My first WBFF show has now come and gone and I couldn't be more pleased with the entire prep, the show and the experience as a whole.
I want to make it clear that this was NOT my first bikini competition, however, it was my first competition in the WBFF federation. I have competed in 4 NPC shows, 1 INBF show (natural bodybuilding federation) and one Bikini Model Search at the Olympia expo.
Although I have placed well in all of my shows under the guidance of a great coach (Aaron Orton @genuinefitnesstraining), I really wanted to give this prep a shot with completely coaching myself. I will be completely honest, I really underestimated how challenging that would truly be. I know how to prep effectively in theory, but there were many moments of self-doubt and insecurity. This is to be expected during prep, but I found it extremely difficult to keep myself in check mentally and stay the course without having anyone to reassure me that I was on the right track or that I looked 'good' (the mind games are real during prep).
For peak week, I took a little bit of a different approach than most competitors do before shows. My approach was to not change anything at all.
This means I did not deplete, I did not cut water, I did not stop training the week of the show and I had a goal of coming into the show looking and feeling my best. I know that I do not look my best after taking a week off of training, and I do not look my best or my most confident when I am starving or dehydrated.
From what I have been observing of my physique throughout this prep, I know that I look my best the morning after a hard training day with a good refeed.
The Friday before the show, this is exactly what I set out to do. I found a gym in Long Beach (where my show took place) and had a good, hard training session. I also did a refeed on this day and consumed about 500 grams of carbs (my usual intake was between 250-350 grams of carbs during the final few weeks of prep). I know that I respond well to a high carb intake and my goal was to come into this show nice and full even if it meant compromising some definition. I achieved my goal look in the end and learned a lot of valuable information that I think will really help me if I do decide to do another show in the future.
I know there are always improvements to be made and I have already begun working on areas that I would like to improve, but I do feel like I came into this show the best that I could given my current training status and amount of muscle mass.
That being said, I felt confident on stage and am proud of my performance in both physique and presentation. I truly had a blast on stage and was not worried about anyone else up there. Not the way that I felt I was better than everyone, but in the sense that I knew that stressing out about the way that other girls looked would not change the outcome or the physique that I was walking on stage with, so it wasn't worth stressing over.
I could not be more thrilled and honored to have walked away from this show with a first place win in a stacked (somewhere between 22-25 girls) class of absolutely gorgeous and incredibly fit women. I also received my pro status at this show, so you can now feel free to refer to me as Kiana Nirvana Loomis, WBFF Pro Bikini Diva (kidding... kind of.).
Here was the final outcome on stage of many weeks of prep and my different 'peak week' approach:
Although I coached myself through this prep, I was not alone at all. I have so much support around me at all times from my friends to my family, my co-workers, my clients, and even my social media supporters (like YOU! Thank you so much!). It would be ignorant to say that I did it 'alone' or 'by myself' and every word of support, encouragement, reassurance and feedback from you guys does NOT go unnoticed or underappreciated. I am so grateful to have all of these people 'coaching' me and helping me stay in the right mindset to achieve my goals.
Photos by Dan Galic www.dangalicphotography.com
I learned so much not only about my physique and myself, but about how to better prep myself and clients for shows in the future. Among some of the biggest takeaways from this prep for me were:
1. You will always want to improve. Do your best, and enjoy the rest. That's the best you can do.
2. Worrying about the way that other women look will not change the way that you look. Along with #1; Do your best, and that's all you can do.
3. I don't need to diet for 12 weeks for the look I am aiming for. I spent much of this prep dieting and becoming too small, and immediately turning around and trying to fill back out and gain some shape back. If I had waited longer to cut calories, I could have saved myself a lot of time and effort running in circles.
4. There's no such thing as too much posing practice.
5. Get uncomfortable.
Although I am fine with dieting and training hard, doing a show and putting my physique out there on stage to be judged is always terrifying and uncomfortable. But great rewards never came from comfort zones.
6. Trust yourself. I know what works, I just need to stand by that and trust myself.
7. You don't have to be perfect to be great.
8. Stay in your own lane. Don't let what others are doing steer you off your path.
9. You may not be the leanest. You may not be the most muscular. You may not have the best body type, structure or genetics. But you can always strive to be the hardest worker in the room and THAT is truly something to be proud of, regardless of a placing on stage.
10. Being miserable is not a prerequisite of show prep. Nobody cares how much you starved yourself or how extreme your prep was, or even how much you weigh or what your body-fat percentage is on stage. When it comes down to it, the only thing that really matters is how you look and present yourself on show day. Don't make things harder or more miserable than they have to be. Nobody gets an award for being grumpy, unhealthy, starving, unpleasant or the most 'extreme'. It's not a badge of honor and there will always be life outside of prep that is meant to be lived and enjoyed even with a few hundred less calories in you.
Dress and suit custom made by Candy (IG: @candybeecollection)
Two weeks later and I am still recovering from being on absolute cloud 9 from this show and even more elated to be a part of the WBFF Pro family. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has supported me and to everyone at the WBFF who played a part in making this show so amazing and worth every week of prep and every lesson learned along the way.
I cannot wait to get back to making improvements and see where more hard work and dedication can take me.