I feel like my journey to the Fitness Asylum Bikini Challenge has been about 40 years in the making ☺ I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when I was an infant. At that time I was incredibly sick, doctors didn’t know what was wrong, and I was basically on the verge of starvation. It is common for people who are starving to have distended bellies, and even though they finally determined the cause, my doctor’s told my parents that my belly might always look like that. Fast forward many years later, I was an active teenager and played competitive tennis in both high school and college. Despite being very active, I never considered myself skinny and was, as my mother called me, “stocky” (exactly what a teenage girl wants to be called). I even remember my father pointing out that my quads and calves were bigger than most of my boyfriends…again, not really what I wanted to hear. So my struggle with body image has been pretty life long and of course after having my two children, the struggle continued.
After my second child was born eight years ago, I started exercising regularly, did some body challenges at other gyms, and followed a few fad diets. I thought I was a pretty healthy eater, especially since my diagnosis of Celiac Disease prevents me from eating so many foods that are the downfall for most people who are trying to lose weight. I did lose some weight but would either put it right back on or just get to a plateau that I couldn’t get past and would grow frustrated. I still wasn’t happy when I looked in the mirror, which was discouraging since I was exercising 4-5 times a week (even teaching spin twice a week) and as I said, in my mind, I was eating well. I resigned myself to the fact that this was as good as it was going to get…until I saw some pictures of two fellow soccer moms who discovered the Fitness Asylum, did a Bikini challenge and looked totally friggin’ awesome!!! And so, as I was about to turn 40 and my husband asked me what I wanted…I totally knew!
So in February my Bikini Challenge started and I was a nervous wreck and a huge doubter. After hearing people say competition diets aren’t healthy, or why do you need to walk on stage? Or what kind of message are you sending to you daughter? And of course there were my own doubts…I will never be able to do this…I will never be able to look like that…I will never wear a bikini, I will starve!!! But I dove right in and started following the packet and this is what I learned: I never felt healthier, I loved walking on stage and being in the company of so many amazing, hard working, healthy women. I feel I showed my daughter the importance of being healthy and strong and setting a goal for yourself and achieving it. I did walk across a stage in a bikini, in front of hundreds of people, five days before I turned 40, and I wasn’t starving, I didn’t feel stocky, I had a flat stomach and really…I felt amazing! Through this journey I learned things about myself and what it means to really eat well, that I will continue to follow for the rest of my life. So if you are a doubter like me, but you’re also not happy with the way you look or feel…sign up for the Bikini Challenge at the Fitness Asylum and I guarantee it will be one of the most amazing gifts you will ever give yourself!