Monday, October 22, 2012

Post-Show and a Recipe

All done! 

I left off with my day of rest before the chaos.

Friday pre-show brings of on the most important (and often criticized) aspects of the competition: the tan.  Believe it or not, in the judging book, complexion (the color and evenness of tan) is component in judging. 

Here's the funny thing about bikini competitions: while we are up there posing in tiny pieces of fabric, nothing about the bikini competition is "sexy." 

 For the last 12 weeks, most of us have spend 3 hours a day in the gym, sweating, wearing the same gym clothes day-in and day-out, drinking gallons of water, eating loads of asparagus, and using the guest bathroom since we are not only peeing constantly, but the stench of asparagus follows us around. 

We shower Friday morning, go about our day, and by Friday evening, it's time to tan.  We stand in a small tent, stark naked, while women with shower caps and face masks spray us with a freezing cold mist, asking us to bend and stretch in ways that just shouldn't be done without at least skivvies on.  Then we are pointed in the direction of another tent, where fans blow cold air on us for about 10 minutes.  Three hours later, we come back for another coat.

Pretty much what we look like close up

If you every used a spray tan, you know it smells.  

On top of that, we are advised to sleep in long pants and long sleeve T-shirt to reduce the amount of friction that could rub off the tan (if you are traveling, you are advised to bring your own sheets as hotels will charge for tan stains).  Bundled up overnight, we tend to sweat a bit.  

And while this show had a HUGE backstage area for us, most backstage areas are small high school off-stage dressing rooms, complete with the big vanity lights.  And with easily 30-50+ competitors, and every one's curling or straight iron going non-stop, it can get very hot, very quickly.  And no deodorant, since it will mess with the tan, so by the time 10 pm rolls around post-show, we are rank. 

Our hair is matted with multiple hair product, extensions, spray tan and glaze (which is put on just before you go on stage to make sure muscles shine).  Our faces make drag queens cry. We haven't had proper hydration in 12 hours and we are low on carbs. 

Sexy, maybe not.  Fun ... yes.

Surprisingly, there is a camaraderie backstage, no cat fights.  Rarely is anyone rude to another.  If someone needs a different color lipstick, multiple girls open their make up case.  If someone is struggling with their hair, another girl is teasing and spraying it for her.  We check each other's tags and pillow stuffing, help each other on which front pose looks best.  There is an understanding that what we have sacrificed is similar for all of us, and that brings us together.  During pre-judging there is a lot of waiting around, so you tend to talk to your neighbor, share mirrors and hair spray and stare longingly at the fitness girls who often get to eat Skittles and peanut butter pre-show to help give them a bit of a energy rush.  

So how did I do?

I didn't win.  I didn't even place.  Yes, I am a bit upset, especially since I placed the other two local competitions I was did.  But the competition was tough, and I wasn't what the judges wanted on Saturday.

What is more important is how much my body has changed in the past year and a half since I started training.  No I was not overweight, but I struggled because I didn't understand food.  Not just how food works, but how to enjoy the food that should be enjoyed (like fro-yo and cheesecake).  I was an abuser.  A food addict. I could never understand people that didn't finish their plate.

My body was screaming, and I wasn't listening.  Now I pay it the attention it deserves.

From l. to r. July 2011, October 2011, October 2012

I am in a good mental place.  Often times competitors fall off the wagon after a competition. It's post-competition blues.  However, I have worked so hard this past year.  And in the last week, I nearly broke my back (well, injured it pretty good).  So I don't to go back to the beginning. 

Surprisingly my sweet tooth is more under control than I expected, and while I did enjoy some pizza, a Mexican lunch and fro-yo, I am looking forward to experimenting with clean recipes. 

Which I will share one of my favorites.  

I really love sweet potatoes, but 365 days of sweet potatoes ... I think I am turning orange (and not just from the fake tan). Plus I was really craving the Pasta Mediterranean from Brio's (random, I know, especially since I'm not huge on Italian food).

Thank goodness for spaghetti squash!

One cup has 10 carbs and 42 calories. 

After gutting the seeds, I usually bake the squash (30 mins., 400 F), let it cool, then fork out the inside (looks like spaghetti!)

Spray a little olive oil in a skillet, add the veggies you want (I like shredded carrots, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and asparagus).

Then add a cup of the spaghetti squash.  

Saute with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Finally, add a protein (you can start with egg whites, for more of a stir-fry, chicken or I add pre-cooked scallops).

looks a bit like this. ::stolen photo::

 Nom Nom!

As for my oatmeal bake breakfast treat, if you choose to make it, I would leave the brown sugar out of the recipe.  You can't really taste it once baked, and the fruit and chocolate pieces make it sweet enough (maybe even substitute regular chocolate chips for the mini-ones).

It would cut out some of the sugar, plus after cutting a piece, you can always add a sprinkle of brown sugar to the top and I can guarantee it will save you some empty calories.  You could even heat it up and have it a la mode with some frozen yogurt as a nice dessert!

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