What’s Next? The Post Bikini Competition Plan

A surprising thing about post-competition is that I’m not all that anxious to eat all of the food that’s been off limits during contest prep.  You’d think I’d want to eat everything in sight, but that hasn’t been the case.  In fact, the thought of a big, juicy cheeseburger and fries (something I love to indulge in once in a while before) doesn’t really sound good to me right now.  I think it feels so good having worked so hard to get in shape, I don’t want to “blow it” by eating bad.  It doesn’t feel worth it.  
The night the competition ended, we found a nice steak restaurant that was open and ate a late dinner there.  I had baked brie (a favorite of mine!) with dry toasts, filet minion, twice baked potato and iced-tea.  I only finished half of the steak and potatoes and I really wasn’t ready for any alcohol.  The next morning, I indulged in Starbuck’s banana bread for breakfast before we got on the road to come home.

After driving nearly four hours home, we stopped at Chipotle for lunch and I always get a bowl with rice, chicken and pico.  Back at home, I got back on my regular (contest prep) meals with the exception of the ice cream I had been craving.  I wanted Gelato (it has less fat) but they were out the kind I like (Sea Salt Caramel), so I got regular Carmel Cone ice cream.  I ate the whole pint.  It was GOOD going down!  
But, of course, my stomach really hurt the next morning.  Thankfully, my abs were still there! šŸ™‚  Although a cheeseburger doesn’t sound good, I could keep eating ice-cream every once in a while (just not a whole pint in one sitting!).
My trainer texted me the next morning telling me I should get back to Phase 1 of my diet.  And it’s crazy that I was actually looking forward to it!  I really like my protein pancakes with all-natural fruit spread.  Meal 2 is usually fish, potato, and green beans.  Meal 3 is a grilled chicken salad with fat free dressing.  Meal 4 is chicken, potato or rice, and veggies.  Meal 5 is a cup or so of Muscle Egg.  Sometimes, I’ll eat another pancake too in between Meal 4 and 5.  I typically eat at 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm.  
On Tuesday night, my girlfriend invited me out for a drink and I went, but ordered tea. Wednesday night, I went to dinner with two friends at a new restaurant and I was excited to have something different.  I ate tuna tartare and a mini steak skewer.  
At the weekend blog conference I went to, I ate as best I could (even brought and drank 3 protein shakes while I was there).  We were fortunate that the conference had a fresh, healthy salad bar selection with fish and chicken.
BUT, I did indulge in THREE small desserts on Saturday (chocolate popsicle, shared milkshake at dinner, and scoop of ice cream at the late-night party).  Back at home on Sunday, I was back to my meals- and ready to be! 
I do want to find new healthy meals that I can feel good about eating that are different from my usual.  It’s just nice to have a little variety.  And I’m sure my husband would appreciate it too.  
As for the workouts, my trainer recommended that I do only 30 minutes of cardio and no weights for about a week to give my body a rest and just recoup from the competition.  What’s crazy is that just doing 30 minutes of cardio now feels very minimal.  I haven’t even bothered to go to the gym for it (it would take longer to drive there and back) opting instead to just run out my door around my neighborhood with my iPod. 
I had a great run on my trip out of town too.  I knew I’d want to run at least one day, so I packed running clothes and my iPod.  Right outside our hotel was a beautiful bike trail filled with tall, lush trees.  I even found the cutest Startbuck’s ever and popped in after my run for an oatmeal and black iced-tea.  It felt so good to start the day this way.

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Before I started training for this contest, if you’d have told me I’d be doing 30-45 minutes of cardio 4-5 times a week in addition to my one hour workout, I’d think you were crazy.  I didn’t think I was physically capable of doing that, but my body surprised me.  Yours can too. 
I’m not training with my trainer right now, opting to spend more time with my son and just workout at the gym that’s closer to my house.  When my son goes back to school, I’ll reconsider.  I got spoiled training with him – not because it’s any easier – in fact it’s physically harder.  But, he kept me accountable and pushed me to my limit.  I just did what he said.  I didn’t have to think about what’s next, what exercise to do, what weight to lift, how many reps.  So many times I’d say to him, “I’d never workout this hard on my own.” 
I know his routine pretty well now though.  We would do 3 exercises in a row, not too heavy, but a weight I could get 15-20 reps.  One of the exercises might be something without weights, just to keep my heart rate up, like Burpees. We’d do the round 3-4 times, then start again with 3 different exercises.  We did this for one hour, sometimes stopping with 10 minutes to spare so I could finish with abs.
It will be interesting to see if I can keep it up on my own.  I’m going to try! 


