Loren Pete

“If I compete in a physique competition, I get to wear a sparkly bikini?!”

That moment was the very beginning of my fitness journey. Even though summer had just started, and each day was busier than the last, all that I could think about were those pretty bikinis. I spent hours online fanaticizing about what my custom bikini should look like, and what color would look best on me, but I was quickly brought back to reality when Johnny took me to the gym for my first workout as an official bikini competitor. As I struggled to walk, sit, stand, and lay down for an entire week, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Am I really cut out for something like this?” It was only day one, and Johnny had basically paralyzed me for days. Even though I was a dancer for 12 years, and remained active as I went to college, I very quickly realized that I had a lot of work to do in order to get up on stage in that gorgeous bikini that I so desperately wanted. I needed to build a ton of muscle, lose lots of body fat, and I only had four short months to do it.

When I started this journey, I never would have thought that the bikini prep process would require so much hard work and dedication. Not only did I have to push my limits in the gym by doing things that were totally out of my comfort zone, but I also had to remain extremely faithful to a strictly calculated diet. I had to buy a food scale, and eat my meals out of Tupperware containers every single day. My family and friends thought that I had completely lost my mind, and trying to explain to them why I couldn’t go out for drinks, or eat any of my favorite foods, like my mom’s famous meatloaf, was nearly impossible. Not to mention how difficult it was for me to constantly have to say “No” all of the time, and feel like a weirdo. No one was able to understand the severity of the process, unless they were also going through it themselves, but regardless, everyone was so supportive, and I definitely wouldn’t have survived the 12 weeks without their love and encouragement.

Even though there were many times that I doubted my ability to succeed, I finished what I started, and came home with a 2nd place trophy. I have never had an experience quite like this one before, and all that I can say is that I absolutely love it. I have found a sport that has not only brought me so much happiness, but it has also completely changed my life for the better. My accomplishments have already surpassed any expectations that I have ever had for myself, and my fitness journey is far from being over. I continue to push myself in the gym, and even though there are times where I feel defeated, at the end of the day, I love what I do, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I am so proud of myself for taking my silly desire to have a diamond bikini, and using it to develop healthy habits, and life style changes that will stay with me forever.