This past competition season, I’ve placed the best and worst ever. After coming off my win in my first competition in October (18 competitors), I felt amazing! It was so good to know that my hard work and vision for what a bikini competitor should look like was in line with the judges.
Woah, wtf happened?! Then crept in the negativity. Maybe I don’t have the right look. Maybe I need to compete as a figure competitor. Do I even want to continue competing then? Did I not do enough cardio? I’ll be honest, after prejudging, I didn’t even want to go to the night show! Yes, I’m dead serious.
I knew that I would be able to find the positive in this situation, but in the moment I was so unhappy and couldn’t get myself to be ok with the uncontrollable. I felt stuck in my negative self-talk. All I wanted to do was eat a cheeseburger and hide forever.
Here’s the thing, after exactly 1 month since my second show, I’ve realized that competing is so subjective. There are professional bikini competitors that are on the more muscular side and pros that are more on the thin side. Competitors that got their pro card in their 2nd show, and competitors that after competing for years won their pro card. Natalie Melo went from Ms. Bikini Olympia to 4th place! Judges are always changing and what they are looking for is probably also changing too. Through the ups and downs of competing one thing HAS to stay constant. You better absolutely love the way you look and the package you bring to the stage every show.
I was way more positive during the prep for the first show. I was focused, determined, and happy! I’m not sure what exactly happened for the second show, but I started feeling run down, exhausted, and negative. Also, my coach and I decided to present a different look to the stage. I came in a little softer and really didn’t like the physique I was bringing to the second show. Now, I don’t know if I’d place better, the same, or worst if I came in drier and tighter, but I know I would’ve liked the way I looked onstage better, which would in turn show during my presentation.
At the end of the day, when you are alone with your thoughts and falling asleep, if you are not happy with yourself, what good is first place? And what if you came in last but loved the way you looked, learned so much, are in love with the sport, and can’t wait to compete again? I’d call the latter the true winner.
I learned that I am more than my placing. I can’t let the placing written on a trophy define me as a person. 1st or 9th. Instead, I focus on the things I can control (working hard everyday, helping others better themselves, sharing my journey, and finding the positive in every situation, even if it means digging really, really deep within). Crazy things start to happen when you’re positive. Goals become clearer, sticking to a diet gets easier, you look better, and you attract more positivity. At that point, winning just becomes the icing on the cake!