  1. July 14, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    Your journey was an absolute inspiration. So proud of you!! I can imagine it will be difficult to find a new balance now that the competition is over, but now it can be all about what works for you and makes you feel your best!

  2. July 14, 2014 / 1:59 pm

    I've watched your journey quietly from behind the scenes but I'm so full of admiration I've had to comment. What you've done is amazing, not just your physical transformation but how you've inspired countless people, myself included, to take control of their health and their bodies. I too am 39 and my 3rd child is almost two, I've always made the same excuse 'oh it's harder as you get older' etc but to see you and your before and after pics has made me realise it IS possible to turn this body of mine around. Thank you, thank you. Your positivity can be felt here in England!

    • July 17, 2014 / 2:53 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I appreciate you writing- all the way from England! I now feel like 39 is YOUNG and we have lots of years ahead of us, so it's best to get strong and healthy now so our bodies can serve us for a long time.

  3. July 14, 2014 / 2:03 pm

    Great post! I've been trying to find a wellness routine that works for me! Trying new classes like Body Pump or Pure Barre keeps it more interesting I find. And, as it turn out, I really like lifting weights. Have you tried hot yoga or swimming? Iā€™d be interested to hear your thoughts on adding new things to your routine.

    • July 14, 2014 / 4:30 pm

      Hi Stephanie! No, I've never tried hot yoga or swimming for exercise. I have never even done regular yoga, so that would be a good place to start. I miss Spin class, so I want to get back to that. One physical change I'd like to make is to grow my booty, so I'll be doing lots of walking lunges with weights and squats.

  4. July 14, 2014 / 2:27 pm

    Great recap Megan. In time you will find you can eat quite a variety of things without feeling guilty, or getting an upset stomach. A good place to start is with Paleo cookbooks/blogs. Clean & natural. While most would think you would be ready to devour that cheeseburger and such, I can totally relate. Having been on a gluten free diet for almost a year now, I really don't crave nor miss certain things. In the beginning yes, but now, no. All I have to do is remember how AWFUL they made me feel. I still have a ways to go in losing the weight I gain due to my thyroid issue and such, but I feel healthier and that is what truly matters. I know you are considering having another baby, just curious as to what your trainer had to say about the workouts and strict diet affecting your metabolism and hormones. I know it has caused problems for some woman in the past, as you body needs to adjust back to a more normal lifestyle. And, some of that fat is necessary for things. Just curious. I am done! But, I am sure there are other younger woman following along and it is something to consider when getting into something like this.

    • July 14, 2014 / 4:28 pm

      Your tastes change after you've been eating one way for so long. As for the possibility of pregnancy, I plan to talk to my OB about how I typically eat and see what she recommends. I have to make sure I'm getting enough calories and a good balance of healthy fats, protein and carbs. I would also continue to workout (unlike the first time!) but get my OB's guidance on that too.

    • July 14, 2014 / 5:46 pm

      Agree. We stopped eating chocolate in our house for the longest time in support of Katie, since it was a known migraine trigger. And while we now will indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate every now and then…eating a brownie puts us over the edge! LOL Wish I could say the same for salty snacks. Something I personally have to work on, since I am severely iodine deficient I crave salt like nobody's business!! Not good. I think the few I have known to have issues with pregnancy (or getting pregnant for that matter) have had the body builder/more extreme fitness lifestyle for awhile. Good to have a healthy balance I guess. I admire your openess and honesty that you have shown throughout this entire process. Including your fears.

  5. July 14, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Megan,

    Sorry to comment again because I know you are constantly bombarded with questions. I understand if you do not wish to share…but what were phase 2 and phase 3 of your diet like (if it changed at all)? I have been following along these past few months and have a general idea of your plan. However I thought the meal plan you described above as phase 1 was what you've basically been eating with a few variations (like the fish and whatnot). Thanks again!!!!

