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January 2018 >>> July 2018

I worked my literal butt off for months and months and didn’t win, but I’m okay with it. I never went into my first competition expecting to place top ten. That’s not what this was about anyway.

Of course I could choose to be discouraged right now, but it helps that I went into this competition with the proper mentality. I knew this competition was about one thing and one thing only: being MY very best. If you go into a competition for reasons other than that, you’re going to be unhappy when show day gets here. There will always be somebody with more defined abs or glute tie-ins. That’s just the nature of the beast. Of course I wrote all about the 4 reasons I competed and 4 reasons you shouldn’t already, so I won’t get too deep into all that again here.

I’m darn proud of my results, even though I didn’t place.

First of all, many of the 500 people who competed in this contest were not first-time-noobs such as myself. They’ve played around with bulking, cutting, water pulls, carb cycling, etc. and knew what worked well for their body. This was my first time and was riveted with stumbling blocks and unforeseen obstacles along the way. I did my best, but I know I’ll do better if there’s a next time because I’ve come to understand more about my own body. This whole prep I was like a walking, talking science experience playing around with what helped me lift heavier or lean out. I did a lot of things just plain WRONG.

My mentor, coach, and comp bestie

Second of all, I worked harder on my mental health than my physical health during this prep. To me, there were zero physical results that would have been worth risking my mental health to reach. Honestly, that means that I was afraid of restriction at all. I still lived in the mindset of “treat yourself” in the beginning of prep because I was afraid of what telling myself “no” to specific foods and food groups would do to my mind. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle it and that I would take it too far. For that reason, it took me a few months to ease into a place where I felt I could comfortably control foods without obsessing. I don’t know if that makes sense to people who haven’t dealt with disordered eating, but this was my story in the beginning of prep. To combat this fear of slipping into my old ways, I surrounded myself with a handful of people I could be honest with and tasked them with the responsibility of checking on my mental state.

Maybe I didn’t place in my first bikini competition, but I still feel like I won because:

  • I got past my body hangups and put myself out there, even though I hadn’t reached my “goal body”.
  • I accepted my body and loved it for what it could do
  • I focused on strong instead of thin
  • I kept my head held high in front of a panel of fitness judges literally critiquing my body with clipboards in hand. If you can maintain your confidence through that, you can do it through anything.
  • I pushed myself to and beyond any level of fitness I’d ever reached before
  • I balanced my mental health and I am proud to say that I never got overly restrictive or obsessive
  • I beat my disordered eating, both the overly restrictive and the binging variations
  • I kept going when I wanted to quit
  • I faced the scariest thing I could imagine ever doing and I didn’t die

Some may look at my body and say that I didn’t belong on that stage. Those Negative Nancys weren’t the one I was competing for.

I competed for ME. And won.

And for your entertainment, post show treats!


Jess · July 2, 2018 at 5:03 pm

I struggle so much with dieting/eating healthy because of what you were saying about not wanting to spin into restriction. I think that’s so hard to explain to other people, it’s nice to know it’s not just me! You look amazing, congratulations on your personal victory! 😊 @_jessicarrrabbit

    heybrittney · July 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    You’re DEFINITELY not alone, girl! It was a bit like balancing on a tightrope at times, but having a support system in place helped so much. <3

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