I recently became aware that people sometimes ask what my husband’s thoughts are about my job as a bikini competitor.
“Isn’t it weird for you to see her in front of people in such a small bikini? Doesn’t it bother you that she posts pictures of her body?”
I never hear the questions directly but rather trickling down from someone close to me, so I was a little bothered that people might be asking Rob these things which could make him feel insecure.
Yes. I post pictures of my abs and glutes on IG to show progress of prep and what changes are happening. It’s not meant to be sexual, but to educate and give a “behind the scenes” look at what happens to the anatomy of a body during the process and document how I am feeling.
Yes. I wear a tiny bikini, but this is a sport meant to show muscle tie-ins and showcase the body as a machine. I understand why some people might be concerned that Rob feels uncomfortable with that.
I realize that it’s just ignorance (I was ignorant, too at one time). I decided to let Rob share his thoughts because honestly, while I am prepping, there’s a lot that happens for him through the process, too.
He is my main support!
What were your thoughts when I originally discussed competing?
“I remember wanting to know why you wanted to do it. I felt like people who competed were usually starving for attention and I was curious as to how the prep and sacrifices we would have to make (time, money, your energy) would pay off. After we talked with a coach about what prep looks like and how competing would benefit your business and blog, I understood and was ready to give you the thumbs up. We also had to discuss the cost so when I knew that you calculated it out and had plans to fund this, I felt better.”
My tip: Take your spouse’s feelings into account and truly think of your WHY. Go to a show together, talk to a professional or spouse of another competitor and give it some time. “No” sometimes just means “not right now.” If your spouse still isn’t supportive, it can put a lot of strain on your marriage.
What was the hardest for you during my prep?
“I think the food. In the process of your prep, I changed my diet, too. It was hard sometimes to not be able to go out to dinner together or see you having to reject food at social events. Our schedule change was hard, too. You would be up so early which would make you tired in the evenings and you would go to bed early. I had to adjust my schedule and help more with Quinn. Our time together was lessened.”
My tip: Remember that this was your decision to compete and you can’t expect your spouse to never eat something bad in front of you or want to follow your meal plan. Do not make them feel terrible for enjoying their food or hold it against them. Also, since you may not be able to go out to dinner, find other ways to have date night! You still need that quality time together.
Did you ever feel bothered or worry that other men were looking at me or that my bikini was so small?
“No. When you first started posting bikini and progress pictures, I knew how other guys might think so I had to accept that they would see it and possibly leave comments. I understood why you were sharing those pictures; you were showing progress, educating and documenting how you felt along the way. It’s inspiring to a lot of people so I didn’t want to let a few creepers ruin it. At the actual competition, I never worried because it truly is a sport.”
My tip: Bye Felicia. No but seriously… as a wife, it is my job to make my husband feel secure during this process. When I have comments from “creepers” or what I like to refer to as “trolls” I either respond nicely, ignore or block.
What helped you to see competing as a sport versus something sexual?
“Seeing you work so hard day in and day out. I witnessed you get excited for something and could see your passion for it and then the results came. It was neat watching you have such self control and challenging yourself behind the scenes. You trained like an athlete so it wasn’t hard to see this as a sport.”
My tip: Educate your spouse on the process of prep and show them this post. Let them talk to another competitor and spouse if they need to!
How did you feel during the competition? Did seeing me on stage or being at the event change your thoughts or perceptions of competing?
“I felt really proud and excited for you. I gained a lot of respect for the industry because I knew what hard work they put in to be there.”
My tip: I 100% suggest that your spouse go to your competition. Seeing the final details that go in to your journey will really shed new light.
What advice can you give to a spouse of a competitor?
“If you agree to support your spouse during prep and competing, then be all in. It’s a commitment on your end, too. Pick up the extra slack when they need it and don’t complain. Even little comments like, “You’re always tired” or “Do you really have to go to the gym again?” can become deflating for them. It’s not worth it. Oh and try not to eat too much crappy food in front of them.”
My tip: Communicate. There will be days that you are tired and really need your spouse to do a little extra, so be sure to ask and not just expect it. You might be grumpy so give them the fair warning, “My attitude is not personal, I am just really tired and have a short fuse right now. I appreciate you understanding.”
Make an effort to ask your spouse how they are feeling, too. This isn’t just about you. I would often ask Rob if he preferred me to workout at a different time, make him something special for dinner, stay up a little later to give him some quality time, etc. Tell your spouse when they are doing a great job and making you feel supported. You can leave them a note, gift or pick them up a special treat (I would bring Starbs home for Rob and say thank you for helping with Quinn so I could get my cardio done.)
I hope this was helpful! If you ever have questions about making the decision to compete, please reach out to me!