Abs: Who doesn’t want them?

I want them, but for now I am just looking for one—not one set, literally ONE ab—and I would be happy. Then I will throw my ab a party, and reveal my one ab like they do at the end of Botched on E! This is totally normal, right?

But seriously, this is my journey to get that one ab. Just kidding—I am going to get a six-pack, and take a ton of pictures of it for you haters (haters gonna hate, amiright?). And I will be walking on that stage in my clear plastic heels and bedazzled bikini, with a full-on shellac spray tan, and fulfilling a HUGE goal of mine at the NPC Winter Classic competition on December 5, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Beauty and the Bench Press

A bikini fitness competition is basically what you’re picturing in your head. Yes, we are all on a stage; yes, we are all spray-tanned in sparkling bikinis; and yes, we are walking around like we are on America’s Next Top Model with Tyra Banks.

Bikini fitness competitors are the missing link between Miss Americas and Miss Olympias, all of whom also wear bikinis in their competitions, but aren’t bikini competitors (confusing, right?).

If we could sing or dance or hula hoop while juggling toasters, it would be a beauty pageant. If our biceps had six-packs of their own, it would be a bodybuilding competition. A bikini competition is neither of those things—we are focused on one thing, and that is looking really, really good in a bikini.

Just like all of the above, bikini competitors go out on the stage to show off their bodies, but with a focus on 2015 femininity. I want to be that girl at the beach who looks so good that you have to say hello, but also looks like such a badass that you have to do it respectfully.

If you want the full low-down on the down-low of bikini competitions, follow this link. It will give you all the ish you need to know. (http://npcnewsonline.com/npc-bikini-division-rules/)

Metaphor #1: Life is a Fitness Plan

Over the next six months, I’m going to hit you with a lot of metaphors, and I hope that most of them make you smile, or at least wonder “what is she talking about?” long enough to keep reading.

Life is a fitness competition. If you’ve ever tried to get in shape, you know what I’m talking about. On Sunday, you plan out your week, cook up a batch of turkey spaghetti, line up your sessions with your trainer, and then bam! Your roommate asks you if you want to go get cheeseburgers, and you remember how good cheeseburgers are, and it all goes to hell.

In my life, prescription amphetamine abuse was my version of cheeseburger binges. For six years I was addicted to prescription amphetamines, and in 2012, I got sober. I decided that I was going to do what was healthy for my body and kick the addiction.

Getting sober for me involved gaining a lot of weight, and I mean a lot; not the “I wanna lose three pounds” weight like Regina George. A lot of weight. And yet, I was still healthier than I had been when addicted. That’s a win.

Here’s the thing about going sober as an addict, though—you don’t go halfway. You’re either abusing drugs, or you’re clean. And that all-or-nothing, do-or-die, hard-line mentality is how I got my mind set that I was going to become a bikini fitness competitor.

After I got sober, I realized I still wasn’t as healthy as I needed to be. And if I was going to get into shape, I was going to get into the best shape of my life. Therefore, bikini fitness competitions.

Related: I competed at the Arnold 2014

And so my journey began with the most authoritative source on everything: the Internet. I Googled it like crazy. I bought stacks of books from Amazon. I stalked people on Instagram. My Internet history resembled that of a hormonal 16-year-old boy.

This is my shameless plug for you to now follow and stalk me on Instagram: @bgargala

That is where this all started, about a year ago. I was in the best shape of my life; I looked good. I was proud, and confidence will always be the hottest thing a woman can wear in life.

But then, those damn cheeseburgers (the actual food this time, not the pills) reared their heads. I work for lululemon (seriously, who wears jeans anymore? #teamstretchypants), and the showroom I was working for in Kentucky was opening a full-time store the weekend of my intended competition.

I don’t know if you know this, but that whole Mrs. Doubtfire being-in-two-places-at-once thing doesn’t really fly in real life. The grand opening of the store fell on the same weekend of my competition, and the store opening was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I had to take.

Much like a cheeseburger, the decision to go to the grand opening stayed with me for a while, lululemon presented me with the opportunity to move to Fort Myers to open my very own showroom, so I can’t be mad about it. I badly wanted to get on that stage, but like they do for so many of us, professional opportunities trump personal goals.

I have been in Florida for six months now, and it’s time to get back on track. I’ve found my little pocket of humanity, my business is getting its footing, and I have met some great friends. As you may have noticed, I’ve discovered that cheeseburgers are my weakness—if you ever make it to Fort Myers, I’ll meet you for a cheat meal.

Now that I’m settled and things are ticking along, I’m ready. I’m ready to throw myself to the wolves of fitness again, and shoot for my first bikini competition. The meal prepping has started (meat and PLAIN carbs—spoiler alert), so join me on my journey from start to stage as the beauty hits the bench press.

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