice in your life and that is a very beautiful thing.
If you are ready to feel empowered and confident about your finances and to reduce your overwhelm and anxiety around money, check out my Financial Services that I offer. I work one on one to help individuals and couples manage their specific financial situation and to improve their lives by walking them through HOW to change their financial situation, step by step. If you want to find out more about financial coaching, you can read an article I wrote on Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Coaching.
Do you want to finally feel confident in how you are managing your everyday finances?
Click here to download my Realistic Budget template!
I am very active on Instagram, follow me here for more financial tips & tricks: http://instagram.com/mandyythomas (@mandyythomas)
Do you have any questions or anything to add? Leave me a comment in the comments below and I will respond back to you!
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