I knew exactly what I wanted my wedding dress to look like. Lace, form-fitting, open-back, fancy belt. Tried on 2. 1 was $8000, 1 was $1200. Sold at $1200. Done and done.
I wasn’t one of those girls who had visions of how I wanted my wedding to be before I met my husband. I operated in a very real-time mindset when I was in my 30s. Maybe one day I would meet the love of my life and have a family, or maybe I wouldn’t. I learned early in life that nothing is guaranteed. That’s why I still talk in my spin classes about how we only have the PRESENT. One of my tag lines reminds my class that, “It’s 9:35am on Wednesday. This is ALL we have.” I try to remind them (and myself) to focus on the here and now and not on the grocery list or the after-class to-dos.
So when Justin proposed on a fall evening in October in 2011 in the rented-out second floor of Maria’s Restaurant in Annapolis (now the Iron Rooster, speaking of, I would love a pop tart right now), I was thrilled that I got to spend the rest of my life with my dream guy and plan a wedding.
I’m usually a very decisive person. I rarely ask opinions of people on anything because I am pretty confident in my ability to make good choices. At least I thought. Fast-forward to today, 12 weeks into training for my competition, and picking this bikini has been a true test of my decision making abilities. Even though I have tried to correct my friend Lindsey when she refers to my show as a “pageant,” what I wear when I step on stage in November, is judged just like my physical appearance and stage presence. In many ways, this is much MORE stressful than ever shopping for a wedding dress because my husband would have married me even if I were wearing a potato sack. YES the bikini MATTERS. I cannot even imagine how frustrated and disappointed I would be if my on-stage critique in November was “wrong suit choice.”
There are many factors that I’ve had to consider when narrowing down my suit choice:
- Where to purchase it from? Competition suits START at around $350 for a good quality suit. Like a wedding dress, I’m only wearing this once. Even if I do another show in the future, my reward for another long, grueling prep is a new fancy bikini. I researched a few vendors, but a referral and the power of a strong social media presence led me to Angel Competition Bikinis . They have a ton of options, a decent turnaround time (4 weeks), and my friend had a good experience with them. Sold.
- How exposed should I be? I like big butts and I cannot lie, but how much of my growing glutes should be showcased? The answer really came down to the organization that I would be competing in. I had to choose a show based on my husband’s work schedule. I was NOT going to train for 22 weeks and have him miss my show for work. There is no “calling in sick” in his profession, so I had to find a show on one of his two weekends off this fall. That show falls on November 19th run by the NGA (National Gym Association). The NGA is a bit more conservative than the NPC (National Physique Committee), so while you’ll still be seeing plenty of my glutes in the Brazilian cut, I’ll save that Pro bottom for when I’m not such a newbie
- What color? Probably the most difficult decision of all for me as been suit color. Red, pink, blue, green? I really had no idea. I don’t really WEAR any of those colors on a regular basis, and even when I am wearing them, I’m not wondering how they are looking against my hair or skin tone. I’ve asked a lot of opinions on this one. From friends, family, people I don’t even know that well. It is critically important that I pick a color that goes well with my hair, skin tone and tan (yes, we all know about the tan). This is a BIG decision. I finally settled on a color, but like the wedding dress, you’ll have to wait to see.
Finally, the details. Rhinestone crystals of every color of the rainbow. Top, middle and bottom connectors that are one strong, two strand, square shaped, rounded. Fancy embellished bottoms. The list goes on and on.
It was time to make a decision. Sitting here on Sunday night at less than 10 weeks out, I’ve made it. I picked a suit that I would feel sexy, comfortable and confident in. I picked a suit that would be worth all the skipped dinners out and passing on dessert and would set me back a few spin classes to pay for, but it’s okay. I want to wear this suit once and make myself and my husband proud. This competition is starting to get very real and very close, and I can’t wait to show it off in just a couple of months. Until then, it’s time for meal 6 (and I NEVER skip meal 6).