My first NPC bikini competition: The good, the bad, and the oily

New Years Resolutions or 2015 Yearly Goals?

You gotta know what you’re working towards, or one day you’ll look back and 10 years have gone by where you didn’t accomplish a damn thing.


I competed in the bikini division of a fitness competition in June of 2014.  It’s taken me six months to put pen to paper but it was such a whirlwind experience I haven’t stopped to analyze the experience.

So what had happened was… many many months ago back in July of 2014 I was talking with an acquaintance about training and what was next on my journey of fitness adventures.  I’m the sort that gets ADD and needs to change things up every now and then to avoid ennui and consequently lack of enthusiasm towards working out.

One thing led to another, and after talking about a physique competition he was signed up for and suggesting that I wasn’t far out from competition shape, I decided to follow my curiosity down the rabbit hole and take on a challenge that would require more discipline and structure.

Six weeks, hours of gym time, lots of chicken and sweet potatoes, and endless google searches later, I was lined up on stage at the 2014 Adela Garcia bikini competition tanned, prepped, and ready to go on stage.


2014-06 adela collage


  1. Stringent – Time consuming! Some weeks requiring 5-6 days in the gym.  More targeting muscle groups than full body movements.

2.  Intense – doable, not the hardest thing in the world.  The cardio always gets me though… HIIT love/hate relationship

3. Repetitive and somewhat boring – I like my workouts to be efficient and I don’t want to be in the gym 1.5 hrs every day working body parts.  I have too little time, attention, and patience for that.  Maybe my next trainer will be able to accomplish this…. (*Ahem*)



  1. Predictable and Easy – It took the thinking out of grocery shopping and meal prep
  2. Clean, Whole Foods – My skin and digestive system were in sync and very grateful for consistency in meals and nutrients. \
  3. Lots of Food – I was never hungry.  I didn’t always WANT to eat more oatmeal or another bite of chicken breasts, but I sure had to stay on a good schedule to make sure I ate enough.  Five or six meals a day is a lot…


  1. Boring – there’s not very much room for variety with chicken, greens, and egg whites….
  2. Time consuming – You think eating 5-6 meals a day is a lot?  Prepping them takes a good while too…
  3. Risk of Temptation – it’s easy when you’re home and have no oreos in your pantry, but when you’re out among friends and there’s alcohol, savory (aka fattening) foods, or melt in your mouth flourless GF chocolate cake, you know whether you’re serious about your training.

Obstacles are there to show is if we really want to reach our goals, or if you just thought you did.

back pose npc


Second call outs, #12 overall.  Super proud 🙂

Not bad for 5 weeks of prep, thank you clean eating (Pump and Shred) and good coaching (Atomic Athlete) for getting me almost there, and my trainer Josh Tilley for dialing in the rest.   Thanks to James Allen Photography for the awesome shots.


Most of the people were super nice.  If people weren’t nice honestly I don’t remember them; most people are so nervous and wrapped up in their own performance that there’s no time to re-enact scenes from Mean Girls.

If you put your mind to something and see the long term reward rather than thinking of what you’re missing out on in the present, you develop discipline and a self love that is impossible to shatter from the outside.

Courage and self discipline are like muscles.  The more you use them; the more you determine that what you want to gain are more important than the fear of missing out or the fear of failure or rejection, the stronger you become

npc bikini competition


Adjusting to post competition weight gain can have a HUGE effect on self-esteem and confidence.  The weight will come back on but it’s important to reintroduce restricted items in moderation and still love your body, BOTH with a 6 pack and striations OR cellulite and some jiggle in the middle..  Weeks of alcoholic abstinence coupled with no extra sugar and tons of water brought a glow to my face that isn’t easily achieved with serums and injections, and all the eating super clean has made me feel nourished and energized.  Take away the knowledge and ability to positively influence how you feel physically; looks and six packs are secondary.

Viewing food as fuel and taking care of your body by hydration, eating clean, and consistent workouts result in overall wellness and makes for a happy Dena.  After over indulging during the holidays and experiencing the negative sides of the carb overload “sugar crash” and acid reflux, I return to my clean diet to recalibrate.

It’s a privilege to take care of your body, not a burden.  Something to remember when hovering over holiday sweets and fatty treats…

Check out the video my friend made! Dena Maddie NPC Adela contest video


The Naturally Fit show in Austin.  This time, I’ll be more prepared mentally and physically, and am competing against myself.  And perfect timing for bikini season….

This time I’ll be more prepared… new trainer, new attitude, plenty of time to prep!

What are your goals this year?  How are you breaking them down into monthly, weekly, and daily activities to achieve them?


3 thoughts on “My first NPC bikini competition: The good, the bad, and the oily

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