The (Kinda Gross) Low-Down on being a Vegan Bikini Competitor
Before I begin my story, allow me to paint the scene a little bit for you. I’m literally surrounded by vegan snack & chocolate bar wrappers right now. I just came back from a rich & fatty, self-inflicted carbicidal dinner and holy crap, I forgot how good it feels to be FULL. I probably could’ve done without the two Camino chocolate bars and bag of sour keys afterward. And I definitely didn’t need to polish off the “congratulatory” Grand Marnier chocolates from creepy Persian neighbourhood convenience store owner (which for the record aren’t even vegan or tasty for that matter) but given where I’m at in life right now, I gotta say that I feel pretty justified in eating whatever the hell I want, whenever I want and as much of it as I damn well want to.
See I just spent the last eight months of my life training to compete in the bikini division of my first-ever bodybuilding competition held in Fort St. John, BC on June 8th, 2013. I wanted to do it because the attention-seeking egomaniac inside of me loved the idea of being judged and scrutinized on the most shallow, esthetic level possible but more than anything, I really wanted to see how well I could do on a strict vegan diet without the use of any hormone blockers or fat burners or whatever the hell else competitors use to lean out & get shredded. I was determined to break the stereotypes that all vegans are scrawny, protein-deficient and unhealthy. And what better place to promote my cause than in the testosterone-fuelled, protein-addicted world of amateur bodybuilding?
When I told my best pals that I was going to compete up north in rural, middle-of-nowhere BC, the lovely ladies already well-known on Vancouver’s ‘vegan’ scene as The Vegan Project were all over it. We decided to take it even a step further and make a little road trip out of it called “ Jacked on the Beanstalk: a Vegan Bodybuilding Adventure .”
I literally devoted my entire life to winning that competition. For eight long months, I pretty much lived at the gym and gave up my social life completely. I ate the most boring vegan foods imaginable—the same frigging things day in and day out—weighing every bit of food that entered my mouth and using every ounce of willpower to not shovel every delicious, forbidden food down my throat.
I watched Youtube videos constantly, practiced my borderline soft-porn poses daily. I was in the gym sometimes at 5am and again late that night just to ensure I got all my workouts in. I went to other competitions just so I knew exactly what to expect and I did everything necessary, every single day for eight long months to guarantee I dominated that bitch.
And when I finally hit the stage—win it— I sure did. Eight LONG months of sore muscles and extreme dieting was all worth it when they announced that I took down first place for my division.
The second it was all over, I went to town on a tub of peanut butter, vegan chocolate then fries and cheeseless pizza at Boston Pizza like a hog at the trough! Oh and booze. That first shot of whiskey tasted like sweet nectar from the Gods. And you can bet your ass I drank it straight out of my trophy too.
Since the big win, the number one question people keep asking me is “how did you get so lean and toned? I wish I could say it was as easy as doing a lot of cardio, lifting weights, eating well and getting adequate amounts of sleep, but alas, there is a LOT more to it. And to be perfectly honest, some of it ain’t pretty either.
It’s really quite ironic that bikini competitors (esthetically-speaking) have such fit, hot bods but what they don’t usually share is that in order to obtain that smoke show package, they basically need to become a gross, disgusting pig.
Before I explain, allow me to mention that I can only speak for myself and my own experiences and observations. And allow me to also say that if you thought I was attractive before reading this story, chances are you won’t afterwards. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take in order to give you a good laugh. And here goes the disgusting side of competitive bodybuilding…
Imagine being on an insanely strict, high-protein VEGAN diet and having to drive two days across British Columbia with a cooler packed full of pre-cooked asparagus, oatmeal, yams and mushrooms. I had enough prepared food to last me through to the end of the competition and we were going to be on the road for five days. Excluding the fact that the food wasn’t even kept cold half the time and rarely could we ever fit it all in the hotel room fridge, we pretty much left every room smelling like a rotting compost heap. Or a fart…
Yes, it wasn’t long after commencing our little vegan adventure that the final destination was renamed “FART St. John. Again, I’m vegan. I eat a high-fiber, high-raw diet as is. I’ve certainly never had any kind of digestive issues. But when you’re a vegan on a high-protein bodybuilder diet, you should pretty much never leave your house. Add three more vegans into a vehicle for 16 hours of driving and we’re talking serious methane gas production.
All farting and bean consumption aside, I think it’s even worse for meat eating bodybuilders. Carnivore competitors are literally eating fish and broccoli six times a day. I would imagine this means they never stop cooking it either. Are there any two worse smelling foods to cook than fish and broccoli?!?! All I know is that when I went into the athlete’s meeting the day before the competition, all I could smell was fish and self-tanning lotion – quite the rank combo. The hallways of the host hotel were even worse—fish & self-tanner with a hint of protein powder farts. I was kind of glad to escape it in exchange for the rotting vegetable stench.
The self-tanning process alone is hilarious and gross. One drop of water on your skin and the tan is ruined. You also can’t shower once the first coat goes on so you’re basically covered in layers of skin-clogging lotion for several days before you can even bathe. And God forbid you get sweaty at any point in time. I made the mistake of going to the athletes meeting without my umbrella. Sure enough when it was over, it was also pouring rain outside. By the time I got back to the hotel, I looked like someone had thrown a bucket of acid on me. And I probably acted like it too as I ran back to the hotel in sheer panic, praying I wouldn’t have to start the entire pain-in-the-ass process all over again.
Thankfully I didn’t go too crazy on the orange. And I was lucky enough to have makeup that matched it nicely. What I didn’t like was how much frigging makeup I had to load on! I guess you could say I looked like a pretty clown who made a few bad choices in life and winded up a prostitute. It was as though someone had loaded a gun with makeup and shot it right at my face. Could’ve been worse though! Some people put the same fake tanner all over their body AND face. I kept wondering “am I really in Fart St. John or is this the Jersey Shore?”
Some competitors didn’t even apply the tanner to their feet. And others just had it on so thick, they literally looked like oompa-loompas.
I feel bad for the hotels that have to room & board competitors. That shit gets on EVERYTHING. My clothes are permanently stained now. I had to bring my own bedding and towels for God’s sake. Not to mention I had to spend a good half hour scrubbing the greasy pink hue off the toilet seat in our room’s bathroom.
But the grossest, most hilarious thing of all about competitive bodybuilding—you ready for this?—is the “pee cups. Yes, for a full 24 hours, I was carrying around a paper cup with the bottom cut out. I was literally urinating into this homemade device in order to prevent “splash marks” from getting onto my tan. I thought it was a joke when I heard about it and ignored those instructions completely. Then sure enough I peed… And discovered it was true! I fast made the wise decision to carry a pee cup in my purse rather then be remembered as the vegan chick with the perfectly-sculpted ass cheeks that were covered in piss stains.
I probably wouldn’t have been quite so embarrassed about the pee cup in my purse had I not been eating asparagus three times a day. Even now, the thought of choking down one more pre-cooked but now room-temperature asparagus spear makes me want to vomit. I don’t even want to think about how much money I spent on asparagus in the last three months. More info on why I was eating so much here 🙂
All in all, ‘twas a great experience that couldn’t have ended any better. I now have a first place trophy decorating my living room mantle. I represented my beloved vegan peeps as best as I could and showed the rest of the bodybuilding world what Jacked on the Beanstalk is all about.
Yes the smell of victory sure is sweet. Or is that a fart?
For more insight into my vegan bikini competition diet, be sure to check out my e-book “Jacked on the Beanstalk: Plant Based Fuel for Vegan Athletes” HERE