    • July 14, 2014 / 4:26 pm

      No problem Ashley! I want to share – thank you for asking. My apologies if I missed this question previously. The changes on phases are small.

      Phase 1 was what I linked to with 6 oz of carbs at my meals. I measured in ounces because I was eating a potato instead of 3/4 cup of rice.

      Phase 2- just went down to 4 oz carbs and 1/3 cup oatmeal in my pancake instead of 1/2 cup.

      Phase 3- was no egg whites (so no pancake for breakfast). Also, I cut out the Molly McButter (to reduce sodium) and increased from 5 to 6 meals a day.

      I think that's it!

  6. July 14, 2014 / 3:45 pm

    You made an amazing transformation! I am 28 weeks pregnant and it has been hard to watch my body change (even though I've continued exercising and working out), so it is nice to know (see!) that I can get my body back post-baby. Also? That is the cutest Starbucks ever!

    • July 17, 2014 / 2:55 pm

      Good for you for continuing to exercise while pregnant! That's my biggest regret about my first pregnancy. I think keeping up with it will make getting that post-baby body back much easier. You are more than half-way through being pregnant now!!

  7. July 14, 2014 / 4:28 pm

    It's good to hear that you didn't want to go back to eating unhealthy again! I think that's what I would be concerned with. But you've been eating healthy for so long I bet it's easier to continue with the same diet. And I bet a cheeseburger would feel terrible after the clean eating you've been doing for so long!

  8. July 14, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    You look amazing and you have such a wonderful success story of dedication and determination! I'm totally jealous of your abs!!! šŸ˜‰

  9. July 15, 2014 / 4:45 am

    So glad you guys devised a post show plan. It will help reduce the rebound weight and keep you sane. Nobody prepared me for what to do after my first year-It's like, shows over…now what

    • July 17, 2014 / 2:59 pm

      Right, it's such a mental thing. I have heard some bad stories about people really blowing up after a competition or getting depressed, so I'm watching it.

    • September 10, 2014 / 9:35 pm

      You were very fortunate Megan. Your trainer had/has a very sane/effective/healthy approach to prep dieting. (Unlike my coach). Thank goodness for your blog. I was so thrilled to see there was a "normal" way to prep diet.
      I saw an earlier post by one of your followers re: having another baby. Interesting…. I just read a post blog by a pro that I follow and she is now having a lot of trouble conceiving due the extreme dieting her body has endured over the years. Too much misguidance/inconsistencies out there…..

  10. July 15, 2014 / 1:49 pm

    I would love to see some of your workouts. You posted a leg day a few weeks back and I tried to do most of it at the gym. It was a good one!!

    • July 17, 2014 / 3:00 pm

      So happy to hear you tried that leg workout Maureen. Now that I'm back in the gym by myself, I need to share with y'all the workouts I'm doing.

  11. July 15, 2014 / 7:45 pm

    Obviously you got your body fat waaaay down for competition. Do you have an ideal percentage for not competing? I imagine after working so hard and getting so lean, it might be hard to be okay with softening back up a bit.

    • July 17, 2014 / 3:01 pm

      I wish I knew what my body fat was for competition. I had an appt at the bod pod to get it measured, but they had to cancel b/c the machine wasn't working. I need to reschedule. I like where I'm at now and would be happy staying here. šŸ™‚

  12. July 18, 2014 / 3:55 am

    I found you and your blog! It was so nice getting the chance to meet you at Haven this year! You are such a sweetheart and I enjoyed getting to know you a little. Love reading about your discipline, dedication and training for your bikini comp and all your successes in healthy living. Look forward to following along. Keep being an inspiration, Megan! šŸ™‚

  13. May 22, 2015 / 6:41 am

    Hi Megan!

    I just read teough all your completion blog posts. How inspiring. I was wondering if you'd be willing to share some of the specifics of the workout routines you did with your trainer? It's like you said it's so hard to know if what we are doing is right and working. I just had a baby 10 months ago and would love to do something similar to what you did.


  14. September 30, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Hey Megan, I'm from Houston and am super curious who your trainer is…I'm looking for one!!

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